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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Fujifilm FinePix F30

Fuji Digital Cameras

   


Fujifilm FinePix F30 Review

Review Date: Jul 24, 2006

Category: Beginner Amateur

Fujifilm FinePix F30 Lens Closed

Photoxels Editor's Choice 2006 DIWA Awards Fujifilm F30 wins DIWA Platinum Award

IMAGE QUALITY

Editor's note: We bring you a condensed version of our review because we did not have time to take all of our regular sample images for this section before we had to return the camera [read, we were having too much fun taking pictures with it at Disney.]. Instead, we make it up by bringing you lots of real-life examples in our Photo Gallery and include a 320x240 and a 640x480 video here.

The Fujifilm FinePix F30 is a digital camera targeted to point-and-shoot and beginner amateur photographers. It has 6.3 megapixel resolution on a 1/1.7 in. Super CCD HR image sensor, and a 36-128mm (35 mm equivalent) 3x optical zoom lens, with an aperture range of F2.8–F8.0.

We find the overall image quality of the Fujifilm FinePix F30 to be excellent, with low noise from ISO 100 up to ISO 400, and images retaining most of the details.

The Fujifilm F30 provides 3x optical zoom, from 36mm to 108mm (35mm equivalent).

Besides Auto mode and easy-to-use Scene Modes, the Fujifilm F30 also has "Manual" (really, Programmed Auto) mode. There is no Program Shift available in Manual mode.

The camera also provides exposure compensation (no Auto Bracketing) and Custom (Manual) White Balance. No Histogram is available. Shutter speed ranges from 3-1/2,000 sec. Slow shutter speeds from 1 to 15 sec. can be manually selected

The Fujifilm F30 lens allows you to focus as close as 2 in. at wide-angle. AF locks precisely and fast, even in low-light thanks to an effective AF Focusing Assist Lamp. There is AF Area mode where you can manually move the AF Frame around on the screen to where you want it to focus.

Light metering mode is TTL 256-zones metering.

Custom (manual) White Balance is available and guarantees true colour reproduction under artificial light. Outdoors, under natural light, the AWB works extremely well.

ISO Discussion

Again, we were so busy taking pictures we forgot to take samples for comparison purposes. However, we have enough image samples in the Photo Gallery taken at different ISOs to give you a good idea.

You can set the ISO on the Fujifilm F30 from 100 to 3200. Images at ISO 100 to 400 are clean and virtually noise-free. Noise starts to be noticeable at ISO 800. ISO 1600 can sometimes still be usable especially in regular-sized 4x6 ini. prints. At ISO 3200, the presence of noise takes the form of coloured splotches.

ISO 3200 is usually available only on digital SLRs, so its availability here on a compact digital camera merit some comments. Using a high ISO allows the camera to use a fast shutter speed -- hopefully fast enough -- to reduce or eliminate blurring caused by camera shake and/or subject motion. To that effect, a new shooting mode called "Anti-Blur" or "Picture Stabilization" is introduced on the Mode Dial. Note that this "stabilization" does not involve stabilizing the lens or image sensor (the best type of image stabilization) but is a scene mode that favours a fast shutter speed and high ISO.

As our image samples show, image quality at ISO 1600 and 3200 is not bad at all if you restrict yourself to web display or regular sized 4x6 in. prints. And, that would satisfy most point-and-shoot photographers, and a lot of more advanced ones, too, who use a P&S camera for casual family shots. As expected, the noise reduction removes details at these high ISOs. There is no extra wait time for the noise reduction to work.

ISO 100 [we lose the ISO 80 of the FinePix 10] to 400 are so clean that I can safely advise setting the camera's sensitivity to the "Auto 400" setting for outdoors shooting, and to the "Auto 1600" setting for indoors shooting.

A new flash system, called i-Flash, can be used even in tandem with the high ISO settings. Instead of resulting in washed-out images (too much flash, too high ISO), i-Flash compensates with lower flash intensity when using high ISOs.

Chromatic Aberrations
CA (Purple Fringing)

CA is minimal in everyday shots. In the high contrast shot above, the area delimited by the red square at top left, and reproduced at 100% crop at bottom right, shows very slight purple fringing.

The Fujifilm F30 allows the use of a long shutter speed of up to 15 sec. but only in Night scene mode (and when Long Exposure has been set ON in SETUP). This allows us to take some very nice night shots.

I don't usually shoot videos but thought it would be interesting to test the low-light video capability of the F30. Here is a short extract from the Festival of Lights Parade at The Magic Kingdom. The clip is filmed at 320x240 @ 30fps and is approx. 10 sec. in length (warning: file size is huge at 6.5MB).

Festival of Lights Parade Movie

Here is another movie from the Disney Polynesian Luau.The clip is filmed at 640x480 @ 30fps and is approx. 10 sec. in length (warning: file size is huge at 11.4MB).

Disney Polynesian Luau Movie

Overall, excellent image quality for a 6.3MP digital camera: sharp pictures, very good image detail, vibrant colours, well-exposed -- now with even better low-light capability.

The pictures in the Fujifilm FinePix F30 Photo Gallery page provide a good sample of what the camera is capable of. I have provided samples at 800x600 pixels (compressed to Quality 60/100 in Photoshop Elements) as well as the original 2848×2136 pixels version.

You can safely assume that most macro shots and slow shutter speed shots required the use of a tripod. Any image that is adjusted for levels in Photoshop has "_adjusted" appended to the file name.

I have defaulted the image size to 800x600 pixels. For those who have their monitor resolution set to 1024x728 pixels, everything should snugly fit and you should not have to scroll to see the whole image. If your monitor is set to 800x600 pixels resolution, start the slide show and then scroll to the right to position the image within your screen width. Then, press F11 (if you are using Internet Explorer) to switch to full screen mode, and the image should fill your screen nicely. Press F11 again at any time to switch your monitor display back to normal mode.

To return to this page from the Photo Gallery, click on the animated graphics of the camera.

Please open and download the original size version only if you need to and only once to your hard drive -- and save me some precious bandwidth. Thanks!

 

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