Fujifilm F470 Review

 
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Fuji F470 Design

Measuring 3.6 x 2.3 x 0.8-inches, the Fuji F470's body is small enough to fit into most coat or pants pockets (though I don't recommend squeezing it into jeans because it could become damaged), and the perfect size and shape for slipping into a handbag or purse. Though from a distance the Fuji F470 looks like a basic silver rectangle, up close you'll notice some nice curves with stainless steel outlining the chassis. A slight swell on the right side (from the user's perspective) provides a decent hand-grip. Along with its slender design, the Fuji F470 is very light at just five ounces with the battery and memory card installed, making this snapshooter an ideal "take anywhere" camera.

The Fuji F470's metal front panel is nearly flat with the lens retracted, except for the rounded handgrip, which extends about a sixteenth of an inch. Turning the camera on extends the lens about three quarters of an inch from the camera body. A shutter-like lens cover protects the front of the lens when closed, and quickly retracts when the camera is powered on. Near the top of the front panel are the flash, self-timer lamp, and AF assist lamp. Three small holes below right of the Fuji F470's lens barrel mark the location of the camera's microphone.

The right side of the Fuji F470 (as viewed from the rear) has an indented eyelet for the wrist strap and a small rubber flap attached to the camera body, covering the DC In, A/V Out and USB sockets.

The opposite side of the Fuji F470 is smooth and featureless, with just two tiny screws to secure the chassis.

On the Fuji F470's top panel are the Power button and Mode dial, as well as the Shutter button (located in the center of the Mode dial).

The remaining camera controls are on the rear panel, sharing space with the LCD monitor. Note that the Fuji F470 forgoes any form of optical viewfinder, in favor of a larger 2.5" LCD display. The zoom rocker is at the top right of the rear panel, and a small circular indentation in the center of the rocker (as well as the panel below it) provides a fairly secure thumb rest to counter the front handgrip. The Playback and Photo Mode buttons (the latter marked with a stylized 'F' character in Fujifilm's FinePix logo font) are side by side, centered vertically on the camera's right rear. The Playback button doubles as a second power switch, allowing you to turn the camera on directly in Playback mode (without the lens extending) if you hold the Playback button in briefly.

A Four-way arrow pad next to the Fuji F470's lower right corner controls macro and flash modes, the self-timer, and the LCD brightness, and also provides navigation controls for the LCD menu system. In record mode, the left arrow doubles as a Macro button, and the right arrow cycles through Flash settings, while the up arrow boosts the LCD's backlight for better visibility, and the down arrow cycles through the camera's self-timer modes. Located in the center of the Four-way arrow pad, a Menu/OK button calls up the camera's Record or Playback-mode menu system, and acknowledges changes to menu items. Directly to the lower left of the Arrow pad is the Back/Display button, for backing out of menu screens, or cycling through the available LCD display modes.

The Fujifilm F470's bottom panel is flat, with the threaded plastic tripod socket located almost dead-center below the lens. The shared xD-Picture Card and battery compartment is to the right of the tripod mount (as viewed from the rear), with a hinged door that slides out before opening. The door doesn't lock, but latches closed fairly firmly. The distance between the Fuji F470's battery compartment and tripod mount is too short to allow quick battery or card changes while shooting with a tripod, though it's unlikely this is a camera you'll be using a tripod with.

At the left end of the camera's bottom panel, three holes indicate the location of the speaker. I initially found myself wondering why the camera's sound seemed to randomly get louder or quieter, until I realized that the speaker is in exactly the wrong location: When holding the camera with both hands, the only logical position places your thumb directly over the speaker holes, muffling the camera's sounds.

Fuji F470 External Controls


Mode Dial: At the right hand side of the Fuji F470's top panel, this dial controls the camera's exposure modes, offering the following options:

  • Auto: Places the camera in control of all basic exposure settings. The user has control over zoom, ISO sensitivity, macro mode, high-speed shooting, continuous shooting, color mode, and some flash settings.
  • Scene Program (SP): This mode gives the user some degree of control over the camera's setup, without the need to understand what the settings mean. Each scene mode biases the camera for a particular common photographic situation, and different scene modes allow a different subset of the camera's total manual controls to be accessed. The five available scene modes, selected through the menu system, are as follows:

