Fujifilm Finepix F31fd Review
Operation and controls
Although there are some more advanced controls hidden away in the menus, at heart the FinePix F31fd is still a straightforward 'point and shoot' camera that isn't designed for extensive tweaking of settings and parameters. That said, the F30 is a more sophisticated camera, and has some important extras; aperture and shutter priority being the most important, though there are new scene modes too; some of them designed specifically to take advantage of the unusually high ISO options.
Like the F10, the F30 has external controls for flash mode, macro mode and self-timer, plus a new button for AE compensation. The standard 'F mode' button brings up a small menu containing ISO, quality & size and color settings, but if you want to change anything else; metering mode, white balance, AF mode, burst mode etc; you'll have to venture into the menu system.
Rear of camera
The rear of the F31fd is dominated by the large 2.5-inch LCD, with all the main controls ranged to the right. From the top we have the zoom rocker, and, below the rubber 'dots' that act as a thumb grip, play mode button and 'F' button (for fast access to file size/quality, ISO and color effects). Below these are the standard four-way controller keys and a central MENU/OK button. The arrow keys are used to navigate menus, and each has a secondary function when there's no menu displayed: in record mode they give direct control over flash mode, self-timer, macro mode and LCD brightening, with the up arrow also used for single frame deletion in playback mode. Finally, the bottom button is used to cycle through the various recording mode screen display options (and as a 'Back' or cancel button when using menus) and the '+/-' button is used for AE compensation (and for adjusting settings in A/P mode). Of course the big change here is that this button also now toggles on and off the Face Detection mode, though only in the fully automatic and scene modes. This button sharing means you can't use Face Detection in the modes that offer AE-compensation and vice versa. My only other complaint is that it would be nice to have white balance in the 'F' FinePix Photo Mode menu.
Top of camera
|The top view of the F31fd shows its simple, fuss-free lines perfectly. The mode dial and shutter release are joined by the main power (on/off) switch on the top plate.|
Display and menus
The F30 featured a new user interface and menu system that - though still a little inelegant - represented a huge improvement over the F10/F11. The F31fd's user interface is identical (except for the Face Detection icon) to the F30, and as with that camera, it very much favors 'point and shoot' operation rather than a more manual 'hands-on' approach.
|The basic record screen in auto mode, showing pretty comprehensive shooting information across the top of the frame - you can also choose an information-free preview image and 'rule of thirds' grid overlay if you struggle with straight horizons. Interestingly the F30's Post Shot option (which shows up to three of the last shots taken in a column up the left side of the screen) has disappeared.||Half press the shutter and the camera will set the focus and exposure, indicating the focus point chosen (in multi-AF mode). The shutter speed and aperture chosen are displayed at the bottom of the screen, and warnings indicate if there is a focus problem or danger of camera shake.|
|In rec-manual mode (where you get more control over parameters) the display also shows metering, white balance and ISO settings. AE compensation is also available in M mode - press the +/- button and use the up and down arrow keys to change the setting.||The shooting menu contains an option for the A/S position on the mode dial; you have to choose whether it will be aperture priority or shutter priority.|
|Using A/S mode (in this case we're using aperture priority) is fairly straightforward - press the '+/-' button and use the left/right arrow keys to choose an aperture (or shutter speed in S mode). The up and down keys still operate the AE compensation.||The 15 scene modes are accessed by turning the mode dial to 'SP' and using the menu. As with the basic rec-auto mode you don't get much manual control when using the scene modes.|
|Of course the big new feature is Face Detection AF/AE - an option in all the fully automatic modes. This works pretty well, picking up several faces in the frame and tracking their motion, and it is very fast, but like all such systems it is far from 100% reliable. It doesn't, for example, work if the face is in profile or wearing glasses, but - as a party trick to show your friends if nothing else - it's impressive.||Pressing the 'F' button brings up a menu with options for image quality/size - from 6MP down to 0.3MP, ISO (100-3200, plus two auto settings; one tops out at ISO 400, the other at 1600) and color settings (B&W, standard, chrome). Annoyingly whilst there are two JPEG options (fine and normal) for 6MP pictures, there's none for any other size.|
|Less frequently accessed controls are found in the newly designed main record mode menu (activated using the menu button). Here you'll find options for everything from white balance to focus, burst mode and metering options and the 'High Speed' shooting mode. Incidentally, in full auto mode you only have access to a couple of these options.||Pressing the right arrow when an item is selected brings up a list of options. It's still a fairly long-winded affair if you change white balance often, and we'd like to see it moved to the rather underused F-mode menu.|
|In playback mode you have the option of an information overlay, though unfortunately there's still no histogram.||The right (tele) zoom button lets you enlarge images up to 4.5x (the actual amount depends on the size of the image). You can scroll around enlarged images using the four-way controller.|
|Pressing the DISP button cycles through the various playback modes, including 3x3 thumbnails, as shown here.||You can also view the images on the card in a 'calendar' format (sorted by the date they were taken).|
|The playback menu has the usual options for deleting images, protecting (locking) them and producing on-screen slideshows. There are also options for rotating pictures, adding voice memos and trimming (cropping) photos.||The three-page setup menu (accessible from both playback and record modes) is where you find camera-related settings. There's a lot here, but to be honest you're unlikely to be changing anything very often once you've done your initial setup.|
|Madrid subway by MAGMATCICO62|
from Your City - Public Transport
|Incandescent Bulb by Kukla|
from Illuminate- Macro only
|Curiousity by PERCY2|
from Macro - Your Best Macro Ever
|Hoar Frosted Trees by sabishiT3T|
A portrait of an android woman has beaten over 5,700 pictures of humans to take third place in this year’s prestigious Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize. The judges were not told the subject was an 'android' until after the winning images were chosen.
