Fujifilm FinePix 4800 ZoomFuji updates their SuperCCD pocket camera with improved color and a hot-sync cradle!
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FinePix 4800 Zoom Sample ImagesReview First Posted: 08/16/2001
|We've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumber-generated index page for our test shots. The Thumber data includes a host of information on the images, including shutter speed, ISO setting, compression setting, etc. Rather than clutter the page below with *all* that detail, we're posting the Thumber index so only those interested in the information need wade through it!|
|Outdoor Portrait: (786 k)
The extreme tonal range of this image makes it a tough shot for many digicams, which is precisely why we set it up this way. The object is to hold highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the 4800 Zoom performed very well. The shot at right has a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which appears just a little dark. Adjusting the exposure compensation to +1.3 EV (795 k) produces brighter midtones but overexposes the highlights, losing detail. We shot this with the Auto (778 k) white balance setting, though the Daylight (780 k) white balance setting produced similar results. Color looks good, though the skin tones have a somewhat magenta tint. The telltale blue flowers look pretty good, with only the faintest purple tint at the edges of the petals. Shadow detail looks great, with moderately low noise. Overall, a very nice performance!
(To see a range of exposures for this shot, refer to the Thumbnail Index, and look at Images F48OUTAP0.HTM through F48OUTAP5.HTM. AP0 has no exposure compensation, each higher number adds 0.3EV of adjustment)
|Closer Portrait: (779 k)
The 4800 Zoom also performs well in this closeup shot. The 3x zoom lens helps prevent any distortion of the model's features, and detail is much stronger than in the shot above (especially in the strands of hair and face details). Skin tones are again very magenta, but color is good otherwise. The shadow areas show great detail, with low noise. Our main shot was taken with a +0.6 EV exposure adjustment, which produces fairly bright midtones without overdoing the highlights.
(To see a range of exposures for this shot, refer to the Thumbnail Index, and look at Images F48FACAP0.HTM through F48FACAP4.HTM. AP0 has no exposure compensation, each higher number adds 0.3EV of adjustment)
|Indoor Portrait, Flash: (778 k)
The 4800 Zoom's flash does a pretty good job illuminating the subject, though its intensity is a little weak without any exposure compensation. The background incandescent lighting produces a strong magenta color cast, which fades slightly with the +0.3 and +0.6 EV adjustments. Color looks nearly accurate, considering the magenta cast, with good saturation.
(To see a range of exposures for this shot, refer to the Thumbnail Index, and look at Images F48INFP0.HTM through F48INFP2.HTM. FP0 has no exposure compensation, each higher number adds 0.3EV of adjustment)
Portrait, No Flash: (789 k)
This shot is always a very tough test of a camera's white balance capability, given the strong, yellowish color cast of the household incandescent bulbs used for the lighting, and the 4800 Zoom's white balance system has some trouble. The Incandescent (780 k) white balance setting produced a slightly warm cast, with a yellowish tint, while the Auto (785 k) setting resulted in a much warmer, orange image. We selected a +1.0 EV exposure adjustment for our main shot, as anything brighter created splotchy highlights on the white shirt and overexposed the entire image. Overall color is warm, giving the blue flowers a strong purple tint, and the color saturation is rather low as well.
(To see a range of exposures for this shot, refer to the Thumbnail Index, and look at Images F48INTP0.HTM through F48INTP4.HTM. TP0 has no exposure compensation, each higher number adds 0.3EV of adjustment)
We ran a series of shots at the 4800's various ISO settings, with pretty good results. The color had the same problems as seen above, but we were surprised by how low the image noise was.
|House Shot: (785 k)
We chose the Auto (785 k) white balance setting for our main selection, as the overall color balance looked the most natural, though slightly warm. The Daylight (779 k) setting was just a bit warmer, with a greenish tint. Color looks nearly accurate, with good saturation. A lot of fine detail is visible in the tree limbs and house front, though details are slightly soft (particularly in the corners of the image). We also shot with the interpolated 2,400 x 1,800 -pixel resolution size, at both the Auto (1752 k) and Daylight (1746 k) white balance settings. Thanks to the 4800's SuperCCD sensor, the interpolated images do show some additional detail, even though the images look softer on-screen due to the much higher pixel count. (Print the images and compare side by side, and you'll see a little more detail.)
|Far-Field Test (774 k)
This image is shot at infinity to test far-field lens performance. NOTE that this image cannot be directly compared to the other "house" shot, which is a poster, shot in the studio. The rendering of detail in the poster will be very different than in this shot, and color values (and even the presence or absence of leaves on the trees!) will vary in this subject as the seasons progress. In general though, you can evaluate detail in the bricks, shingles and window detail, and in the tree branches against the sky. Compression artifacts are most likely to show in the trim along the edge of the roof, in the bricks, or in the relatively "flat" areas in the windows.
This is our ultimate "resolution shot," given the infinite range of detail in a natural scene like this. The 4800 Zoom picks up a lot of fine detail throughout the frame, and the image is very sharp at the center. There's some loss of sharpness towards the corners, but overall, the 4800 delivers excellent color and detail on this shot. As we've noticed on many digicams, the fine foliage details have less definition than the rectilinear details of the artificial surfaces (such as the bricks and shingles). The 4800 also copes with the extreme tonal range very well, avoiding blowing out the highlights on the bay window. The shadow area under the porch also shows great detail in the background brick pattern. Color is accurate and well saturated. The table below shows a full resolution and quality series, followed by an ISO series. (Once again, we observed that image noise at ISO 400 is very good.)
|Lens Zoom Range
We've received a number of requests from readers to take shots showing the lens focal length range of those cameras with zoom lenses. Thus, we're happy to present you here with the following series of shots, showing the field of view with the lens at full wide angle, the lens at full 3x telephoto, and the lens at full telephoto with 3.75x digital zoom enabled. The 4800 Zoom's lens covers a range equivalent to a 36-108mm zoom on a 35mm film camera. We shot these at the 1280x960 image size, so the digital tele shot isn't as blurred as it would have been with a full-sized image. That said, we felt that the digital tele on the F4800 worked better than most. (We're no fans of digital tele, but this seems better than many.) Following are the results at each zoom setting.
