DPInterface Fujifilm FinePix V10 Review
Brad Soo - May 19th, 2006

The Fujifilm FinePix V10 is the world's first digital camera with built-in games - yes, you heard that correctly, games. It also features 5 megapixels on Fujifilm's SuperCCD, a big 3 inch LCD, ISO sensitivity up to ISO 1600 and a 3.4x optical zoom lens. Fun isn't everything (referring to the built-in games, not using the camera) so let's find out how the Fujifilm FinePix V10 performs in other aspects now.

Size and Weight

How small is the Fujifilm FinePix V10 compared to competitors? Here's how:

(167.3)  90.3 x 56.8 x 20.2 mm (145 g) - Canon PowerShot SD630 Digital ELPH (3 inch LCD)
(173.3)  90.4 x 56.5 x 26.4 mm (165 g) - Canon PowerShot SD700 IS Digital ELPH
(166.0)  88.5 x 57.0 x 20.5 mm (112 g) - Casio Exilim Z600
(196.1)  104.7 x 60.6 x 30.8 mm (170 g) - Fujifilm FinePix F650 (3 inch LCD)
(169.8)  83.0 x 63.5 x 23.3 mm (155 g) - Fujifilm FinePix V10 (3 inch LCD)
(163.6)  90.0 x 55.0 x 18.6 mm (130 g) - Fujifilm FinePix Z2
(177.0)  93.0 x 61.0 x 23.0 mm (130 g) - HP Photosmart R727
(183.6)  96.0 x 62.0 x 25.6 mm (170 g) - HP Photosmart R927 (3 inch LCD)
(171.2)  101.0 x 49.8 x 20.4 mm (125 g) - Kodak EasyShare V570
(189.7)  111.0 x 55.5 x 23.2 mm (160 g) - Kodak EasyShare V610
(181.5)  100.5 x 60.0 x 21.0 mm (140 g) - Nikon Coolpix S6 (3 inch LCD)
(178.5)  97.5 x 56.5 x 24.5 mm (140 g) - Olympus SP700 (3 inch LCD)
(171.1)  94.8 x 55.9 x 20.4 mm (103 g) - Olympus Stylus 710
(170.2)  94.0 x 50.8 x 25.4 mm (132 g) - Panasonic Lumix FX01
(166.0)  88.5 x 54.5 x 23.0 mm (125 g) - Pentax Optio A10
(174.0)  95.0 x 59.0 x 20.0 mm (135 g) - Pentax Optio T10 (3 inch LCD)
(175.3)  96.5 x 61.0 x 17.8 mm (130 g) - Samsung Digimax i6
(174.8)  95.0 x 56.5 x 23.3 mm (139 g) - Sony Cyber-shot T30 (3 inch LCD)

Okay, so the Fujifilm FinePix V10 isn't the lightest or smallest. Still, you can bring it along in your pocket.

Open up the Box

The Fujifilm V10 also includes:

  • 16 MB xD-Picture card
  • Rechargeable NP-40 lithium-ion battery
  • AC adapter
  • Wrist strap
  • USB cable
  • A/V cable
  • CD-ROM
  • User's manual

Storage and Power

The Fujifilm FinePix V10 includes a 16 MB xD-Picture card which can barely hold anything. I also don't see why Fujifilm couldn't have just put built-in memory like on the F470 I just reviewed. So you'd wanna get at least a 256 MB xD-Picture card. Thankfully, xD-Picture cards are getting lower in price and not as expensive as in the old days.

160 shots - Canon PowerShot SD630 Digital ELPH (3 inch LCD)
240 shots - Canon PowerShot SD700 IS Digital ELPH
500 shots - Casio Exilim Z600
150 shots - Fujifilm FinePix F650 (3 inch LCD)
170 shots - Fujifilm FinePix V10 (3 inch LCD)
170 shots - Fujifilm FinePix Z2
N/A - HP Photosmart R727
200 shots - HP Photosmart R927 (3 inch LCD)
150 shots - Kodak EasyShare V570
135 shots - Kodak EasyShare V610
200 shots - Nikon Coolpix S6 (3 inch LCD)
N/A shots - Olympus SP700 (3 inch LCD)
180 shots - Olympus Stylus 710
320 shots - Panasonic Lumix FX01
130 shots - Pentax Optio T10 (3 inch LCD)
150 shots - Pentax Optio A10
N/A - Samsung Digimax i6
420 shots - Sony Cyber-shot T30 (3 inch LCD)

Not looking good... the FinePix V10 has below average battery life - as an ultra-compact and as a camera with a 3 inch LCD. The Fujifilm FinePix V10 takes 170 shots (CIPA Standard) using its NP-40 lithium-ion battery which takes 90 minutes to charge. The only cameras who are doing good so far in this category are the Casio Z600, Panasonic FX01 and Sony T30. So, everybody (including Fujifilm), please brush up your battery life! Anyway, the Fujifilm V10 lasted through my testing using just 2 battery charges.

