Fuji FinePix F10 6.3-Megapixel Digital Camera - Fast, Sharp and Low Noise
Written: Sep 2, 2005 (Updated Dec 5, 2006)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
- User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Pros:Price, fast operation, large LCD, very low noise, usable ISO 400-1600, long-lasting battery, sharp optics
Cons:Multiple wires, no real manual control, flash underexposure, expensive xD cards
The Bottom Line: I highly recommend Fuji FinePix F10 if you want a compact, cool yet capable camera with 6.3-megapixel resolution, large 2.5 LCD screen, very fast...
Although I was not very impressed with Fuji's A345 and A350 cameras, I bought a Fuji FinePix F10 (for $280 and there is a $30 rebate currently available from Fuji) and I am glad I did. The Fuji F10 is amazing in a couple of aspects, in which it outperforms all compact cameras I have seen and, dear I say it, rivals some digital SLR cameras. No wonder the camera got the EISA 2005-2006 Award "Best European Pocket Camera".
The pictures of the Fuji FinePix F10 and the sample photos taken with it are available at the address below:
You can copy and paste the above address into your browser's address area.
What Is Fuji FinePix F10?
The Fuji FinePix F10 is a 6.3-Megapixel 5th Generation SuperCCD compact stylish digital camera with a 3x optical zoom (36-108 mm equivalent), a large 2.5-inch LCD screen, powered by a compact rechargeable battery that, according to Fuji claims lasts for about 500 shots.
The camera features ISO range of up to ISO 1600, 1.3-second startup and shutter lag of 0.01 sec when pre-focused. The camera stores pictures on xD-Picture memory cards (16 MB xD card is supplied) and features fast USB 2.0 Hi-Speed connection to PC and Mac computers.
- 6.3-Megapixel 5th generation Super CCD-HR sensor
- Real Photo Technology with new RP Processor
- Sensitivity (ISO): Auto and manual 80-1600
- 3x optical zoom (36-108 mm equivalent) plus 6.2x digital zoom. Combined 18.6x zoom
- Maximum Aperture: F/2.8 (wide) - f/5.0 (tele)
- Extra large 2.5-inch LCD monitor with 115,000 pixels, low-light gain-up, 100% coverage
- 500 photos per charge with supplied rechargeable Li-Ion battery
- Low light focus assist light
- Focusing: center point AF, multi-point AF, continuous AF
- Light Metering: 64-point TTL, Multi, Average, Spot
- Color Modes: Standard, Chrome (vivid), B&W
- Shutter Speed: 3-1/2,000 sec, 3-15 sec in long exposure mode
- Shutter Lag Time (after focusing): 0.01 sec
- Continuous Shooting Frame Rate: 2.2 frames per second up to 3 frames
- Frame to Frame Intervals: 1.1 sec
- Shooting Modes: Auto, Preprogrammed Scene Position (SP), Macro, Movie, Burst/Continuous
- Preprogrammed Scene Modes: Natural Light, Sport, Portrait, Night Scene, Landscape
- White Balance: Auto, Fine, Shade, Fluorescent-daylight, Fluorescent-warm white, Fluorescent-cool white, Incandescent, Custom (grey card).
- Dimensions: 92x58.2x27.3 mm
- Weight: 5.5oz without battery and media
Once the camera arrived, I was surprised by the number of cables that came with it. And later I realized I needed most of them. The camera comes with a rechargeable battery, which is charged in the camera. I first inserted it with contacts facing the inner part of the camera and tried to power it on. No response, then I tired to charge it for a while, but the camera still wouldn't power on.
Later, I took the battery out, rotated it around 180 degrees and inserted it also with contacts facing the inner part of the camera. That did the trick. The problem is the camera has no guides to make sure the battery can only be inserted in a correct way and since there are 4 different ways you can insert it, you really have to pay attention to the little arrow on the camera itself and a larger arrow on the side of the battery.
The camera is made from plastic and metal and looks stylish. It has a lens that is flush with the camera body when retracted and the metal lens lid (two halves) covers it. There is a rather large focus assist light on the front panel as well as the flash.
The bottom of the camera has a plastic tripod mount and the battery/memory card compartment lid. The side has a small rubber-like lid that covers a single compact connector that looks like a mini-USB jack with a notch in the middle. The other side has a rotating metal loop for the hand strap.
