|Family / Travel / Special Events|
|Good, 3.1-megapixel SuperCCD, interpolates to 6.0-megapixels|
|To 8×10 inches, possibly larger|
Suggested Retail Price
Over the last several years, Fuji’s design team has developed a strong line of compact, stylish digicams that continue to impress in terms of color performance and image quality. With designs focusing on portability and convenience, Fuji digicams generally feature smooth contours that fit well into typical pockets. At the same time, Fuji continues to offer a nice collection of features, while keeping user interfaces comfortable for the novice. Perhaps their greatest strength lies in the excellent color that’s become a hallmark of Fuji’s camera lineup. (Many professionals shooting portrait and wedding photography have gravitated toward Fuji’s pro SLR cameras for their beautiful rendering of skin tones.)
The latest model in this line is the Fuji FinePix F410, featuring the most recent generation of Fuji’s SuperCCD “HR” technology. A 3.1-megapixel SuperCCD (producing 6.0-megapixel finished file sizes) and a 3x optical zoom lens offer nice image quality, with a handful of exposure options that offer reasonable flexibility without getting too complicated. Read on for all the details!
Slim and ultra-compact, the Fuji FinePix F410 is a stylish digicam that’s ready to travel. Overall design is nearly identical to the preceding FinePix F401, but the F410 is equipped with a larger, 3.1-megapixel SuperCCD (which interpolates for a maximum 6.0-megapixel resolution). Small enough for shirt pockets and evening bags, the F410 easily fits into one hand. Thanks to its retractable lens, the camera’s low-profile front panel lets you quickly slip it into a pocket and go. However, a shoulder strap comes with the camera, so you can slip it around your neck and have it ready at a moment’s notice. The matte-finish, all-silver camera body is sleek and modern, with cobalt blue lights on the front panel. Camera controls are minimal, and logically placed, fitting in smoothly with the camera’s low-profile design.
Equipped with a 5.7-17.1mm lens (equivalent to a 38-114mm lens on a 35mm camera), the F410 offers a true, 3x optical zoom. The camera offers apertures of either f/2.8 or f/7, selected automatically depending on ambient lighting conditions and the current ISO setting you’ve selected. The F410’s autofocus uses a contrast-detection system, with a range of two feet (60 centimeters) to infinity in normal mode. A Macro setting changes the range to 0.3 to 2.6 feet (10 to 80 centimeters). In addition to the 3x optical zoom, the F410 also features as much as 4.4x digital zoom, effectively increasing the camera’s zoom potential to 13.2x. (The amount of digital zoom available depends on the image resolution selected, with the higher digital zoom levels only available when smaller final image sizes are selected.) I always remind readers that digital zoom decreases the overall image quality because it simply enlarges the center pixels of the CCD image, and shouldn’t be relied on for sharp details and high image quality. That said, Fuji’s approach is intelligent in that they avoid interpolation in their digital zoom, accepting limits on the amount of magnification in order to preserve the original pixel quality. The F410 has both a real-image optical viewfinder and a 1.5-inch polysilicon, TFT, color LCD monitor for composing shots. An information display on the LCD monitor includes basic camera information, such as the shooting mode and image quality setting, as well as the current image capacity of the memory card and the flash mode. When you half-press the shutter, the LCD display reports the current aperture and shutter speed settings, giving you an idea of what the exposure will be. (While you can’t directly set the exposure parameters yourself, I personally find it very useful to know what shutter time the camera is using, as an aid to knowing how careful I need to be to avoid camera movement when shooting in dim lighting.) A set of focus/exposure brackets in the center of the display helps line up shots. You can also enable a grid display for lining up tricky compositions. The grid divides the image area into thirds, horizontally and vertically, making it easier to accurately frame your subject and align vertical or horizontal elements.
