Fujifilm FinePix F40fd Zoom Review
The FinePix F40fd is one of several "F" series of ultra-compact digital cameras from FujiFilm for 2007. It sports an 8-megapixel Super CCD image sensor, FUJINON 3x zoom lens, Face Detection technology, a Picture Stabilization mode as well as VGA sized movies with sound at 30fps. This model is fairly slim, but it's weight gives it a nice well-built feel. On the front of the right side is a lip that makes holding the camera easier with the right hand. The back of the camera consists of a 2.5" color LCD screen, mode selection dial, and menu buttons. We liked how the zoom controls are located on top, mounted around the shutter release button. The menus are laid out very well and easy to navigate, however there are two separate menus in record mode to change settings. Image quality, ISO, and Color modes are located under the "F" button menu, while all other features are located under the regular mode menu. We found the LCD was very easy to see, even outdoors in bright sunlight, and "gains up" well when shooting is low light conditions.
In the timing tests the F40fd was average. Power up to first image captured measured 2.7 seconds. Shutter lag performed better with 1/10 of a second when pre-focused and 5/10 of a second including autofocus. When it comes to rapid shooting, the camera was disappointing. In Long Period continuous mode the camera without flash captured an image approx. every 2.5 seconds. It will only capture 2 images before filling its buffer, then it takes nearly 4 - 5 seconds to clear. It will not shoot continuous with the flash. There are also First two and Last two picture modes that capture images every 6/10 of a second, but only for two frames. All tests where done using a standard 512MB Fujifilm xD- Picture card, 8M fine mode, flash off, preview off, all other settings at default, unless noted. Times may vary depending on lighting conditions, camera settings, media, etc.
The F40fd's image quality was very pleasing. It produced very clear, crisp pictures in both "fine" and "normal" mode. Outdoors, the images were well exposed, with vivid colors. The wide angle end (36mm) of the 3x FUJINON zoom does well for interior and landscaping shots, but does show some barrel distortion. The telephoto zoom end (108mm) of the lens is good for taking close ups (like macros, portraits, etc.), and showed very little pin cushioning.
Our indoor portrait shots also turned out well, when shooting in "Portrait mode", from about 6 feet away. Skin tones and the exposure of these images was pleasing. With the wide angle lens and an above average flash range of 21.3 feet, this camera performs well when shooting indoors, illuminating even larger rooms well. The only issue we saw was the camera likes to choose a higher ISO setting in portrait mode (400 in our images), which does raise noise levels a bit. But this is something you won't see in your typical 4x6-inch prints.
As with the F20, the F40fd can use a high ISO setting of up to 2000 when in " Picture Stabilization" mode (or 1600 in manual mode.) This mode uses a higher ISO to allow for faster shutter speeds to reduce image shake or image blur. Shots with "Picture Stabilization" came out showing average amounts of noise, however noise was a little more noticeable in the higher ISO settings (800 and above).
This camera has the option of recording video with audio at either 640x480 or 320x240 at a rate of 30 frames per second. The 3x zoom is operational when you are NOT recording, but you may use it for setting up your shot. The quality of the video is good when shooting in well lit situations, such as outside. In 640x480 mode, the video will consume more than 1-megabyte per second of video, so a large memory card is recommended if you plan on shooting video often.
Powering the F40fd is Fuji's NP-70 Rechargeable Battery, that comes with an AC Power Adapter (AC-5VC). This is an improvement over past models where the camera had to charged in the camera. This battery boasts the claim of being able to take at least 300 pictures on one charge, in normal conditions. This is more than most other cameras in this class. The battery completed all of the tests that I had, including shooting several videos and repeated viewing of pictures and there was never a concern of the battery being low.
Bottom Line - There wasn't a whole lot of change on the F40fd from the previous model. The big
differences were the upgraded 8-megapixel Super CCD image sensor, and the "Cool" new IR communication
image transfer mode. That said, we fell the FinePix F40fd is and easy to use compact digicam that is full
of features, and with a price tag of just $299 or less, offers a great value for a camera in this class.
FujiFilm has released a Firmware Update for the F40fd
The Firmware Update Ver.1.10 incorporates the following issues:
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