Compared to... Canon SD 800 IS (IXUS 850 IS)

The 6MP F31fd is increasingly isolated in a market that is moving steadily towards double-digit megapixel counts. This makes it difficult to know exactly what to compare it to. For this review we've picked one of the latest models in Canon's popular Ixus / Elph range, the SD800 IS (IXUS 850 IS), which is a fairly representative example of a camera using the latest 7.2MP 1/2.5" sensor (chosen partly because of its wide ISO range). We've included studio comparisons at each camera's lowest ISO setting, ISO 400 and ISO 1600 (the SD800 IS's highest setting).

Studio scene comparison (SD800 IS @ ISO 80, F31fd @ ISO 100)  

  • Fuji FinePix F31fd : Aperture Priority mode, ISO 100, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.67 EV compensation
  • Canon SD800 IS (IXUS 850 IS): Program mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.66 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Fujifilm FinePix F31fd
Canon SD800 IS (IXUS 850 IS)
ISO 100, 1/58 sec, F4.9
ISO 80, 1/60 sec, F4.5
3,054 KB JPEG
2,634 KB JPEG

I don't think Fuji gets enough credit for its lenses, which on occasion (such as here) really shine, offering fantastic sharpness from corner to corner, and putting the Canon to shame. To be fair the SD 800 IS has a wider wideangle (28mm), and this will always involve compromise in such a small camera, but you don't need me to tell you there is a yawning gulf between these two cameras when it comes to sharpness and detail.