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james

Fuji F31fd

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Has anyone gotten a chance to use the new Fuji F31fd? It looks like it may be the "top of the line" in consumer digicams for topside use, but what do you think it would be like underwater?

 

It has A and S modes - I have used A mode w/ my digicam underwater and gotten great results.

 

Here is the just-posted review at DPreview.com:

 

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0704/07041102...f31fdreview.asp

 

Cheers

James

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I was going to get a F40 as Inon announced an adaptor for it last month. Not sure it is available yet - but hoping to take it to Sipadan next month.

 

Alex

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James,

Last week my wife took the F31fd underwater. Fuji Underwater Housing, Inon AD Mount adaptor, and Inon Strobe. (No external add-on lenses yet) Keep in mind, she had use of this set up for all but a few shots I took with it, so I can't comment completely here. Everything fit together perfectly and sync'd well. I think the build of the camera was excellent! The housing was extremely easy to take care of and the whole set up even worked well for getting in from shore through the waves. I think the best results were in the A mode set at F8, then the camera would usually choose 1/60th for shutter and an ISO of 200. The zoom response is very, very fast on this camera and the shutter lag was nothing. No, its not an SLR, but simply faster than any other compact I've tried out. A negative is the screen, which easily gets washed out, but it was something you could get used to. Also, that framing via lcd screen gets very unsteady (shakey) when you are in a surge. The macro mode worked very well for close ups, its very necessary as the normal focal range is limited for anything close. You could get as close as needed for filling as much of the frame as possible. We used a 1GB x-D card and the write speed was about 2 sec. between shots, but that isn't an accurate timing. For the money, we are very pleased. I wasn't planning on writing a review, so please excuse my lack of constructive feedback other than suffice to say that for those wanting an good compact that is built well, travels extremely nicely, takes very acceptable shots and is a total breeze to handle underwater, I would recommend it.

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Hi Paquito and thanks! Can you send me a link to the housing online? Is it the same as the F30 housing or different?

 

Also, if you're up for posting a pic or two that would be awesome.

 

Thanks

James

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Hi James,

I will try to send a couple of photos to you after the weekend if that is okay? Unfortunately I'm just not very technically savvy, and have never posted a picture within a thread before. I will do my best to send you what I can or post here.

 

The housing is exactly the same for both the fuji f30 and f31fd. We chose the fuji housing over the ikelite housing, though I wholeheartedly respect and own ikelite products, because I didn't feel there was any additional value gained going with the ikelite. My wife's comfort-level for depth is about 35m, so the fuji housing works just fine. Do any search on B&H, amazon, the likes, for the f30 housing and you will find the housing in stock and inexpensive. Having owned and seen many housings, I was very skeptical on the fuji housing being "gimicky or toyish" but I have to admit it extremely easy to take care of, rinse and dry, travel with, handle and use. Talk about envy when you also travel with a DSLR/Subal set up, I was darn right jealous! Besides the Inon strobe, I forgot to mention that we went with a ULCS tray, handle, and 8" arm for the single strobe. I can always use the ULCS (I believe ULCS to be just fabulous products) on my Subal set up and/or move it to another rig should my wife want to change out cameras in the future?.

 

As additional notes: My wife also enjoyed the movie mode (though we have not yet viewed this on a larger screen to see how the quality is), and switching from macro to standard composition was a easy one-button push. The focus was fast and did not hunt as much as I was suspecting, though again I did not take as many shots u/w with it. On land I did take more photos with it, and the low-light focusing is was simply great! Far better than our previous high-end $900 compact, boy compacts have come a long way. Again, the lcd display's lighting was the largest negative, next time we will see how increasing its brightness past the normal setting affects this.

 

paquito

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I was going to get a F40 as Inon announced an adaptor for it last month. Not sure it is available yet - but hoping to take it to Sipadan next month.

 

Alex

 

 

The image quality provided by F40 is not as good as F31fd nor F30, the price of it is a bit lower than F31fd.

Please search around for the reviews, and you will be able to see...

Edited by alo100

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This is a good point -- the F30/31 series is better than the F40. It's confusing, the the F30 series is "better" than the F40 series.

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This is a good point -- the F30/31 series is better than the F40. It's confusing, the the F30 series is "better" than the F40 series.

 

Thanks Eric!

I think it would be a while before the successor of F31fd shows up,

so it's good to get one now if there is a need.

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I ordered the F31fd from B&H yesterday. It arrived today. Cost was $240.

