Fujifilm's latest F series camera ups the megapixel ante to 12 and adds a stack of auto image processing tricks to help you take better images, but has it worked? We get snapping to find out.
Following on from the F50fd, the new F60fd has plenty of similarities. It uses the same 3x zoom, the same sensor, a similar body, and nearly identical layout on the camera. There is a new, bigger LCD display, but those who've thought about the 50fd or own one will notice a strong sense of déjà vu. No bad thing considering the F50fd's performance.
The camera is best described as chunky. It's not overly large, nor is it streamlined like the Sony T series, but you'll know you've got it in your pocket. That new screen is a 3-inch LCD offering and its bright (even in sunlight) and clear enough to see what's what.
As with other Fujifilm offerings there are a number of display options from having no detail, to overlaying a grid so you can frame up your shots a little easier.
New to this model over the F50fd is the company's new Face Detection software (version 3.0) and a Scene Recognition feature that does its best to work out what you are shooting and then automatically offers you the best mode for it.
Crazy as it might sound, in our use this all works incredibly well with the scene modes jumping and jostling between each other as you move the camera around "your world". Move in close and macro mode is automatically set, pan around to shoot a landscape and it changes too.
The technology according to Fujifilm actually "automatically identifies subjects, scenes and faces and adjusts exposure, focus, white balance and ISO accordingly to ensure clarity and sharpness, regardless of background" and in our tests we would have to agree.
That Face Detection 3.0 tool, which can detect up to 10 faces in a scene in 0.036 seconds, is also very impressive, locking on to peoples’ faces so at least the important bits (yes their face) are in focus.
Of course those not keen on their camera doing everything for them can opt to turn the feature off and there are a number of other modes, including a natural light option, which works its magic to give you a "natural" image with the use of the flash. Failing all the "magic" help you can opt to have full control over the cameras settings and set everything from aperture to shutter speed via the on-screen menus.
As we already mentioned the camera features a 12-megapixel Super CCD sensor, but also boasts Dual Image Stabilisation (CCD-shift with high ISO), ISO sensitivity of 1600 (6400 at 3MP), and a Fujinon 3x zoom (35-105mm equivalent).
While you get the 105mm zoom capabilities the 35mm option at the lower end isn't that wide and it’s something to bear in mind if you're used to taking photos in the tight confines of your local boozer.
When it comes to image quality, the pictures produced are very good with a strong level of detail regardless of what shooting mode is selected. Noise levels were similar to other 12-megapixel compact cameras we've seen at Pocket-lint and we found turning the megapixel count down did fix any issues we had. Overall though, we are pleased with the performance.
The cons here are that the camera is slightly on the bulky side and running such a large LCD display on the back does affect the battery life, however the pro's of the automatic scene selection mode, the face detection software and a stack of other features means that this camera is a pleasure to use.
If you are looking for your camera to do virtually everything for you bar press the shutter button this is worth checking out.