Extras

The Fujifilm FinePix V10 has no accessories.

 

Camera Tour

The Fujifilm FinePix V10 is squarish, unlike the usual rectangular cameras out there. While I don't think it looks stylish, some people think otherwise. Anyway, it comes in 3 colors: Gray, orange and silver. Shown above is the gray colored version.

The V10's lens has slightly more zoom than most cameras and is equivalent to 38 - 130 mm and f2.8 - f5.5. That's 3.4x zoom. Behind the lens is Fujifilm's 1/2.5 inch SuperCCD with 5 effective megapixels. Below the lens is a microphone.

The flash is located on the upper left of the camera and has a range of 30 cm to 4.4 m at wide-angle and 60 cm up to 2.6 m at telephoto. There's a slight bump on the top left. There, it's not a remote control receiver but a self-timer light. Nope, there's no AF-assist beam here!

Here's the reason the V10 is compact but square - the FinePix V10's big 3 inch LCD takes up almost the entire back, leaving a tiny bit of room for the cluttered buttons at the bottom and no space for your thumb to rest. It has 230,000 pixels though and is visible both outdoors and indoors. Thankfully, this LCD covers 100% of the frame, unlike the last 2 Fujifilm cameras I reviewed.

So on the cluttered buttons: There's a tiny status LCD plus playback and brighten LCD/delete photo buttons on the left. Next up is a 4-way controller which has cut into my thumb several times!

  • Down - Self-timer (Off, 10 and 2 seconds)
  • Left - Macro (On, off)
  • Right - Flash (Auto, red-eye reduction, on, off, slow sync, slow sync with red-eye reduction)

Before I go on, I'd like to tell you that my experience with that controller was horrible - It was clumsy and can occasionally cut your finder, especially the up-and-down button with a sharp bump! Though it may be okay if you have thick-skinned fingers. The MENU/OK button brings up the menu to change settings and doubles as a confirm button. The DISP/BACK button toggles the info displayed on the LCD and also returns to the main menu from any submenu.

Up here is a power button and shutter button. The zoom lever is wrapped around the There's a mode switch wrapped around the shutter button. And also the photo mode button (marked by the letter "F"):

  • Image resolution (From 5 MP to VGA)
  • ISO sensitivity (Auto, 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600)
  • Color modes (Normal, chrome, monochrome)

The Fujifilm FinePix V10 features a speaker, tripod mount and battery/xD-Picture card slots over here. On the sides of the camera, there's many ports: DC-IN, USB 2.0 High-Speed and A/V Out plus a wrist strap mount.

Shooting

The Fujifilm FinePix V10 has quite a few shooting modes - Program, portrait, landscape, sport, night, natural light and natural light + flash - and a few options to change:

  • ISO (64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600)
  • White balance (6 presets: fine, shade, daylight, fluorescent warm, fluorescent cool, incandescent)
  • Self-timer (10 seconds, 2 seconds)
  • Color mode (Standard, vivid, monochrome)
  • Autofocus mode (Center, multi)

There are 6 image sizes to choose from: 5 MP Fine, 5 MP Normal, 5 MP 3:2 format, 3 MP, 2 MP and VGA. Compression can only be selected for the highest resolution.

Recording

The Fujifilm FinePix V10 has an excellent movie mode which records VGA (640 x 480) movies at 30 FPS till the memory card is full. Sound is recorded. A 256 MB xD-Picture card holds about 4 minutes of movie. If that's not enough, you can lower resolution to 320 x 240 at 30 FPS - A card of the same capacity will hold 8 minutes.

You cannot focus or zoom while recording video and there is no without-sound option.

The video quality here was sharp and audio was clear.

Performance

The Fujifilm FinePix V10 starts up in 1.8 seconds and takes about 1.3 seconds to focus. Turn on high-speed mode to get about 0.8 second focus times. High-speed focus only does far objects though.

