Fujifilm FinePix F550EXR review
Review Date : Tue, 17 May 2011
Author : Phil Hall
- Sample Photos: Fujifilm FinePix F550EXR review sample images gallery
The FinePix F550EXR is the latest generation of advanced compact camera from Fujifilm. With a newly developed 16MP EXR CMOS sensor and 15x optical zoom with RAW shooting capability, it promises a lot. Read our Fujifilm FinePix F550EXR review...
|Pros:||Sleek design, 15x optical zoom from 24-360mm, 8fps at full resolution, fast AF for a compact.|
|Cons:||While good, image quality hasn't improved from the F300EXR. Slow Raw write times.|
The FinePix F550EXR is the latest in a long line of advanced compact cameras from Fujifilm, aimed at those looking for a feature-packed and versatile compact camera.
Fujifilm FinePix F550EXR review - Features
The FinePix F550EXR is an update to the F300EXR, with one of the most notable changes being the sensor. Out goes the 12MP Super CCD EXR chip to be replaced by a 16MP EXR CMOS sensor. It remains physically the same size, at 1/2", but they've squeezed another 4 million pixels onto the surface area. The sensor also utilises back-side illuminated (BSI) technology for more effective light collection. The EXR technology used on the F550EXR has evolved from previous incarnations based around a Super CCD structure to work with a CMOS pixel array, but the philosophy remains the same, with the sensor's performance optimized for either maximum resolution, low-light performance or dynamic range.
The optical zoom range offers an incredibly broad range for a compact camera of this size, running from 24-360mm - the wide-angle coverage is excellent for those wanting to cram loads into the frame, while the long end gives you plenty of scope to get in close to your subjects. The Fujinon lens is a Double Sliding Structured Lens, which has allowed the large focal range to fit neatly inside the slim body. The FinePix F550EXR also features a CMOS Shift mechanism to reduce camera shake - necessary at the long end of the zoom range. The ISO range runs from 100-3200, but can be expanded to 6400 at 8MP and 12,800 at a reduced resolution of 4MP.
While the FinePix F550EXR utilized a hybrid AF system that used Phase Detect technology for improved AF acquirement speed (just like a DSLR does), the F550EXR uses a more common contrast-detect system, though Fujifilm claim that the speed is virtually identical. The F550EXR can also shoot at 8fps (frames per second) at full resolution, or 11fps at a reduced 8MP.
Along with a dedicated EXR mode (you can choose between the three EXR modes as well as an Auto mode), there's Program, Aperture priority, Shutter priority and full manual for more creative control. On top of that, there's an Auto mode, Advanced (with the choice of either 360 degree panorama, Pro Focus or Pro Low-light) and 18 scene modes. As well as shooting in JPEG, the FinePix F550EXR can also shoot in Raw as well, while videos can also be captured in 1080p at 30fps and shot in H.264 format.
There's a 3in rear screen with a resolution of 460K-dots, while there's also a built-in GPS unit to tag the location where images were shot - either latitude and longitude or Place of Interest.