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Fujifilm FinePix F50fd Compact Camera

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Fujifilm FinePix F50fd Compact Camera

Portly and plain are not the most compelling adjectives for a point-and-shoot digital camera, but the $300 Fujifilm FinePix F50fd has very high resolution, offers tons of features, and performed quite well in our tests. It may look dull, but the looks are only shell-deep.

The F50fd has a champagne-colored plastic front and a black plastic rear panel; unlike several other cameras we tested, it comes in only that single color scheme. Though it weighs more than most of the units in this roundup, it also has a larger-than-average LCD panel, at 2.7 inches, and a higher resolution (12 megapixels) than most. And--a rarity in a point-and-shoot--the F50fd offers aperture- and shutter-priority modes. It also has a "manual" mode, but that's misleading--you can't set the aperture or the shutter speed in that mode; rather, it works like other cameras' Program modes, for access to exposure compensation and more flash modes. No matter; the priority modes will serve in most situations.

Fujifilm gave the F50fd all the latest gee-whiz digital camera features too, including image stabilization and, according to the company, a newer version of face-detection technology that can detect faces at up to a 90-degree angle, versus only 30 degrees with the company's older models. The F50fd did seem to find and lock on to faces more easily and quickly than other units I tried, doing so whether they were looking at the camera or not. And it starts up quickly, although its LCD panel seemed a bit slow to adjust to changing lighting conditions.

You can choose a power-management mode to saves power, another mode to make the autofocus system as quick as possible, and a third to max out the LCD's clarity (it also, it seemed to me, quickened the autofocus). I like having the option of saving power, but I didn't like having to choose between the other two. In the default, power-saving mode, the F50fd took 276 shots over about 2.5 hours in our tests.

In our image-quality tests, the F50fd earned the highest mark in this group for having the least distortion and received very high marks for sharpness. Its flash is a bit weak, so it didn't get high scores for its flash shots, but overall, it earned a rating of Very Good.

Fujifilm offers flashier, more colorful models, including the FinePix Z-10, which comes in six different fruity colors. But if you're more concerned with what your pictures look like than what your camera looks like, then the F50fd is probably a better bet.

--Alan Stafford

This story, "Fujifilm FinePix F50fd Compact Camera" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • Though it looks dull compared to some of the flasher models we tested, it has all the latest features and takes great shots.

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