The 6-megapixel Fujifilm FinePix F31fd features Fuji’s Face Detection technology, an ISO range of 100 to 3200, and a 3x optical zoom.
Employing a 6.3MP Super CCD HR sensor, the F31fd features Fuji’s Face Detection technology, a sensitivity range spanning ISO 100 to 3200 and an unremarkable 3x (36-108mm) optical zoom.
Program, aperture and shutter priority and a healthy dose of scene modes cover all shooting eventualities and are backed up by 256-segment multi-area, average and spot metering patterns
The F31fd isn’t an unattractive camera, but the two-tone satin finish (with chrome detailing) doesn’t really stand out from the crowd. However, the rear controls are well positioned, with Fuji’s ‘F’ (Function) button providing direct access to several key settings and a newly added ‘fd’ button activating the Face Detection system.
The F31fd springs to life quickly, with fast and accurate focusing. There’s a slight hesitation on playback, but the crisp 2.5in LCD screen gives a great view of your images or scene, which is handy given that there’s no viewfinder. As for the Face Detection, it’s a similar story to the S6500fd – it works, but is it really that essential?
A very respectable white balance system keeps colours cast free, but you do have to keep a wary eye on the metering, as the multi-area pattern is easily thrown by bright highlight areas. Even relatively small areas in the frame can result in underexposure by as much as one stop, requiring exposure compensation to be used. Noise at ISO 3200 disrupts even 6x4in prints. However, when there’s enough light to let you use ISO 400 or slower, the F31fd turns in a generally fine result – though under close scrutiny there’s a slight loss of detail in images taken at ISO 400. There are no such problems at lower sensitivities.
Value For Money
SO 3200 and Face Detection set the F31fd apart from the crowd, so the price isn’t bad – even given the otherwise ‘average’ spec.
Face Detection marks the only real difference between the F31fd and the existing F30, and it’s debatable how useful this is. The F31fd is pretty good, but doesn’t set the world on fire.