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I have had this camera for over a year now so I am fairly familiar with it even though I am not a digital camera boffin.
I really like the size and the portability of this camera; it is small enough to slip into a small bag to take to all occasions and since I have had this camera, I have taken loads of pics and loaded them on Facebook - so I have a full record of my last year's activities. Also, the camera is fairly robust; I dropped it on the top of Helm Crag, in the rain, in the lakes and it was found by a walker and returned by post, to me in perfect working order.
In good light conditions, this camera can take good photos - but if the light is not the camera takes ages to focus; by the time the shutter snaps, the moment has gone. This has also happened to me when I have been trying to take close up shots on the Macro setting. I was snapping bees at work. Sometimes the camera would respond to my button-pressing and sometimes it just wasn't ready.
The camera has many settings and a 'scene recognition' setting (such as portrait or landscape, movie) where it will decide what you are snapping and adjust the fine tuning. This is easy - but I sometimes think that it does not take a good photograph, despite that. I prefer to use the natural light setting if I can. There is also a setting which will take a photo in natural light and then another a second or so afterwards with the flash . I am rarely satisfied with these snaps. The movie setting is fine for simple little movies - such as some Turkish dancers in a restaurant doing their stuff - but when I took some movies at a gig the sound quality was pants.
Recently, I took my camera to London to snap an event. My partner took a 35mm camera. I thought my pics were good until I compared them with those from the 35mm - which had much more depth. Unfortunately, the 35mm is a bit bulky to lug around.. Swings and roundabouts really
The battery life seems to be reasonable - and it is very easy to recharge the battery. The charger is light and slimline which enabled me to take it on holiday for recharging purposes; I was, therefore, never without my fully functioning camera.
The camera cost around £150 last year but on this page, as I write this, Amazon is offering the camera for much less.
I have mixed feelings about this camera. I have felt quite frustrated about it's ability many times, particularly as I have become more familiar with it over time. I have also taken some great pics. It took me ages to finally get a close-up picture of a bee on a shrub, that time - but when I did it was a good photograph with lots of detail.
Most of you who read my reviews regularly will by now know that as well as being a professional photographer, I am also part of a camera club and as such I get the chance to test many various types of cameras and often give seminars and write reviews on these cameras.
A few days ago I was handed the latest in what is a short line of Fujifilm's F series compacts and I set about finding out just how good this new Fujifilm FinePix F60FD actually is.
Following on from the F50FD this luxury compact camera is jam packed full of features and clever ideas, it has a massive 12MP resolution, a 3X optical zoom and a huge 3 inch screen so it is on par or better than many of its immediate rivals on these fronts but can it carry off great photography or is it all about having the gimmicks and the toys to appear a good camera rather than being one?
This camera is in direct competition with the likes of the Canon IXUS 870 IS, the Panasonic Lumix FX37 and the impressive Nikon Coolpix S610, so it has got to be good and as those cameras all offer wide angle shooting and longer zooms, the Fuji is already on the back foot. At first glance I am really just looking at the F50FD (which had its problems) with a few upgraded features so what is going to make this the camera to buy over these others?
Sadly the answer to the last question is "nothing", this is a good camera in its own right and it will keep many an amateur snapper happy for a long time but it cannot compete with the other luxury compacts mentioned. The main reason for this is the lack of added zoom and the inability to shoot wide angle, these are both very handy features and they are sadly missed from this camera but there are other issues too.
One of the big selling points of the F series cameras from Fuji was the high ISO capabilities and the ability to focus and shoot in really low light but sadly this became a bit stale at the F40FD and never improved with the range in fact the range seems to have lost some of this capability as it has matured.
This particular camera struggles with low light situations and was sometimes trying to focus for around 5 or 6 seconds before finally getting it right and this is of course little or no use for trying to capture an opportune moment shot.
One of the good things about the F60FD is it has kept its good looks that it has inherited from the earlier models, I personally think this is one of the best looking compacts around, it is slim and sleek and looks and feels like a more expensive camera than it actually is. The build quality of this unit cannot be questioned and the durability and longevity that comes with all Fujifilm cameras is very evident but a good looking, long lasting camera is no good on its own.
For a camera as small and slim as this one it does have a great range of features including, aperture and shutter priority and exposure settings allowing you the photographer to take photos how you want to and not how the automatic settings tell you to, you can of course go fully automatic but there is much more fun and benefit to setting things up on your own.
One new feature in this camera is a thing called "Scene Recognition", this comes into action when you shoot in automatic and it automatically selects what it hopes is the appropriate scene mode for the shot in hand, apparently choosing from a short list of macro, landscape, portrait and night portrait.
