Movie mode

The movie mode on the F50fd is nothing to write home about. While image size (640x480 pixels, VGA) is in line with most of the competition, the frame rate is at 25fps actually lower than on many comparable cameras including the F31fd (30fps). You're unlikely to notice the difference though and the F50fd produces slightly smaller movie files which gives you some leeway in terms of movie length although a movie file can be up to 2GB large.

The movies are recorded in motion JPEG (.avi) format, with fairly heavy compression; they work out at around 0.93 MB/sec, meaning you can fit approximately 18 minutes of 640x480 / 25fps footage onto a 1GB card.

The movie quality is pretty much what you would expect from a camera of this class and the image stabilization helps with framing at the long end of the lens (although you can't zoom neither optically nor digitally while recording a movie). Playback and recording options are limited to the bare minimum though. Some of the competitors give you more parameters and even editing functions to play with, none of which are available on the F50fd.

Unlike stills recording you cannot choose the amount of information overlaid on the live preview image. An indication of the remaining time using the current settings is the only information on display.
The F-menu is even shorter than normal in movie mode. Image size is the only parameter that can be changed. Frame rate is fixed at 25fps and there is no AE compensation either.
During recording the time remaining on the card is counted down. In the moment you press the shutter button Focus is fixed, but exposure and white balance are adjusted continuously. There is no optical or digital zoom available whilst filming.
Playback mode is a very straightforward affair. Audio volume, playing, pausing and moving forwards or backwards a frame at a time are all controlled on the 4-way dial. There are no in-camera editing options or other extras available.

Sample movie

640x480 pixels @ 25 fps
Duration: 13.0 secs
File size: 12.1MB

Shot at wide angle (35mm equiv.)

Click on the thumbnail to view the movie (caution: large file!)