The camera took 1 shot every 2.2 seconds and shutter lag is not very noticeable. The lens goes from wide-angle to telephoto in about 2 seconds. In top-3 continuous shooting mode, the FinePix V10 takes 3 shots in a row at 1.8 FPS while the final-3 mode does 1.8 FPS up till 40 shots but only saves the last 3 photos after you let go of the shutter button. Long time mode takes 40 shots at 1 FPS due to continuous autofocusing which you can't disable.

Image Quality

Let's find out about the image quality of the Fujifilm FinePix V10:


ISO 64 (f2.8, 1/4 sec)


ISO 100 (f2.8, 1/8 sec)


ISO 200 (f2.8, 1/15 sec)


ISO 400 (f2.8, 1/20 sec)


ISO 800 (f2.8, 1/60 sec)


ISO 1600 (f2.8, 1/110 sec)

I think image quality is acceptable up to ISO 200. At ISO 400, things are still fairly good but not up to my liking. And while things look very smudgy at ISO 800 and ISO 1600, there still isn't much noise. The good news is that your ISO 1600 shots can easily pass as your wall paintings, literally.

The V10 has an un-superb 9 cm macro mode. There is some barrel distortion but no pincushion distortion in the FinePix V10's photos. Overall, the FinePix V10's image quality is on par, if not slightly above average, with competition like the Sony W50 and W70. Noise levels are fairly low but not as impressive on Fujifilm's own F30.

Photo gallery

View photos in the Fujifilm FinePix V10 gallery.

Playback

The Fujifilm FinePix V10 has a pretty standard playback mode. You can protect image, rotate, print marking, record sound memos and view photos in sets of 9 thumbnails. There's a simple auto play AKA slideshow feature which just goes from one photo to another in intervals.

Now, throw in a few games and the V10 has a fairly interesting playback mode. The games on the FinePix V10 include a number puzzle, a game I only know as "Batty" on PocketPCs, maze and a shooting game. While I don't think Fujifilm could've put an RPG or RTS game into the camera, they should've at least included a racing game and one of those 2D adventure-like games.

 

Conclusion

The Fujifilm FinePix V10 is an interesting camera, being the first ever to feature some 4 built-in games. Other than that, it also features 5 megapixels, 3.4x optical zoom and a huge 3 inch LCD.

The camera has a giant 3 inch LCD which is very sharp and visible in most conditions but with that comes a few problems. Firstly, the cameras rather weird square shape leaves no room for your right thumb and second; it forces all the buttons to be placed under the LCD - not the most strategic of places. As a result of bad ergonomics, the V10 is fairly hard to keep still and steady. And finally, Fujifilm didn't find a way to keep the V10 from having the below average battery life it has now.

The V10 features a good lens with slightly more zoom than most 3x zoom cameras and a SuperCCD which results in fairly good photos but despite the nice lens, the macro mode leaves something to be desired and ISO 800 & ISO 1600 photos look fairly unreal.

Performance was fairly good except the FinePix V10's continuous shooting mode was very sluggish and limited thanks to continuous autofocusing. I hope Fujifilm will address that issue and let users enable/disable constant AF in continuous shooting via a firmware update. And finally, like almost every other compact camera, the V10 doesn't have any manual controls.

So, the Fujifilm FinePix V10 has some built-in games on the huge 3 inch LCD for photographers to keep themselves busy when there are no photo opportunities. But other than that, it doesn't impress me much as you would have expected from reading the last few paragraphs. I'd say the Sony T30 makes a good alternative but if you need manual controls and big zoom, then go for the Canon A700. Overall, the V10's features are interesting but performance is not. If you still want to go Fujifilm, the might I suggest the F30 - It may have a smaller LCD and less zoom but it has much better noise characteristics and full manual controls.

What's hot:

  • Big LCD with good visibility
  • Extra zoom of about +20 mm
  • Excellent movie mode
  • Good image quality with fairly low noise
  • Games for the bored photographer

What's not:

  • Below average battery life
  • Bad design: Nice fingerprints for your LCD, tiny awkwardly placed buttons
  • Unimpressive macro mode
  • No AF-assist beam
  • No manual controls
  • Slow, limited continuous shooting
  • Photos become wall paintings at ISO 800 and ISO 1600

Recommended accessories:

  • Extra rechargeable NP-40 lithium-ion battery
  • 256 MB xD-Picture card

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