Friday, September 30, 2016

Fujifilm FinePix F10 6.3 MP Digital Camera - Silver

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

I remember a year or so ago wanting to get a better camera. I had the Fuji A205, which was pretty good, but not great. The A205 was 2 MP, which was good, but not excellent. I was looking at cameras like the A340 and the A345. Then, my mother got me the F10.

The F10 is a 6 MP camera, meaning that it records six million bits of information. Many people think that this refers to the quality of the picture, which is true to an extent. (The truth is that it refers to the size of the largest picture you can make without losing quality.) Fuji cameras have what they call a Super CCD, meaning that it’s larger than the average CCD and is capable of recording more.

I haven’t been able to compare pixel by pixel, but the Fuji does seem to get much better pictures. I’ve been able to make big enlargements with 20 by 30 being around the largest I could get. Having seen enlargements from other cameras, it’s not that bad.

You do have to use the screen to compose shots, which will drain the battery and will also leave you with more blurry pictures since you’ll have more trouble bracing the camera. (I really don’t like the trend in point-and-shoot cameras for that reason.) The size of the screen is good. You can look at it and generally tell which ones are good and which ones aren’t. I don’t usually know which will be best until I get to my computer, though, so I’m still in the habit of taking several shots.

Even though Fuji is good with macro shots, I’ve had trouble taking them with the F10. If I’m photographing something close to the camera, I can usually get it in under six shots. Sometimes, it will take me several dozen shots and I still may not get the shot.

Shooting in dark areas has proven hit or miss. When I tried to use the camera to take pictures of fireworks, I went through a few hundred shots and only got two or three that looked decent. However, I’ve also taken pictures in total darkness to see how the flash worked and I was able to get decent shots. I also took some pictures of bamboo in low light that came out well with the natural light mode. (It even worked better than with a flash.)

I found that focusing can take a while in dark areas. It has a green light that comes on and may take several seconds to actually take the shot. In daylight, I didn’t find any real shutter lag, even when using the flash. When I use continuous shooting, I can take usually one or two shots per second.

The 3 times zoom is pretty standard. (Don’t even pay attention to digital zoom, as it doesn’t really matter.) There have been cases where I’ve needed a wider angle or where more telephoto would have been nice, but that’s why I got a digital SLR. For a small pocket-sized camera, it does well.

The F10 uses a proprietary battery and is thus much smaller. I wasn’t sold on the lithium ion batteries before I got the F10, mostly because I didn’t want to make an investment in a proprietary battery. I will say that they do last a lot longer. I can go a few hundred shots per charge and it doesn’t go away overnight, like the AA batteries used to. Due to the smaller size, I was able to take the F10 to my cousin’s wedding and keep in in my pocket.

The one down side is that it uses this convoluted system of wires and adapters to charge the battery, which you also have to use to download pictures. I ended up getting a memory card reader installed in my computer and separate charger for the battery because I kept losing stuff. This was the one area that I felt Fuji dropped the ball.

You also have to use xD media cards with the F10. The newer Fuji cameras use both xD and SD, which is good. I am somewhat afraid that xD will go away, but I’m not particularly impressed with the new line of Fuji, so it might not even matter if I ever have to replace this camera. I used to use a camera that used Smart Media and now have a Nikon D50, so I already had to change formats twice.

6.3 mega pixels do well enough for 4x6 photos. If you have one or can find one on clearance somewhere and can handle the few disadvantages I’ve mentioned, then by all means go for it. The F10 is still a great camera. However, if you’re coming in from another brand like Nikon or Canon and already have the memory cards, the F40 or the A900 might be better choices.

In case you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned the video mode, it’s because cameras like this aren’t really meant for video. In the year or two that I’ve had this camera, I’ve rarely used it. I don’t think I’ve even used it outside of my house. Yes, it uses sound, but you’re going to get better quality out of a video camera. Unless you’re using it for YouTube, don’t bother. As for menus, it’s like driving. You just have to get used to them. 

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