Fujifilm F70EXR Review – The Fuji F70 EXR boasts EXR sensor technology in a long-zoom compact. The What Digital Camera review takes a look at this nifty model
Fujifilm is well known for its innovative sensor technology, and its SuperCCD EXR system, first seen in the FinePix F200EXR advanced compact launched earlier this year, has been widely praised for its low-light and high-ISO performance. Now Fuji has introduced a long-zoom compact featuring this same technology in a slim and pocket-friendly shape, managing to fit a high quality 10x zoom lens into a body just 22.7mm thick.
The new Fuji FinePix F70EXR is a conventionally styled but attractive 10MP compact camera with a strong all-metal body available in either silver or a gloss gunmetal grey. Build quality is excellent, and the camera feels reassuringly solid and durable. The body shape includes a small raised lip on the left-hand end that serves as a finger grip, and there is a small textured area on the back for the thumb – however, the gloss finish does make it a bit slippery to hold, especially with sweaty fingers.
The controls are comparatively large and accessible, and are clearly labelled. As with most Fuji cameras there is both a main menu for the bulk of the camera’s settings, and a function menu for ISO setting, image size and film simulation mode. The 2.7-inch 230k LCD monitor is particularly good, with a viewing angle of approximately 160° both vertically and horizontally.
The EXR sensor has three modes of operation. In HR mode it operates like any other 10MP sensor at full resolution. In SN mode pairs of adjacent photocells on the sensor are combined to give half the resolution but twice the light sensitivity, producing less noise at high ISO settings. In DR mode the same thing happens, but this time the emphasis is on improved dynamic range, improving shadow detail and reducing burned-out highlights. EXR mode can be left in automatic, in which case the camera detects what kind of scene is being photographed and sets the mode accordingly.
Unusually for a long zoom compact, the Fuji F70EXR does have limited manual exposure control, with a choice of minimum and maximum aperture and shutter speeds from eight seconds to 1/2000th of a second. It also has program auto, natural light, natural light with flash and full auto modes, as well as a useful selection of scene modes. The video recording mode has a maximum resolution of 640 x 480 at 30fps with mono audio, and the zoom lens can be used while recording.
Image quality in all modes is excellent. The lens is pin-sharp from corner to corner and produces virtually no distortion at any focal length. The autofocus system is fast and accurate, and operates just as quickly in low light. In full resolution mode the level of detail is exceptionally good, while in EXR DR mode dynamic range is significantly better than any comparable 10MP compact, and in SN mode image noise is greatly reduced at high ISO settings, with printable images at ISO 1600. The Fuji F70EXR is available for under £200 from many online retailers, making it outstanding value for money.
The Fuji FinePix F70EXR once again demonstrates that there is more to picture quality than just megapixels. With a high quality lens and an innovative high-tech sensor it out-performs almost anything else in its class, and is exceptionally good value for money.