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My only other design criticism is the battery hatch. The battery has no separate clip, and can fall out when you open the hatch to change the memory card.
The F11 is quite a chunky camera compared to most current compacts, measuring 27.3mm thick and weighing 190g including card and battery, which is a bit bulky for a pocket model. It is very square looking, but the shaped handgrip and the indented thumb rest on the back make it very comfortable to hold. Like the F10 it handles extremely well, and is a genuine pleasure to use.
The control layout is logical and concise, although Fujifilm is still persisting with its F button system, a separate second menu just for ISO, picture size and colour mode. There really is no advantage to this system that I can see. I know it’s supposed to make things simpler for beginners, but all it means is that to make any adjustments you have to access two menus instead of one. Since this camera is ostensibly aimed at enthusiast and experienced photographers, who can be expected to make a lot of adjustments to various settings, this two-menu system will slow the camera down. The superior menu system found on Fuji’s higher-end cameras such as the S9500 will hopefully soon find its way onto more mainstream cameras.
Aside from this minor complaint the F11’s overall performance is just as good as its predecessor. It has a respectable 1.3 second start-up time, and a shot-to-shot time of under a second. Shutter lag is negligible, and the AF system is as fast and accurate as ever. I found that it would focus quickly and accurately in very low light even without using the built-in AF illuminator.
The 64-segement exposure metering is also extremely accurate, and with the addition of spot and average metering provides a comprehensive exposure control system. There is only a limited number of scene modes, with just Natural Light, Sports, Night Scene, Portrait and Landscape to choose from, but these cover most eventualities.
There is also a good movie mode, shooting at 640 x 480 resolution at 30 frames per second, with shooting times limited only by the capacity of the memory card. Using the supplied 64MB card it can record for approximately 55 seconds at full resolution.
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