Fujifilm's compact cameras have always been quite impressive, and the F40fd continues this tradition. It's 8.3 megapixel sensor captures stunningly sharp pictures and has some of the best colour reproduction we've ever seen. It does exhibit a few issues, including higher than normal image noise and chromatic aberration, as well as a slightly sluggish operating times, but nonetheless the superbly crisp pictures make the F40fd one of the better choices in the compact camera space.
- Brilliantly sharp pictures, superb colour reproduction
- Some chromatic aberration issues, function wheel poorly positioned, disappointing burst mode
A strong compact camera from Fujifilm, the high levels of chromatic aberration is the only issue detracting from the F40fd's exceptional pictures. Unfortunately there are a few minor issues in other areas that stop this from being a truly incredible camera.
Price$ 449.00 (AUD)
To put it simply, if picture clarity is your most pressing concern, the F40fd is one of the best purchases you can make. The shots are razor sharp with strongly defined edges and no hints of over or under sharpening. Imatest awarded it a score of 1851 which is a brilliant result for a compact and corroborates what we saw in our test shots. Unfortunately, the higher than normal levels of chromatic aberration do take away from this a little. Imatest awarded it a score of .185% in this test, which is quite a bit larger than we're used to seeing. This was reflected in the blurriness we saw towards the edges of our shots and some relatively prominent haloing in areas of high contrast. We were a little disappointed by this because in most other regards the pictures produced by the F40fd are superb.
A perfect example of this is the camera's colour reproduction, where it scored higher than any compact we've previously reviewed. Its result of 4.3 in Imatest's colourchecker test simply blows previous units out the window. A quick look at the Imatest charts reveals almost pinpoint accuracy across the majority of colours, with some very minor oversaturation in reds and blues being the only inaccuracy.
In our last test for image noise, we received mixed results. On one hand, Imatest gave the F40fd a score of 1.48% in this test, which isn't all that positive. However, our test shots themselves revealed that while there was noticeable noise, it really wasn't evident until you magnified the picture to its full size. It was extremely fine and didn't detract from the quality of the picture at all at smaller magnifications. This means as long as you are just making small to medium sized prints, the noise won't be an issue.
One area the camera did struggle a little was operating speed. While it did exhibit a speedy .05 second shutter lag, there was a noticeable delay during most other operating processes. Furthermore, the startup time of three seconds and shot-to-shot time of 2.5 seconds were a little behind the pack. It was far from the slowest camera we've seen, but if you're after a lightning quick user experience you may want to look elsewhere.
There is also a continuous shot mode, but this was similarly disappointing. Capturing just two frames per second, and only giving you the option to save two shots, it is quite a bit more limited than we usually see on compact cameras. In addition to the burst mode, all the standard options you'd expect are present, including ISO sensitivities up to 1600, white balance presets, a custom mode and a variety of scene modes for beginners. Also present on this model is face detection technology, similar to that found on Canon's latest lineup of cameras. This focus mode will automatically pick out the human faces in a shot and make them the focus points, allowing for the clearest picture possible. Fujifilm's implementation seems almost as good as Canon's, and it is a great option for a consumer based camera that will be used mostly to capture pictures of friends and relatives.
The F40fd has a silver metallic body and a black back plate. It won't win any awards for design, but it is stylish and quite minimalist which should satisfy most users. The metallic body lends quite a bit of weight to the unit and it sits comfortably in the hand as a result, but keep in mind that it is a little too heavy to just slip into your bag and forget about.
The control layout will be familiar to anyone who has used a digital camera in the past, with a five way directional pad and a function wheel doing the brunt of the work. We didn't like how the function wheel was positioned; it is quite difficult to access unless you angle your thumb just right. However the rest of the controls are fine and the interface is extremely simple and intuitive, so even novice users shouldn't have issues.
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