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There are plenty of reasons to buy the FC100, but photo quality probably isn't one of them--especially if you're going to be printing or viewing them onscreen at 100 percent. Regardless of ISO, photos look too processed with visible noise/artifacts and are never very sharp. Basically, you're good to ISO 200 before noise and suppression cause color shifting and significant loss of sharpness and fine detail. If you're using them online or making smaller prints (5x7 inches and below), you'll get decent results.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
The FC100 is at its best at ISO 100 in Macro mode. You'll get good center sharpness and fine detail and artifacts are at a minimum if noticeable at all.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
The FC100 features a handheld High-Speed Night Scene mode. With one press of the shutter release, the camera captures multiple shots and then stacks them up to produce a photo with minimal blur from hand shake. However, it still needs to use a high ISO--in this case ISO 800--so despite no blur, there's still plenty of noise/artifacts, off colors, and softness. On the other hand, I printed this at 4x6 inches, and it looked better than the full-size picture would lead you to believe.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Considering the lens on the FC100 is fairly narrow by current standards, it's surprising to see wide-angle distortion (top). There's some slight pincushioning at the long end (bottom), too, though I doubt either would ruin a photo.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Most compact cameras would display chromatic aberration in this shot, but the amount in photos from the FC100 is above average, lining any high-contrast areas in purple fringe.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Colors up to ISO 200 are pleasing and natural. The camera has sliders for tweaking saturation, contrast, and sharpness, too, in case they aren't to your liking. Exposure is decent, and the camera does have an effective image brightness option.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
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