At first look the F70 is curvaceous and sleek with its glossy metal-finished plastic body. It's not overcrowded with buttons with just the power and shutter release with a nice little zoom ring on the top and the basic navigation and mode selection dial at the back. The 2.7-inch screen is bright and visible outdoors, though I did notice a bit of lag while shooting at lower light conditions. There isn't much in the F70's design that makes it stand out of the crowd, but compared to many other compact digicams in its range, it is one of the better looking ones.
At 99 x 59 x 23 mm the camera is adequately sized for a compact, but the weight tends to be a bit on the higher side at 205g, which tends to make the camera droop a bit from shirt pockets. But the reason for the weight is completely justified with its excellent zoom lens.
Along with a 10 megapixel resolution, the F70 sports 10x optical zoom with the widest angle being at 27mm (usually 32mm in other cameras) and the full zoom goes all the way up to 270mm. High zoom is pretty hard to find in compact cameras, and 10x optical zoom puts it pretty much in the same category as starter-level superzoom cameras.
The scene modes are quite unique in the F70. Besides the regular modes like portrait, landscape, sport, etc. there are also modes like Pro-low light, that give better night performance. We obviously had to give that a test.
The image below was shot in Pro-low light mode, without flash. All it did was shoot up the sensor sensitivity to ISO 1600 and used a sensitivity level of 1/4 seconds. The resulting image is good enough for usage in small sizes, but on full size, it's a bit hard to ignore the noise.
I shot again using the regular Night Mode and the camera used ISO 200 (which is surprising), and an adequately matched shutter speed of 3 seconds. As you can see below the result was definitely better.
But before completely eliminating the Pro-low night mode I think it's better used for times when you need to take a hand-held night shot.
In our photo tests, the sharpness level was pretty average. Sure the details produced seem pretty good at first look but the minute details (like on the grass and pebbles in the image below) look quite washed out.
The colors were the strongest point across all photo tests. The saturation level was near-perfect, which made the images look well lit but not glaringly loud. The regular 'kryptonites' of color reproduction in consumer cameras ie. yellow, red and green, unfortunately affected the details on the F70 as well.
The battery on the F70 lasted for a good 150 shots taken with and without flash; pretty good for a compact camera with a 10x mechanical zoom.
Overall there's a lot going for the Fujifilm F70. The high zoom level, compact size with good styling, and some great scene modes, make it easy to get a good shot. Sure it does have a couple of weak points, but that does little to blemish the otherwise great performance. At a price of Rs. 16,899 (MOP), the F70 does warrant a look if you're in the market for a new mid-range compact digicam.
Published Date: Jan 18, 2010 04:25 pm | Updated Date: Jan 18, 2010 04:25 pm