Compared to... Nikon D50 (ISO 800)

Out of interest we decided to see how the F31fd's ISO 800 output compares to a budget digital SLR, the Nikon D50. Obviously our test shot with the D50 is taken using a Nikkor 50mm F1.8 prime lens, but we were more interested in how the cameras compare from a noise point of view.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 800)

  • Fuji FinePix F31fd : Aperture Priority mode, ISO 800, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.33 EV compensation
  • Nikon D50: Nikkor 50 mm F1.8, Aperture Priority (F9),
    ISO 800, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters, Self-Timer
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Fujifilm FinePix F31fd
Nikon D50 + Nikkor 50mm F1.8
ISO 800, 1/498 sec, F4.9
ISO 800, 1/160 sec, F9
2,900 KB JPEG
2,874 KB JPEG

What's surprising here is just how well the F31fd compares in this (admittedly fairly well lit) studio comparison. There's no doubt that the D50 has better, more appealing color (the F31fd is starting to look a little desaturated, with reds beginning to fade), and that the F31fd has more obvious noise reduction artefacts, but what's also clear is that Fuji has managed, with this sensor and processor combination, closer than ever before to 'SLR-like' output from a compact camera (in this studio shot it gives the D50 more than a run for its money).

The F31fd has a fairly large (1/1.7-inch) sensor by compact camera standards, but to put the result above into perspective the D50's DX format CCD (approx 372mm sq) has just over 5x the surface area of the F31fd's (72mm sq) Super CCD sensor. Sharpness is not that different; the D50 result has much less in-camera sharpening applied (if you run an unsharp mask filter on it the D50 starts to show a little more detail), and the F30 has the advantage of greater depth of field, but overall a really impressive result for Fujifilm.