Fujifilm FinePix F30 Digital Camera Review

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Testing / Performance

Color*(6.72)

*The Fujifilm FinePix F30 has a second generation Real Photo image processor that is paired with the newer image sensor. The camera’s predecessor, the F10, didn’t perform very well at this test – but the F30 is fitted with new inner workings. We tested the F30 by photographing the GretagMacbeth color chart, which has 24 tiles of various colors. We uploaded the pictures into Imatest Imaging Software, which compared the camera’s colors to the original colors of the chart. The chart below was modified by the software program to show the ideal colors in the inner vertical rectangle of each tile and the F30’s colors in the outer square portion of each tile. The inner square shows the ideal color corrected for luminance by the software.

 

We tested the FinePix F30 in its custom and incandescent white balance modes. While the incandescent mode produced better saturation results (over-saturated by only two percent), its colors weren’t as accurate and there was more noise in the image. Therefore, we have reported the scores from the custom white balance setting. Below is a chart showing the color error of the F30. The squares represent the ideal colors, while the circles represent those produced by the Fujifilm F30. 

The lengthy lines don’t look so good for this digital camera. Its mean color error came out to a high 9.14 and it only reached 90.03 percent saturation. The dull colors earned a disappointing 6.72 overall color score, which is in the ballpark of the F10’s lackluster 6.68 score. Despite the similar numbers, the two cameras performed very differently. The F10 over-saturated by 4 percent and exaggerated the red end of the spectrum, whereas the F30 errs on the green and yellow portion of the spectrum. Overall, the F30’s new components don’t serve it well in terms of its color reproduction.

**Still Life Scene

**Below are two shots of our classic still life composite, one captured using a custom white balance reading and the other using the camera's incandescent white balance preset. 



F30 - Custom White Balance



F30 - Incandescent White Balance

Click on either of the images above to view the full size files.

Resolution* (5.36)

*The Fujifilm FinePix F30 has the same 6.3-megapixel count on its image sensor that the older F10 has. To see how effective the new model is, we used it to snap several pictures of an industry standard resolution chart. We uploaded the chart into Imatest software, which determined its sharpness in terms of line widths per picture height (lw/ph). This unit of measurement describes how many alternating black and white lines of equal thickness could fit across the frame in the horizontal and vertical directions before blurring together.

We tested the F30 at various focal lengths and apertures, but the sharpest shot came from a picture taken at 24 mm and f/5.6. Imatest concluded that this shot resolved 2005 lw/ph horizontally with 6.45 percent over-sharpening and 1786 lw/ph vertically with 8.93 percent under-sharpening. The pictured resolution chart is sharp from edge to edge with some color fringing visible in the corners of the frame. 

[

Click on the above chart to view the full res image](https://www.reviewed.com/cameras/viewer.php?picture=F30-ResCH-LG.jpg)

Overall, the Fujifilm FinePix F30 performed extremely well and lived up to the F10’s legacy. The FinePix F10 received a 5.47 overall resolution score by reading 2337 lw/ph horizontally and 2019 lw/ph vertically. This is still a bit more than the F30’s resolution results, but the F30’s score is still highly respectable. By way of comparison, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W100 resolved 1856 lw/ph horizontally and 1310 lw/ph vertically – and it advertises 8.1 megapixels on its 1/1.8-inch CCD. The Canon PowerShot SD700 advertises 6 megapixels and resolved 1907 lw/ph horizontally and 1844 lw/ph vertically. The Fujifilm FinePix F10 and F30 both performed extremely well on the resolution test – far better than most compact digital cameras with much less in-camera sharpening imposed. 

Noise – Auto ISO* (11.44)

*Fujifilm claims that the 6th generation Super CCD image sensor on the FinePix F30 produces considerably less noise than the older version in the F10. We tested the camera’s noise levels when the automatic ISO setting was in use. The test target was well lit and the camera metered the scene accordingly and automatically set the F30 to the lowest ISO setting possible. That low setting has extremely low noise levels, so the Fujifilm FinePix F30 earned a great 11.44 overall automatic ISO noise score. This is a huge improvement upon the F10, which performed on par with other compact models and had a 3.22 score.

Noise – Manual ISO* (11.71)

*The Fujifilm FinePix F30 has a huge manual ISO range that tops out at 3200 – higher than any other compact digital camera ISO offering on the market. The manufacturer claimed in its initial press release announcing the camera that its new image sensor produced 25 percent less noise than the already tried and true F10’s sensor. Indeed, the F10 produced very clean images so this was quite a bold statement. We tested this claim and came up with the results below. The individual manual ISO settings appear on the horizontal axis of the chart with the accompanying noise levels on the vertical axis. 