Hauling around C-Stands just got a whole lot less annoying thanks to these new Matthews shoulder and roller bags, which can hold two or three C-stand (respectively) plus accessories.
Neal Preston has shot timeless photos of everyone from Led Zeppelin, to Whitney Houston, to Michael Jackson. In this interview, he offers insights into his craft to up-and-comer Elijah Dominique.
Future prosumer Canon DSLRs might feature light-up buttons, if this newly published patent is any indication of the camera company's plans.
Sony's a7R Mark III shoots 42.4MP files at 10fps and incorporates a robust video feature set, large battery, refined ergonomics and more. It certainly looks impressive, but what is it like to use, and how does it stack up against the rest of the market? Find out in our full review.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017 – the Fujifilm X100F takes the bronze and the #3 spot.
There's never been a better time to shop for a new camera, but the number of options available can be overwhelming. In this series of buying guides we've provided customized recommendations for several use cases, from shooting landscapes to buying a first camera for a student photographer.
Shopping for a camera with a set budget? No problem! We've rounded up our favorite cameras, broken them into price brackets and picked the best of the bunch.
Looking for a lightweight compact camera that's easy to bring with you anywhere? Or maybe you're smartphone-shopping and want the one that takes the best picture. And what if you want to shoot from above? In these buyers guides we have recommendations for the best compact cameras, smartphones and drones.
Despite reports to the contrary, analysis of DPReview images by our friend Jim Kasson confirms a disappointing fact: Sony a7R III is still a Star Eater. But there may be some improvements.
As the saying goes: A photo is worth a thousand words. And if you're sending that photo through Facebook Messenger, your thousand words now look twice as nice after today's update to 4K resolution.
Get to know the new Leica CL in short order by giving our 90 second 'First look' video a watch.
Leica has just released the CL, the forth in its series of APS-C L-mount cameras. Despite sharing a name with a camera released in the mid-70s, the new CL is a thoroughly modern ILC, with a 24MP sensor and built-in electronic viewfinder.
The Leica CL is a 24MP rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, which sits alongside the TL2 in the company's APS-C lineup. We've been using one for a few days – check out our gallery of images.
While it shares a name with one of Leica's most popular and affordable cameras of the 1970s, the new CL is separated from its namesake by more than just years. We've been using one for a few days - click through for a detailed first-impressions report.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #4 ranking goes to the Leica M10.
Sigma is discounting 13 different high-performance 'Art' series lenses from today until November 30th. The company is calling it an 'unprecedented' sale.
See DJI's 'AeroScope' drone-tracking technology in action. This is the system that DJI says can help law enforcement and airport (among others) track and identify rogue drones.
iPhone X owners can already accessorize their new phone with high-quality smartphone photography lenses courtesy of Moment's new lineup.
Considering buying Sigma's exciting new 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens for crop-sensor E-Mount and M43? Check out these official full-res samples first!
Vimeo has just added support for 8K HDR 10-bit content, making it possible to show up to 75% of the colors the human eye can perceive vs the usual 35%. Take THAT YouTube.
The holidays are coming, but your gear isn't cutting it? It's time to treat yourself!
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and sitting pretty at #5 is the Fujifilm X-T20.
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.