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Old Dec 4, 2007, 5:41 PM   #1
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The Fujifilm Finepix F40fd (F45fd) is the fastest low light P&S camera I can buy at this time (Nov 20,2007). Before I review, let me say a THANK YOU, to all who do post their comments, because I have read them ALL, and a really big THANK YOU to Steves-Digicams and the CNET staff, who test and provide shutter speeds with flash. Since October I have been researching to find the fastest (for fast moving small kids) low light (for evening indoor pictures) P&S camera. I also know 99.9% of my prints will be 4x6 or 5x7, never bigger. And I want the red-eye reduction to work! I refuse to do touch-ups.

I have visited all local stores (BestBuy, CircuitCity, Target, Sears, Frys, Wolf, Office Depot & Max, Staples) multi-times to play with all cameras. Yes, I am retired and have the time. Plus I reviewed all Steves-Digicams P&S reviews sine Jan 2007, and CNET P&S reviews from 1/25/07 to 11/15/07. I documented speeds of low contrast shutter and shot 2 shot with flash. From my research, the final candidates, based on low light speeds, were Fuji F40fd, Canon SD 800, 850, 870(*).
* Interesting the Canon SD870 specs say it should be as fast as the 850, but comparing 850 vs 870 under store lights, at 2 different BB stores, the 850s were noticeable faster. I even had the salesperson swap the batteries, between the two, just to be sure.

I purchased the Fuji F45fd and Canon SD850(later returned). I borrowed a CanonSD800 and had my Canon A610. Without question the Fuji was the fastest for evening indoors pictures. The Fuji was also the fastest for flash recharge. The Canons 800 & 850 did missed some small kids indoors action shots. All cameras had the same brand 2Gb 150x SD. After a week I printed all the shots, as 4x6s, from the same store, as different orders with different names, to ensure no pictures were mixed.

The Canon SD800 had too many red-eyes. My old A610 was to slow for evening indoor shots. For outdoor daylight shots, all 4 cameras had the same speed results.

Overall the 4x6s quality was the same between the Fuji F45 & Canon SD850. Comparing two very similar pictures, sometimes one would be a slight plus over the other, when you looked close up, then on another picture the other camera would be a slight better, but no real difference.

The Fuji was set to 4M(2304x1728 pixels) A5 size, approx. 980Kb files. The Canon SD850 was set to M2(2048x1536 pixles) A5 size, with medium(fine) compression, approx. 893Kb files.

The Canons do have a better long range zoom, at MAX zoom. If your need is for enlarge crops, the Canon AUTO pictures are taken at lower ISO, then the Fuji, see comparison below. I also tested the Canon SD850 with different ISOs in low light conditions. It was at the manual ISO 1600, that the Canon was as fast as the Fuji AUTO(ISO800), but the Canon(1600) pictures had higher noise.

Here are the ISO results, taken with AUTO mode. I believe this to be very important to understand the results. The listed numbers will first be Fuji F40(F45) then Canon SD850.
AUTO mode:
Evening indoors F@800, C@200
Outdoors 10pm Christmas Lights F@800, C@250
Outdoors bright sun, at min zoom F@100, C@80
Outdoors bright sun, at max zoom F@100, C@160
Outdoors cloudy F@200, C@80

NO one camera is perfect for all people or all conditions!!!!!
Fuji F40/F45 is for those who want a fast, low light, small simple P&S camera, whose prints will usually be normal size(4x6,5x7). It is the BEST P&S available today, to capture fast moving kids indoors. I also appreciate the battery indicator.

Canon SD850 is a great P&S choice for more outdoors(vs indoors) or indoor adults (vs kids) pictures, or if you usually print pictures bigger then normal size.

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Old Dec 4, 2007, 6:03 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, newjourney - that was really a great first post!

the Hun

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