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Fujifilm FinePix F40fd - Fujifilm FinePix F40fd

By Cliff Smith

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Fujifilm FinePix F40fd

Summary

Our Score:

9

I was surprised by the price of the F40fd. It has the feel of an expensive quality product, but in fact it currently retails at only around £180. This compares well with other high-end seven and eight megapixel compacts such as the Canon PowerShot A570 IS (£180), Olympus FE-250 (£190), Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W90 (£220), Pentax Optio T30 (£220), Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX30 (£230) and Ricoh Caplio R6 (£230).

The design and layout of the camera is of a very high standard. Handling is very comfortable, with the slightly concave main mode dial doubling as a thumb grip, while the detailing on the front of the body provides a raised finger grip. The controls are solidly mounted, and overall build quality is superb. My only real problem with the control system is the ‘F’ button, which is usually reserved for frequently used shooting options such as ISO setting, exposure compensation and the like. However on the F40fd for some reason the top item on the F menu is power management, something which would be more sensibly located on the last page of the set-up menu.

Overall performance is unfortunately not as good as I’d initially hoped. Start-up time is over three seconds, which is slow for a camera in this class. Shot-to-shot time in single-shot mode is also slow at a round three seconds, while in long-period continuous mode it can only manage a shot every two seconds. It has two additional ‘burst’ modes, if you can call saving two pictures a burst. The movie mode is adequate, with VGA resolution at 30fps, and battery life is good too, with a big 1150mAh Li-ion rechargeable providing over 300 shots per charge.

Fortunately it has other features which go some way to compensating for the slow performance. The autofocus system is nice and fast, and operates quickly and reliably even in very low light. It has an AF assist lamp with a range of several meters, so it’s a good choice for social photography. There are a couple of special shooting modes that will come in handy in this role too. The most obvious is the face detection mode, which, as I’m sure you’re aware, automatically detects any human face in the frame, focuses on it and adjusts exposure to capture it properly. Fuji’s system is one of the better ones, but like all face detection systems it isn’t infallible, so it’s as well to check it’s focused on the right thing before taking the shot.

Paul Tasker

July 19, 2008, 5:33 am

Not impressed. I bought one in new york as I figured I could get great deal over there, half the pictures were taken with the fuji, the other half with my old budget samsung L700 and the samsungs turned out better!





The images contain high levels of chromatic aberation, noticable barel distortion and the colours are cold and unatural. Sharpness is not that impressive either. It was hard not to under expose images in many situations too.


It does take stunning pictures in low light thanks to impressive results at high sensitivities but the daytime shots were much less good.


Overall I'd only give it 4/10 and put it straight onto ebay.



Dee

July 24, 2008, 2:21 pm

I just bought this camera and it's very good indoors and in low light but I have to say outdoors colours do look very cold on a CRT monitor although they look fine on a Standard CRT TV or LCD screen.





The quality of the photos at 100 ISO are not as good as many other cameras, but what it can do at the high ISO's is amazing. it's 800 ISO is as good as many camera's 200 ISO. I'd say this camera was made more for taking photos of people then landscapes. And most people will have their pictures taken indoors.





One great feature not mentioned is this camera has a white LED light built in. Not only can it come on to provide a bit of extra light for the camera to focus at night, but in video mode you can also have the light on to provide more light when filming.





I also love the mode that takes two shots, one without a flash and one with - before I've had to do all that manually and tell people not to move whilst I adjust my old camera settings.





The continuous shooting mode is by far the worse I've ever seen in any camera, it is so slow between shots - which I don't understand why because it has a two shot mode which works really well, but anything more then 2 shots and you're left waiting ages between each frame. Even reducing the size of the pixels to the lowest and using a very fast SD card doesn't seem to make any difference. It would seem there is software in the camera stopping it taking photos any quicker more then any physical limitation.





It's also a shame there's no auto bracketing feature.





I have fairly small and nibble fingers but even I struggle to turn the selector wheel - there's virtually nothing on there to grip on to.





I would say this is a good nightclubbing / indoor party camera. It would also be nice if the camera could shoot in 16:9 format for the new generation that only want to display photos on a TV.





What's interesting about this camera is most of it's short comings could easily be improved in software, i.e. Lack of auto bracketing, 16:9 photos, slow continuous shooting.





I hope Fuji listen to their customers and perhaps introduce a new firmware update that would add these features

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