Fujifilm Finepix F30 Review
Review Date: August 7th 2006
At first glance the Fujifilm Finepix F30 is a pretty ordinary compact digital camera; 6 megapixels, 3x optical zoom lens, 2.5 inch LCD screen, all in a conventional metal and plastic body. Take another look at the specifications, though, and you'll find out why the Fujifilm F30 is worth a second look. It offers a fastest ISO speed of 3200 at full resolution, allowing you take more natural photos in low-light conditions without having to resort to flash. Many other digicams struggle to offer a usable ISO 400 setting, so you can see why the F30 is gaining so much attention. The Fujifilm Finepix F30 is the successor to the F11, retaining its manual controls in the form of aperture-priority and shutter-priority modes, and adding a higher resolution LCD screen with an anti-glare coating, more scene modes for the beginner, an intelligent flash mode, increased battery life and of course that higher ISO 3200 setting. So have Fujifilm built on the success of the F11 and created a serious compact camera in the form of the Finepix F30? Read my review to discover the answer...
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The Fujifilm Finepix F30 has a 1/1.7 inch Super CCD HR that delivers 6.3 effective megapixels. There are 2 image quality size settings available (Fine and Normal) and 5 image size settings (2,848 x 2,136 (6.1 million), 3,024 x 2,016 (3:2 format), 2,048 x 1, 536, 1,600 x 1,200 and 640 x 480 pixels), which are recorded as JPEGs. There are no RAW or TIFF formats. The camera's 3x optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 36-108mm lens on a 35mm format camera. There is also a 6.2x digital zoom should you feel the need to use it. The camera has 10Mb of internal memory and is also supplied with a 16Mb xD-Picture Card.
The Fujifilm Finepix F30 offers Auto, Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority and Manual exposure modes plus 15 different scene modes (Natural Light, Natural Light & with Flash, Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night, Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Underwater, Museum, Party, Flower Close-Up, Text). The maximum aperture is f2.8 - f8 (wide) and f5.0 - f8 (tele), and the shutter speed range is 15 secs. – 1/2000 sec. There are 6 ISO speeds ranging from 100 to 3200 and an Auto option. There are 7 different White Balance presets to choose from (Custom, Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White), Fluorescent light (Cool White), Incandescent light), plus an Auto setting. The camera offers exposure compensation in ± 2 in 1/3 EV stops. The Fujifilm Finepix F30 offers 3 different auto-exposure metering options - Multi, Average and Spot.
The Fujifilm Finepix F30 has a normal shooting mode, Self-timer (2 secs. or 10 secs.) and 3 different Continuous modes. Top 3 allows you to take a maximum of 2.2 frames / sec. for up to 3 frames. Final 3 allows you to take a maximum of 2.2 frames / sec. for up to 3 frames. Long period allows you to take a maximum of up to 40 frames at 1.5 sec. intervals at the 6M(N) picture quality level. There are 3 different colour modes on offer - Standard, Chrome and B&W. The Macro setting allows you to focus on subjects that are as close as 5cms at the wide-angle lens setting. The camera offers 3 auto-focusing systems - Centre, Multi and Continuous, and there is an AF assist illuminator. The built-in flash offers 7 different modes (Auto, Intelligent flash mode, Red-eye reduction, Forced flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow synchro, Red-eye reduction + Slow synchro).
To compose your images, you can use the LCD monitor (there is no optical viewfinder). The Fujifilm Finepix F30 has a 2.5 inch colour Anti-glare / Low reflection CV film monitor which has 230,000 pixels. The LCD has an auto brightness-up function, which means that it becomes brighter than normal in low-light conditions, you can set the brightness level manually, plus there is a low light view button which you can use to boost the LCD brightness level. The Fujifilm Finepix F30 can record movies with sound at 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 pixels, both at 30fps. Video is recorded in the AVI Motion JPEG format. The length of the video is only limited by the size of the memory card that you are using. You can also record a 30 second or less sound clip (WAV format). The Fujifilm Finepix F30 supports the DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) and PictBridge printing standards, and it connects to a computer via USB 2.0.
The Fujifilm Finepix F30's dimensions are 92.7 (W) x 27.8 (D) x 56.7 (H) mm, and it weighs 155g without the battery and storage card fitted. The camera is powered by a 1800mAh NP-95 Li-on battery which allows you to take up to 580 shots before needing to be recharged. You can also use the supplied AC power adaptor. There is a plastic tripod mount in the left of the bottom of the camera.
Finally, the standard box kit contains a rechargeable NP-95 Li-on Battery, AC power adaptor, 16Mb xD-Picture Card, Hand strap, USB cable, A/V cable, Manual and a CD-ROM containing: USB driver, FinePix Viewer, ImageMixer VCD2 LE for FinePix. Note that you can only store 3 images at the highest quality setting on the 10Mb internal memory, and 5 images on the supplied 16Mb xD memory card. You will therefore need to invest in some more memory cards to store your images on.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Fujifilm Finepix F30 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.