Fujifilm FinePix F50fd Review

Portly and plain are not the most compelling adjectives for a point-and-shoot digital camera, but the Fujifilm FinePix F50fd has very high resolution, offers tons of features, and performed quite well in our tests. The FinePix F50fd has a champagne-coloured plastic front and a black plastic rear panel. It may look dull, but the looks are only shell-deep.

Although the FinePix F50fd weighs more than most similar-sized compact cameras, it also has a larger-than-average LCD panel, at 2.7in, and a higher resolution (12mp) than most.

And – a rarity in a point-and-shoot – the F50fd offers aperture- and shutter-priority modes. It also has a ‘manual’ mode, but that’s misleading – you can’t set the aperture or the shutter speed in that mode; rather, it works like the Program modes on other cameras, for access to exposure compensation and more flash modes.

Fujifilm has given the FinePix F50fd all the latest whizz-bang digital camera features too, including image stabilisation and, according to the company, a newer version of face-detection technology that can detect faces at up to a 90 degree angle, against only 30 degrees with the company’s older models.

The F50fd did seem to find and lock on to faces more easily and quickly than other units we’ve tried. It also starts up quickly, although its LCD panel seemed a bit slow to adjust to changing lighting conditions.

You can choose a power-management mode to save power, another mode to make the autofocus system as quick as possible, and a third to max out the LCD’s clarity (it also, it seemed to us, quickened the autofocus). We like having the option of saving power, but we didn’t like having to choose between the other two. In the default, power-saving mode, the F50fd took 276 shots over about 2.5 hours in our tests.

In our image-quality tests, the F50fd earned the highest mark of any recent point-and-shoot for having the least distortion. The FinePix F50fd also received very high marks for sharpness. Its flash is a bit weak, so it didn’t get high scores for its flash shots, however.

OUR VERDICT

Fujifilm offers flashier, more colourful models, but if you’re more concerned with what your pictures look like than what your camera looks like, then the FinePix F50fd is probably a good bet.

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