Fuji FinePix 6900 ZoomFuji updates their uniquely-styled "electronic SLR" with a 3.3 megapixel SuperCCD chip and improved color!
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F6900 Sample ImagesReview First Posted: 7/19/2001
|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: (1267 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 6900 performed nicely. The shot at right has a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which produced bright enough midtones, albeit by nearly blowing out the highlights. We shot this with the Auto (613 k) white balance setting, as it resulted in more natural color than the Daylight (609 k) and Manual (608 k) white balances. (Though the Daylight setting was very similar to the Auto.) Color looks good, though the skin tones are a bit too magenta for our taste, although the overall color is quite appealing when seen in print. The blue flowers show only a hint of purple at the petal edges (a tough color for digicams to get right). Good detail in the shadows, with moderate noise. The table below shows an exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV.
|Closer Portrait: (1259 k)
Very similar results to the longer portrait shot above. The 6x zoom lens helps prevent distortion of the model's features, and detail is more evident than in the shot above. Skin tones again show too much magenta, but overall color is good. Shadow detail is great, with moderate noise. Our main shot has no exposure adjustment at all, which still slightly overexposes the highlight areas. The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from zero to +1.0 EV.
|Indoor Portrait, Flash: (1251 k)
The 6900's flash worked well in our test, with its color well-balanced relative to the incandescent room lighting: This good color balance with incandescent lighting makes it very useful for fill illumination in indoor shots as seen here. The default exposure (1253 k) resulted in a slightly dark picture, while a boost of +0.6EV (1251 k) produced the nicely-exposed version we chose for our main selection for this category. We tried similar shots with the slow-sync option, and flash exposure set to default (1238 k) and +0.6EV (1270 k), but the results came out very reddish due to the increased influence of the incandescent light. (Slow-sync on the FinePix 6900 would be much better used in outdoor shots.)
|Indoor Portrait, No Flash: (1261 k)
The strong yellow cast of household incandescent lighting is a very tough test for cameras' white balance systems, yet is a very common shooting condition. The 6900's auto white balance (1241 k) struggled somewhat with the lighting, and its incandescent (1240 k) preset did only a little better. The manual or custom setting (1261 k) produced a very natural result, with only a slight greenish cast to it. Overall, a good performance, but we'd generally like to see cameras' auto white balance settings do a better job with household incandescent lighting. (Note to all the manufacturers, not just Fuji!)
We chose the Manual (1261 k)white balance setting for our main selection, as the overall color balance looked the most natural (the Daylight (1222 k)setting appeared warm and the Auto (1225 k)setting was a little cool). Color is good, with nearly accurate saturation (though the greens are slightly bluish). A large amount of fine detail is visible in the tree limbs and house front, though details are just bit soft throughout the frame (more so in the corners). The camera also overexposed the image slightly, producing stark highlights in the house trim.
|Far-Field Test: (2362 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 6900 picks up a lot of fine detail, though details are again slightly soft throughout the frame, with increased softness in the corners. 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 extreme tonal range of the image throws off the 6900 somewhat, as the camera loses detail in the bright bay window. That said, the shadow area under the porch shows good detail. Color is quite appealing, though there's a bit of a bluish cast overall, and the red brick looks a little light. The table below shows our resolution and quality series, followed by a sharpness series and an ISO series.
Sensitivity (ISO) Series:
|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 6x telephoto, and the lens at full telephoto with 3.7x digital zoom enabled. The 6900's lens covers a range equivalent to a 35-210mm zoom on a 35mm film camera. Following are the results at each zoom setting.
|Musicians Poster: (1243 k)
For this test, we shot with the Auto (1237 k), Daylight (1243 k), and Manual (1251 k)white balance settings, choosing Daylight as the most accurate. The Auto setting had some trouble with the overwhelming blue in the image and produced a very warm color balance, while the Manual setting went to the other extreme and produced a cooler image with pale skin tones. Color is good throughout the frame, with a fairly accurate blue value on the Oriental model's robe (a difficult color for many digicams). Good detail and resolution as well.
|Macro Shot: (1295 k)
The 6900 does a great job in the macro category, capturing a minimum area of just 2.41 x 1.81 inches (61.29 x 45.97 millimeters). Resolution is high, though details are slightly soft. Corner softness is again evident, and overall color is very warm. We were pleased to see that the 6900's long lens barrel doesn't block the flash (1228 k), which throttles down for macro shots quite well.
|"Davebox" Test Target: (1198 k)
We shot samples of this target using the Auto (1218 k), Manual (1198 k), and Daylight (1208 k) white balance settings, choosing the Manual setting for our main selection. (The Auto shot was a bit greenish, while the Daylight shot was too warm.) Exposure is nearly right, though some highlight detail is lost. Shadow detail looks good, though noise is moderately high throughout the black background. Color is excellent, but there's a bit too much red in the bright yellow square. Very attractive color overall though.
The 6900 performs moderately well in our low-light test, as the camera provided usable images down to about one-half foot-candle (a little darker than a well-lit city street at night) at the 200 and 400 ISO settings. At 100 ISO, the camera captured reasonably bright images as far as one foot-candle (average night street lighting). The 6900 managed to capture images as low as 1/16 foot-candle, but the noise level increases and the images are very dim. Noise remains moderate at the 100 ISO setting, becoming more pronounced with the 400 ISO setting. (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
In our testing, we found the 6900's flash to be bright and effective, illuminating our test target all the way out to 14 feet. Intensity stays about the same with each foot of distance, but decreases slightly at the 14 foot point. Below is our flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.
|ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test:(2430 k)
The 6900 performed well on our "laboratory" resolution test chart. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 700 lines per picture height, in both horizontal and vertical directions. Alternatively, we found "strong detail" out to at least 1,300 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 1,600 lines. Strong detail to 1300 lines is quite good for a camera with a 3 megapixel sensor, and we found that the SuperCCD interpolation did indeed produce additional picture information in the 6 megapixel files that wasn't evident in the 3 megapixel uninterpolated ones.
Optical distortion on the 6900 is much higher than average at the wide angle end, where we measured an approximate 1.29 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared a bit better, as we measured a 0.56 percent pincushion distortion. Chromatic aberration is low, showing only about one or two lightly-colored pixels in the far corners (though the extreme corner softness distorts this phenomenon). (Chromatic aberration 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, Telephoto
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
The 6900's optical viewfinder is a little tight, showing approximately 88.93 percent frame accuracy at wide angle, and about 91.86 percent at telephoto, but better than the roughly 85% frame coverage that seems typical. The LCD monitor fares a bit better, showing approximately 95.25 percent of the image area at wide angle setting, and approximately 96.16 percent at telephoto. Given that we generally prefer LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, we think the 6900's LCD monitor could have been made a bit more accurate. Flash distribution is fairly even in the center of the frame at wide angle, though there's a good bit of falloff at the corners and around the edges of the frame. At the telephoto setting, flash distribution is very even.
Top 3 photos this month win:
1 Canon PIXMA PRO-100
2 Canon PIXMA MG6320
3 Canon PIXMA MG5420