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Fujifilm have this
to say about the camera:
"Combining a 12 Megapixel
8th Generation Super CCD with a powerful Fujinon 5x wide angle optical
zoom lens, a 2.7" high-resolution 230,000 pixel wide angle view LCD,
the FinePix F100fd is one of the most sophisticated compact digital cameras
Fujifilm has ever produced. It offers the most advanced technologies available,
including Wide Dynamic Range, Dual Image Stabilisation, Face Detection
3.0 Technology with automatic red-eye removal and ISO settings of up to
an unprecedented ISO 12800 - so missing great shots is not an option."
You can find more information on their website.
The Camera: a
visual tour: (Photos of the camera taken with the Canon
Powershot SX100 IS)
Size Comparison: Compared to a Pentax PC-550 35mm film camera - a medium/compact sized 35mm film camera.
Average box contents
- The camera has a fairly large built in memory however this will only
let you take about 14 pictures at highest quality so the first thing you'll
want to buy is a large memory card. Getting a case is also highly recommended.
The menu system is fairly straightforward, and simple things like changing
iso settings, quality or scene position can be achieved easily. Changing
any settings that aren't on the F('film') button however is much more
difficult. Each change requires you to navigate from the scene position
you were in, through to the menu screen then eventually through the menu
tree to the setting you want to change. Once you've made the change, you
then have to go though the whole process again if you want to change it
back. Some 'remember presets' system might help avoid this hassle. Playback
functions:- Red eye removal, Image rotate, Slide show, Trimming, IR transmit,
Trim for blog, copy protect, voice memo, view by date- 11 to a screen,
also display upto 100 thumbnails at a time.
Picture Size /
Quality: The camera lets you choose the image size (4,000x3,000 /
4,224x2,816 (3:2 format) / 2,848x2,136 / 2,048x1,536 / 1,600x1,200 / 640x480
pixels), aspect ratio (4:3, 3:2), and compression (JPEG Fine or Normal).
Higher quality images take more memory and more time to store, so this
affects how long between shots. Although there are a good range of image
sizes and compression options, not all of the advertised features can
be used in the 12 megapixel mode, and I think it would benefit from a
'superfine' 12 megapixel mode to get the best image quality possible.
Battery usage: Battery life is rated at approx 230 shots with supplied NP-50 batteries, however in my testing I didn't manage this, probably because I was doing a lot of reviewing each photo, using the flash and movie mode a lot. Battery life will depend on the kind of use you make of the camera. The camera uses a proprietary battery type which is unlikely to be stocked in most shops so it may be worth buying a spare.
Memory cards: A large memory card is relatively cheap, and highly recommended, I would recommend at a bare minimum a 1gb memory card, if you intend to take fine JPEG images, and preferably a 2gb memory card, or larger. The larger the memory card, the more photos you will be able to take. If you are likely to go on holiday then the largest memory card you can afford would definitely be worth investing in, as you don't always know when you will next be at a computer. You can use SD or SDHC memory cards - I tend to use Sandisk Ultra II Plus USB SD memory cards as these let you plug the memory card straight into a USB socket making it easy to transfer images onto any computer, they are available as 1GB SD, or 2GB SD cards and 4GB SDHC cards. Listed below are links to memory cards that will work with the Fujifilm FinePix F100fd - Using SD or SDHC memory may help produce the best shot to shot times with this camera:
Find the latest
prices for XD memory cards at Amazon.co.uk: 1gb (1000mb): £6,
2gb (2000mb): £8.
camera switches on and is ready to take a photo in just over 3 seconds,
which is mainly due to the zoom lens. Focusing normally takes about half
a second (except in quick auto-focus mode) and in reduced light, focusing
was successful. The camera shutter response when pre-focused was less
than a tenth of a second and shot to shot time was under 2 seconds. In
continuous (top 3) mode I measured a delay of around 2 seconds between
shots using internal memory. The manual also mentions top 12 mode but
this is only available when shooting at 3 mega-pixel resolution, so is
of limited usefulness. The cameras menus and zooming seem responsive and
reviewing photos is quick. Moving around the different menu options is
ok if you're used to fuji menu layouts, however the lack of a dedicated
'menu' button makes setup slow and clumsy in manual mode.
Ease of use: In auto mode the camera is very easy to use and the scene modes are also very useful. The camera detects faces and focuses quickly and gives good positive feedback so making taking photos easy. Changing more obscure menu options is much more difficult and overall it may take a long time to master this camera. Image stabilisation will help more photos stay sharp, however I wonder if there's a faster way to review photos, to ensure there is no camera shake.
Ergonomics and Buttons: (Feel, placement, labels, etc) The camera handles well, though may be a bit tricky for anyone with long nails or large hands. The buttons are labelled well (with symbols and occasionally text). The compartments and covers seem well positioned and are easy to open. It would not be possible to operate the camera whilst wearing gloves.
Image Quality: Here are some real world sample photos taken in various settings, such as Inside, Outside, Macro, to demonstrate the quality of pictures taken and also show different features of the camera. Larger versions of these photos, plus more photos are available in the Fujifilm FinePix F100fd Sample Photo Gallery!
Inside: The camera has good colour - It took a good "Heather and Flower" photo - there is almost no red-eye in the photo. It has a fairly good flash, and copes fairly well with group photos, and there is little red-eye in group photos. On AUTO ISO, the ISO setting was quite high, however noise was acceptable, and better results may be possible by using the lowest ISO setting, especially if the subject is close to the camera. The camera did a good job at focusing most of the time in low-light, although struggled in very dark situations. There is an LED illuminator that helps focus in low light.