 

The is a $50 rebate, but the form is not easy to find. I called Fuji and they emailed it. They asked that it not be publicized. That's strange. Minus the rebate, the total cost is $190.

 

High ISO performance is no joke. ISO 800 looks better than my Coolpix or Olympus shooting 200.

 

Normal focus is fast. There is very little shutter lag. Aperture priority is straight foward. Plus and minus for aperture and same for exposure.

 

Shot-to-shot performance is okay. About 1 to 1.5 seconds between photos using an Olympus 1GB type H card.

 

I plan to use the F31 with a Magic Filter. The camera's "M" mode, which is really a program mode has a neat feature. You can set the ISO for "Auto 400" or "Auto 800." These settings will use a sensitivity up to, but not exceeding that number. Exposure compensation is readily accessible.

 

White Balance is selected from the main menu. While you have to dig a bit to select WB, once it's been selected, it will be the first choice the next time you go into the menu.

 

The finish is quite luxurious.

 

I tried the face detection. It doesn't like glasses. And it can only be used in full idiot mode. That means no exposure compensation and only ISO 800. Idiot mode will let you choose flash modes though (auto, red eye...). Shooting ISO 800 ought to give a clean 8x10, but I'm not sure if I would go larger. Based on DPreview's recommendation, I would probably use the program mode and select the "Auto 800 ISO." Multi AF should do roughly the same thing.

Edited by DesertEagle

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I used the Fuji F10 for a couple years underwater before I got my Nikon d80. the Fuji F10 rocks underwater, and the fuji housing is awesome, great controls, double-oring setup, and its tough as hell. its way better than the IKE housings for fuji's.

 

I'm sure the F30 is even better than the F10.

 

Scott

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hello,

 

here is a sort of review I made 2-3 month ago while I was beginning with my F30. I think it should be still helpfull altough I dont know how works the f31. These details apply for the f30

 

 

So the interesting thing for me is it's Auto/manual mode which is very usable.

With the flash set to forced mode and ISO set to 400, the speed and aperture values are these:

 

Auto/manual mode

 

| macro mode:

| WA: 1/60s - F8 (1/60s - F5.6 at 100ISO)

| Full zoom: 1/100s - F5 (idem at 100ISO, 1/100s - F8 at 800ISO)

 

| normal mode:

| WA: 1/60s - F2.8 (idem at 100ISO)

| Full zoom: 1/100s - F5 (idem at 100ISO)

 

I think these are preety allrounding values, aren't they? Maybe a little too slow in WA macro mode.

 

I choosed 400ISO because the F30 produce almost no noise at this setting, but 100ISO measurements were done too.

 

Then I tried speed priority at 400ISO and took 1/200s as a default setting. 1/200s being enough IMO to get a nice photo from a fish moving quite quickly.

 

Speed priority

 

| macro mode:

| WA: 1/200s = F2.8 (idem at 100ISO)

| Full zoom: 1/200s = F5 (idem at 100ISO)

 

| normal mode:

| WA: 1/200s = F2.8 (idem at 100ISO)

| Full zoom: 1/200s = F5 (idem at 100ISO)

 

Then aperture priority at 400ISO. The idea being to get the max F stops for the biggest depth of field in macro photo. Minimum values also available

 

Aperture Priority

 

| macro mode:

| WA:

| maxi F8 = 1/60s (F5.6 = 1/60s at 100 ISO)

| mini F2.8 = 1/60s

|

| Full zoom:

| maxi F8 = 1/100s (F8 = 1/100s at 100ISO)

| mini F5 = 1/100s

 

| normal mode:

| WA:

| maxi F8 = 1/60s (F8 = 1/60s at 100ISO)

| mini F2.8 = 1/60s

|

| Full zoom:

| maxi F8 = 1/100s (F8 = 1/100s at 100ISO)

| mini F5 = 1/100s

 

 

 

 

From all this I can say that this camera has one setting available for every situation underwater.

 

Except maybe a fast macro mode in WA like 1/200s at F8, 1/60s at F8 being the best setting in this case.

 

What I am going to do is to use the F30 in Auto/manual mode all the time except for two situations:

1- shooting a fish moving quite quickly, then use speed priotity set to 1/200s (1/200s at F2.8 in place of 1/60s at F2.8).

2- shooting in macro at full zoom, then use aperture priority set to F8 (F8 at 1/100s in place of F5 at 1/100s).

 

Bye.

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