The Fujifilm FinePix AX655 is a point and shoot digital camera sold at Walmart. The AX650 is a similar model which is sold much more widely but for some reason the AX655 seems to only be available at Walmart. At the time of my purchasing the camera it cost $69. No SD card is included which means you’ll need about $10 more to buy one. No case is included either. For my purposes I didn’t want to lug around a case for my camera since I would rather carry the camera in my pocket so that it is readily available.
The AX655 takes pictures and video with the quality that you would expect from a point and shoot camera. Those more well-versed in the intricacies of digital cameras are more qualified than I to comment on the quality of the pictures and video. Instead, this review focuses on the interface aspect of the camera.
The largest interface flaw with the AX655 is the difficulty in switching between picture and camera mode. Switching between picture and video mode requires seven button presses. Most cameras have a physical dial for switching between modes. Requiring seven button presses obviously significantly increase the time necessary for switching modes. Such a delay could easily cause one to miss a critical shot.
The AX655 has a button dedicated only to switching into playback mode. Dedicating an additional button to switching between video and picture would make the camera easier to use.
Once when I had set the camera on a chair to record a video in my haste I pushed the power button instead of the shutter button. Other cameras avoid that confusion by having an on/off switch. The problem with an on/off switch is that automatically turning off the camera would leave the power switch in a confusing state not unlike a room with two light switches for the same light.
One advantage camera phones seem to have over most point and shoot cameras is the refractory period between shots. While camera phones seem to have no delay, point and shoot cameras have a delay of one to three or more seconds of which the AX655 is no exception. Camera manufacturers would do well to eliminate the delay between taking pictures in order to be more competitive under the pressure from camera phones.
I purchased the AX655 because it was the cheapest point and shoot digital camera at Walmart. Not being qualified to speak on the quality of the photos and videos, it is difficult to say that a camera of a similar price range would be better or worse.