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The most striking feature of the compact Fujifilm FinePix V10 digicam is its 3-inch LCD. It’s handy for framing shots and makes viewing images a pleasure. The V10 starts up quickly (in less than a second), and shutter lag was generally minimal in my testing, though I did sometimes notice it in low light.
The model I tested felt sturdy, despite its relatively slim profile. A dedicated button on the top of the camera offers ready access to the quality mode, ISO, and color settings menus. But operating the V10 with one hand isn’t practical. Because the large LCD takes up almost the entire back of the camera, the back-panel buttons run all along the bottom of the camera, leaving scant room for controls.
The V10’s features are simple, with an assortment of six basic—but effective—scene modes. In one unique mode, Natural Light and With Flash, the camera takes two shots in quick succession: one without a flash and the other with a flash. This could be helpful for people who are uncertain about whether or not to use a flash in a tricky lighting situation.
The V10’s top ISO setting of 1,600 lets you take photos of dimly lit subjects without using the flash, and the camera offers impressive performance in low-light situations because of its light sensitivity. But the photos we took at ISO 1,600 had a significant amount of digital noise. In our lab tests, the camera’s overall score for image quality was about average. Though its exposure accuracy was good, its images were less sharp than the many other point-and-shoot cameras.
The V10’s battery was also a bit weak. It took only 198 shots on a single charge, far fewer than the 267-shot average for point-and-shoot cameras. Unfortunately, the unit lacks basic manual controls such as aperture-priority and shutter-priority modes.
Scale = Superior, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor
|Zoom/Focal Length (35mm equivalent)||3.4x/38-130mm|
|Battery Type||Rechargeable lithium ion|
|Media Slots||xD-Picture Card (1)|
|Size (wxhxd)||3.3 x 2.5 x 0.9|
Macworld’s buying advice
The Fujifilm FinePix V10, shows good exposure accuracy but subpar sharpness and noise at high ISOs. Its big LCD and high ISO settings are nice, but battery life is limited and image quality is average.
[ Eric Butterfield is an associate editor for PC World.]Fujifilm FinePix V10