Tim Coleman tests a travel compact with an extensive feature set for a wide range of situations

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Fujifilm FinePix F550EXR review


Fujifilm FinePix F550EXR review


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With a 16-million-pixel sensor, the F550EXR is able to resolve an impressive amount of detail. At ISO 100 it reaches the 24 marker in raw and 22 in JPEG on our test chart, while both formats reach 18 at ISO 3200. However, smaller sensors are less able to cope with noise, and the first real noticeable signs appear at ISO 400, although images are still usable up to ISO 1600. In-camera noise reduction takes its toll, and can be seen clearly when viewing images at 100% as a smudging of detail. Most images, therefore, benefit from a good level of sharpening.

The 15x zoom goes from one extreme to the other in a very rapid 2secs. At the extreme telephoto end, the initial focus is a bit hit and miss and it is difficult to keep the camera steady, although dual image stabilisation is helpful. Advanced anti-blur makes telephoto shooting even more achievable, although this is only available in auto EXR, where raw shooting is not possible. Both issues are eased when a good level of light is available.

As with any lens covering such a wide range, there are compromises in optical quality. At wider focal lengths curvilinear barrel distortion is evident, although this is much more subtle as the focal length increases. Vignetting is apparent at the widest aperture setting, but is all but gone by closing one stop.

The in-camera functions and creative modes are fun to use. Included among these is a fixed panorama mode that works in either 120°, 180° or 360°, although at a reduced resolution.









Images:  These two images show the extreme 24mm and 360mm focal lengths. A steady hand, fast shutter speed and in-camera stabilisation give a sharp image at 360mm 






  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Build and handling
  3. 3. Performance
  4. 4. Verdict
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