Fuji Finepix F450
Itty-bitty digital cameras are a dime a dozen these days--Canon, Casio, Pentax, Sony, and other makers recognize that not everybody wants to lug an SLR everywhere they go. Currently Fujifilm also has a tiny camera, the FinePix F450. We reviewed its predecessor, the FinePix F410, a few years ago and found it a bit light on features. The F450 doesn't offer many advancements over that model, aside from a larger LCD panel--2 inches on the diagonal, up from about 1.5 inches in the F410.
The F450 raises the resolution to 5.2 megapixels--commendable, because it shoehorns that sensor in a well-made, stainless-steel case that's even smaller than the F410's, which was already pretty compact. The F450 shaves nearly half an inch off the F410's width, and it's about 30 percent thinner; it weighs 5.3 ounces, compared with 5.8 ounces for the F410. It feels solid, yet it's so small and light that it's easy to forget about even when it's in a shirt pocket, a nice problem to have. But its buttons are tiny and slippery, making the F450 yet another little camera that requires two hands to operate--at least, if you have large hands.
Don't forget to take the included dock with you on trips, as that's the only way (aside from using an external card reader) to transfer images to a computer. We like the inclusion of the dock, though--it makes transferring to a PC easy, and it charges the camera's battery.
The F450 has a typical level of manual control for a very small pocket camera: almost none. No priority modes, and only four basic scene modes (portrait, landscape, sports, and night scene). It has a mode it calls "manual," but that lets you adjust only white balance, exposure compensation, and ISO. The camera has no low-light focusing assist. It also lacks quick-review and quick-delete buttons--unusual, even for a point-and-shoot. You must switch to playback mode for these tasks.
As with digital cameras of old, the image that the F450 shows in its LCD freezes for a beat or two while the camera tries to focus. Some other modern cameras still pause like this, but it's more pronounced with the F450. And though the F450 will adjust exposure while capturing video, making the light level look okay, it captures only 10 frames per second, so it looks pretty choppy.
Light levels in most of the shots we took in our lab with the F450 looked fine, too, and the camera earned an overall rating of Good. A shot of our mannequin model seemed much too dark, but most other shots appeared properly exposed, with adequate sharpness to make a pretty good 8-by-10 print. Unfortunately, this tiny camera has a tiny battery, which held out for only an hour and a half--near the bottom among the point-and-shoots we've tested. That was good for merely 160 shots.
If really small size is important to you, look at Casio's latest Exilim models, which weigh even less, have bigger LCDs and the same or higher resolution, and cost about the same.
Small size and a big LCD can offset many ills in a digital camera, and the FinePix F450 is pretty darn little and cute. But overall, this model doesn't set the world on fire.
Fujifilm FinePix F450
5.2 megapixels, 2592 by 1944 maximum resolution, 38mm to 130mm focal range (35mm equivalent), shutter speeds from 2 seconds to 1/2000 second, optical and LCD viewfinders, USB and video connections, 16MB XD-Picture Card media, rechargeable lithium ion battery, 5.8 ounces with battery, FinePix Viewer and Image Mixer software. One-year parts and labor warranty, 11-hour weekday toll-free support.
This story, "Fujifilm FinePix F450" was originally published by PCWorld.
Fuji Finepix F450