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Fujifilm have this to say about the F480:-
pleased to announce the launch of the 8 megapixel FinePix F480 compact
digital camera. With the same metal body as its pricier F series range-mates
and versatile 4x wide-angle zoom, the FinePix F480 is perfect for those
people looking for an easy-to-use all-rounder that offers a quality feature
set at an affordable price. Available in two colours, silver or black,
and no bigger than a deck of playing cards (just 23mm thick), the FinePix
F480 boasts good looks and compact proportions to match its superb performance."
You can find more information on their website.
The camera: a visual tour (pictures from Fujifilm UK)
Scene modes: Mode dial : Auto, Baby mode, Anti-blur, Red-eye Reduction, Digital Zoom. Portrait, SP(Scene Position), Movie.
SP : Landscape, Sport, Night, Natural light, Beach, Snow, Fireworks, Sunset, Flower.
Playback functions:- Slide show, Trimming, Single frame, Multi-frame playback, Sorting by date, Image rotate
Internal memory (Approx.
Only a small amount of internal memory. Using SDHC memory will help produce the best shot to shot times with this camera.
Speed: The camera switches on and can take its first photo in less than 4 seconds, which is fairly slow. Focusing is fast at under half a second and in subdued light focusing was successful most of the time. The camera shutter response when pre-focused was around 0.2 seconds but shot to shot time was slow, as review can not be turned off. In continuous (top 3) mode I measured delay of around 2.4 seconds between shots using an SD card (this is going to vary dependant on exposure settings and memory card, SDHC being quickest) the manual claims 1.66 seconds capability. The cameras menus and zooming in seemed responsive but reviewing photos starts off a bit slowly. Moving around the different menu options is rapid.
Ergonomics and Buttons: (Feel, placement, labels, etc) The camera handles well, though may be a bit small for some hands. The buttons are labeled well (with symbols and / or text). The compartments and covers seem well positioned and are easy to open.
Image Quality: Here are some real world sample photos taken in various settings, such as Inside, Outside, and Macro to demonstrate the picture quality and also show different features of the camera. Larger versions of these photos, plus more photos are available in the Fujifilm Finepix F480 Sample Photo Gallery!
Inside: This is where the 28mm wide angle lens comes into its own, enabling group pictures impossible with a 35mm lens. Barrel distortion is not noticed. The camera has quite natural colour though unsaturated, and will sometimes use incorrect white balance. Red-eye is low unless subjects have their eyes averted from the camera. The camera did a good job at focusing most of the time even in low-light. Although the camera has a continuous shooting mode, it is not supported by flash.
ISO Noise Test: 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 it 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 as well as manual mode for ISO levels being ISO: 100, 200, 400, 800.
Below you'll find the noise test image, plus actual pixel crops from the images taken at different ISO settings.
ISO Noise Test Photos - Flash is off.
I was pleasantly surprised by these results. As you will see, as the ISO goes up, detail is gradually lost, but grainy noise is still very low even at ISO 800. I have produced satisfactory prints at A4 size (with no tweaking) from shots taken at ISO 400, and have no doubt ISO 800 at A5 size would work fine too. Nb. The picture stabilisation mode simply uses a higher ISO setting to avoid image blur, and is not a true image stabilisation system such as an anti-shake sensor, or optical image stabilisation.
Outside: The camera has neutral, lifelike colours, with soft contrast. There is good detail, but when using wide angle, areas with sharp contrast towards the corners of the image will have purple fringes. Purple fringing (chromatic aberrations) is a condition most cameras display to varying extents and there is software available which can rectify this problem. In general 'normal' quality jpeg artifacts are not easily seen, however areas with strong contrasts benefit from use of the highest quality setting (less than 4mb images).
Zoom: This camera has a wide angle 4x optical zoom lens and a built in 6.9x digital zoom - in the case of this camera the digital zoom basically takes a smaller area of the photo and enlarges it using software, blurring the image so that it is not pixellated. Generally it's best to avoid using digital zoom as it degrades the quality of the image and, often, better results can be obtained by using a photo package such as Adobe Photoshop. I've included examples below to show what the optical zoom is capable of.
Exposure: The photos of the clock tower have some detail in the dark areas - other photos without EV adjustments tended to be overexposed. Days with more light do make for more colourful pictures, but getting the best exposure setting is not straight-forward. Purple fringing is noticeable in the wide angle but very little is seen in the 4x optical zoom photo. Vignetting was not noticed in any of the photographs. It can be useful to under expose images with bright backgrounds (eg; sky) with use of exposure compensation. It is also useful to select a white balance preset, as the auto setting is easily misled (as you will see on the full zoom). * Re-shot on a sunny day.
Lens noise and zoom: The lens is relatively quiet in operation. The digital zoom has a dedicated symbol on the mode dial, which if selected changes to maximum optical allowing further zooming with the control ring. Digital zoom can also be enabled from the setup menu, and will then operate when the optical zoom limit is reached.
Image Quality issues: Purple fringing was pronounced at wide angle in areas of high contrast. Barreling is slight on the wide angle setting.
Macro: the macro mode allows you to be roughly 5cm from from the subject at wide angle.
There is no custom white balance but selecting one of the presets in manual mode will give consistent results. Noise seems low in this photo and detail and colour is very good and compares well with other cameras reviewed.
Video mode: The camera features a low resolution AVI - 320 x 240 video mode at 30 fps with sound. Video quality is reasonable and this will not use much memory - 1Gb SD card will record nearly 28 minutes, and is ideal for email. Zoom may be preset, but is not functional while recording.
Summary: The Fujifim F480 is an interesting though not impressive 8.2 megapixel wide angle digital camera. It is certainly a capable little camera but requires some patience to achieve the best results. This can happen when you have control through the limited manual options, as the auto settings will sometimes be unpredictable. If you have a need for a wide angle compact the F480 cannot be beaten at this price.
What I like:
- Excellent value
What I don't like:
- Poor battery life
Additional Test Images are viewable in the Fujifilm Finepix F480 Sample Photo Gallery.