Fujifilm FinePix F700
At a Glance
The FinePix F700 is the first point-and-shoot from Fujifilm with a true resolution of 6.2 megapixels, though it takes a different approach than other 6.2-megapixel models. Its CCD image sensor has small pixels interspersed among standard-size pixels. Fujifilm says that the design should improve the camera's ability to capture both highlights and shadow details in high-contrast scenes. Previous models that claimed 6-megapixel resolution used interpolation to boost an image well beyond its true size--usually at the expense of image quality. In our outdoor test shot, the F700 did capture a solid blue sky and the fine lines of a brick building in deep shadow, better than many of the digital cameras we've looked at. Overall, though, that extra resolution did not translate into exceptional photos in our image quality tests (we tested a total of 11 point-and-shoot models). Though it earned a score of Good, it ranked near the bottom for exposure and color. The F700 scored midpack in sharpness, better than all but one of the 3-megapixel models tested, but below all of the 5-megapixel cameras.
The FinePix offers a number of sophisticated features for intermediate to advanced photographers, including manual, aperture-priority, and shutter-priority modes. Exposure values displayed in the LCD panel and the intuitive four-way thumb buttons make using these creative modes fairly easy. Dedicated buttons also make it quick to set the exposure value (EV) override and to choose between spot, averaging, and multipattern exposure modes. Another dedicated button lets you pick the point of focus within your image. Easily deciphered menus give you control of the F700's many other functions, such as white-balance calibration and exposure bracketing.
Composing shots in darkish settings can be a problem with this camera. When shooting in a dimly lit room, for example, we had difficulty framing the image because the LCD was so dark.
Boot-up time is minimal, though. Slide the power switch, and the F700 is ready to shoot in about 3 seconds. Included with the F700 are a charging and image transfer stand, and the basic FinePix Viewer software.
Don't buy this camera for the megapixel count--it isn't going to get you outstanding photos. Nevertheless, it's a fairly compact and fast point-and-shoot with a wealth of exposure controls.