Fujifilm F470 Review
Fuji F470 Operation
The Fuji F470 is designed for the beginning photographer (or someone who doesn't care much about manual control), and if you lock it in the Auto mode, this camera will do most of the work for you. Navigation is very simple. While I've long been a fan of Fuji's menu system, I think it might be time to refresh the graphics slightly which are starting to look a little dated. Simply increasing the size and design of the icons so they're easier to read might be a good starting point. Buttons were also fairly easy to use if a bit small for my fingers. Also, because the mode dial ring surrounds the shutter button I kept mistaking it for the zoom control, which is actually a rocker switch right on the rear of the camera. Despite those minor quibbles, most people will be able to operate the Fuji F470 straight out of the box.
In Record mode, the Fuji F470's LCD monitor reports the basic exposure settings, as well as other exposure settings such as flash mode, focus mode, etc. The number of images available and resolution also appear. Pressing the Display button enables an alignment grid with the information overlay, or turns the information overlay off. The LCD display cannot be switched off without powering the camera off altogether.
In Playback mode, the Fuji F470's information display includes the image number and date of capture, but this information disappears after a few seconds. The Display button cycles through several other options, where you can turn the information overlay off, enable a nine-image index display for seeing quickly what images are on the memory card, or sort images by date. This last is really a rather unusual feature, and could be quite useful if you have a large flash card and tend to keep images on it for weeks at a time. Up to 11 thumbnails are shown at once, alongside a bar which allows you to see the dates of all images on the flash card; you can then use the Four-way controller to select which day you want to see images from. When in playback mode, the Fuji F470's zoom toggle lets you zoom in on the image to check small details, and the Four-way controller lets you pan around the image when zoomed in.
Fuji F470 Modes and Menus
Record Mode: Indicated by an icon on a red background at the top left of the Fuji F470's LCD display (unless the display is in image only mode), this mode allows the camera to capture images. Exposure modes include Auto, Scene Program and Movie. Pressing the Menu button displays the following options (not all options are available in all modes):
- Scene Position: Selects from the available Scene modes: Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night, Beach & Snow, Sunset, Museum, Party, Flower Close-Up, Text, and Manual
- Exposure Compensation: Allows for +/- 2.0EV of exposure compensation from the metered exposure, in steps of 1/3EV.
- White Balance: Sets the white balance to Auto, Fine, Shade, Fluorescent Light-1, Fluorescent Light-2, Fluorescent Light-3, or Incandescent.
- Continuous Shooting: Shooting continues as long as you hold the shutter button down. This mode shoots up to 1.9 frames per second.
- Set-Up: Allows user to activate Setup Menu (see below).
- Setup Menu: Accessed from the Set-Up option in all Record or Playback menus (but not the Photo Mode or DPOF menus), the Setup menu offers the following options:
- Image Display: Turns the post-capture image review screen off, or sets it to a duration of 1.5 or 3 seconds.
- Shutter Volume: Adjusts the volume of the shutter noise in three steps, or disables it altogether.
- Beep Volume: Adjusts the volume of the camera's operating sounds in three steps, or disables it altogether.
- Playback Volume: Calls up the Playback volume menu, where you can disable playback sound altogether, or set the volume in ten arbitrary steps from 1 to 10.
- Frame Number: Renews frame numbering with each new memory card, or continues numbering from card to card.
- LCD Brightness: Calls up the LCD Brightness menu, where you can set LCD brightness to the default, or adjust it in arbitrary steps from -5 to +5. This adjustment is separate from the Record-mode LCD brightness adjustment option, so the effect of the two is added together.
- Digital Zoom: Enables or disables the camera's 4.4x digital zoom. If enabled, the camera will pause when crossing the boundary at which the optical zoom is at full telephoto and the digital zoom is enabled. You must let go of the zoom rocker briefly and then press it again to continue from the optical to digital zoom, or vice versa.
- Auto Power Off: Turns the power save option off, or sets it to shut down the camera after two or five minutes of inactivity.
- LCD Power Save: When enabled, dims the camera's backlights after ten seconds of inactivity, to save power. (A nice feature.)
- Format: Formats the xD-Picture Card, which erases all files, regardless of whether they've been "protected" via the Playback menu.
- Date/Time: Sets the camera's internal clock and calendar.
- Time Difference: Allows a second date/time setting for another time zone.
- Language: Sets the menu language to English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, or Japanese..
- USB Mode: Sets the USB mode to PictBridge (Direct Printing) or DSC (Storage device).
- Video System: Sets the video output signal timing to match either the NTSC or PAL standard. (NTSC for the US and Japan, PAL for Europe.)
- Reset: Resets all camera settings to their defaults.
Playback Mode: Indicated by an icon on a blue/green background at the top left of the Fuji F470's LCD display (unless the display is in image only or thumbnail mode). Here, you can review captured images and movies, as well as manage files and set up images for printing. Pressing the Menu button displays the following options:
- Erase: Deletes the current frame or all frames.
- Image Rotate: Calls up the Image Rotate menu, where you can rotate the image clockwise (Down arrow) or anti-clockwise (Up arrow) in 90-degree increments. The OK button saves the change, or the Back button cancels.
- Print Order (DPOF): Sets the current DPOF order for printing, with or without dates, or resets the current DPOF order.
- Protect: Write-protects the displayed image, preventing it from being accidentally erased or manipulated (except via card formatting). Also removes protection, and offers options to protect or unprotect all images on the card.
- Playback: Enables an automated slideshow of captured images on the memory card, with options for different image durations and transitions.
- Voice Memo: Allows you to record a 30 second audio clip to accompany the current image. The OK button starts and stops recording; the Back button restarts recording when it is under way, and cancels recording if you have not yet started it.
- Trimming: Allows you to crop a portion from the current image using the same controls as the Playback zoom function, and save it as a new file.
- Copy: Allows you to transfer saved images between the internal memory and an xD-Picture Card.
- Set-Up: Allows you to access the Setup Menu.