Fujifilm FinePix F100fd Review



Oct 2, 2008
By Mark Goldstein

INTRODUCTION:

The Fujifilm Finepix F100fd is the successor to the F50fd camera, replacing it as the top-of-the-range model in the popular F-Series. The F100fd offers a 12 megapixel, 8th Generation Super CCD sensor and 5x wide-angle optical zoom lens complete with CCD-shift dual image stabilization system. There's also a 2.7 inch LCD screen, new expanded dynamic range capture functionality borrowed from the FinePix S5 Pro DSLR, Face Detection 3.0 technology which can identify faces at much more extreme camera angles than before, and ISO settings of up to ISO 12800.

EASE OF USE:

The Fujifilm Finepix F100fd is a fairly compact digital camera that fits into both the palm of your hand and a trouser pocket. The F100fd is only a little larger than the older F50fd model, despite the very welcome move to a 5x zoom lens. The Fujifilm Finepix F100fd is a little more tricky to hold than it really should be, with just a small raised area on the back of the camera where your right thumb is naturally positioned. Thankfully, despite the smooth all-plastic body, the camera is not too slippy when gripping it. The various buttons are well-made and easy to operate, and the camera feels well-balanced in your hands. Overall the Fujifilm Finepix F100fd is well constructed and designed with no obvious signs of corners being cut.

The Fujifilm Finepix F100fd has relatively few external controls, just 9 in total, reflecting the fact that it only offers a limited range of photographic controls. You can directly access the various flash, macro, self-timer and image stabilization shooting options by clicking on the four buttons around the navigation pad. All 9 external controls are clearly labeled using industry-standard symbols and terminology. Overall the camera body feels well designed and not at all cluttered, despite the presence of the large 2.7 inch LCD screen.

The F100fd has a few interesting features up its sleeve. The Natural Light mode forces the camera to select a fast shutter speed in order to freeze subject movement more effectively, whilst setting a fast ISO speed without firing the flash for more natural results. However, the Intelligent Flash is a little more exciting. This feature is actually a shooting mode called Natural Light and Flash. When selected, the camera instantly takes two photos, one with flash, one without, giving you the option of which one to choose later. The Face Detection 3 function is accessed via a button above the navigation pad. This feature is a welcome one that works well in the right situations. It's really best for posed group shots where your subject(s) is standing still at a moderate distance, but it also works if the subject is moving quickly or has their head turned sideways. Face Detection 3 is faster and more accurate than the previous iteration, especially with subjects that aren't looking directly at the camera, and also has the added benefit of also offering red-eye reduction if you require it.

Fujifilm included an image stabilization system on the F100fd. The F100fd's image stabilization system, called Dual IS Mode, uses a combination of mechanical CCD-shift and the use of high sensitivity settings of up to ISO 6400 to help keep shutter speeds high enough to avoid subject blur in low light conditions.

Once you have captured a photo, the Fujifilm Finepix F100fd has a good range of options when it comes to playing, reviewing and managing your images. You can scroll through the images that you have taken, view thumbnails (up to 100 on the same screen), zoom in and out, sort images by date, view slideshows with lots of different settings, delete, protect, trim and rotate an image. You can also add a sound clip to an image, transmit an image to another camera via infra-red, remove red-eye, resize for blogging, set the print order and the transfer order. The Display button toggles detailed settings information about each picture on and off, such as the ISO rating and aperture/shutter speed. There is no histogram either in shooting or playback mode.

CONCLUSION:


In summary the Fujifilm Finepix F100fd is very much like its predecessor, the F50fd—a well built and easy to use digital camera with a refined and stylish design. There are two notable differences though, namely the new 5x zoom lens and the removal of any creative shooting modes, which will both attract and put off many people respectively.

To read this review in its entirety please go to the PhotographyBLOG.

Mark Goldstein is an experienced professional photographer and website
editor. He owns, runs and writes for PhotographyBLOG, one of the UK's biggest digital photography websites, which offers informative new product reviews and original in-depth news from around the world.





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