It selects what it feels to be correct very quickly and to be honest it was correct 9 out of 10 times but it is still much more satisfying to do this yourself and it does not really seem much more beneficial than a simple auto exposure which has been around for years.
A few things are said to have been improved from the F50FD and I would have to agree that they have been. The facial recognition now reads up to 10 faces in one photo as well as being able to read profile views (faces that are side on). This feature in the F50FD seemed to hardly work at all whereas it does a decent job in this unit although not to DSLR standard of course so don't expect miracles.
Also improved are the red-eye correction features but as with all built in flashes you simply will always get red eye when used even if it has been reduced it still needs Photoshop to get rid of it and make the photos more pleasing on the eye. There is a clever little red eye removal tool in the playback menu of this camera so you can get rid of the red eye before printing or uploading the image but Photoshop will of course do a much better job.
I was very surprised to see a camera with such a limited zoom having the image stabilisation function built in as most blur in photos tends to come at long zoom lengths but after using this at full zoom I see why they have added it.
This camera seems to throw up a lot of blur at between 2 and 3X zoom which is a bit off putting and I have to say would probably be enough for me to look elsewhere, if you have a shaky hand then this is definitely not the camera for you. The image stabalisation does help but again it cannot compare to this function when found in DSLR`s so do not expect miracles.
The biggest let down for me in this camera compared to the other three mentioned earlier and even to its own predecessors is the fact that the images produced really lacked any real oomph, I was expecting pure clarity and vivid colours from the outdoor shots at least, these shots were taken in perfect light and with the settings set by probably the best photographer in the world (me), the camera has a 12MP resolution yet the images were a bit pale and had very visible blurring in the corners.
Some of the images taken with the camera on auto actually turned out better which could mean the settings are not 100% accurate when you set them yourself or that I am not as good a photographer as I thought (it must be the settings). I have to say that I found it very frustrating that a camera that offers as much as this one delivered so little. The images taken indoors using the built in flash really could have been taken on any half decent compact and in fact I have taken much better images using a camera half its price.
When I used this under professional conditions, with a pro model and some pro lighting it offered a more pleasant image as you would expect but still not one I was completely happy with and certainly not one that would warrant the price of this when compared to other compacts. So are we once again being fooled into buying a camera because it sports a new fancy feature and a huge MP? The answer for me is yes indeed we are, this camera will sell because it looksPictures of Fujifilm FinePix F60FD
Fujifilm FinePix F60FD zoomedvery good and it has a huge MP which many people still think is what makes a good camera and a good photo. In truth there is so much more needed to make a good photo and this camera fails to produce when asked.
Other things worth mentioning is the fact that this camera can take an SD or an XD card which some find to be an advantage, it has a macro setting but sadly this is like many of the other settings and a bit of a letdown. The video function is no better nor worse than what you would find in any compact camera, it will produce a decent video in perfect light but is rendered virtually useless as soon as the light is not perfect.
It has the benefit of a rechargeable Li-ion battery which goes strongly in its favour and the software that it is supplied with is very good. It is very easy to use if you have knowledge of the settings from previous use of compact digitals as all the symbols are instantly recognizable but if not you will need to have a good read of the manual which itself is very good.
THE MAIN SPECS:
12 Megapixel SuperCCD Sensor
Fujifilm 3x optical zoom (35 -105 mm equivalent)
Scene Recognition Auto (SR AUTO)
Face Detection 3.0 with automatic red-eye removal
3.0 " LCD screen, 230,000 dots
Dual Image Stabilisation (CCD-shift and high ISO)
Full manual control
ISO 100-1600 sensitivity at full resolution, ISO 3200 and 6400 at 6MP and 3MP resolution respectively
Movie mode with sound
Portrait Enhancer mode
Overall I would have to say that this as I have already mentioned would suit an amateur photographer who was not looking for any more than to point the camera at the kids in the park or at friends on a night out and the likes but if you have any desire to gain great pictures rather than just good ones then this will start to fail you very quickly.
Yes when you get it out in public you will be the envy of many and there is a good chance people will comment on how good your photos are but if you are looking for the next level of photography without going down the DSLR route then you can find better compacts for around the same price and much, much better compacts for around £30 more.
This camera will cost you between £130 and £150 but can be outshone by many costing around £175 so save up the extra few pennies and go for a Canon or a Sony and get the little bit extra that this unit just cannot give you. It is such a shame that I cannot recommend this camera because it does look stunningly good and its build quality is second to none but at the end of the day photography is all about the final image and it is just not there with this!
LOOKS - 9/10
BUILD QUALITY - 9/10
EASE OF USE - 7/10
FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES - 6/10
IMAGE QUALITY - 5/10
VALUE FOR MONEY 5/10
OVERALL - 6.5/10
Thanks for reading