Fujifilm brings us the FinePix F470, yet another compact 6-megapixel camera with a 3x optical zoom lens, a 64mm (2.5-inch) LCD, and few distinctive features. This middle-of-the-road snapper shares the same basic specs as Fujifilm FinePix stablemates, the F10, the F30 and the A600. If you want better videos than the A600 offers and don't need the higher ISO sensitivity of the F10 or F30, this economical camera may be your best bet from Fujifilm's crowded lineup.
At 20mm thick and weighing around 140g, the Fujifilm FinePix F470 is suitable for one-handed shooting. It sports a fairly standard 35mm-to-105mm-equivalent zoom lens and a fine 115,000-pixel, 64mm LCD screen. The display has a ghost-reducing 60fps refresh rate and a backlight boost that keeps it viewable under direct sunlight. The sunlight-friendly LCD is a welcome feature, especially since the F470 lacks an optical viewfinder.
The back-panel zoom rocker is easy to thumb when your index finger sits over the shutter release. The same finger can hop between auto, scene and movie modes via a switch that encircles the shutter button. The power button is the only other control on the top edge of the camera.
Controls and indicators are clustered on the right of the LCD. Among the buttons on the back is a standard four-way-plus-OK menu control, as well as display, review and function keys. The control pad and the function button offer easy access to flash, timer, ISO, white balance, EV and other features. Beyond these easy-access options, the F470's manual settings are sparse; for example, the manual scene mode merely provides exposure compensation.
The FinePix F470's minimalist feature set includes 256-zone matrix metering that sets exposure between 2 seconds and 1/1,500 second. Beyond a standard automatic mode, the camera has ten scene modes, including Landscape, Museum, Portrait and Sport.
The camera can record VGA movie clips at 30fps until the camera's xD memory card is filled -- about 18 minutes on a 1GB card. The camera has 16MB of onboard memory, hardly enough for more than a few photos or a few seconds of video -- you'll definitely want to invest in an xD card for this camera.
We found the FinePix F470 to be a generally average performer, powering up for its initial shot in 2.2 seconds and subsequently snapping off photos every 2.1 seconds. Zippy flash recycling kept that time down to a flash shot every 2.4 seconds. A basic but serviceable burst mode shot images at about 1.8fps.
Shutter lag was acceptable under high-contrast lighting at 0.6 seconds but slowed to a frustrating 1.6 seconds under low-contrast illumination as the autofocus struggled to lock in. A focus-assist lamp would probably have helped.
Image quality was reasonable, with solid colour reproduction. Unfortunately, severe artefacts crept in. We noticed heavy vignetting (the darkening of the corners of an image) and distinct chromatic aberration (purple fringing between contrasting objects).
The camera favoured shadow detail, leading to frequently washed-out highlights. Noise was acceptable, though it started at low ISO speeds. Even at ISO 64, we noticed speckling in our photos, while noise at ISO 400 was distinct and grainy, although the images were usable.
The Fujifilm FinePix F470 is a decent digital camera, but nothing sets it apart from the countless other compact cameras out there. Its standard feature set and middling image quality make it just another camera on the shelf.
Edited by Lori Grunin
Additional editing by Nick Hide