my Fujifilm F50fd review

I’ve had my F50fd for 2 weeks now, I am going to keep it, it’s just a walk-around camera for me and the quality is good enough, especially with a little bit of post-processing. Thought I’d share a few things about this digicam:

  • One of the main reasons I went with the Fujifilm F50fd was the supposedly great noise control in high ISO sensitivity. This turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. I’ve seen outputs from the F30 and F31 and the 12MP F50fd is actually worse at ISO 1600 and above. It does go up to ISO 6400 but the quality is shit. At ISO 1600 it is usable, especially with some noise reduction in post-processing and black and white conversion. (Keep in mind that I am used to the high ISO performance of my 20D so I don’t think I can be pleased with any digicam.)
  • It is 12MP, but unless you shoot at ISO100 with plenty of light, the full size pics look pretty bad. The outputs are great for web-use sizes though, so if you get this to take pics for forums (like waywt pics) or blog posts, it is great. There is even a blog-optimized setting for pics so you won’t even have to process them or downsize them.
  • It has no orientation sensor, I find it a bit odd for a top-of-the-line digicam. The images don’t have EXIF tags for auto-rotation.
  • LCD image preview has no histograms, like, NONE… I don’t think it has highlight overexposure warning either.
  • The UI is extremely easy to use, I still haven’t opened the manual. It is very easy to adjust EVs, change ISO or flash settings while shooting. I like the UI a lot more than that of Canon or Sony digicams, no more moving dip switches for image reviews! I wish it had an easy way to go straight to 100% review, the Canon SD630 actually has that and it is pretty useful.
  • Build quality is on the cheap side, but it is cheap at only $260 shipped from Amazon.
  • the tripod mount is in the middle so that makes it possible to use lightweight cheapo pocket tripods (again waywt pics optimized!).
  • the numeric part of the filenames always resets zero if you delete all your photos from the memory card, this is kindda annoying IMO.
  • it now takes SD cards, I think before they only accepted xD.
  • face detection (fd) is very useful when you ask people to take pictures for you, it works very well, it can find faces even at an angle.

I’ve posted some photos from the F50fd here, you can also find them in my Flickr stream, check the Photo Properties part on the photo page, it should show which camera I used.

Buy it here:

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2 Responses to my Fujifilm F50fd review

  1. kevin lu October 6, 2007 at 1:58 am #

    what about its IS function? How many F-stops does that afford you? I saw the F50 output, the performance is very similar to F30 at all ISO levels. if IS works, wouldn’t that make it significantly better than the F30?

  2. ayn October 6, 2007 at 6:16 am #

    I’m sure the IS works, I haven’t shot with it off and then on to compare, I just have it on at all time, I was able to get pictures with settings that violate the inverse rule (big time too, like ~80mm at 1/30s) and they were without camera shake. So yeah, if you think the outputs are of similar quality (I actually never played with F30 fullres outputs in person, only seen processed outputs from you and Ming), then the IS function alone would make it a better camera.

    btw, ALL pictures shot with the F50fd on my Flickr were shot handheld, some night shots I tried to place the camera next to a lamp pole or a flat surface to minimize camera shake, but NONE of them was shot with a tripod and timer, so you can look at the EXIF info and see how well IS works… I’d like to think I have relatively stable hands though, from holding huge ass L lenses for a few years… 😉

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