We all have our humble origins on the road to becoming a photographer. For me, the Fujifilm FinePix F401 is where it all began. I vividly recall driving around the Bulgarian countryside in the spring of 2004 and 2005, photographing anything and everything and discovering how fascinating the world can be when viewed through a lens.
For all its spartan features and basic technology, the F401 was an impressive camera, back when I first got my hands on one. It had a small (albeit, weirdly shaped) footprint, produced relatively quality images, sported a decent (for the times!) 3.1mp resolution and could also record movies. Not to mention, it appeared on the market when the transition from film to digital was still in its beginning stages – just having a digital camera that could produce images without the hassle of film development times and analog limitations, was a huge plus!
The Fujifilm F401 was a very important stepping stone in my development as a photographer, and I still cherish many fond memories of the time spent with it. And, I still have it…!
I wish I could say it still works, too. When I recently dug the old weapon out of a closet (where it sat forgotten – for the longest time I thought I had lost it), I was excited to see if it could still take pictures. After a dig through boxes of old cables, I managed to locate the charger, made sure the camera had a full charge and its SmartMedia (!) memory card and slid the front-side power “slider” to the ON position… But not to be. Even though the F401 managed to power up, the screen appeared scrambled. Capturing an image and downloading it revealed that the problem was not in the tiny display, but evidently, in the image sensor or one of the related components, as the images recorded were also completely corrupt.
Not to be!
The thought to open up the camera and see if I could remedy the issue or replace a part, has crossed my mind, but until I find the time (and courage!) to attempt this, possibly impossible, feat, I leave you with a few mementos from the times when the Fujifilm F401 was in full-strength and we first became acquainted. To the good old days. Enjoy!