Fujifilm FinePix F700 review

Started Jul 18, 2006 | User reviews thread
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Zarathustra
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Fujifilm FinePix F700 review
Jul 18, 2006

Excellent unique camera. They don't make them of this quality anymore.
The F700 is Fuji's best little underated secret.
It is the one and only compact digital camera capable of capture large dynamic ranges.
Once you pass the meagpixel syndrome you realize tha after resizing your images, what is left is the overall color rendition.
And is here where the F700 excell too.
The F700 is not a camera for amateurs, impatient people, or those who want something simple to use. It's best suited for experienced photographers who are willing to spend the time to get to know the camera.

Positives:
Fast RAW mode. (3sec to write to xD H card)
High Dynamic Range (when using RAW).
Best B&W compact camera yet due to the fine tonal range.
Low Noise @ ISO800.
Fast start-up time.
Fast and accurate focus.
Useful and practical Manual and Contious focus system using dedicated buttom.
AF assist light really works in total darkness.
SR sensor takes Night photogaphy to the highest level.
Record breaking 5fps burst mode, fastest among digicams.
Last five pictures burst feature is good for action shots, etc.
Durable built with a metal body & metal tripod socket.
Small and lightweight.
Great movie mode.
Auto WB is great indoors.
Good lens, low distorsion, no soft corners or vignetting.

This camera shines in expert hands when using the lastest RAW software. Fuji, Adobe or better yet the freeware S7RAW that allows you to customize the S+R mixes.
Good resolution about 5 Megapixels (Bayer sensor equiv.).
Despite being an oldy camera it still remains very competent. (July, 2006)
It can be found and at ridiculous price. $100-$150.

Is an excellent ultra-compact companion for his big brother the Fuji S3 DSLR.

SuperTip:
By Overexposing by +2EV, this camera can reach higher resolutions and less noise than previously thought.
You need overexposure to activate the other 3Million R pixels. Only in RAW mode. Readjust levels later in S7RAW or ACR.

PS. Don't be fooled by the scores. Unreasonable expectations about this camera Dynamic Range in combination with its 'real' price when it was introduced explain its low review scores. IMHO this camera is an underated and forgotten gem. Grab one before it completely disappear.!

Problems:

No camera is perfect so:
No histogram or Out-of-Gamut warnings.
The most frequently used functions that an advance user would use are buried in menus, like RAW, WB, etc.
No image parameters tunning like Contrast and Saturation.
3 sec. min. shutter spped is limited. It needs Bulb or at least 15sec min S. speed.
Not so good WB outdoors, but if you use RAW or custom WB then is not an issue.
LCD monitor is hard to see in low light (no auto-gain), but the OVF helps in those cases.
No magnified LCD view during manual focus.
2sec. Selftimer doesn't stick, so is hard to use it frequently.
RAW files are not compressed 13MB per photo.
Steep learning curve and hard to exploit its unique HDR advantages.

Zarathustra's score
4.7
Average community score
4.1
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