Fujifilm Finepix F100fd Review
The Fuji Finepix F100fd brings an 8th generation SuperCCD to the acclaimed ultra-compact F-series of Fuji Finepix digital cameras. This time, Fuji widened the ISO and zoom ranges while reducing features compared to the Fuji Finepix F50fd which preceded it.
Sporting a new Fujinon 5X wide-angle optical zoom lens, the F100 became the first Fuji flagship ultra-compact to feature a wide-angle lens. This one is equivalent to 28-140mm in 35mm terms. The F100 also has a wide-dynamic range 12 megapixels sensor with CCD-shift stabilization.
The Fuji Finepix F100fd's major features include:
- 12 Megapixels SuperCCD SR sensor.
- 5X wide-angle optical zoom, equivalent to 28-140 in 35mm terms.
- CCD-shift image stabilization.
- ISO 100 to 3200 at full-resolution.
- ISO 6400 and 12800 at 3 megapixels.
- Auto ISO with maximum of 400, 800 or 1600.
- Automatic, 100%, 200% and 400% dynamic range modes.
- 1/1500-8s Shutter-speed range.
- Fully automatic exposure.
- Multi-segment, average and spot-metering.
- Exposure compensation -2..+2 stops in 1/3 EV increments.
- Automatic white-balance, preset white-balance and custom white-balance.
- Normal, vivid and B&W color mode.
- 2 FPS continuous shooting at 12 megapixels, keeps first or last 3 images.
- 5 FPS continuous shooting at 3 megapixels, keeps first or last 12 images.
- Unlimited 1 FPS continuous shooting at maximum resolution.
- 2s or 10s self-timer.
- 640x480 30 FPS movie-mode, up to 2 GB.
- Built-in flash with auto, forced-on, forced-off, red-eye and slow-synchro modes.
- 2.7” LCD 230K Pixels.
- Lithium-ion battery operated.
- Support for xD and SD-HC cards in single combined slot.
Suitability - What is it good for?
The Fuji F100 is a general-purpose camera suitable for typical travel and social photography. Its 5X optical zoom range covers wide-angle to medium telephoto. This is a rather flexible range suitable for landscape, architecture, indoor and portraits. The lens on the Fuji Finepix F100fd adds to the already-well-known high-ISO capability of Fuji F-series cameras.
The full ISO range on this digital camera goes from 100 to 12800. That is not a typo, the F100 actually has an ISO 12-thousand 8-hundred! Only ISO 100-3200 are available at 12 megapixels. ISO 6400 and 12800 are available at the sufficient-for-small prints resolution of 3 megapixels. Note that very few cameras this small can produce usable images above ISO 800, we report on that on page 2.
The Fuji F100fd is one of the first ultra-compacts to feature expanded dynamic range. Unlike the Fuji F700 which used a special sensor design to capture more dynamic range, the F100 uses clever processing to attack the problem. The result is a camera which can capture up to 400% more dynamic range. Specifically, the F100 can retain 2 more stops of highlight details than what is usually possible. The trade-off is that the extra dynamic range is obtained by boosting sensitivity, therefore, this approach tends to increase noise in the image.
With a shutter-speed range going from 1/1500s to 8s, the extremes of fast action and low-light do not get all covered, but most situations do. Social photography is the strong point of the Fuji F100 with high-ISO and a wide-angle lens which make an ideal combination for indoor parties. Note that very low-light environments are beyond the reach of the F100 because its ISO is limited to 100 for all shutter-speeds slower than 1 second. Just like all other ultra-compact cameras, the F100's small sensor causes images to have far more depth of field than with a large-sensor camera like a DSLR. Depending on the desired results, this may be an advantage or a disadvantage.
The Fuji F100 is capable of dealing with a wide variety of lighting situations in terms of both color and contrast. With numerous white-balance options, including custom white-balance, colors can be accurately captured in any situation. Flexible metering options, including spot-metering, allow the photographer to control how the F100 deals with unevenly-lit scenes. The F100 is also equipped with typical scene modes. One particular mode deserves a quick mention though: the natural light and flash takes two pictures of a scene, one with and one without flash. This saves time when not being certain which outcome would be better.
The other notable feature of the F100 is a now typical movie mode which records at 640x480 30 FPS up to a maximum file size of 2 GB. That is roughly equivalent to 70 minutes of recording. Sound is recorded during movie recording but the zoom cannot be used.
Like most Fuji digital cameras, the Fuji F100 does not automatically rotate images taken with the camera in portrait orientation. This missing feature is somewhat compensated by a very efficient system for rotating multiple images without exiting and re-entering the menu between each image.
This digital camera is also equipped with the latest in face-detection. Face-detection is now quite common, particularly among small cameras. The basic principle is that the camera tries to recognize faces and sets the focus and exposure accordingly. Both camera-facing and sideway-facing faces are recognized by Fuji's Face Detection 3.0. Fuji goes one step-further by also using face-detection during playback so that the user can verify that face-detection worked. The same face-detection system can also be used to remove red-eye during playback. This, plus high-ISO capabilities, really emphasize the Fuji F100 suitability as a social photography camera.
Fujifilm F100fd Highlights
Sensor-Size: 8 x 6mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|12 Megapixels Ultra Compact||ISO 100-3200|
|5X Wide Optical Zoom||Shutter 1/1500-8s|
|2 FPS Drive, 3 Images||Custom white-balance|
|640x480 @ 30 FPS Video Recording||Spot-Metering|
|2.7" LCD 230K Pixels||Lithium-Ion Battery|
|Secure Digital High Capacity|
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