Fujifilm Finepix F20 Review
Review Date: October 18th 2006
Author: Gavin Stoker
At first glance the Fujfilm F20 is virtually identical to its bigger brother, the popular F30, which we reviewed and loved and a couple of months ago. The Fujifilm Finepix F20 is a conventional-looking compact digital camera with a 6 megapixel sensor, 3x optical zoom lens, 2.5 inch LCD screen, all in a stylish metal and plastic body. Take a closer look at the specifications, though, and you can see how Fujifilm have achieved the lower price-point that the F20 has. The Fujifilm F20 "only" offers a fastest ISO speed of 2000 at full resolution (the F30 maxed out at 3200), which still enables you take more natural photos in low-light conditions without having to resort to flash. It also loses the manual controls (aperture-priority and shutter-priority modes) of the F30, making this camera more suited to the beginner who wants a purely point-and-shoot model. Finally, the Fujifilm F20 has a less powerful battery which halves the life to around 300 shots, still respectable, but nowhere near the 580 shots that the F30 offers. So have Fujifilm cut too many corners with the Finepix F20, or does it achieve a good balance between and specification and price? Read our latest review to find out...
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The Fujifilm Finepix F20 has a 1/1.7 inch Super CCD HR that delivers 6.3 effective megapixels. There are 2 image quality size settings available (Fine and Normal) and 5 image size settings (2,848 x 2,136 (6.1 million), 3,024 x 2,016 (3:2 format), 2,048 x 1, 536, 1,600 x 1,200 and 640 x 480 pixels), which are recorded as JPEGs. There are no RAW or TIFF formats. The camera's 3x optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 36-108mm lens on a 35mm format camera. There is also a 6.2x digital zoom should you feel the need to use it. The camera has 10Mb of internal memory and is also supplied with a 16Mb xD-Picture Card.
The Fujifilm Finepix F20 offers Auto and Anti-Blur exposure modes plus 14 different scene modes (Natural Light, Natural Light & with flash, Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night, Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Museum, Party, Flower Close-up, Text). The maximum aperture is f2.8 - f8 (wide) and f5.0 - f8 (tele), and the shutter speed range is 4 secs. – 1/2000 sec. There are 5 ISO speeds ranging from 100 to 1600 and an Auto option. Also ISO 2000 is available in the Anti-blur / Natural Light modes. There are 6 different White Balance presets to choose from (Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White), Fluorescent light (Cool White), Incandescent light), plus Auto and Custom setting. The camera offers exposure compensation in ± 2 in 1/3 EV stops. The Fujifilm Finepix F20 uses a 256-zone TTL metering system and offers 3 different auto-exposure metering options - Multi, Average and Spot.
The Fujifilm Finepix F20 has a normal shooting mode, Self-timer (2 secs. or 10 secs.) and 3 different Continuous modes. Top 3 allows you to take a maximum of 2.2 frames / sec. for up to 3 frames. Final 3 allows you to take a maximum of 2.2 frames / sec. for up to 3 frames. Long period allows you to take a maximum of 0.7 frames / sec. up to the memory card size. There are 3 different colour modes on offer - Standard, Chrome and B&W. The Macro setting allows you to focus on subjects that are as close as 5cms at the wide-angle lens setting. The camera offers 3 auto-focusing systems - Centre, Multi and Continuous, and there is an AF assist illuminator. The built-in flash offers 6 different modes (Auto, Red-eye reduction, Forced flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow synchro, Red-eye reduction + Slow synchro).
To compose your images, you can use the LCD monitor (there is no optical viewfinder). The Fujifilm Finepix F20 has a 2.5 inch colour monitor which has 153,000 pixels. The LCD has an auto brightness-up function, which means that it becomes brighter than normal in low-light conditions, you can set the brightness level manually, plus there is a low light view button which you can use to boost the LCD brightness level. The Fujifilm Finepix F20 can record movies with sound at 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 pixels, both at 30fps. Video is recorded in the AVI Motion JPEG format. The length of the video is only limited by the size of the memory card that you are using. You can also record a 30 second or less sound clip (WAV format). The Fujifilm Finepix F20 supports the DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) and PictBridge printing standards, and it connects to a computer via USB 2.0.
The Fujifilm Finepix F20's dimensions are 93.5 (W) x 26.6 (D) x 56.7 (H) mm, and it weighs 150g without the battery and storage card fitted. The camera is powered by a NP-70 Li-on battery which allows you to take up to 300 shots before needing to be recharged. You can also use the supplied AC power adaptor. There is a plastic tripod mount in the left of the bottom of the camera.
Finally, the standard box kit contains a rechargeable NP-70 Li-on Battery, AC power adaptor, 16Mb xD-Picture Card, Hand strap, USB cable, A/V cable, and a CD-ROM containing: USB driver, FinePix Viewer, ImageMixer VCD2 LE for FinePix and the User Manual. Note that you can only store 3 images at the highest quality setting on the 10Mb internal memory, and 5 images on the supplied 16Mb xD memory card. You will therefore need to invest in some more memory cards to store your images on.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Fujifilm Finepix F20 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.