The new F30 performed very well, earning an amazing 11.71 overall manual ISO noise score. This is better than the F10’s 11.42, which is still an incredible score. Both digital cameras’ low noise results are unprecedented in the market as many compact models still have random speckles of noise creeping into even the brightest of images. The F30 improves upon the lower end of the F10’s ISO range, but the F10 and F30 have about the same level of noise at the higher ISO 1600. The F30 adds the higher ISO 3200 and the noise level remains on a steady curve. Overall, the Fujifilm FinePix F30 performed very impressively.

**Low Light ***(7.0)*

The Fujifilm FinePix F30 has all the right components to produce decent images in low light. Its Fujinon lens has a wide f/2.8 aperture that allows plenty of light to hit the image sensor. The camera has the highest manual ISO settings available on any compact camera model at 1600 and 3200. To test its true capabilities, we shot images at decreasing light levels of 60, 30, 15 and 5 lux. 60 lux is common light conditions for after dusk when shooting in a softly lit living room. 30 lux is what comes from a 40-watt bulb. 15 and 5 lux are extremely dark and will hardly ever be used in photographic situations, but show any limitations the image sensor may have in terms of capturing in low light. 

All of the images are a bit under-exposed but none of them are completely black – like what happened when the F10 took pictures in 5 lux. Colors didn’t look good in bright light; they only got worse as the light dimmed. The color error increased greatly, but the noise level remained under control – which is a common problem for most compact models in low light. As we do with all digital cameras, we tested the noise levels during the lengthier exposures in low light. The chart below shows the exposure duration on the horizontal plane and the noise level on the vertical axis.

All of the images in the low light test were taken with the ISO 1600 setting – and as expected, the noise level increased the longer the shutter remained open. Overall, the low light performance of the Fujifilm FinePix F30 is very disappointing. The camera is set up to do well with its wide aperture and high sensitivity settings, but the camera’s shutter-priority mode only allows shutter speeds to be set as long as 3 seconds – which isn’t very long at all. Only in the Night scene mode can users manually select shutter speeds up to 15 seconds, but the white balance cannot be selected so users are stuck with even more inaccurate colors.

**Dynamic Range ***(7.5)*

It's usually best to have some detail or texture in every part of a picture, rather than having areas go pure black or pure white. White clothing ought to show the weave of the fabric, for instance, and there ought to be a little texture in the darkest shadows. That can be a challenge for cameras. A camera's dynamic range is the spread from the brightest to the darkest subject tone it can record in a single exposure.

We test dynamic range by photographing a test target that shows 13.3 EV of brightness, and analyzing the result with Imatest software. Imatest yields ratings for high and low quality range. High quality indicates the range with up to 1/10 of a stop of noise, while low quality indicates the range with up to 1 full stop of noise. The low quality range accounts for visible texture in shadows and the brightest highlights, so it is important, but the high-quality range is the part that shows smooth and appealing tones – a picture's main subject should fit in the high-quality range.

F30_DR-Chart.jpg

The Fujifilm FinePix F30 turned in an excellent performance. We've noted a handful of compact cameras lately with very high scores in the Low Quality measure at ISO 100, but they tend to be unimpressive at High Quality, and their scores look worse at higher ISOs. The F30 turns this phenomenon on its head: its 10.3 EV score at ISO Low Quality is good, but not outstanding, while its High Quality scores match up well with any camera short of a good DSLR. 

*F30 - Dynamic Range - ISO 100

F30 - Dynamic Range - ISO 400*

F30 - Dynamic Range - ISO 3200*

**Speed / Timing **

*Startup to First Shot (7.78) 

*The FujiFilm F30 took 2.25 seconds to start up and take an image in our tests. Users should turn the camera on before a picture presents itself – time waits for no man, and certainly not for the F30.

*Shot to Shot (9.68)

*In its First 3 mode, the F30 takes 3 shots in about 0.9 seconds, for a 3.3 frames per second rate. First 3 takes 3 images if the user presses the shutter for a second. In Last 3 mode, the F30 shoots at 3.3 frames per second as long as the user holds down the shutter, but only saves the last 3 images. In its "Long Period" mode, the F30 took one picture every 3 seconds, but it continued to do so indefinitely – the only limit was the memory card capacity and the battery charge.

*Shutter to Shot (8.28)

*The delay between the moment the user presses the shutter and the moment the camera actually takes the picture ruins more action shots than most other camera limitations. In our testing, the F30 took and average of 0.36 of a second to focus and shoot. Prefocused, it took from 0.18 to 0.09 of a second to shoot. The 0.36-second delay is long enough to spoil pictures of swimmers diving, brides tossing bouquets, and children blowing out birthday candles. It's even annoying for posed pictures.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Testing / Performance
  2. Physical Tour
  3. Components
  4. Design / Layout
  5. Modes
  6. Control Options
  7. Image Parameters
  8. Connectivity / Extras
  9. Overall Impressions
  10. Conclusion
  11. Specs / Ratings

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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