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DCRP Review: Fuji FinePix F40fd  

by Jeff Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: May 17, 2007
Last Updated: April 6, 2008

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The FinePix F40fd ($299) is a compact, stylish camera that replaces the FinePix F20, which served as the "little brother" to the highly-rated FinePix F30. The beauty of these cameras isn't really their design, lens, or feature set. Rather, it's their unique SuperCCD HR sensor with its hexagonal photo sites, which delivers much better high ISO performance than cameras that use regular CCDs. What this means in the real world is that you can get better quality photos in low light situations than on your typical compact camera.

Other features on the F40fd include a standard-issue 3X optical zoom lens, a gorgeous 2.5" LCD display, point-and-shoot operation, a dual xD/SD memory card slot, and a VGA movie mode. Oh, and face detection too -- hence the "fd" in the model name.

Is the FinePix F40fd the low light point-and-shooter that we've been waiting for? Find out now in our review!

What's in the Box?

The FinePix F40fd has an average bundle. Inside the box, you'll find:

  • The 8.3 effective Megapixel FinePix F40fd digital camera
  • NP-70 rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Battery charger
  • Wrist strap
  • USB cable
  • A/V cable
  • CD-ROM featuring FinePix CX software
  • 172 page camera manual (printed)

Like so many cameras these days, Fuji built memory into the F40fd instead of bundling a memory card. The F40fd has 25MB of built-in memory a grand total of six photos at the highest quality setting. That means that you'll want to buy a memory card right away. In one of the most consumer friendly moves of the year, Fuji has made their latest cameras compatible with Secure Digital (SD) cards, in addition to the xD cards used in the past. In general, SD cards cost less than xD cards. If you are going to buy an xD card, make sure it's a "Type H" high speed model -- it makes a big difference. Anyhow, I recommend picking up a high speed 1GB card to use with the FinePix F40fd.

The FinePix F40fd uses the same NP-70 lithium-ion battery as its predecessor, the F20. This battery packs 4.1 Wh of energy, not nearly as much as the battery used by the F30 and F31fd. That means that the F40fd's battery life is more average than spectacular. Here are the numbers:

Camera Battery life, LCD on
(CIPA standard)
Canon PowerShot SD1000 210 shots
Casio Exilim EX-Z1050 370 shots
Fuji FinePix F20 300 frames
Fuji FinePix F31fd 580 shots
Fuji FinePix F40fd 300 shots
GE E1030 210 shots
HP Photosmart R967 140 shots
Kodak EasyShare V803 200 shots
Nikon Coolpix S500 180 shots
Olympus Stylus 760 220 shots
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX12 350 shots
Pentax Optio M30 230 shots
Samsung L73 180 shots *
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W90 350 shots

* Not officially calculated using the CIPA standard

Battery life numbers are provided by the camera manufacturers

Even with its much less powerful battery (than the F31fd), the F40fd still turns in above average numbers. Battery life in unchanged since the F20.

Like all compact cameras, the FinePix F40fd's proprietary battery has some downsides. Buying another one is expensive -- they start at about $43. In addition, you can't use an off-the-shelf battery when your rechargeable dies, as you could on a camera that uses AA's. Then again, you won't find a camera this size that uses AA batteries.

When it's time to charge the battery, just pop it into the included charger and wait for about two hours. This is my favorite kind of charger -- it plugs directly into the wall.

As you'd expect on a small camera, there's a built-in lens cover, so there's no lens cap to deal with.

The FinePix F40fd is pretty light in the accessories department. The most interesting item is the WP-FXF40 waterproof case ($150), which lets you take the camera up to 40 meters underwater. The only other thing is the AC-5VX AC adapter (priced from $37), which lets you power the camera without draining your battery.

FinePixViewer 3.4 for Mac

Fuji includes their FinePixViewer software with the F40fd, which you can use to transfer photos from the camera to your computer. The Mac version is very basic, featuring things like slideshows, image rotating, resizing, and e-mailing. And that's about it. Yeah, you should use iPhoto instead.

FInePixViewer 5.3 for Windows

As is often the case, Windows users get a better version of FinePixViewer. This one does everything the Mac version does, adding image editing and redeye reduction tools.

Fuji also includes ImageMixer VCD2 LE with the camera, which lets you create Video CDs (for viewing on your DVD player) and CD albums (for your computer) of your photos. If you shell out $50 for the unlimited version you can also burn to DVD discs.

Fuji includes a nice thick manual with the FinePix F40fd. It won't win any awards for being user friendly, but you will get any question you may have about the camera. The manual for FinePixViewer is installed on your computer along with the software.

