Summary: The Fuji Finepix F50 is an advanced ultra-compact digital camera which is packed with technology. It combines a 12 megapixels sensor, CCD-shift image stabilization, semi-automatic exposure and high-ISO capabilities going up to ISO 1600 at full-resolution and ISO 6400 at reduced resolutions. Note that this camera is also known as the Fuji Finepix F50fd and the Fuji Finepix F50SE in some areas.
Pros: Image noise well under control up to ISO 800, Below average image noise at high ISO, Accurate image colors, Good automatic white-balance, Very reliable exposure system, Consistent sharpness from corner-to-corner, Fast focusing and zooming, Short shutter-lag, Excellent LCD visibility
Cons: Slight image noise starts at ISO 100, High ISO image noise adds slight color-cast, Slow shot-to-shoot speed, Below average battery life, Exposures longer than 1s lock ISO at 100, Limited full-resolution continuous drive modes, Image review cannot be disabled, General image softness
Summary: The Fujifilm FinePix F50fd should please most snapshooters and its above-average exposure controls should appeal to advanced photographers, too.
Pros: This camera has aperture- and shutter-priority exposure controls, sensor-shift image stabilization, a nice slim design, and face detection that outperforms the versions offered by most of the competition.
Cons: The camera is sluggish between shots, shows minor noise even at its lowest ISO, and doesn't include a full-manual exposure mode.
Conclusion: Like any sequel the F50fd was always going to suffer by comparison to its illustrious predecessor, so is Fujifilm's new flagship compact a Godfather II or a Matrix Reloaded ? The answer, unsurprisingly, is that it's neither one or the other, but something somewhere in between. Although the F31fd (and the F30 before it) was a fairly bland compact camera, it was blessed with an outstanding imaging sensor and set the benchmark in terms of image quality, most specifically...
Pros: Class leading resolution, Improved slimmer design and a few new features, Superb results at low ISO settings, Natural but vivid colors, Although not as good as the F31fd, ISO 400 and 800 still far better than most, ISO 1600 usable for small prints, Low shutter lag and good overall responsiveness, Good build quality and handling, Fast reliable focus, Reliable exposure / metering, Aperture and Shutter Priority Modes, Good flash performance, Large clear screen, Large var...
Cons: Some noise reduction artefacts visible at 100% even at ISO 100, Strong chroma noise at ISO 800+ and shadow noise visible at ISO 400 in low light, Some corner softness, Few external controls, User interface feels outdated and 'fiddly', Noisy focus, macro focus can be very slow (low light focus also slower), Long flash recycling times, Occasional highlight clipping (not worse than the competition though), Burst mode limited to 3 shots, Movie mode nothing special, Auto m...
Conclusion: Fujifilm's 12-megapixel pocket camera offers advanced automatic features, including flexible low-light and action shooting tools and effective face-detection technology that's ahead of the pack.
Pros: Nice ergonomics and control layout. High-quality LCD. Market-leading face-detection technology. Both automatic and priority exposure modes. Useful continuous-shooting modes and low-light settings.
Cons: Unremarkable 3X zoom lens. No built-in exposure enhancement processing to bring out shadow detail.
Excerpt: When the 6-megapixel FujiFilm FinePix F30 was released last year, its high ISO limit of 3200 was groundbreaking. And when we tested it in the Pop Photo Lab, it boasted full resolution capture with astounding noise and resolution results all the way up to ISO 3200. That legacy is both a curse and a blessing, however, when we tested Fuji's follow-up to the F30, the 12-megapixel, 3x zoom (35-105mm f/2.8-5.1) FinePix F50fd (street: $250).
Excerpt: The Fuji FinePix F50fd ($399) is the long-awaited successor
to the popular FinePix F30 and F31fd. I was a huge fan of the F30: it had much
better high ISO performance than your typical compact camera (thanks to its
SuperCCD sensor design), plus snappy performance and top-notch battery life.
Fuji didn't give in to the Megapixel wars, either: the F30 and F31fd had 6
Megapixel sensors, when everyone else was doing 7 or 8.
Pros: Good exposure and color; no redeye, Better-than-average high ISO performance, Sensor-shift image stabilization, Slim, stylish metal body, Nice 2.5" LCD is easy to see outdoors and in low light, Many manual controls, Can use xD or SD/SDHC memory cards, Support for IrSimple infrared protocol, USB 2.0 High Speed supported
Cons: Lots of blurring near the edges of the frame, Heavy noise reduction, visible even at low ISOs, Step down from the F30/F31 in terms of photo quality and battery life, Quality control concerns, Unimpressive continuous shooting modes; sluggish shot-to-shot, playback, and memory card write times, Slowest shutter speed in shutter priority mode is 1 second (hint: use night scene mode to get around this), Movie mode frame rate lower than most cameras in class; image stabiliz...
Conclusion: For less than $250 USD, you can hardly go wrong with this camera thanks to its solid feature package (mechanical image stabilization, 12MP resolution, improved Face Detection). Remember there are limitations, particularly shooting at high ISOs (800 and above), there are definite delays as the cameras saves two 12MP files in certain settings and resolution drops precipitously in burst mode. Still as an everyday carry-around camera, the FinePix F50fd does the job.
Pros: 12MP 3x image stabilized digicam with advanced Face Detection
Summary: Fujifilm offers flashier, more colourful models. But if you're more concerned with what your pictures look like than what your camera looks like, then the Fuji FinePix F50fd is probably a good bet.