Fujifilm’s latest travel compact camera, the FinePix F800EXR, has a 16-million-pixel, 1/2in CMOS sensor and an impressive 20x optical zoom. Vincent Oliver looks at its key features. Read the Fujifilm FinePix F800EXR review...

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Fujifilm FinePix F800EXR review

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£279.99
While we are seeing more and more high-end compact cameras enter the market, there is still a big demand for small travel models with large zoom lenses, such as this latest offering from Fujifilm – the FinePix F800EXR.

Fujifilm FinePix F800EXR review – Features

At the core of the F800EXR is a 12in (6.4×4.8mm) CMOS sensor, with a sensitivity range of ISO 100-12,800. In front of this sensor sits a 20x 4.6-92mm Fujinon lens (equivalent to 25-500mm on a 35mm camera). The camera has eight shooting modes, including auto, program and the advanced EXR mode. When set to EXR, the camera is meant to recognise 58 different types of scene and will then automatically adjust the camera to its optimum exposure and image settings.

Like other recent cameras, the F800EXR can transfer images via Wi-Fi to mobile devices. A free Fujifilm camera app is available from the iTunes store for installation on an iPhone or iPad. To improve speed and save valuable space, images are resized to 3 million pixels by default when being transferred.

Build and handling

The FinePix F800EXR is well built and easily fits into a pocket or small bag, making it convenient to carry at all times. The lens is a three-section telescopic type, which extends to about 112in, and it retracts into the camera when turned off.

The shutter release is placed at a slight angle to the top-plate, which makes it comfortable to use, while the mode dial is also angled, with clearly marked settings. For the casual user there are perhaps too many modes and menu options, although the program, auto and EXR modes can be used with confidence for most shots.

Performance and verdict

Image: For this wideangle shot, the lens was set at 4.6mm (25mm equivalent on a 35mm camera), 1/600sec at f/7.1

Tested in a variety of shooting conditions, the FinePix F800EXR produces well-exposed images. However, it does have some annoying features. For instance, the zoom control is jerky, making accurate framing difficult, and while the intelligent flash produced evenly lit shots, it’s not intelligent enough to pop up automatically when required, instead requiring manual activation via a side button.

Though the ISO 100-12,800 sensitivity range of the F800EXR may seem impressive, ISO 12,800 images are only 4 million pixels, and ISO 6400 files are 8 million pixels in resolution. Regarding to the image quality, I found the in-camera JPEG compression to be too high, even when the image quality is set to its Fine setting. Fortunately, the camera also shoots raw files, allowing colour noise to be reduced while maintaining detail.

At ISO 100 the noise is not really visible, but by ISO 800 it is showing in shadow areas. Images created with the ISO 12,800 setting are virtually unusable other than for effect.

The zoom lens is optically very good, although there is a choice of just three aperture settings – fully opened, stopped down and a middle setting. The actual size of the aperture decreases as the focal length increases. Fringing and chromatic aberrations are kept to a minimum, as is curvilinear distortion. At the maximum 500mm telephoto setting it can be difficult to shoot handheld, although the image stabiliser does help ensure sharp shots at longer focal lengths.

Fujifilm FinePix F800EXR – Our verdict

With a huge number of features, the Fujifilm FinePix F800EXR should appeal to enthusiast photographers. However, the JPEG images can be an issue, so getting the best from the camera will require shooting raw images.

Full Specification

White Balance:
Auto, 7 presets and manual
Memory Card:
SD, SDHC, SDXC

Output Size:
4608 x 3456 pixels
LCD:
3in, 460,000-dot

Sensor:
16-million-pixel EXR CMOS
Weight:
232g (including battery and memory card)

Exposure Modes:
PASM, EXR
Power:
Lithium-ion NP-50A

Lens:
25-500mm (equivalent)
File Format:
JPEG, raw, raw + JPEG

Focusing Modes:
Manual, multi area, centre, tracking, continuous, single, face detection
Dimensions:
105.1 x 63.3 x 36mm

RRP:
£279.99
ISO:
ISO 100-12,800

  1. 1. Fujifilm FinePix F800EXR review - Features
  2. 2. Build and handling
  3. 3. Performance and verdict
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  • Andrew Pickup

    I’ve had a Monochrom for nine months now and love it. Photos almost take the breath away (as does the price). The only criticism is that it’s not like Leica film cameras I’ve used, which are really quiet and unobtrusive. The Monochrom makes quite a loud clunk!

  • David Hart

    I bought one for my Christmas present to me. Took photos in our house over Christmas at 10000ASA – the results were amazing. Shot a few bands and parties recently at 3500ASA. Amazing. The best Leica since the M3 (which I also use).
    Rangefinders rule in most circumstances.

  • Johannes Schöön

    This page does not work on displays that are tilted sideways. The light grey squares to the right are on top of the text of the article.

  • Stewart Scott

    The Monochrom is a delight to use, returning me to a pre-digital age of photography. I’d much rather use it than my DSLR. It’s so much less of a handful, it is weighty, but not bulky.
    Regarding the lack of a high definition screen, the more resolution the screen had, won’t it use batteries faster? So leave the review off, if you want one of these then you must be quite an accomplished photographer, otherwise who could afford one as a ‘fad’?
    It’s more like shooting film without the darkroom time, now you use Lightroom to improve your DNGs.
    This camera is a delight to use, I have been waiting for it.

  • Andrew

    Wish I could read this review, but every page is half covered by advertising windows!

  • David Watts

    The world is in colour – not in old fashioned black and white.
    From a three Leica camera owner.
    David Watts,
    Cornwall

  • Andrea

    I am sorry to say that, but a “nice grain effect” would be nice to add per Photoshop and not per se. That said, it is the niche of a niche-camera.