Look and Feel

The FinePix F40fd is a compact (but not super tiny) camera that closely resembles its predecessor, the FinePix F20. It's made of a mixture of metal and plastic, and it feels quite solid. It's easy to hold and operate with just one hand, but the mode dial is placed right where your thumb goes, making it easy to accidentally switch modes.

Okay, now let's see how the F40 compares to other cameras in this class in terms of size and weight:

Camera Dimensions (W x H x D, excluding protrusions) Volume (bulk) Mass (empty)
Canon PowerShot SD1000 3.4 x 2.1 x 0.8 in. 5.7 cu in. 125 g
Casio Exilim EX-Z1050 3.6 x 2.3 x 1.0 in. 8.3 cu in. 125 g
Fujifilm FinePix F20 3.7 x 2.2 x 1.1 in. 9 cu in. 150 g
Fujifilm FinePix F31fd 3.6 x 2.2 x 1.1 in. 8.7 cu in. 156 g
Fujifilm FinePix F40fd 3.8 x 2.3 x 0.9 in. 7.9 cu in. 153 g
GE E1030 4.0 x 2.2 x 1.0 in. 8.8 cu in. 145 g
HP Photosmart R967 3.8 x 2.4 x 1.0 in. 9.1 cu in. 170 g
Kodak EasyShare V803 4.1 x 2.1 x 1.0 in. 8.6 cu in. 142 g
Nikon Coolpix S500 3.5 x 2.0 x 0.9 in. 6.3 cu in. 125 g
Olympus Stylus 760 3.9 x 2.1 x 1.0 in. 8.2 cu in. 120 g
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX12 3.7 x 2.0 x 1.0 in. 7.4 cu in. 125 g
Pentax Optio M30 3.8 x 2.2 x 0.8 in. 6.7 cu in. 119 g
Samsung L73 3.9 x 2.3 x 0.8 in. 7.2 cu in. 140 g
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W90 3.6 x 2.3 x 0.9 in. 7.5 cu in. 124 g

It's not the smallest or lightest camera out there, but the F40fd will still fit in your back pocket just fine. It's less bulky than its predecessor, not to mention the F30/F31fd.

Okay, enough about that, let's tour now, shall we?

The FinePix F40fd has a standard-issue 3X zoom lens. This F2.8-5.1 lens has a focal range of 8 - 24 mm, which is equivalent to 36 - 108 mm. Yeah, the telephoto end is on the slow side, and it's gotten a bit worse since the F20. The lens is not threaded, and conversion lenses are not supported.

To the upper-right of the lens you'll find the camera's AF-assist lamp, which also serves as the visual countdown for the self-timer. The AF-assist lamp is used by the camera as a focusing aid in low light situations.

Directly above that is the built-in flash. The flash here is a powerful one (having a high sensitivity sensor doesn't hurt either), and it has a working range of 0.6 - 6.5 m at wide-angle and 0.6 - 3.5 m at telephoto. For those who don't closely follow ultra compact cameras, those are great numbers. You cannot attach an external flash to the camera.

It's hard to see here, but the reflective thing to the left of the Fujifilm logo is an "illumination lamp". This red light comes on after a photo is taken, so your subjects know that it's okay to move. Interesting!

The last thing to see on the front of the camera is the microphone, located to the lower-right of the lens.

The F40fd has a positively gorgeous 2.5" LCD display. Fuji didn't cheap out here: this puppy has 230,000 pixels, and 60 frame/second frame rate. As you'd expect from a screen like this, everything is nice and sharp. Outdoor visibility was good (and even better if you have the screen brightening feature turned on), and in low light it was even better, as the display brightens automatically when light levels drop.

As you can see, there's no optical viewfinder on the FinePix F40fd. In fact, I don't think any of Fuji's compact cameras have one. This may or may not be a deal breaker for you: some people "require" an optical viewfinder, while others could care less.

