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Fujifilm FinePix V10

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Fujifilm FinePix V10 Compact Camera

    TechHive Rating

    A big LCD and high ISO settings are nice, but limited battery life and too few manual controls are drawbacks.

Fujifilm FinePix V10
Photograph: Chris Manners

The most eye-catching feature of the compact Fujifilm FinePix V10 is its big LCD. The 3-inch screen, which almost fills the back of the camera, is handy for framing shots and makes viewing images a pleasure. The $349 V10 starts up quickly (in less than a second), and shutter lag was generally minimal, though I sometimes noticed it in low light.

The shipping model I tested felt sturdy, despite its relatively slim profile. Operating the V10 with one hand isn't practical: The buttons on the back panel run all along the bottom because the LCD leaves little room for controls. These buttons are small and too close together for nimble navigation unless you have extremely slender fingers, which I do not.

To navigate the menus you use a pair of tiny left/right buttons and an up/down toggle. This arrangement is less than ideal; with a better design, some selections might have taken fewer steps. On the plus side, the buttons do double duty, allowing you to quickly change the flash mode, turn on macro mode, or activate the self-timer. A dedicated button on the top of the camera offers ready access to the quality mode, ISO, and color settings menus.

This point-and-shoot model lacks some basic manual controls, such as aperture-priority and shutter-priority modes. You can't bracket its exposures or calibrate its white balance. The V10 keeps things simple, with an assortment of six basic but effective scene modes. In the novel Natural Light and With Flash mode, for example, the camera takes two shots in quick succession--one without and one with flash. The camera's Night mode is designed for shooting in the evening from a tripod, since it prioritizes for a long shutter speed. The V10 offers continuous shooting at about 2 frames per second; you can set the camera to stop at three frames, to shoot up to forty shots, or to continue shooting but save only the three most recent shots.

This camera offers impressive performance in low light because of its high sensitivity. The FinePix V10's ISO range, which tops out at 1600, makes it easier to take photos of dimly lit subjects without using the flash. As with most cameras, however, the photos we took at ISO 1600 had a significant amount of digital noise: Colored specks were particularly noticeable in shadow areas. Though photos snapped at ISO 800 showed substantially less noise, it was still apparent.

In our lab tests, the V10's overall score for image quality was about average. Most impressive was the V10's exposure accuracy, but its images scored lower in sharpness than did most other point-and-shoots we've tested. In particular, images produced by the Fujifilm FinePix E900 were much sharper.

To add to your entertainment, Fujifilm includes four basic video games, but playing them much might prevent you from taking photos later: The V10 took only 198 shots on one charge of its rechargeable 800-mAh battery, far short of the average of 267 shots we've recorded for all point-and-shoot cameras.

Eric Butterfield

This story, "Fujifilm FinePix V10" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    A big LCD and high ISO settings are nice, but limited battery life and too few manual controls are drawbacks.

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