Poster (791 k)
For this test, we shot with the Auto (792 k) and Daylight (791 k) white balance settings, choosing the Daylight setting as the most accurate. The Auto white balance setting produced a very warm image, with orange skin tones. Overall color and skin tones look best with the Daylight white balance setting, including the Oriental model's blue robe. (This is a tough blue for many digicams to get right, and often has a purplish tint.) Resolution is high, with good detail throughout the frame. Details are also fairly crisp, and noise is pretty low. We also shot with the 4800 Zoom's interpolated 2,400 x 1,800-pixel resolution size, in the Auto (1729 k) and Daylight (1733 k) white balances.
The 4800 Zoom does a very nice job in the macro category, capturing a minimum area of 2.39 x 1.79 inches (60.70 x 45.52 millimeters). Resolution is high, with a lot of distinct detail visible. The brooch and coin details are very soft due to the limited depth of field when shooting this close, but there's also a significant amount of corner softness, which is more the fault of the camera. Color looks nearly accurate, though the gray background is a little magenta. The 4800 Zoom's flash (792 k) also does a very good job of throttling down for the macro area, though the intensity is quite dim, producing a pinkish color cast. Overall, the 4800 would be a good choice for people who frequently need to photograph small objects.
Test Target (755 k)
We shot samples of this target using the Auto (755 k) and Daylight (756 k) white balance settings, which produced very similar, somewhat warm results. (The Daylight setting is just a hair warmer than the Auto.) Exposure looks good, as the target shows good tonal distribution on the Q60 chart, and in the gray scales. Despite the warm cast, overall color is about right, although saturation seems slightly weak in some of the primary colors. The shadow areas show good detail with low noise, and the highlight areas have strong detail as well. We again snapped sample images with the 4800 Zoom's interpolated 2,400 x 1,800-pixel resolution size, at both Auto (1652 k) and Daylight (1652 k) white balance settings.
The 4800 Zoom's full automatic exposure control gives it some trouble in the low-light category. The camera produced usable images down to about one foot-candle (or 11 lux, comparable to a well-lit city street at night) with good color at ISO 400. At ISO 125 and 200, images were only usable as low as two foot-candles (22 lux). At all three ISO settings, the target remained visible as low as one-half foot-candle (5.5 lux), but images were too dim for use. Noise remains moderately low at ISO 125, increasing to a moderately high level at ISO 400. (We refer interested readers to Mike Chaney's Qimage Pro software for a program that does an excellent job of removing noise of this sort without overly disturbing the underlying picture information.) The table below shows the best exposure we were able to obtain for each of a range of illumination levels. Images in this table (like all of our sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.
|Flash Range Test
Fuji rates the 4800 Zoom's flash as effective from 0.6 to 11.5 feet (0.2 to 3.5 meters) at wide angle and from 0.6 to 6.6 feet (0.2 to 2.0 meters) at the telephoto lens setting. In our testing, we found the 4800 Zoom's flash to have a very low intensity, even when close to the target. The flash illuminated our test target all the way out to 14 feet, though intensity decreased dramatically at the limit of that range. The flash was brightest at the eight and nine foot distances, but decreased incrementally all the way to 14 feet. These shots were taken at ISO 125. Fuji rates the 4800's flash range as 13 feet at ISO 200, but that seems optimistic relative to our own results. (In fairness, they likely were rating it at wide angle, where the lens opening is f/2.8. The more distant images here were shot with the lens in its telephoto setting, where its aperture decreases to f/4.5. This naturally decreases the effective range even further. 13 feet is probably correct for ISO 200 and the zoom set to wide angle.) Below is our flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.
|ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test (1701 k)
The 4800 Zoom performed pretty well on our "laboratory" resolution test chart. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 600 lines per picture height, in both horizontal and vertical directions. We found "strong detail" out to at least 1,000 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 1,200 - 1,300 lines.
Optical distortion on the 4800 Zoom is moderate at the wide-angle end, where we measured an approximate 0.21 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared much worse, as we found a 1.1 percent pincushion distortion. (This is unusual, most cameras show fairly severe barrel distortion at the wide angle end, tapering off to only slight pincushion at the telephoto end. The overall distortion of the 4800's lens is somewhat higher than average.) Chromatic aberration is very low, showing only about one or two faint pixels in the far corners. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)
Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
The 4800 Zoom's optical viewfinder is quite tight, showing approximately 80 percent frame accuracy at both wide angle, and telephoto. The LCD monitor fares much better, showing approximately 96 percent of the image area at both wide angle and telephoto settings. Given that we prefer LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the 4800 Zoom's LCD monitor does a great job here. Flash distribution is even at wide angle, with only slight falloff at the corners and edges of the frame. At telephoto, flash distribution is even as well, with only a hint of falloff.
Top 3 photos this month win:
1 Canon PIXMA PRO-100
2 Canon PIXMA MG6320
3 Canon PIXMA MG5420