I’m always on the hunt for the ultimate, point-and-shoot compact camera that I can carry around in my pocket when I don’t want to bring out the big Canon 5D. I’ve owned several Canon PowerShots going all the way back to the S400 and I’ve even had a Panasonic Lumix. All have been fine cameras, but I’ve had my eye on the Fujifilm FinePix series for a while, especially after hearing how well they do in low light. Well I may have just found my perfect compact camera, the new Fujifilm FinePix F50 SE.
The odd thing is that the F50 SE is not listed on the Fujifilm website, but appears to be the same camera as the F50 FD. Both Amazon and B&H list the F50 FD only, showing that it is not yet shipping. I purchased the F50 SE at a Best Buy in San Francisco, so it may be a special edition for retail stores (my guess is that SE = Special Edition). I’ll need to do some more research on that.
The Fujifilm FinePix F50 SE is a 12MP Super CCD camera that is able to go up to 3200 ISO at 6MP and 6400 ISO at 3MP (however always try to stay under 400 ISO), as well as auto ISO which you can limit to 400, 800 and 1600. It has a dual image stabilization system (both mechanical and digital) and a face detection system that even works at an angle (up to 10 faces). It has a full manual mode, aperture priority mode, a natural mode for optimal non-flash shooting and even a natural + flash mode that shoots two photos at once, with and without a flash.
A bonus feature I found is that it comes with 25MB of built in storage. I had accidentally left my SD card at home one day and shot a couple of photos. Annoyed that I had left the card behind, I was surprised to discover later that the camera had in fact save those photos.
One thing that kept me from buying Fujifilm FinePix cameras in the past was that some of the models only used the less common xD card format. The F50’s card slot is compatible with xD, SD and even SDHC. Oh, and the price of the F50 is $299, which is much less than similar cameras made by Canon or Panasonic.
I’ve only taken a few photos with the F50 so far, but here are some examples. I have my Flickr account set up to show EXIF data and you can view larger versions of the photos as well. So far I’m pretty impressed with how well it does in low light compared to the previous point-and-shoot cameras I’ve owned.
Overall, this is a really great pocket sized point-and-shoot camera and my long search might finally be over. I’ll be testing it out over the next few months, so if you want to see more examples, just keep an eye on my Flickr stream. The F50 is too new to show up on Flickr’s Camera Finder, but it should show up there in the near future. When it does, you’ll be able to check out examples from other users as well.
UPDATE 1: Ii looks that the only difference between SE and FD is the camera’s finish.
UPDATE 2: If you have questions about the F50 or are looking for more feedback, try checking out the Fuji Talk forum at dpreview.com