The camera is equipped with a very fast reacting 3x optical zoom lens. The focal range is 35-105mm equivalent in 35mm camera format. The bright aperture of f2.8 does help the camera to be able to focus in difficult light circumstances. If there isn't enough light in the surroundings the AF Assistant Illuminator will help auto focussing. The optical lens is protected by a lens slide. For those who need more than just the optical zoom they can also use the 2.2x digital zoom. This is only possible in the 1, 2 or 3 Megapixels setting. When taking pictures in wide angle there is a small non-disturbing distortion. The images in telephoto are good to excellent, almost no distortion. The optical zoom lens that the Fujifilm F700 is equipped with can hold his own in every situation and contributes to an excellent brightness. The resolution of the FinePix F700 still is a different story. 6.2 Megapixels are present on the image sensor, however, it is a combination of 2x 3.1 Megapixels that finally leads to the total of 6.2 million effective image dots. The advantage of the 4th generation Super CCD technique is distributing to a magnificent dynamic range. Especially the images with high contrast come out really beautifully. It is striking to see that the details of, for example, clouds in the air maintain in the picture where as the same picture taken by using standard CCD technique one sees some desperate clouds, without a smooth drawing. I consider the FinePix F700 as a camera with a high resolution between 4 and 6 Megapixels. Not every situation benefits from the advantages of the Super CCD technique so the operation of the R-pixels wouldn't matter then. But in those situations where high contrast plays an important role (sunny weather, shadow/sun situation, winter sports etc.), the Super CCD gives an absolute surplus value to the FinePix F700, without doubt.
The white balance is covering all thinkable situations. Beside the automatic white balance it has a setting for: outdoors, shade, 3 different fluorescent light situations, incandescent, and manual white balance. In general most images can be taken in the automatic setting without a problem. The difference between the settings of the white balance that are aimed at images taken in artificial light circumstances and the automatic white balance are quite visible, it might be worth experimenting with it. The colour reproduction in a variety of circumstances is fine, living colours and a good contrast. It brings back the feeling that you used to have with your analogue camera, when you had used some special film to be able to make a certain image and the result was exactly what you expected! The different ways of exposure seem to be perfectly in order with this Fujifilm FinePix F700. The camera has 3 ways of exposure metering: multi-, spot- and an average metering. The technique of the Super CCD seems to play a big role in this. The images with high contrast are supported very well by these different ways of metering. Exposure compensation is not necessary, the contrasts seem to be kept longer and the details stay a long time. Only under extreme circumstances exposure compensation is needed to achieve a better result.
The reproduction on the LCD monitor is excellent. Even in sunny circumstances with direct light on the monitor it is no problem using the monitor. The resolution of 134.000 pixels offers a good sharp reproduction. Very useful is the grid function, a function to divide the monitor in 9 equal fields so the object can be aligned against the horizon for example. I am slightly less enthusiastic about the optical view finder. The reproduction of the viewfinder gives coverage of 80%, so at the final image you see a lot more than estimated. Not too inconvenient, because personally I prefer the LCD monitor that shows a picture, equal to what comes out as end result. I think the optical viewfinder could have been made more accurate. The Monitor is automatically activated to prevent problems in macro mode, very useful!
The F-button (Photo button) gives direct access to various typical functions concerning image quality. It is possible to set the resolution from 1280x960 up until 2832x2128 pixels, or like Fujifilm describes it: 1M, 2M 3M and 6M. The VGA (640x480) resolution is only available when switching over to the video clip function. The ISO value can be set from 200, 400, 800 to 1600 ISO. The 1600 ISO is only available in the 1M (1280x960) resolution. High resolutions until 800 ISO can be used very well to print an image, at 1600 ISO one should consider some more noise. Depending on the object and the intention of taking the recording, it can be disturbing, on the other hand, recording is made possible because of the presence of high ISO. Atmospheric recordings with some noise value, like performances, concerts etc. give a surplus value to the recording, the enhanced ISO settings make the FinePix F700 all-round. The last setting from the F-button is the FinePix Colour function. Choices can be made from: black&white, standard (colour and contrast are set to standard), or Chrome. This last mode gives just a little more contrast and colour saturation. This mode is perfect when taking pictures on sunny days, on summer holidays or winter sports, nice deep blue skies, full of contrast and detail thanks to the Super CCD technique.
The internal flash has 6 settings: auto, red-eye reduction, fill-in flash, flash off, flash with slow shutter speed, flash with slow shutter speed in combination with red-eye reduction. The images made using the flash, look fine, the range is limited just as it is with most compact camera's but one who sticks to the basic rules of photography and keeps a maximum range of 4 meters in the back of his head, won't experience any problems. The macro images can be made from 9cm, but watch out: in macro mode and using the internal flash a shade appears in the right corner at the bottom. This is caused by the zoom lens, a pity.
The FinePix F700 has an aperture and shutter priority or a complete manual setting. It is also possible to let the camera do his job automatically. Beside that the SP function on the command wheel of the camera gives access to 4 pre-set scenes: portrait, landscape, sports and night scene. Every one of these scenes gives priority on a certain feature of the image, like soft skin tints on a portrait or an as fast shutter time as possible on an action image. The shutter time pre-setting has a range of 3s – 1/1000 second and can be set in steps of 1/3 EV. The aperture range has a value of f2.8 – f8 in 1/3 EV steps. F-mode is in fact an automatic mode with the extra possibility of changing the combination of the aperture and shutter speed without influencing the set exposure.
The already mentioned performance concerning taking series of images is enhanced with a continuous shooting mode that stores only the last 5 images. A maximum of 25 images is possible with an interval of 0.2 seconds! This option is possible until a resolution of 6 Megapixels, very impressive! One who feels like storing more images in series may chose for the 1M (1280x960) resolution, and uses these settings to store a maximum of 40 images with an interval of 0.6 seconds.
Beside recording still images the camera is also capable of recording video clips in a resolution of 640x48 (VGA) and an image speed of 30 images per second. The quality of these clips is excellent. The high quality moving images need about 1MB storage capacity per second. It is also possible to add voice comments which need about 0.5 MB per 30 seconds of storage capacity. The FinePix F700 is a fully equipped camera and will impress the starting and experienced photographer. The appearance of the camera doesn't reveal any of the possibilities yet, but once digging into it through the menu, you'll meet his abilities!