At the top-right of the photo you'll find the camera's mode dial. As I mentioned, it's pretty easy to accidentally bump it into a different mode, as your thumb sits right on top of it. Anyhow, the modes you'll find here include:

Option Function
Auto mode Point-and-shoot, some menu options locked up
Natural light & flash mode Takes a photo in natural light mode first, followed by another with the flash; see below for description of the NL mode
Manual mode Still point-and-shoot, but with full menu access
Movie mode More on this later
Scene position 1/2 You choose the situation and the camera uses the proper settings. Choose from portrait, landscape, sport, night, fireworks, sunset, snow, beach, underwater, museum, party, flower, and text. The two spots on the mode dial have the same options -- this feature just allows you to have two preset scenes available
Natural light mode Camera boosts the sensitivity in order to get shots in natural light
Picture stabilization mode Very similar to the above, except now you can use the flash

Okay! As you can see, this is a 100% point-and-shoot camera, with absolutely no manual controls. And don't be fooled by the words "picture stabilization" -- there's no optical image stabilization on this camera. Instead, in that mode and the natural light modes, the camera boosts the ISO as high as 2000 in order to get a sharp photo. While the results are impressive for a compact camera, you should only use these modes if you know you'll be making small prints (see example). I'll have more on the camera's high ISO performance later in the review.

Below the mode dial are two buttons: one for entering playback mode, and the other for activating the F-mode (formerly Photo Mode) menu.

F-mode menu

What's in the F-mode menu? Not a whole lot. Here's what you'll find:

  • Power management (Power save, quick AF, clear display) - see below
  • ISO sensitivity (100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, Auto 400, Auto 800, Auto 1600) - see below
  • Quality (see chart later in review)
  • FinePix Color (Standard, chrome, black & white) - the chrome setting boosts the contrast and color saturation

The power management option is rather unique, and somewhat awkwardly placed in this menu. Basically you can choose to conserve power, focus quickly, or have a bright and fluid view on the LCD. In the first two modes you can press "up" on the four-way controller to brighten the screen. The option for quick focusing will limit the focus range, so it's not for close-up shooting.

There are a bunch of Auto ISO modes on the F40fd, and basically you're choosing the highest sensitivity the camera will use. If you're in the "auto" shooting mode then you won't have any of those choices -- just "auto". I'll have more on the F40fd's ISO performance later in this review.

Below those two buttons we find the four-way controller, used for menu navigation as well as:

  • Up - Brighten LCD + Delete photo
  • Down - Self-timer (Off, 2 sec, 10 sec)
  • Left - Macro mode (on/off)
  • Right - Flash (Auto, auto w/redeye reduction, flash on, flash off, slow synchro, slow synchro w/redeye reduction)
  • Center - Menu/OK

The F40fd locked onto three faces here (sorry about the lousy image quality)

Below the four-way controller are two final buttons. The display button toggles what is shown on the LCD, and is also used to back out of menus. The button to the right of that activates Fuji's hardware-based face detection system. This can focus onto up to ten faces in the frame, making sure that they are properly exposed and focused. While not as impressive as Canon's face detection system, the F40fd still found 3-4 faces at all times in our test scene. In the "real world" it performed very well.

Now we're looking at the top of the F40. The only things to find here are the power and shutter release buttons, plus the zoom controller. The zoom controller, which wraps around the shutter release button, moves the lens from wide-angle to telephoto in just 0.9 seconds. I counted ten steps in the F40's 3X zoom range.

On this side of the camera you'll find the camera's I/O ports, as well as an infrared transmitter for the IrSimple feature.

The I/O ports are for A/V out + USB (one port for both) and DC-in (for optional AC adapter). The F40fd supports the USB 2.0 High Speed protocol, for fast data transfer to your Mac or PC.

What's the deal with the IrSimple feature? Basically you can use it to transmit photos wirelessly to another compatible device, some of which are other Fuji cameras. You point the two devices together, keeping them no more than 8 inches apart, select a menu option, and the images are sent over very quickly. This is a pretty limited feature, though, as hardly anyone has an IrSimple-compatible device -- unless everyone has a Fuji camera, of course! In addition, the range is really small (as you saw). Why they didn't use Bluetooth instead is beyond me.

There's nothing to see on the other side of the camera. The lens is at full telephoto here.

On the bottom of the F40 you'll find a plastic tripod mount, the speaker (not seen here), and the battery/memory card compartment. As I mentioned earlier, the camera supports both SD and xD memory cards, and Fuji should be lauded for that (and Olympus should follow suit). The door covering this compartment is surprisingly sturdy for being plastic, though it could really use a lock of some sort.

The included NP-70 battery can be seen at right.

Using the Fuji FinePix F40fd

Record Mode

It takes the FinePix F40fd roughly 1.5 seconds to extend its lens and "warm up" before you can start taking pictures. That's pretty good.

No histograms here (and none really expected)

Focus speeds were good but not spectacular. Typically, the F40fd took between 0.2 - 0.4 seconds to lock focus at wide-angle, and closer to a second at full telephoto. Low light focusing took about a second as well, and the camera did a good job locking onto the subject in those situations.

