Fujifilm Finepix F20 Review

Review Date: October 18th 2006
Author: Gavin Stoker

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Page 1
Introduction / Features
Page 2
Ease of Use
Page 3
Image Quality
Page 4
Sample Images
Page 5
Design
Page 6
Specifications
Page 7
Conclusion

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 6M Fine mode, which gives an average image size of around 3Mb.

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Fujifilm Finepix F20 which you can select at any time if the camera is in the normal shooting mode. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

ISO 100 (100% crop)

ISO 200 (100% crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% crop)

ISO 800 (100% crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% crop)

ISO 2000 (100% crop)

   

There is virtually no discernible noise at the slowest settings of ISO 100 and 200, and ISO 400 also looks very clean. Noise is starting to appear at ISO 800, bit it is still fairly well controlled at ISO 1600. As you might expect, quite a lot of detail is lost at the fastest speed of ISO 2000, with the images having a "painted" feel, but they are still perfectly useable for small print sizes.

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. Unfortunately you cannot change the in-camera sharpening levels, so you will always have to do some post-processing if you don't like the default results.

Original 100% Crop

Sharpened 100% Crop

   
   

Chromatic Aberrations

The Fujifilm Finepix F20 suffered fairly badly from chromatic aberrations in areas of high contrast, as shown in the examples below, although it only occurred in over-exposed parts of the image.

Example 1
Example 2

Macro

The Fujifilm Finepix F20 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 5cms away from the camera. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject in Macro mode (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

   

Flash

The flash settings on the Fujifilm Finepix F20 are Auto, Red-eye Reduction, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro. and Red-eye Reduction + Slow Synchro. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (36mm)

Auto Flash - Wide Angle (36mm)

ISO 64
ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (108mm)

Auto Flash - Telephoto (108mm)
ISO 64
ISO 64
   

And here are some self-portraits. As you can see, neither the Flash On setting and the Red-Eye Reduction option caused any red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Flash - Red-Eye Reduction

Flash - Red-Eye Reduction (100% Crop)
   

Night Shot

The Fujifilm Finepix F20 maximum shutter speed is 4 seconds, which is not very good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1/20th second, aperture of f/2.8 at ISO 200. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

100% Crop
   

Overall Image Quality

As I commonly find with Fujifilm cameras, colours are by default a little cool straight out of the camera, and I often find myself preferring the more vivid results obtainable by activating the chrome colour setting in F mode. The colour cast effect of tungsten lighting is also best removed via an application of Levels in Photoshop. Though the Fujifim Finepix F20 displays the common problem of purple fringing evidenced between areas of high contrast, this is no worse than its immediate competitors and only starts to become apparent when viewing the images at 100%. Under bright conditions there is some loss of highlight detail, though again this shouldn't trouble the snapshot market at which the camera is pitched. If the light isn't too challenging an overcast day for example there's plenty of detail in evidence. In terms of ISO performance, low light shots without flash start to visibly soften at ISO1600 when viewed at 100% (the effect nearer to a watercolour than a photo). Obviously at full ISO2000 this is more pronounced. Then again, if you don't intend to churn out poster-sized hard copies its a trade off (against not getting the shot at all) Id be happy to live with. Arguably, if you are taking portraiture, some smoothing of detail is not necessarily a bad thing.

Page 1
Introduction / Features
Page 2
Ease of Use
Page 3
Image Quality
Page 4
Sample Images
Page 5
Design
Page 6
Specifications
Page 7
Conclusion

DIWAPhotographyBLOG 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.

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