By Neil Bennett | on August 20, 2007
Price When Reviewed: 170
Pros: Comfortable design. Excellent full auto mode with many functions for quick snapping, including face detection and Natural & Flash mode.
Cons: Few manual controls. Face detection baffled by glasses.
As most creatives know a camera’s megapixel size is only one factor in determining the quality of a captured image. Finepix’s new F40fd 8.3mp camera produces better photos than some 10mp models we’ve looked at – with Fujifilm concentrating on the quality of what’s captured, not its quantity.
The pocket-sized Finepix F40fd looks pricier than many of its sub-£200 rivals. The front of the camera features a standard 3x optical zoom lens with the back largely covered by a 2.5-inch LCD screen. While not as good as those on Sony’s cameras, it displays captured images better than some larger screens.
The F40fd’s body is comfortable in the hand. The on-screen menu system isn’t as fast to use as some cameras, and the odd choice of power management being the first option when you press the F menu button, further lets it down.
Many of its features are aimed at the point-&-shoot crowd – and the picture quality on full-auto is impressive in its detail and lack of noise. The face-detection system optimizes exposure and focus by detecting faces and arranging both values to suit where they are. It works well but in our tests, we found it less able to recognize people who were wearing glasses than other face-detection systems we’ve seen.
Also useful is the Natural & Flash mode, which captures two shots in quick succession – one without flash and one with. This is great for times when you’re unsure about lighting, and wish to combine the two images in Photoshop later for the best result.
There’s no bundled xD-Picture or SD Card, just around 25MB of internal memory – which holds about six full-resolution, high-grade images.
We were impressed by the F40fd’s low-light performance, but less so by its slow start-up and shot-to-shot times, and its lack of true manual functions beyond exposure controls. Even so, it’s a quick snapper worth investigating.