ISO Noise Test: Noise: Noise is generally a bad thing - it removes detail, and gives a grainy effect over the image. With digital cameras noise can be a real problem as digital camera noise is often made out of blue, red or green dots. As the ISO setting increases, pictures tend to have more noise. Noise is most noticeable in dark areas of photos. The camera has an Automatic mode for ISO levels (ranging from ISO 100 - ISO3200), and manual ISO settings (ISO: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, ISO3200).
Below you'll find the noise test image, plus actual pixel crops, viewable at 100%, from the image taken at different ISO settings, compared with the 14.7 megapixel Canon Digital IXUS 980 IS and Panasonic Lumix FX150.
ISO Noise Test Photos - Flash is off. Canon Digital IXUS 980 IS on the left, Panasonic Lumix FX150 in the middle, Fujifilm FinePix F100fd on the right. Any tonal difference is due to white balance or lighting / metering differences.
Noise results: The Fujifilm FinePix F100fd shows low noise levels, especially when compared to other high end compact cameras, with very low noise at ISO100 and 200, some noise at ISO400, and shows the most usuable high ISO results at ISO800. The ISO1600 results are better from the F100fd than the others, and the Fuji also provides an ISO3200 mode at full resolution.
Image Stabilisation: The camera features real image stabilisation, in the form of an anti-shake sensor in the Fuji F100fd. This feature helps reduce image blur due to low light or long zoom photography. Examples showing this feature switched on and off can be seen below.
With image stabilisation switched on the images are much sharper and clearer, and is much more likely to come out blur free, especially in low light, when using the zoom or when using slow shutter speeds. All camera's systems appear to work well, and it's good to see that this feature is becoming the norm with digital cameras.
Fuji Wide Dynamic Range: The camera features "wide dynamic range" - this provides an enhanced dynamic range which is either 100%, 200%, 400% or switched off. Alternatively Auto 'automatically varies the dynamic range' according to the scene being shot. This feature uses ISO 200 and higher. Changing to use these modes manually can be fiddly however in auto mode the camera can use the extra range to good effect. The advantages are really useful for taking pictures where normally shadow would remove all detail and anywhere where there is high contrast. I expect this will come in useful for taking photos in snowy conditions, for sunsets and potentially in situations where there is a lot of glare. It also seems likely that you'll notice fewer washed out skies.
It's quite difficult to spot the effects of the Fuji WDR, as it's effects, at first glance, appear very subtle. In the example photos, I've taken the same photo with WDR set to Off, 200% and 400%. Using the Fuji Wide Dynamic Range feature increases the ISO setting so that the camera can capture more light in darker areas, however noise becomes much more noticable. In these examples, the first photo has an overexposed sky, whereas in the photos with WDR at 200 or 400%, the clouds are not overexposed.
Outside: The camera has quite rich, saturated colours. There was good detail, and the camera took a number of very pleasing images outside, with good contrast, with very little or no chromatic aberations and purple fringing. In general 'normal' quality jpeg artefacts are not easily seen, however areas with strong contrasts benefit from use of the highest quality setting. Images are slightly soft, but nothing too worrying.
Zoom: This lens provides a wide angle 5x optical zoom starting at 28 zooming 140mm (35mm equivalent) allowing photos of distant objects. I've included examples below to show what the zoom is capable of. An example of digital zoom can be seen below, digital zoom basically takes a crop of the centre of the frame and enlarges the image, degrading image quality, and is therefore best avoided.
Exposure: The photos of the clock tower are exposed well with detail in the dark areas as well as the lighter areas - exposure in other photos was generally very good. Vignetting was not noticed in these photos. It can be useful to under expose images with bright backgrounds (eg; sky) with use of exposure compensation, or alternatively the Wide Dynamic Range feature can help preserve detail in bright skies.
Lens noise and zoom: The zoom is fairly quiet in operation and provides zoom from 28 140mm in 15 steps.
Other Image Quality
issues: Purple fringing was visible in the usual high contrast areas
(but this was lessened with higher dynamic range) / Chromatic aberration
was not noticed.
Macro Lens Performance:
The closest the camera lens can get to the subject when taking macro photos is 5cm (30cm with flash). Colour and detail are excellent.
The camera has two video modes 640x480, 30fps and 320x240, 30fps. The
videos are recorded with sound as AVI files. It's not obvious whether
image stabilisation is in effect when using the video mode and the manual
is no help in this area. The zoom can be used before recording but not
Summary: The Fujifim F100fd is a compact camera with a high quality LCD screen, 12 megapixel sensor, a wide angle 5x optical zoom and image stabilisation. Image quality is good, with low noise, when compared to other digital cameras and the option to capture a wide dynamic range is a welcome feature. Battery life was lower than I had hoped for but is a useful amount.
Overall this is an interesting and potentially impressive 12 megapixel compact digital camera that has great features that work well and gives good results. Although there are one or two manual options missing from the camera, there are plenty remaining to suit nearly all situations. If you're looking for a camera that takes excellent 6 - 12 megapixel photos, has a wide angle 5x zoom and image stabilisation, this is recommended.
What I like:
What I don't like:
Additional Test Images are viewable in the Fujifilm FinePix F100fd Sample Photo Gallery.