Fujifilm Finepix F80EXR Review

Review Date : Mon, 17 May 2010

Author :

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The Fujifilm Finepix F80EXR is a stylish compact that's a low light specialist

Pros: Simple to use, looks good, versatile zoom
Cons: Overly aggressive pixel smoothing

Following in the footsteps of the excellent Fujifilm Finepix F70EXR, the F80EXR offers the same revolutionary low-light shooting capabilities and some excellent features elsewhere. With a 12MP sensor, 10x optical zoom and HD movie recording the F80EXR is perfectly positioned to challenge the likes of the Sony HX5 and Panasonic TZ10.

Fujifilm F80 EXR Features

Much like it's rivals the F80EXR offers just about everything a casual photographer could need features-wise, as in the majority of situations the camera can automatically cater settings to best suit. There's a face detection mode for both humans and animals, specifically dogs and cats, as well as an auto scene mode. The 720p movie mode gives a better than average video option and the 10x optical zoom starts at 27mm, giving the camera a decent wide angle to go with the impressive magnification. The most significant feature to differentiate the Fuji F80 EXR from the chasing pack is the EXR technology, which allows it to combine images taken by splitting the sensor into a DR-style shot. This should, in theory at least, allow a photographer to get maximum detail from light and dark areas of the image without taking two separate shots. For those wanting to head off the beaten track settings can be manually adjusted through the M setting on the mode dial.

Fujifilm F80 EXR Design

The Fujifilm Finepix F80EXR's looks are very similar to its predecessor, offering a sleek frame with rounded edges and a variety of colours to chose from. The 3" screen dominates the rear of the camera, although the LCD isn't the clearest or best laid out of the models in the same price bracket. The mode dial sits at the top right next to the screen, with a larger area exposed to allow for greater purchase with the finger. The zoom control is a spring loaded lever which tempers the stepped 10x magnification, with the shutter release sat within it. Both have a slightly worrying amount of lateral movement within the body of the camera, making it feel a touch cheap overall.

Fujifilm F80 EXR Image Quality

Image quality suffers hugely from overly aggressive pixel smoothing, even when it's not necessary. From a distance images appear fine, but after a small amount of zooming they start to resemble an oil-painting like effect, with much of the sharpness removed as areas are smudged into one another. One can only assume this is down to an abundance of noise being created by the camera, and the post processing trying to cover for it by merging areas of similar tone. It gives an overly soft appearance to all of the images, even when on lower ISO settings, which spoils subjects at a closer distance to the camera. As the focus tends to be pretty sluggish at the best of times this gets quite frustrating when viewing the images back to find the edges aren't as distinctive or sharp. Colour and tone is generally fine, if a little dour, making the overall image quality average at best.

Fujifilm F80 EXR Conclusion

Although the F80EXR has plenty of attributes to appeal to the modern snapper, the overly aggressive pixel smoothing spoils the end product somewhat. The focus is also quite sluggish, even if the camera performs reasonably well elsewhere. 


Digital SLR Reviews

Price as reviewed

£179.00

Scores

Scores
Design 18/20
Image Quality 17/20
Performance 17/20
Value 16/20
Features 18/20
Overall Score 86%