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Hands-on with the 12-megapixel Fujifilm FinePix F100fd

We made the pilgrimage to glamorous Birmingham for the annual UK photofest Focus On Imaging, and were rewarded with a go on the new F-series compact

The Americans may have the glittering lights of PMA in Las Vegas, but here in Blighty we have something even better: Birmingham NEC, and Focus On Imaging. While the professional photographers tug each others' beards for a go on the Sigma supertelephoto lens, we sidled past to get our hands on what Fujifilm has described as 'the ultimate F series' compact. With the F series including the near-legendary F31 and the excellent F40 and F50, the F100fd has a lot to live up to.

The F100fd is a 12-megapixel compact with a 5x zoom. The 28mm wide angle lens looks great, fitting plenty into the frame, while the 5x zoom has showgoers across the room leaping into focus. The 69mm (2.7-inch) LCD screen is sharp, even in the glaring light of the show hall.

The curved frame, which looks like it has been squeezed in the middle, takes some of the brickiness out of the F series, without sacrificing features such as mechanical image stabilisation. Swarms of passers-by at the Fujifilm stand kept the Face Detection 3.0 feature ocupied, with green boxes jumping around all over the frame and showing an impressive ability to spot faces even amid the hustle and bustle.

The FinePix F100fd will be available in April 2008, with a recommended retail price of around £229. -Rich Trenholm

Update: Read our full Fujifilm FinePix F100fd review