• Recommended by TR
Fujifilm FinePix F40fd


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The other nice social mode is the Natural Light & Flash mode, which takes two photos in quick succession, one with no flash and one with flash, so you get the best of both. The F40fd has a very good flash, providing excellent frame coverage, outstanding range (6.5m at wide angle, 3.5 at telephoto) and superb metering, filling in shadows nicely without being too harsh.

However, as with previous F-series cameras, it is the F40fd’s high-ISO performance that really stands out. Fujifilm is the only manufacturer that has really cracked image noise, by a combination of larger than average sensors with larger than average photocells, and vastly superior image processing. The F40fd has a maximum ISO setting of 2000, and produces usable images at this setting, with accurate colour balance, minimal loss of detail and an acceptable level of noise. I’m not exaggerating when I say that its image quality at 1600 ISO is better than many cameras can manage at 400. This means that in many situations you can switch the flash off and still take good pictures in low light conditions, something which simply isn’t possible with most digital cameras.

Image quality at lower ISO settings is correspondingly excellent. Like most Fuji compacts the F40fd has a superb Fujinon lens which produces good edge-to-edge sharpness with minimal barrel distortion. The level of detail in the images is better than many 10-megapixel compacts I’ve seen, in fact I would go as far as to say it produces some of the most finely detailed images I’ve seen from any compact camera. Exposure and colour rendition are excellent as always, focusing is very accurate, and the dynamic range of the large HR sensor is much better than the tiny 1/2.5-in sensors in most compacts. The only slight problem with image quality is one that has plagued most Fujifilm cameras, the dreaded purple fringes around bright highlights and high-contrast edges. If only Fuji could cure this as thoroughly as it has image noise it would have decisive advantage over other camera manufacturers.


Fujifilm continues to demonstrate that it is the only manufacturer that has successfully addressed the issue of image noise. The Finepix F40fd is an attractively designed, extremely well made camera with a good range of features and outstanding image quality. It is a bit lacking in overall speed, but its exceptional low-light and high-ISO performance are better than any other compact on the market - except another Fuji.

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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.


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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