Fuji Finepix F40fd Review
Performance - How well does it take pictures?
The Fuji Finepix F40fd's image quality is among the top of its class. There are only a few ultra-compact digital cameras that produce nicer images. Those include the 6 megapixels Fuji F-series cameras like the F31fd, F30 and F20.
With the F40, Fuji compromised between noise and details differently than most digital cameras, including its F-series siblings. While the Fuji F40 keeps noise quite low, it does not suppress it completely. The result are images with very good detail that show some traces of noise at all ISO settings. Under ISO 400, it is very minimal and suitable for common print sizes. Images up to ISO 400 appear very sharp and have plenty of details. Even ISO 800 is quite usable, although with some loss of details. At 4"x6", ISO 1600 and 2000 images are very recognizable but still have visible amounts of noise. The indoor crop page illustrate this well.
The 3X optical zoom lens is sharp from corner to corner, just as with the F30 which we previously reviewed. Even macro shots remain sharp and without significant distortion. Colors are vibrant and quite accurate in terms of hue. There is a Chrome color mode which boosts color saturation to produce images with even more consumer appeal. We are glad to see that Fuji still does not provided an exaggerated default color rendition. White-balance settings are quite accurate, even on Auto which only leaves a slight warm tint under incandescent light. Custom white-balance was spot on.
The weakest point of the F40's image quality is its higher than average purple fringing. Although it is not as bad as what we saw with the Sony Cybershot DSC-H9. High purple fringing is a common occurrence with Fuji digital cameras. As usual, purple fringing mostly occurs near areas of overexposure, so it should rarely be intrusive in properly exposed images.
Like its predecessors, the Fuji Finepix F40fd is quite fast for an ultra-compact. It starts fast, zooms fast, focuses fast and has very little shutter-lag once pre-focused. Focusing speed and accuracy was very impressive, easily beating competing models. The camera's lens moves very fast, even during power up. Given this performance, Fuji once again showed that it is able to produce one of the fastest cameras on the market. On the slower side, shot-to-shot speeds are a not great and playback speed is just average.
Continuous shooting speed is disappointing. There are a lot of slower ultra-compact cameras out there, but several Canon's SD-series cameras can shoot continuously at 2 FPS. Comparatively, the F40fd's long-period continuous drive is very slow. The other continuous drive options do not count since they only shoot 2 pictures continuously.
Battery life of the Fuji Finepix F40fd is good compared to most cameras. Although, one again, its F-series siblings do even better. According to CIPA standard, the F40 can take 380 photos per charge. Comparatively, the F10, F30 and F31fd could all take at least 500 per charge.
The Fuji Finepix F40 is an excellent ultra-compact. Despite not being the best, the F40 produces low-noise images with plenty of details. Add to that its good speed of operation, good battery-life and you have a great ultra-compact digital camera.
As a point-and-shoot model with a limited shutter-speed range it is not useful for all types of photography. However, for quick snapshots, it is among the top of its class. Its shortcomings include above average purple fringing, ridiculous continuous drive modes and a poorly placed tripod mount.
Fuji F40fd Facts
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