FUJIFILM FINEPIX F450
small, exactly, is Fujifilmās little FinePix F450 digital camera?
A lot smaller than the picture of it on the next page. The real
thing measures just 2.9 x 2.5 x 0.8 inches. Compared to that, the
highly regarded Sony Cybershot T1 that is universally seen as a
triumph of miniaturization seems a bit wide in the beam, and perhaps
a bit on the heavy side as well. True, some of Casioās excellent
little Exilims are thinner yet, but they donāt have the FinePix
450ās powerful optical zoom. In fact, those slender Casios donāt
have one at all. Digital zoom doesnāt count.
got the overall look of this one right. The FinePix F450 is one
of those little cameras that you immediately like. Itās a good looking,
beautifully crafted little metal box that looks and feels right
in every respect. It is cleanly designed down to the last detail.
It feels very solid, heavy even, in your hand though it weighs just
over five ounces. There are only a few controls÷all nicely designed
and clearly labeled÷but you instinctively know that theyāll do the
job. It is that kind of a camera. You canāt help having very high
expectations after you take it out of the box. You want to like
it, and for it to do well.
the most part, the F450 fills those expectations. Itās a 5.2 megapixel
camera, so you have plenty of resolution to work with. It has an
impressive 3.4X optical zoom. Multiply that with a very workable
4.1X digital zoom and you can get a lot closer to the action. 13.8
times closer. As is shown on the picture on the next page, the zoom
lens does stick out quite bit. The Sony T1 has an advantage here
because it uses an ingenious internal zoom mechanism so that the
lens never sticks out. So the F450 isnāt totally perfect. But the
lens does recess flush into the housing when the camera is turned
off. That way it wonāt get caught on anything inside your pocket.
FinePix 450 is simple to use. However, despite its diminutive size
it feels like a serious camera and I fully expected levels of detailed
manual controls in LCD menus. They arenāt there. Fujifilm designed
the F450 as a point & shooter and nothing more. There are a few
things you can do in manual mode, but thatās pretty much limited
to exposure compensation and white balance setting. The FinePix
450 is meant to be pulled out of a shirt pocket or a purse, ready
to snap pictures any time and any place without any fiddling with
you start using the F450 you may go through an initial phase of
slight frustration. Thatās because those cleanly laid out controls
are not always quite as obvious as youād expect. The playback-movie-camera
slider is obvious enough, but what does a button labeled with an
ćFä do? Time to read the manual! The F450 also doesnāt have one
of those standard 5-way navigation discs you find on every camera
these days. Instead, you use very small left and right buttons and
an even smaller small up/down switch. You donāt press on that to
issue an ćenterä command either. For that you use yet another small
button. Power of the F450 is turned on and off with a large chrome
slider on the front. The slider looks more like a design element
and it is not obvious which is ćonä and which is ćoff.ä Obviously
one gets used to such things quickly, but in general we prefer the
ćform follows functionä approach. Itās easier that way.
used to operating a standard size camera require a bit of adapting
when holding one as small as the F450. Initially, I constantly feared
it might slip out of my hands and fall on the floor. Fortunately,
it never happened. However, while some controls are a bit weird,
they are all in the place where youād expect them, and so you get
used to them quickly.
is a proponent of the tiny xD-Picture Card format and thatās what
the F450 uses. The camera comes with a 16MB starter card÷a bit stingy
for a 5.2 megapixel camera. A NP30 rechargeable Li-Ion pack supplies
power and is good for about 150 pictures between recharges. The
battery pack is held in place with a small plastic clip. All cameras
should have one of those. Another thing that few cameras come with:
a handy cradle for playback and audio-video out via a special cable
thatās included in the package.
Sensor res-5.2 megapixels
Image dimensions-2592x1944 down
ISO-80 to 400 or auto
Lens focal length-6.3-21.6 mm (38-130mm
Shutter-1/2000 to 2 seconds
Exposure compensation--2.1 to 1.5
EV in 0.3 EV steps
Storage-xD-Picture Card (16MB incl.)
Focus-TTL contrast, auto with lock
LCD screen-2.0 inch TFT (154k pixels)
Flash modes-6 modes, up to 12 feet
Viewfinder-electronic (240k pixels)
Battery-NP30 lithium-ion rechargeable
Weight-5.2 ounces w/o batteries
Dimensions-2.9 x 2.5 x 0.8 inches
Included-FinePix software, cables,
though the F450 is small, it has a fairly large 2.0-inch LCD display.
This follows Sonyās lead with the T1 which has an even larger 2.5-inch
display. This goes to prove that small cameras do not need to have
tiny displays and I hope everyone learns that lesson real soon.
Unfortunately, while the F450ās LCD is large, it isnāt very legible
outdoors. Not being able to see whatās going on on a digital camera
LCD outdoors is very frustrating.
a camera this small Fujifilm apparently had to make some concessions.
In this case, their impressive SuperCCD technology is missing. The
450 has a standard CCD sensor, which is too bad as the CCD is one
of the weaker links in this camera. Picture quality is good to very
good, but the images are not always as sharp and crisp as I expected.
FinePix F450 is a very nice camera that falls just a bit short of
great. However, it has enough good qualities to make it worth having.
And itās cute enough to fall in love with.