The rear houses a large 2.5-inch LCD screen, zoom control, a metal disc for menu control and other functions with a MENU/OK button in the middle as well as three other buttons: playback/review, F and DISP/BACK.
The top deck has a power on/off button, a mode switch (SP/Auto/M/Video) and a shutter release button.
The camera has only one connection port - a mini-USB-like jack that has a square shape. You connect a cable from the supplied mini-docking station to it. The station (a little black box) has three jacks on it. A mini-USB jack, an A/V jack and a DC power jack.
To charge, the camera, you have to connect this mini-station to the camera, then connect another cable with a power adaptor to the station and connect an AC cable to the power adaptor. You end up with three separate wires with two devices (not counting the camera) in between.
If you want to use USB, you have to connect a USB cable to the docking station. All this is rather messy. I wish the camera has a real USB port and a real DC power input.
The camera uses xD-picture memory card and comes with a small 16-MB card, which only fits 5 6.3MP Fine pictures or 10 6.3MP Normal pictures or 3:2 pictures. Plan on getting a larger card.
The F10 feels rather sturdy. And the controls are within easy reach. The menu system is not very simple to use, but it has descriptions for the icons and I could use the camera and all of its features without reading the manual.
You just have to know that the F button on the back camera panel is used to adjust ISO (Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600), resolution (6M Fine 2848x2136, 6M Normal, 3:2 3024x2016, 3M 2048x1536, 2M 1600x1200 and 0.3M 640x480) and color modes (Standard, Chrome (higher contrast and saturation) and B&W).
The camera has a retractable lens that extends and has a lens cover that opens when the camera is powered on. When the camera is powered off, the lens retracts and the lens cover closes.
The camera has a menu system that is not the easiest to use. Although it shows you descriptions of the currently selected icon, it still takes a while to get used to some icons. It also takes some time to get to the item you need.
The camera is very flexible with a notable exception. It has no aperture, shutter priority or manual mode. You can manually adjust the shutter speed (above 3 seconds) in Night mode only and only if it is enabled in the menu. Aside from that, the exposure is automatic with exposure adjustment (you can tweak exposure in the menu).
Unlike many compact cameras that use a two-step aperture control (Canon SD300, SD400 and SD500 come to mind), the camera uses a real adjustable aperture that goes up to f/8.0. It also has a usable ISO range of 80-1600 with noise at ISO 1600 similar to the noise other compact cameras produce at ISO 400. Combined with shutter speed of 15-1/2,000 sec, the wide aperture and ISO range provides a very wide range of usable exposures.
The camera can be used in full auto mode, scene modes or so-called manual mode, where you can adjust several parameters (e.g. ISO and exposure compensation), but not actual shutter speed or aperture directly.
The camera comes pre-set to Auto mode. You do not have to do anything other than point and shoot - the camera takes care of the rest. You press the shutter release button halfway to make camera focus and the camera shows you (on the LCD screen) where it focused by displaying green square brackets. Then you take the picture by pressing the shutter release button all the way.
In auto mode, the camera can be used by anyone who can point and shoot. The preprogrammed scene modes give you more control.
In addition, you can select Macro mode at a push of a button. You can also quickly change the flash mode, LCD brightness or engage timer at a push of a button as well (they are all clearly marked). Your selections appear as large icons close to the center of the screen and then disappear while appearing close to the edge of the frame.
The camera has no dedicated review mode on the mode selector, but you activate it using a button on the back of the camera. I like this idea.
Image Quality Settings
The camera lets you select between Super Fine, Fine and Normal compression levels (regardless of resolution). You can detect occasional JPEG artifacts in the mode of highest compression (Normal) and some fine detail may be lost. But the two lower-compression modes (Fine and Superfine) are rather good. The sample provided is in Large compression. Its size is 2.25 MB.
I have not tried the macro mode yet.
LCD and Viewfinder
The camera has no viewfinder, but it has a large 2.5-inch LCD monitor that "gains-up" in the darker environments and has adjustable brightness with one-push brightness increase when needed. It works well overall, even in darkness, but could have higher resolution. The coverage is about 100%.
