Fujifilm FinePix F50fd review

Started Jul 7, 2008 | User reviews thread
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Tim van der Leeuw
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Fujifilm FinePix F50fd review
Jul 7, 2008

Don't buy it!
I bought this camera because of the recommendation on this website, but unfortunately have to disagree with the reviewer's opinion on image-quality. I'm severely disappointed, and returned the camera as soon as I could. I own a Canon PowerShot S50 for 5 years and it still delivers superior images over this Fuji.
I tried a Panasonic TZ4 for a week before returning it and going for the Fuji F50fd -- the Panasonic was disappointing compared to the old Canon. But oh boy, it was far better than this Fuji. Not only in ease-of-use and zoom-range, but most importantly, in image quality!

Problems:

First problem:
Noise. Noisy, noisy, noisy images! Even in good outdoors light, there's noise very clearly visible on (for instance) dark pants. There shouldn't be any! Not under those light conditions!
Indoors shooting: hardly any picture on which there wouldn't be very visible noise. A white wall is noisy, whereas the same white wall shot under comparable circumstances with the Panasonic TZ4 was evenly white.
The images of the TZ4 didn't always look very sharp; the noise-reduction probably took away some detail. But the F50fd doesn't bring me any more detail, and it brings me a really unpleasant amount of noise!

Second problem:
Depth of colour seems to be lacking. Not sure how to explain this better - probably it's the dynamic range which is too limited. But it's like there are just not enough colour gradations. Colours on images from the TZ4 often seemed to be pale / not quite right. The F50fd does overall deliver vivid colours, although the colours are unnatural (for instance, the green grass is unnaturally green and dark red becomes bright red/blue). Depth / gradation of colour is also missing, resulting in pictures which look like 8-bit GIF images instead of 32-bit JPEG images.

Third:
When taking photos in automatic regime, the image is too dark even under decent light conditions. White balance in the photos with sharp division of sun/shadow is distorted (light parts are over-exposed, darker parts are under-exposed, resulting in the image being indistinguishable.

Fourth:
Autofocus just does not seem to do its job. Tried various modes; however, the vast majority of the pictures, with hardly any exceptions, is not sharp enough.

Fifth:
Ease-of-use and ergonomics are not nearly as good as the TZ4. Not really bad, but a big step back after even a week of using a Panasonic TZ camera. The camera misses intuitive navigation through the preset shooting modes; most menus are digital and not really straightforward. One week of intensive (though frustrating) use did not make the camera more convenient. Camera's size is great (small and fits in every pocket/bag), but that's about the only positive comment that can be made about it.

Conclusion:
It might be an OK entry-level camera for an absolute beginner like a young kid (or someone who goes purely for a "12 megapixel" label), but it is not really a "simply point and shoot" camera delivering decent images as one would expect from a modern compact camera.

Tim van der Leeuw's score
2.5
Average community score
4.0
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