Pros Low light shooting, bright display,accurate color
Cons Less than cutting edge design.
Summary I have owned many digital cameras. This is the best compact camera on the market today. There are other Fuji camers that are actually even better at low light, but they are bulkier and don't take sd cards. Blows away my sd630 Canon and my Sony in every test shot. Highly accurate color, detail and saturation. Battery life is outstanding, indoor flash and low light pictures are the best I have ever seen from a compact camera. Uses sd cards, though only 2gb at this time. Lacks some manual controls, but can get a lot done with ISO settings and program modes. Fast start up to first shot, but not very fast shot to shot. You will take great pictures with this camera. My D80 is going to get left behind a lot more.
"Best Camera Owned"on by Iceblades
Pros Excellent pictures and video. SD card compatability. Great indoor pictures.
Cons Burst is a little slow, no true image stabilization...but not really needed for a 3x zoom camera.
Summary I have been on the quest to find the do it all camera. I have had 10 digital cameras over the past 7 years; 2 canons, 3 Kodaks, 2 panasonic, and 2 Casio exilim. The only one I still use on occasion is the Mega Zoom Panasonic. All other cameras had shortcomings in one way or another. The most bothersome, is no camera could take decent natural light indoor pictures (without a flash). I knew about Fuji's incredible F-series cameras and the supper CCD sensor, but the Xd format card has always deterred me, as all my memory cards are SD. Finally Fuji releases a camera that is SD compatible.
I wanted a camera that was portable and didn't want to carry around a duffle bag to haul around a SLR camera and accessories. Something portable that can easily fit into my pocket or a small case.
I've had this camera for about 2 weeks and the pictures are very impressive. The colors are true and almost every picture comes out spectacular. I've had several SLR owners in disbelief that this camera could do what it can in terms of picture quality. Most consumers are focused on megapixal rating, ISO ability, and zoom. When it is the CCD size that matters. This camera has one of the largest CCD sensors on the market (1/1.6) the Canon SD800 IS the CNET review recommended "better camera" has a CCD sensor size of 1/2.5 considerably smaller. So this means that at ISO 1600 example the Fuji camera will look much better than the Canon (which definatley looks grainy), this is important of good indoor/low light pcitures.
In practical terms if you take two digital cameras with the same number of mega pixels but different CCD sensor sizes - the camera with the larger CCD sensor size will be provide digital photos that are sharper and have less noise. It will also be able to take digital photos in scenes that are too dark for the other camera. In normal light scenes the higher light sensitivity allows more range for changing the aperture and shutter speed and more freedom with getting different focus depths.
I am also impressed with the video this camera can take. Although not a permanent replacement for my Camcorder, it works well to capture servicable video in a pinch.
The feel of the camera is quality, and the steel body is perfect for most size hands (my casio Exilim was too small and never felt comftorable when taking pictures). The camera feels solid in hand and is fast and responsive when taking pictures (minimal shutter lag).
Overall this camera is the Best digital camera I have ever owned. Sure the burst mode could be faster, the zoom could be greater, and their could be true optical image stabilaztion. But the bottom line if you want one camera to take Great pictures in a wide variety of situations, this is your camera. I am shocked that CNET recommends a Canon with a considerably smaller CCD as a better camera. Don't quite understand the logic there.Updated
After seeing a few reviews from this and multiple sights complaining about grainy images, I decided to add some clarification:
Taking the camera out of the box and firing off several low light snapshots with a supressed flash will result in grainy images. This is because, in auto mode the camera will auto select the best ISO for the situation, typically ISO 2000. This results in well devoloped images suitable for 3x5 prints, but pixel peeping does show a grainy image.
For those looking to have nice indoor shots for larger prints or computer display (not at 100% viewing-this would require a 50" computer monitor). Change the camera mode to "M" (manual), then under the "f" Finepix mode set the Max ISO to Auto 400 or 800. Doing this gives little observable speckling in low light pictures.
I continue to be impressed with this camera's ability.
Another positive is being able to view the LCD in sunlight..under the f button you have an option to make the display brighter and more fluid (more responsive to movement). This option is not available on the F31.
Even DSLR's have noise in High ISO mode. If you just leave it in auto, take picutres, blow them up to 100% (which is ridiculously large) you will get noise.
Side by Side comparisions of this camera have been made with DSLR's and in most all cases the F40 takes equivalent or even better shots.
