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It’s been a few months since I last reviewed one of Fujifilm’s F-series cameras, in fact it was January and the camera was the FinePix F31fd. I have to admit I like the F-series cameras a lot. For the most part they have managed to combine cutting-edge technology, solid build quality and excellent photographic results in a stylish and compact package. There aren’t many brands that have been so consistently good for so long.
The F40fd is one of the latest in the line, announced in January this year, alongside a basically identical model made exclusively for Argos, the F45fd. It is an 8.3-megapixel model featuring Fuji’s 1/1.6-in SuperCCD HR VI sensor and Real Photo Processor II engine, as well as Fuji’s hardware-based face detection technology. Other features include a 2.5-in 230k LCD monitor, 2000 ISO maximum sensitivity, and interestingly the ability to use both xD-Picture and SD memory cards, although it does NOT accept SDHC cards.
I say interesting because Fujifilm and Olympus jointly developed the xD-Picture card format, and have both used it in their cameras since they abandoned SmartMedia cards in 2002. However the xD-Picture format has not been taken up by any other manufacturers, as Fuji and Olympus were clearly hoping it would be, which has meant that the cards have remained relatively expensive compared to the much more popular SD format. Is the F40fd’s dual-format slot a tacit admission that the xD-Picture format has been a failure? Will future Fujifilm cameras abandon it altogether?
Speculation aside, the F40fd is an impressive looking camera. It has a strong all-metal body finished in a semi-matt metallic grey, with silver and chrome details. It is not a small camera, measuring 95.7 x 59.0 x 23.3mm and weighing a hefty 181g including battery and memory card it is definitely on the heavy side. It’s not too big to fit in a pocket, but you’ll definitely know it’s there.