I did not find shutter lag to be a problem, even at the slower shutter speeds at which it can occur.

Shot-to-shot speeds were a bit below average. You'll wait about two seconds (with or without the flash) before the F40 will let you take another picture.

There's no way to delete a photo immediately after taking it -- you must enter playback mode to do so.

Now let's take a look at the available image quality choices on the F40 -- there aren't too many.

Resolution Quality Approx. file size # images on 25MB onboard memory # images on 1GB xD card (optional)
3296 x 2472
Fine 3.9 MB 6 255
Normal 2.0 MB 12 507
3504 x 2336
Normal 2.0 MB 12 507
2304 x 1728
Normal 980 KB 25 1031
1600 x 1200
Normal 630 KB 40 1588
640 x 480
Normal 130 KB 200 7745

See why I recommended buying a larger memory card?

The F40fd doesn't support the RAW image format, nor would I really expect it to (though it would be nice!).

Files are numbered using a simple convention: DSCF####.JPG, where #### = 0001 - 9999. The file numbering is maintained as you swap or erase memory cards.

The F40 has a pretty basic record menu, which is in addition to that F-mode menu that I covered earlier. Some of these options are only available in the "manual" mode. Here's the full list:

  • Exposure compensation (-2EV to +2EV in 1/3EV increments)
  • Photometry [metering] (Multi, spot, average)
  • White balance (Auto, custom, sunlight, shade, daylight fluorescent, warm white fluorescent, cool white fluorescent, incandescent) - see below
  • Continuous shooting (Off, top 2, final 2, long period) - see below
  • AF mode (Center, multi, continuous) - this last option makes the camera focus constantly, great for tracking a moving subject, not great for your battery
  • Setup - see below

The only manual control on the F40fd is for white balance. Select the custom option, point the camera at a white or gray card/paper, and you'll get accurate colors even under unusual lighting conditions. One annoyance though: the custom WB is not previewed on the LCD as it is on other cameras.

There are three continuous shooting modes to choose from on the camera. The "top 2" mode takes two photos in a row at 1.6 frames/second. The "final 2" mode will keep shooting (up to 40 shots) at 1.4 frames/second and will save the last two photos that were recorded. If you weren't impressed by those, you'll groan when you hear about the "long period" mode. This keeps taking photos until you run out of memory, but since the camera refocuses with each shot, the frame rate is a paltry 0.4 frames/second. About the only good thing I can say about the F40fd's continuous modes is that the LCD keeps up well with the action.

There is also a setup menu, which you can access from either the record or playback menus. Here's what you'll find in that:

  • Shooting options
    • Image display (1.5, 3 secs, zoom/continuous) - post-shot review; that last option enlarges the photo on the LCD
    • Frame numbering (Continuous, renew)
    • AF illuminator (on/off)
    • Illumination (on/off) - whether the illumination lamp lights up at startup and when a photo is taken
    • Digital zoom (on/off) - I highly recommend keeping this off
  • Setup 1
    • Date/time (set)
    • Beep volume (Off, 1-3)
    • Shutter volume (Off, 1-3)
    • Shutter sound (1, 2)
    • Playback volume
    • LCD brightness (-5 to +5 in 1-step increments)
  • Setup 2
    • Format (Memory card, internal memory)
    • Language
    • Auto power off (Off, 2, 5 mins)
    • Time difference (Home, travel) - for when you're on the road
    • Background color (Blue, purple, pink, orange, green, black) - choose the menu background color
    • Video system (NTSC, PAL)
  • Setup 3
    • Reset - back to defaults

Enough menus, let's talk about photo quality now!

The FinePix F40fd turned in a pretty good performance in our macro test. The colors look good, though the cloak is on the orange side (instead of red). The figurine is tack sharp -- no complaints there. While there isn't much noise to talk about, you will see the effects of noise reduction, most notably around the "mouth". More on that subject in a bit.

The F40 lets you get as close to your subject as 7 cm at wide-angle and 30 cm at telephoto -- both fairly average numbers.

Since there's no way to control the shutter speed, you'll need to use a scene mode to take photos like the night shot you see above. In this situation the camera used ISO 200 and a 3 second exposure, so it captured plenty of light. However, this ISO setting increases noise reduction artifacting, making fine details appear very "mushy". Purple fringing levels were fairly low.

While I cannot do a low light ISO test (since there's no shutter priority mode), I do have a studio ISO test for you in a bit.