Pros Nice style. Both xD and SD can be used.
Cons Fussy picture at 8M viewed at 100% on PC
Summary The photos I took outdoor at the default 8M setting (2Mb file size) look fussy when viewed on PC at 100%. Change the seeting to "8M fine" (4 Mb file size) does not improve too much. However, photos took at 4M setting (900Kb file size) look perfect. Then I resized the 8M photos to 4M using Mircosoft photo editor. The down-sized photos still look noticably worse compared with the ones took at 4M. At full screen(1280x1024) though, all photos look very good.
I think f40fd over does noise reduction at 8M setting. It removes too much details that even the photo is resided to 4M, the photo is still not good as it should be.
Pros BEST P&S available today, to capture fast moving kids indoors
Cons For a simple fast low light P&S camera, none
Summary The Fujifilm Finepix F40fd (F45fd) is the fastest low light P&S camera I can buy at this time (Nov 20,2007). Before I review, let me say a THANK YOU, to all who do post their reviews, because I have read them ALL, and a really big THANK YOU to the CNET staff, who give the LOW contrast shutter speed in their reviews. Since October I have been researching to find the fastest (for fast moving small kids) low light (for evening indoor pictures) P&S camera. I also know 99.9% of my prints will be 4x6 or 5x7, never bigger. And I want the red-eye reduction to work! I refuse to do touch-ups.
I have visited all local stores (BestBuy, CircuitCity, Target, Sears, Frys, Wolf, Office Depot & Max, Staples) multi-times to play with all cameras. Yes, I am retired and have the time. Plus I reviewed all CNET P&S reviews from 1/25/07 to 11/15/07. I documented speeds of low contrast shutter and shot 2 shot with flash. From my research, the final candidates, based on low light speeds, were Fuji F40fd, Canon SD 800, 850, 870(*).
* Interesting the Canon SD870 specs say it should be as fast as the 850, but comparing 850 vs 870 under store lights, at 2 different BB stores, the 850s were noticeable faster. I even had the salesperson swap the batteries, between the two, just to be sure.
I purchased the Fuji F45fd and Canon SD850(later returned). I borrowed a CanonSD800 and had my Canon A610. Without question the Fuji was the fastest for evening indoors pictures. The Fuji was also the fastest for flash recharge. The Canons 800 & 850 did miss some small kids indoors action shots. All cameras had the same brand 2Gb 150x SD. After a week I printed all the shots, as 4x6s, from the same store, as different orders with different names, to ensure no pictures were mixed.
The Canon SD800 had too many red-eyes. My old A610 was to slow for evening indoor shots. For outdoor daylight shots, all 4 cameras had the same speed results.
Overall the 4x6s quality was the same between the Fuji F45 & Canon SD850. Comparing two very similar pictures, sometimes one would be a slight plus over the other, when you looked close up, then on another picture the other camera would be a slight better, but no real difference.
The Canons do have a better long range zoom, at MAX zoom. If your need is for enlarge crops, the Canon AUTO pictures are taken at lower ISO, then the Fuji, see comparison below. I also tested the Canon SD850 with different ISOs in low light conditions. It was at the manual ISO 1600, that the Canon was as fast as the Fuji AUTO(ISO800), but the Canon(1600) pictures had higher noise.
Here are the ISO results, taken with AUTO mode. I believe this to be very important to understand the results. The listed numbers will first be Fuji F40(F45) then Canon SD850.
Evening indoors F@800, C@200
Outdoors 10pm Christmas Lights F@800, C@250
Outdoors bright sun, at min zoom F@100, C@80
Outdoors bright sun, at max zoom F@100, C@160
Outdoors cloudy F@200, C@80
NO one camera is perfect for all people or all conditions!!!!!
Fuji F40/F45 is for those who want a fast, low light, small simple P&S camera, whose prints will usually be normal size(4x6,5x7). It is the BEST P&S available today, to capture fast moving kids indoors. I also appreciate the battery indicator.
Canon SD850 is a great P&S choice for more outdoors(vs indoors) or indoor adults (vs kids) pictures, or if you usually print pictures bigger then normal size.
Pros Nice large viewing screen. Quick focus.
Cons Far far too noisy. Purple fringing.
Summary Very sharp lens spoilt by too noisy sensor. Fuji's older 6 meg cameras take much sharper pictures. My old 4 meg camera has far less noise! Really disappointed and I'll be returning the camera.