The camera has two modes: normal (conserves battery life) and high-speed operation. Even in normal mode, the camera is extremely fast. The focusing takes much less than a second in bright light and still under a second in dim light (with or without focus assist light engaged). The camera makes rather loud scratching/scraping noises when focusing, which is normal (I experienced the same noises with Canon cameras).
The shutter lag, when pre-focused, is non-existent. Fuji claims 0.01 sec and I have no reason to doubt it is true.
The high-speed mode makes operation even faster, perhaps the fastest focusing I have seen in a consumer-level digital camera.
The camera can take pictures at intervals of about 1.5 seconds until the memory card is full in single-frame mode. It can take 3 photos at 2.2-2.4 frames per second in continuous mode.
The flash recycle time is about 6-7 seconds.
The camera powers on in 1-2 seconds and turns off in about 1 second. The zooming is rather fast too. You can fully zoom in or out in about 2 seconds.
Overall, the camera is very fast, especially at startup, focusing and shutter lag.
The camera is rated at being able to deliver 500 shots on one battery charge. I have not evaluated this claim, but I have taken about 100 photos and the battery is still going strong.
The camera uses USB 2.0 Hi-Speed connection to transfer pictures to a computer. You can also remove the xD memory card and use a memory card reader (if you have one). The file transfer using the camera USB port is extremely fast at about 4,000 KB/s. I do not use the software that was provided with the camera since I have Adobe Photoshop CS2.
The camera unfortunately slightly underexposes pictures taken with flash and the exposure compensation does not help much.
The camera produces excellent photos with well-exposed, sharp, contrasty images (see the samples). The sample photos can be seen at:
(you can copy and paste the above address into your browser's address area).
The two photos are taken in standard and Chrome (vivid) mode at ISO 80. The standard mode features true-to-life colors, whereas the Chrome mode produces more saturation and contrast (e.g. for landscape pictures).
These photos was taken using negative exposure compensation, as the camera tried to use too high of the exposure value by default. The photos show that the camera produces very good shadow detail and has a good dynamic range (you can open it in any editing software that lets you view the histogram to see that).
The white balance is on the warm side. The skin colors are slightly warm, but pleasing. The automatic white balance makes the incandescent lighting too warm (select incandescent white balance to make it cooler).
The photos taken with the F10 are sharp from corner to corner with only the very edges of the frame being slightly softer than the center, but better than most cameras. There is very little chromatic aberration (purple fringing) visible. See my samples and look at white truck. The front pillar (A-pillar) where it meets window glass has small amount of purple fringing. It is barely noticeable.
The image noise is virtually absent at ISO 80-100. It appears (slightly) at the ISO 200 in the shadows, gets more pronounced at ISO 400 and gets worse at ISO 800. The surprise was that the camera has ISO 400 that can be used at prints up to 11x14 and ISO 1600 prints will be OK at 5x7 or 6x4. This is amazing, considering that most compact digital cameras produce so much noise at ISO 400, you can only print 7x5 at best. And most cameras do not even allow you to select ISO higher than 400.
If you are printing 6x4 or 5x7 pictures, the noise should not be visible at all, even at ISO 1600 and will only be slightly visible at ISO 800 with larger prints. Even wall-mountable 11x14-inch prints (or sharp 10x8) are feasible at ISO 400. And you can print good 13x19s at ISO 80-200.
Low price, blazing fast operation, large LCD, very low noise, usable ISO 400-1600, long-lasting battery, real aperture, sharp optics.
Multiple wires, some plastic elements (battery door, tripod mount), no real manual control, flash underexposure, expensive xD cards.
I highly recommend Fuji FinePix F10 if you want a compact, cool yet capable camera with 6.3-megapixel resolution, large 2.5 LCD screen, very fast operation and high sensitivity with low noise.
It can produce excellent photos with print sizes of up 13x19 inches and has usable ISO 400-1600 range. It is extremely fast, capable and its battery is long-lasting.
You can spend about $10 more and get a Canon PowerShot SD400. It has slightly smaller resolution, smaller LCD, no ISO over 400, no real aperture control and higher noise levels, but it is easier to use, much more compact, has optical viewfinder and uses cheaper and more progressive SD cards.
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Amount Paid (US$): 280
This Camera is a Good Choice if You Want Something... Flexible Enough for Enthusiasts