There's mild barrel distortion at the wide-angle end of the F40's 3X zoom lens. I did not find blurry corners or vignetting (dark corners) to be a problem on this camera.

Here's a surprise -- despite being a compact camera with the flash right next to the lens, the F40fd picked up very little redeye in our flash test photo. Now, your results may vary, but I consider this a promising sign.

This test shows how the F40fd performs at high sensitivities. It's taken in our studio, and is consistent from camera-to-camera, so you can compare the test across different reviews. Does the F40 produce better high ISO shots than other compacts? Let's have a look:

ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

ISO 1600

The FinePix F40 produces virtually noise-free images up to ISO 800, allowing for high quality mid to large-sized prints. What you will find instead of noise is the artifacting caused by noise reduction, which gives images a grainy and sometimes "fuzzy" appearance. It doesn't look great when viewed at 100% on your computer screen (especially as the ISO increases), but for the target audience of this point-and-shoot camera, I think it's fine. Only at ISO 1600 do we really start to see significant detail loss, though I still think you can make small prints at this setting.

For proof that, yes, the F40fd does produce better high ISO shots than the competition, compare these shots with those from the Canon PowerShot SD1000 and the Kodak EasyShare V803.

Overall I was pleased with the results I got from the FinePix F40fd. It took sharp, colorful, and well-exposed photos. As reported above, noise levels are noticeably lower than on other cameras, though the effects of heavy noise reduction are obvious. NR adds noticeable grain to your photos, and it starts to smudge details as the ISO increases. You'll especially notice this in things like trees, grass, and hair/fur. Even so, I made 4 x 6 inch prints of photos taken at ISO 2000 (!), and I would call them "acceptable" -- try that with your typical point-and-shoot! I did not find purple fringing to be much of a problem.

I've got an expanded photo gallery available for the FinePix F40. Take a look at it, print the photos if you can, and then decide if the photo quality meets your expectations!

Movie Mode

The FinePix F40fd has a pretty standard VGA movie mode. You can record video at 640 x 480 (30 frames/second) with sound until your memory card fills up. That takes just 21 seconds with the built-in memory, so you'll want a large, high speed memory card for longer movies. A 1GB card holds just under 15 minutes of video.

[Paragraph updated 6/18/07]

For longer movies you can reduce the resolution to 320 x 240, which doubles your recording time.

As is usually the case, the optical zoom cannot be operating while you're recording. The digital zoom is disabled as well.

Movies are saved in AVI format using the M-JPEG codec.

Here's a sample movie for you:

Click to play movie (11.1 MB, 640 x 480, 30 fps, AVI format)
Can't view it? Download QuickTime

Playback Mode

The F40's playback mode is fairly standard as well. Basic features include slideshows, image protection, 30 second voice captions, DPOF print marking, thumbnail view, and zoom & scroll. This last option lets you enlarge the frame by a factor of (as high as) 5.2 times and then move around in the zoomed-in area.

Photos can be viewed one at a time sequentially, or by date (see above). You can rotate, resize, and crop photos right on the camera. A copy feature lets you move images between the internal memory and a memory card.

You can use the face detection feature here too. Just press the FD button and you can zoom in on the faces that the camera recognized. This is a great way of making sure that everyone's eyes were open!

The F40fd shows you a decent amount of information about your photos, though there's no histogram. The camera isn't going to win any awards for its image playback speeds -- expect to wait just under two seconds between photos.

How Does it Compare?

If you're looking for a compact camera that's a great low light shooter, then you should definitely put the Fuji FinePix F40fd on your list. The F40fd is a stylish camera that takes produces high quality photos, even at high ISO settings. There's a fair amount of noise reduction in the photos (even at lower ISO settings), but for the typical F40 buyer I don't think this will be an issue. Other nice features on the camera include its beautiful 2.5" LCD display, minimal redeye, and a memory card slot that takes both xD and SD formats. This is a point-and-shoot camera that I can definitely recommend.

The FinePix F40fd is a compact (but not miniature) camera made mostly of metal (with a few plastic parts), and it feels quite solid. It's easy to hold and operate with one hand, though the mode dial placement isn't great. The F40 features a rather pedestrian 3X, 36 - 108 mm optical zoom lens that's a bit slow at the telephoto end. Flip the camera over and you'll see its beautiful 2.5" LCD display. Packed with 230,000 pixels, a super-high frame rate, and good indoor/outdoor visibility, this is one of the nicest screens you'll find on a sub-$300 camera. Fans of optical viewfinders may want to look elsewhere, though, as there isn't one here. The F40fd is one of the first Fuji cameras to feature a dual xD/SD memory card slot, and all I can say is it's about time. Another notable feature about the camera is its flash, which is quite powerful. Accessories for the F40fd are limited, with just an underwater case and AC adapter available.

