Fujifilm FinePix F31fd Digital Camera Review
a digital camera review of the Fujifilm FinePix F31fd.
Testing / Performance
To see how accurately the Fujifilm FinePix F31*fd can reproduce colors, we photograph an industry standard color chart manufactured by GretagMacbeth, the gurus of colors in imaging. The chart is shown below, with modifications made by Imatest Imaging Software. The program shows the original colors of the chart in the inner vertical rectangle, the F31*fd*’s color in the outer portion, and the luminance-corrected ideal in the inner portion of each tile.
The same color results are shown below in a chart that depicts the Fuji F31*fd*’s colors as circles and the ideal colors from the GretagMacbeth chart as squares. The farther the circles are to the edges of the picture, the more saturated those particular colors are.
We tested the camera using the custom white balance setting, and have reported those results. The white balance mechanism seems to work okay; it is almost spot-on. However, almost all of the colors on the spectrum are under-saturated. The image had 94.87 percent saturation and a mean color error of 8.59. The F31*fd* still managed to do a little better than its predecessor with a 6.98 overall color score (compared with the F30’s 6.72 color score). We also tested the FinePix F31*fd*’s colors using the incandescent white balance preset; the colors were more inaccurate, but the saturation jumped to 105 percent. **Still Life Scene**Below is a shot of our mesmerizing still life composite, captured with the Fujifilm FinePix F31*fd.*
**Resolution ***(5.96)*Like its F-series predecessors, the FinePix F31*fd* has 6.3 megapixels on a Super CCD. This image sensor is updated, though, from the one on the original F10. Using the Fujifilm F31*fd*, we took many pictures of an industry standard resolution chart. We loaded the images into Imatest software and analyzed them to find the sharpest one taken. We tried several focal lengths and apertures to eliminate bias from the lens and get the absolute sharpest shot possible, and found that the sharpest picture came from a shot taken with f/5.6 and 24mm. These are the same settings that garnered the sharpest shot from the F30 during its round of resolution testing.
Imatest output resolution results in terms of line widths per picture height (lw/ph). The Fujifilm FinePix F31*fd* resolved 2115 lw/ph horizontally with 8.7 percent over-sharpening, and 1905 lw/ph vertically with just under 1 percent over-sharpening. This digital camera produced sharp images from edge to edge with lots and lots of detail in between much like its F-series predecessors. The F10 received a 5.47 resolution score, and the F30 a 5.36 score. The F31*fd* tops them both with a 5.96 overall resolution score. This score is excellent; it is better than many other digital cameras that advertise more megapixels on their image sensors. With the Fujifilm FinePix F31*fd*, users can print large and not worry about "looking digital" – even with 6.3 megapixels. **Noise – Auto ****ISO*******(4.29)*****The F31*fd* has a second generation Real Photo Processor that Fujifilm promises will keep images clean. We put it to the test by photographing the color chart using the automatic ISO setting in our brightly lit studio. The camera produced about the amount of noise present at ISO 600, which is a high setting considering the conditions. The noise level at 600 wasn’t incredibly high, though, so this FinePix squeaked by with a 4.29 overall auto ISO noise score. This is a big step back from the F30’s 11.44 score, but still better than the F10’s 3.22 score. **Noise – Manual ****ISO***(9.69)
We tested the Fujifilm F31*fd using each of its many manual ISO settings from 100-1600. The results are shown on the chart below with the noise level on the vertical axis and the ISO settings on the horizontal axis.
The F31*fd* has low noise when compared with compact digital cameras from other manufacturers. When compared with its own over-achieving kin, though, the F31*fd* doesn’t fare as well. The F31*fd* has more noise at the ISO 1600 setting than the F30 does at the 3200 setting. Nevertheless, the Fuji F31*fd* received a very respectable 9.69 overall manual ISO noise score. **Low Light (7.0)**To see how well the F31*fd* holds up in low light, we photographed the color chart in less than ideal conditions. The first test was done at 60 lux, which is dim but still comfortable. The second 30 lux test makes reading a little difficult. The final tests were done at 15 and 5 lux, which make reading nearly impossible and seeing anything a task in itself. All of the images turned out decently; in fact, they look incredibly similar to those taken by the F30. Both cameras came out with a 7.0 low light score, which is great – especially for compact models. **Speed/Timing Start-up (8.23)*The Fujifilm FinePix F31*fd started up much faster than its predecessors in 1.75 seconds. That still isn’t blazing fast – it’s nowhere near what DSLRs can do – but it is better than most compact models. *Shot to shot (9.54)*The camera’s advertised burst mode clocks in just about right. The camera snaps a shot every 0.46 seconds – just over 2 frames per second. Unfortunately, that burst doesn’t last long. Users can choose to record the first three pictures in succession or the last three in a burst. * Shutter-to-Shot (8.54)*There was some shutter lag on the F31*fd*, due mainly to the auto focus system. It doesn’t take as long as other cameras, but still isn’t the same as a speedy SLR.