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 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)