The F40 is basically a 100% point-and-shoot camera. The one manual control on the camera is a useful one, though, and it's for white balance (though it's not previewed on the LCD for some reason). Otherwise it's all auto and scene modes, which is what your typical F40 buyer will be using anyway. The "fd" in the model name means face detection, and the camera can locate up to 10 faces in the frame and make sure they're properly focused. You can use the same feature in playback mode to take a quick, close-up look at the faces in your photos, to make sure everyone's smiling. The F40 has a fairly standard VGA movie mode that keeps recording until your memory card (preferably a high speed one) fills up. The F40 has a rather unique but not terribly useful infrared data transfer feature. You can send photos to another IrSimple-compatible device (and there aren't many), but you basically need the two devices right next to each other.

Camera performance was average. The F40fd starts up fairly quickly, and its focus and shutter lag times were average. Low light focusing was accurate and fairly quick, thanks to the camera's AF-assist lamp. Shot-to-shot speeds were a bit slower than the competition. The F40fd's continuous shooting mode is disappointing. The two "fast" continuous modes only take two photos in a row, while the unlimited one chugs along at a sluggish 0.4 frames/second. Just about all the competition does a better job in this department. The F40fd fares better in terms of battery life -- it's about 10% above average. The camera supports the USB 2.0 High Speed standard, for fast data transfer to your Mac or PC.

Photo quality is really where the FinePix F40fd struts its stuff. The camera takes sharp, well-exposed photos with accurate colors, and very little noise -- even at ISO 800. The lack of noise comes with a price though, as you're getting strong noise reduction in exchange for it. The artifacts caused by NR smudge away detail (especially in things like grass, trees, and fur), giving photos at higher ISOs a fuzzy look. At lower ISOs there's a definite "grain" from the noise reduction that you don't see on most cameras. Still, keeping the target audience of the camera in mind, the photos at higher sensitivities are much better than the competition, and they look great as 4 x 6 inch prints. If you take a lot of photos in less-than-desirable light, this camera is a great choice (as long as you don't plan on printing 20 x 30 posters). The F40 surprised me by picking up very little redeye in our flash test -- most unusual for a compact camera like this.

I pretty much touched on the F40's negative points in the preceding paragraphs. The bottom line is that the FinePix F40fd is a capable point-and-shoot camera, best suited to people who take low light photos and aren't planning on turning them into huge prints. It's not the fastest camera around, there are no manual controls, and the low ISO photos are a little grainy, but for those who aren't always shooting in bright outdoor light, a few tradeoffs are acceptable.

What I liked:

  • Very good photo quality, with less noise than competition at high ISOs (though see issues below)
  • Small, stylish, and well built
  • Gorgeous 2.5" LCD display has high resolution and fluid frame rate; good indoor/outdoor visibility
  • AF-assist lamp, good low light focusing
  • Dual xD/SD memory card slot
  • Powerful flash, very little redeye
  • Face detection feature works fairly well; can also be used in playback mode (where it is more useful, IMHO)
  • VGA movie mode
  • Above average battery life
  • Support for underwater case
  • USB 2.0 High Speed support

What I didn't care for:

  • Fair amount of noise reduction artifacting, even at ISO 100
  • Some operations are slower than average (shot-to-shot times, image playback)
  • Disappointing continuous shooting modes
  • Custom white balance not previewed on LCD
  • More manual controls would be nice
  • No optical viewfinder
  • IrSimple feature not terribly useful (how about Bluetooth instead?)
  • Plastic tripod mount

Some other cameras worth a look include the Canon PowerShot SD1000 Digital ELPH, Casio Exilim EX-Z1050, Fuji FinePix F31fd, GE E1030, HP Photosmart R967, Kodak EasyShare V803, Nikon Coolpix S500, Olympus Stylus 760, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX12, Pentax Optio M30, Samsung L73, and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W90.

As always, I recommend a trip down to your local reseller to try out the FinePix F40fd and its competitors before you buy!

Photo Gallery

See how the photos turned out in our gallery!

Feedback & Discussion

To discuss this review with other DCRP readers, please visit our forums.

If you have a question about this review, please send them to Jeff. Due to my limited resources, please do not e-mail me asking for a personal recommendation.

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