Over a year ago I damaged my F50fd. In the meantime I've relied solely on my Nikon D90. I recently decided I really miss having a compact.
A local repair shop offered to repair the F50 for $85. I've since been scanning eBay for used F50 or F31, which I haven't been able to snag for less than the quoted repair cost.
I've also noticed some newer and relatively inexpensive Fuji models (FinePix J and AX series). From what I can gather on this forum, they are inferior to the F series.
I guess my question is: Should I bother repairing the F50fd? Or should I hunt down a different F series model, and if so, which one? I was always really happy with the F50, even when it was my only camera, though I know some felt the F31 was superior. Not familiar with anything released after the F50, though I saw a few posts here praising the F70EXR.
Many thanks for some guidance on this!
The F50fd was a decent cam with serious high ISO issues. As the first of the new 12mp series, Fuji had not yet gotten used to handling such tiny pixels and shadows turned blue at the slightest provocation.
This problem is still there, but jpegs are clean and RAWs can be processed better.
Frankly, the latest generation, starting with the F550EXR, is probably the best of all of the long zoom compacts you can get. The image quality is quite good in JPEG, even up to 3200 ISO, assuming you know how to get a good exposure. They support RAW quite well in Adobe products, and they have long lenses that are generally ok, unless you are a raging pixel peeper.
I had all the long zooms and the F550 was my fave, I sold off the compacts and later decided to get a compact again and bought the F770EXR at a great price.
Shooting these new cams takes some thought and you should consider reading my article on EXR cameras before deciding.
The other EXR cam that you can get with great image quality and not too high a price is the F200EXR, which was the very first EXR camera. It shoots JPEG only, but is very clean to 3200 ISO because it has a fairly large sensor (1/1.7") ... same as your F50fd.
Anyway, good luck ...