Fujifilm F20

F20 high ISO performance

Written by Gail Bjork

I bought the F20 for one reason: it’s outstanding high ISO performance.

My favorite photo taken with the FZ20

Taken with the Fujifilm F20 in available light at ISO 200

There is one reason I bought the Fujifilm FinePix F20: for it’s exceptional quality high ISO performance.

The F20 has a six megapixel Super CCD. While the quality of the high ISO images are not on par with a digital single reflex camera, they are closer than any non-Super CCD compact camera as of this writing.

This camera, and it’s siblings, should be seriously considered by anyone doing a lot of low light photography, but who doesn’t want to buy a dslr.

Auto ISO

Auto ISO is a feature found on almost all compact digital cameras. However, photos taken with the F20 at ISO 400 and 800 are excellent. Photos taken at ISO 1600 are often acceptable.

Unless shooting in extreme low light, I keep my camera set to Auto ISO 400 and never give it a second thought. I’ve never done this with any other digital camera I’ve owned.

The F20 only has two Auto ISO options at 400 and 1600. I wish it had Auto ISO 800 like some of it’s siblings.

Caution using Auto ISO modes

The F20 often selects ISO 1600 and 2000 when taking photos in low light. While the resulting images are usable at these high ISO numbers, they are not always be desirable because they exhibit some noise and lack fine detail.

It’s important to note that the F20 doesn’t display the ISO number the camera selects when in Auto ISO mode. The only way to know for sure is to set the ISO number manually when image quality is top priority.

Using the flash and high ISO

Tip submitted by Peter Frailey – The F20 often selects ISO 1600 under flash conditions when a lower number not only would work but be preferable. After experimenting with ISO 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1600, Peter found that the brightest exposure was at 400. (In all cases the camera chose 1/60th sec and F2.8)

My first experience with Auto ISO
I set the camera to Auto ISO 1600 on Christmas morning. Family snapshots were taken in the house lighted primarily by incandescent lights and bulbs on the tree. The F20 was new so I was relatively unfamiliar with it. The camera selected ISO 1600 more than I anticipated. When the flash was used, the camera often chose ISO 800. While ISO 1600 photos were certainly useable when reduced in size, next time I’ll stick with a lower ISO number by selecting it manually.
Visit my Fujifilm F20 photo gallery

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.