Fujifilm FinePix F100fd (black)

12 megapixel compact with a massive 12,800 maximum ISO

Fujifilm FinePix F100fd (black)
  • Fujifilm FinePix F100fd (black)
  • Fujifilm FinePix F100fd (black)
  • Fujifilm FinePix F100fd (black)
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5

Pros

  • Sharp images, ISO 12,800, 28mm 5x optical zoom lens, dual image stabilisation, new face detect

Cons

  • Sometimes slows down, interface a little messy, quite large and heavy

Bottom Line

FujiFilm's FinePix F100fd is a very solid high-end compact camera. It combines good quality 12-megapixel images with a lot of cool features such as ISO 12,800, a wide angled 5x optical zoom lens and dynamic range options to make an enticing overall package.

Would you buy this?

Fujifilm's FinePix F100fd is a solid, top-tier compact camera. Sporting a very high resolution 12-megapixel (Mp) sensor and a fairly hefty array of features, it will suit users looking to get a little more out of their point-and-shoot camera.

The unit packs in a fairly nice lens for a compact camera. It has a 28mm wide angle focal length and offers a 5x optical zoom rather than the 3x found on many compacts.

We were impressed by the quality of the images the F100fd produced — 12Mp is one of the highest resolutions currently on offer for compact cameras, and it means this unit's shots can produce significant enlargements. The clarity of our pictures was excellent, with well-rendered detail and crisp edges that showed no signs of over-sharpening. There was a reasonable amount of purple fringing outdoors, but it wasn't too problematic and corner softening was kept to a minimum.

Colours were generally well balanced and rich, although they were perhaps a little dark at times. Fortunately this unit includes several dynamic range modes similar to those found on some of the newer crop of SLRs, and this helps rectify the issue. It does a pretty good job of bringing out more detail in highlights and patches of shadow, as well as generally keeping shots more balanced.

Another interesting feature of the f100fd is its massive 12,800 maximum ISO setting. This is by far the highest sensitivity we've seen on a compact camera. High sensitivities typically produce extreme levels of noise, meaning they're often not worth the drop in image quality. While ISO 12,800 certainly produced some very blotchy pictures, for producing small 4in x 6in prints it may be adequate, and the extra sensitivity was quite beneficial for night shooting. At more normal ISOs our shots were fairly clean, with minimal speckling up to ISO 800.

This unit also has some other nifty features, such as a new face detect mode. Rather than being limited to simple straight-on face shots, this mode locks on to faces from most angles; it can even capture them upside-down if you happen to need that. The camera also has dual image stabilisation (both CCD shift and digital), which is a nice bonus for shooting at maximum zoom, as well as 16 scene modes for novice users.

We found the design a little chunky, and the camera is quite weighty (no doubt in part due to the larger lens). However, the controls are fairly simple and the overall design feels intuitive and uncluttered. We found the menus somewhat clunky at times and would have liked them to be laid out better.

We also experienced some minor speed and write-time issues. Shutter lag was fairly minimal at 0.08sec and shot-to-shot time was quick at 1.4sec. However, after taking several shots the camera would slow down. Start-up time was also a touch sluggish at 2.8sec.

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