    • Portrait: Locks metering to Multi, white balance to Auto, and AF mode to Center. Exposure compensation is not available, nor is Continuous mode.
    • Landscape: Locks metering to Multi, white balance to Auto, and AF mode to Center. Exposure compensation is not available. The flash is disabled, as is Continuous mode.
    • Sports: Locks metering to Multi, white balance to Auto, and AF mode to Center. Exposure compensation is not available. Only the Auto and Forced flash modes are available. The camera gives priority to faster shutter speeds to freeze the action.
    • Night: Locks ISO sensitivity to Auto, metering to Multi, white balance to Auto, and AF mode to Center. Exposure compensation is not available, and shutter speeds as long as three seconds are favored (so a tripod is recommended). If the long exposure mode setting is enabled in the Setup menu, the aperture is locked at wide open, and shutter speeds range from three to 15 seconds, which must be set manually using the four-way controller. Only the slow sync and red-eye reduction slow-sync flash modes are available, unless the camera is in long exposure mode, in which case only the forced and red-eye reduction flash modes are available.
    • Beach & Snow: Helps prevent darkening of images when shooting at the beach or at a snowy scene when a good portion of the scene is bright snow or sand.
    • Sunset: Makes colors more vivid when shooting a sunset.
    • Museum: Flash and shutter sound are disabled in this mode to provide less disruptive shooting in places such as museums and churches.
    • Party: Helps capture natural ambient lighting in low-light indoor conditions such as at a wedding or a party.
    • Flower Close-Up: For capturing up-close Macro shots of foliage and flowers. Improves detail and makes colors more vivid.
    • Text: Use this mode to shoot documents and white board. Effective for taking clearer shots of letters.
    • Manual: Allows you to set exposure compensation up or down to +2 EV or -2EV by 1/3 step increments, and choose among seven White Balance pre-sets.

  • Movie: Records moving images with monoaural sound, at either 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 pixels, both at 30fps.

Shutter Button: Located in the center of the Fuji F470's Mode dial, this button sets focus and exposure when halfway pressed, and fires the shutter when fully pressed. When in Playback mode, half-pressing this button quickly returns the camera to Record mode.


Power Button
: Located to the left of the Mode dial, this button turns the camera on and off.


Zoom Rocker
: In the top right corner of the Fuji F470's rear panel, this rocker controls the 3x optical and the up-to-4.4x digital zoom. In Playback mode, these buttons let you zoom in on captured images, for closer viewing.


Playback Button: Below the zoom rocker and immediately to the right of the LCD display, this button that toggles the camera between Record and Playback mode. If the camera is powered off, holding this button in briefly will power the camera on in Playback mode, so the lens doesn't extend.


Photo Mode Button: Located to the right of the Playback button, this button displays the Function menu when pressed in Record or Playback modes. The following options are available:

  • Record Mode
    • Quality: Sets the image resolution to 6M F (fine) (2,816 x 2,112 pixels), 6M N (normal) (2,816 x 2,112 pixels), 3:2 (2,816 x 1,880 pixels), 3M (2,048 x 1,536 pixels), 2M (1,600 x 1,200 pixels), or 0.3M (640 x 480 pixels) for still images. In Movie mode, resolution options are 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 pixels.
    • ISO: Adjusts the camera's sensitivity to Auto, 64, 100, 200, or 400 equivalents.
    • Color: Adjusts the color to Black and White, Chrome (high saturation and contrast), or Standard.

  • Playback Mode
    • DPOF: Accesses the camera's DPOF menu, where you can browse images and set the number of copies of each image to be printed.


Four-way Arrow Pad and Menu/OK Button
: Directly below the Fuji F470's Playback and Photo Mode buttons, this large rocker button features four arrows for navigating through menu screens and captured images. The central Menu / OK button activates the menu system in any camera mode, and subsequently confirms menu selections. In playback mode, if a movie is playing the Menu button calls up the Playback volume menu. In Record mode, the left arrow turns Macro mode on or off, while the right arrow controls the flash mode. The up arrow brightens the LCD display's backlight, and the down arrow cycles through the self-timer options. In Playback mode, the right and left arrow keys scroll through captured images. All four arrow keys pan the view of an enlarged image.


Display/Back Button
: Directly below the Fuji F470's Four-way controller near the lower right corner of the LCD monitor, this button controls the LCD display in Record mode. Pressing the button cycles through the available display modes. In Record mode, these are text overlay, image only, or framing guidelines with text. In Playback mode, they are text overlay, image only, nine-image index, or 11-image index by date. When menus are activated, the Display / Back button backs out of menu screens without making any changes.

 

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