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Fujifilm Finepix V10 Digital Camera Review

Fujifilm Finepix V10 Digital Camera Review - Fujifilm Finepix V10 review

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Fujifilm Finepix V10
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'Photography made sociable', is Fujifilm's slogan for their V10 camera because its unusually high ISO sensitivity, should help you to take great photos after dark. Gary Wolstenholme takes a look at whether this camera really can be the life and soul of the party.

SpecificationsFujifilm Finepix V10
  • Effective pixels 5.1 million effective pixels
  • CCD sensor 1/2.5 inch Super CCD HR
  • xD picture card storage media
  • 3.4x zoom lens, f/2.8-5.5
  • Lens focal length equivalent to 36 - 130mm on a 35mm camera
  • Macro: approx. 9cm at wide-angle
  • Shutter speed 4 sec to 1/2000sec depending on shooting mode
  • Sensitivity equivalent to ISO 64 - 1600
  • LCD monitor 3inch low temperature polysilicon TFT with approximately 100% coverage.
  • NP-40 rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Dimensions 83.0 (W) x 63.5 (H) x 23.3 (D) mm
  • Weight approximately. 155g
  • RRP £249.99
Build and handling
The body of the V10 is made almost entirely of metal, but because of the large screen on the back and the dainty controls, if feels more like an expensive trinket than a sturdy piece of equipment. There is no finger grip on the front, or any space for your thumb on the back. The screen dominates the camera, and you have to work around it. I found it almost impossible to use with one hand, instead I had to resort to gripping it between finger and thumb with both hands.

Display screen
Fujifilm Finepix V10The mammoth 3inch screen almost completely fills the rear, leaving only a thin margin at the bottom for the controls. A shiny sheet of acrylic material is used to protect the screen, this can cause problems when shooting in bright conditions, as the reflective surface can make viewing difficult.

Auto-focus
Two auto-focus modes are selectable from the menu, one is locked to the centre of the frame and the other automatically selects an autofocus point for you. Both modes perform well, locking on quickly. The centre AF mode is the faster of the two causing very little delay.

Battery life
Powering that huge screen must take a fair amount of power, I managed to get around 120 shots from a fully charged battery before it packed in.

Memory card
The V10 uses xD memory cards which fit into the slot beside the battery. The following are write speeds for Jpeg quality settings using an Olympus xD card.

Quality setting Time taken to write to card
5 megapixel Jpeg fine 2.0secs
5 megapixel Jpeg normal 1.7secs

I also timed the delay between shots for this camera in the single shot mode.

Quality setting Shot-to-shot delay
5 megapixel Jpeg fine 1.28secs
5 megapixel Jpeg normal 1.18secs

Menu and controls

Fujifilm Finepix V10Auto, manual, natural light, portrait, landscape, sports and night exposure modes are available to choose in the menu. Auto is a straightforward point-and-shoot mode whereas manual allows control of the flash mode and amount of exposure compensation used. The rest are automatic scene modes which adjust the exposure to suit your chosen subject, except for the 'natural light' mode which just disables the flash, allowing you to take advantage of the wider than normal ISO range of this camera.

Zoom lens
The slightly longer than normal 3.4x zoom range of the V10 provides an equivalent of 36-130mm on a 35mm camera. Zooming is quick and precise, although I found the paddle zoom control fiddly to use, especially as it is located right at the bottom of the camera out, out of harms way.

Macro mode
Fujifilm Finepix V10 Fujifilm Finepix V10
The macro mode allows you to take pictures about 10cm from your subject, which isn't that impressive. A crop of the image to the left, shown at
100% to show the level of detail captured.

Image quality
Fujifilm Finepix V10
The auto white-balance is very accurate, correcting all but the most difficult colour casts.
Fujifilm Finepix V10
The V10 renders images with strong colours and contrast. Colour saturation can be boosted further by selecting the 'chrome' film simulation mode.
Fujifilm Finepix V10
Fujifilm Finepix V10
Fujifilm Finepix V10
Above - The V10 focuses very quickly and there is virtually no discernible shutter lag.

Left - This difficult scene has been exposed very well by the V10. It has managed to retain detail in shadows, without clipping the highlights much at all.

Detail
Fujifilm Finepix V10 Fujifilm Finepix V10
This busy scene was taken using a tripod to determine the level of detail this camera can reproduce. A 100% crop of the image shows the level of detail captured by the V10
An impressive amount of detail is captured by the V10's 5 megapixel sensor, with good sharpness right to the edges of the frame.

Noise

The following images illustrate the amount of digital noise apparent at each ISO setting.
The image to the right is the full image. The crops below are taken from where the green square is.
Fujifilm Finepix V10
Fujifilm Finepix V10
ISO64
Fujifilm Finepix V10
ISO100
Fujifilm Finepix V10
ISO200
Fujifilm Finepix V10
ISO400
Fujifilm Finepix V10
ISO800
Fujifilm Finepix V10
ISO1600
I am impressed by the V10's control of digital noise. Images taken up to ISO400 are clean and sharp, with just a little noticeable noise visible at ISO400. At ISO800 and ISO1600 noise becomes much more of a feature, but it is still usable for small prints of about 6x4inches. Another feature of images taken at these high sensitivity settings comes from the liberal use of in-camera noise reduction, which smooths over the speckles. Unfortunately this also reduces detail and creates strange looking blotchy patterns of it's own.

Verdict
The Fuji Finepix V10 is a love-it or hate-it camera. The unusual handling may be enough to put some people off on its own. Having said that the quality of the LCD screen is excellent, as is the quality of the images and it's straight-forward and responsive to use as well.

In summary the positive points of the Fujifilm Finepix V10 are:
Fujifilm Finepix V10Excellent image quality up to ISO400.
Fujifilm Finepix V10Responsive.
Fujifilm Finepix V10Quality of the huge LCD screen.
Fujifilm Finepix V10High ISO settings are usable.
Fujifilm Finepix V10Build quality.

The negative points:
Fujifilm Finepix V10Unusual handling caused by the LCD screen and tiny controls.
Fujifilm Finepix V10Blotchy patterns in high ISO images.

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