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...
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.