Exposure is automatically controlled on the F410, although a “Manual” mode offers a few extended exposure options. A Mode switch on the camera’s back panel puts it into Movie, Playback, or Record modes. Through the LCD menu, however, you have a choice between Auto and Manual mode settings in still capture mode, which basically dictates the number of menu options available. Auto mode offers limited user options, including resolution, quality, flash mode, zoom, and the camera’s drive settings (Continuous Shooting, Self-Timer). Manual expands these to include Exposure Compensation and White Balance adjustments. The F410’s shutter speeds range from 1/2,000 to 1/4 second, the lower end of which limits the camera’s low-light shooting capabilities somewhat. (Many competing cameras have maximum exposure times of one or two seconds.) The F410 utilizes a 64-zone metering system, which divides the image area into sections and evaluates brightness and contrast across the entire scene to determine the best overall exposure. You can adjust the overall exposure from -2.1 to +1.5 exposure equivalents (EV) in one-third-step increments, through the LCD menu in Manual mode. ISO sensitivity options range from 200 to 800, adjustable in both Auto and Manual modes. White balance options include Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Daylight Fluorescent, Warm White Fluorescent, Cool White Fluorescent, and Incandescent. A new Color option offers Black and White and Chrome (high saturation and contrast) color photography options, in addition to Standard color. A built-in flash operates in either Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Forced, Suppressed, or Slow Synchro modes. The Flash button cycles through each mode, and an icon appears on the LCD display indicating the selection.
The F410’s Movie mode records as long as 480 seconds of moving images (with sound) per clip, at the 160 x 120-pixel resolution. (It can record as long as 120 seconds at the 320 x 240-pixel setting.) Note that the actual amount of recording time may be limited by available memory card space, if the card is nearly full. A Voice Memo option in Playback mode records short sound clips to accompany previously-captured images. For self-portraits or timed shots, the F410’s Self-Timer counts down for 10 seconds after the Shutter button is fully pressed, before it fires the shutter. Finally, the F410 also features two Continuous Shooting modes: Top 4-Frame and Final 4-Frame. Top 4-Frame mode shoots up to four frames at intervals as fast as 0.3-seconds. All four images appear on the LCD monitor while being recorded. Final 4-Frame mode captures as many as 25 consecutive images at approximately the same frame rate, but records only the last four frames. (This mode is handy for catching just the right moment. Press the Shutter button well before the key moment arrives, then release it just after it’s passed. Chances are one of the last four frames captured will be perfectly timed. – A very useful feature!)
The F410 stores images on xD-Picture Cards, and ships with a 16MB card in the box. I highly recommend picking up a larger card though, given the F410’s 2,816 x 2,120-pixel maximum image size. For power, the camera uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack or an AC adapter, both of which are included with the camera. The AC adapter acts as an in-camera battery charger as well. Since the F410 doesn’t have any AA-type battery capacity (making spares more difficult to come by), I strongly advise purchasing an additional battery pack, and keeping it freshly charged and close at hand on extended excursions. The F410 will automatically shut itself down after a short period of inactivity, which can be adjusted through the Setup menu to either two or five minutes. (You can also disable the power save function, in which case the F410 will remain powered-up until the battery pack runs down.) The F410 connects to a host computer via a USB jack, and comes with the appropriate cable, as well as drivers and Fuji FinePix Viewer software on CD (compatible with both Windows and Macintosh operating systems). The F410 is also DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatible, with a handful of print settings available in Playback mode.
- 3.1-megapixel Super CCD, interpolates to 6.0-megapixels and maximum 2,816 x 2,120-pixel resolution.
- 1.5-inch color LCD monitor.
- Real-image optical viewfinder.
- Glass, 3x 38-114mm lens, with apertures from f/2.8 to f/7.
- Up to 4.4x digital zoom.
- Automatic exposure control.
- Shutter speed range from 1/2,000 to 1/4 second.
- 64-zone Multi metering mode.
- ISO values from 200 to 800.
- Built-in flash with five operating modes.
- Adjustable white balance with seven modes.
- xD-Picture Card image storage.
- Power supplied by rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack or AC adapter, both included.