Fujifilm Finepix F31fd Review
Whereas the F30 was a complete redesign of the F10, the F31fd is externally almost identical to the F30 (the only differences are a slight change in the color of the metal body and a larger, marginally more useful grip). As mentioned previously the build and finish are excellent, giving the F31fd a real 'quality' feel. Again it's not the slimmest or prettiest camera in its class (the depth is in part down to the decision to use such a large battery), and external controls are fairly minimal meaning you're going to be using the menu system a lot if you like to tweak settings. To be honest having used both the F30 and the F31fd fairly regularly over the last year or so I can honestly say I've rarely ventured into the Aperture and Shutter Priority modes outside our lab tests; the camera performs admirably as a 'point and shoot' model in full auto mode; manual control is fiddly and - beyond ISO and AE-comp changes (both easily accessed) - not really necessary.
In your hand
The FinePix F31fd is by no means ultra-compact, but the protrusion-free design means it slips fairly easily into a jacket pocket. At around 200g it's weighty enough to feel reassuringly stable in use, without being too heavy to carry with you at all times. The only complaint - common to all small cameras with large screens - is that it is a little too easy to accidentally press one of the buttons (the 'F' button being the worst offender) when shooting with one hand. In fact I found the F31fd very difficult to use single-handed; it just feels a lot safer - and the controls are a lot easier to use - if you hold it in both your mitts.
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