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Fujifilm Finepix-F80exr Digital Camera Review

by The Review CrewJune 5, 2010

We bring to you the FinePix F80EXR, Fuji’s latest compact super-zoom. Using a powerful Fujinon 10x zoom lens, Fijifilm claims that no matter what the setting, the lens depicts what the eye sees. Enabled with Super CCD EXR, a 3 stage sensor employing Fine Capture (high resolution), Pixel Fusion (High Sensitivity & Low Noise), Dual Capture (Wide Dynamic Range) technologies  for superior picture quality. The F80EXR boasts 12- megapixels of resolution for large size prints. The high contrast 3.0-inch LCD gives you a nice large viewing area for framing your shots and playing them back. Keeping the images sharp is aided by Fujifilm’s Dual Image Stabilization, which brings together FinePix sensitivity to stabilize motion blur and CCD-Shift image stabilization compensates for camera shake.

The F80EXR also offers industry standards such as facial recognition, face detection and a plethora of scene modes including some new artistic modes. They up the ante by adding facial recognition for dogs and cats as well as a face registration system where you can enter names and information for up to 8 faces. When the camera recognizes any of the registered faces it will set focus and aperture priorities for them. All of this housed in a sleek compact body that will slip conveniently in a pocket or small purse to be taken anywhere. The F80EXR is available in Red, Black, Pink or Silver and sells for between $270.00 and $300.00 at our partner sites.

Features of the FinePix F80EXR:

  • 12-Megapixels of resolution
  • 1/2-inch SUPER CCD EXR image sensor
  • Fujinon 10x optical zoom lens equivalent to 27 – 270mm on a 35mm camera
  • Shooting Modes: EXR mode, Auto, Natural Light & with Flash, Natural Light, Scene Position, Movie, Manual, Program Auto
  • EXR Auto automatically recognizes the scene and selects the ideal shooting mode and also switches the sensor to the perfect capture mode for the conditions.
  • 18 scene modes
  • Dual image stabilization
  • Four continuous shooting modes
  • 3.0-inch, Approx. 230,000 dots, TFT color LCD monitor
  • HD movie recording and still image shooting
  • HDMI port for digital playback
  • Pro Focus Mode, a portrait mode that takes several shots at different focal points to create a DSLR quality portrait shot
  • Pro Low Light Mode layers 4 low noise, high-sensitivity shots together for less noise
  • Super Intelligent Flash captures both the subject and background to give brighter more fully lit scenes
  • Film Simulation Modes ment to replicate 5 different types of Fujifilm brand films

Whats in the box?

  • The FinePix F80EXR Digital Camera
  • Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery
  • Battery charger
  • USB cable
  • AV cable
  • Wrist strap
  • CD ROM

The Fujifilm F80EXR has a super zoom lens with 10x zoom capability. That means you can bring the subject 10 times closer. Fujifilm has a world recognized fujion lens and is coupled with the Super CCD EXR technology. Super CCD EXR Auto is comprised of a color filter array and image processing technology to provide better image quality. The 35mm equivalent of the lens is 27 – 270mm.

Focal Distance:

Normal:
Wide: Approx. 45cm / 1.5ft. to infinity
Telephoto: Approx. 2m / 6.6ft. to infinity
Macro:
Wide: Approx. 5cm – 2.5m / 2.0in.- 8.2ft.
Telephoto: Approx. 90cm – 2.5m / 3.0ft.- 8.2ft.
The Flash has a whopping 10 settings whic include: Red-eye removal OFF: Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro. Red-eye removal ON: Red-eye Reduction Auto, Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro.

The flash range is:

Wide: Approx. 30cm – 4.2m / 1.0 ft. -13.8 ft.
Telephoto: Approx. 90cm – 2.4m / 3.0ft. – 7.9 ft.
Controls for the F80ERX are located both on the top of the camera and the back. On top are the power buttons and the shutter release. Wrapped around the shutter release is the control for the zoom.
on the back of the camera the controls are all located on the right side of the camera. At the top is the mode selector dial which is used to select the shooting mode for the camera. Below that are the playback and “F” mode menu buttons. The Playback button allows for viewing of the images stored on the media card. The “F” mode allows you to change values such as ISO and image size as well as activate the film simulation filters. The 4-way dial accesses the macro mode, flash settings and timer. When the camera is in playback mode pressing the top of the 4-way dial will delete unwanted images. In the center if the 4-way dial is the Menu/OK button. Pressing this will open the cameras menus where, depending on the mode your in, numerous camera functions can be changed. It is also used to confirm changes as well. Last we have the DISPlay button which changes what information is shown on the LCD. And last is the Intelligent Face Detection button which allows the camera to detect and set focus priority to faces and not backgrounds.

The F80EXR has two external ports on the side of the camera. The top port is for connecting the camera to an AV cable for viewing pictures on a television, and for plugging a USB cable in for plugging into a computer or PictBridge compatible printer. the bottom port is for an HDMI cable  for use with High Definition Devices (playback only).

SD and SDHC memory cards are the preferred memory storage cards used in the camera. Shown here is Lexar’s Professional SDHC 8GB card. Both Still images and movies can be stored on these, how many depends on the size of the card.

The F80EXR is powered by a 3.6v 1000mAh rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery. The charger which is included with the camera will plug into any standard wall outlet. The battery should be able to shoot 230 images according to Fujifilm’s web site. 

Auto mode allows the camera to select functions of the camera while still allowing the user to customize some of the functions as well. In the screen capture above we see it is in Auto mode and has selected values for High Sensitivity and Low Noise as indicated by the SN logo.

EXR mode combines the full use of Fuji’s new Super CCD EXR imaging sensor and processor to create images that are more realistic than ever before. This mode combines one of three specific sensor modes (shown below) with one of the cameras scene modes for the best images possible

Fuji’s EXR shooting modes consist of Resolution Priority for the most detailed images possible, High ISO and Low Noise for the least amount of noise at Higher ISO settings (for low-light situations) and D-Range Priority for capturing images that have extreme light and dark areas.

Program mode is another automatic shooting mode that gives the user a little more control. Options like metering, ISO and white balance are at the users disposal. Aperture and Shutter Speed are still chosen by the camera.

Pressing the shutter release halfway initiates the AF and AE systems, allowing the camera to focus on you subject and determine the shooting settings. When these processes complete, you will see the screen above, if one of them fails, either the focus frame or the numbers will turn red.

In Manual Mode the user has complete control over the settings of the camera allowing for the most customization of all the shooting modes.

Above is an animation of the different shooting mode options which include: EXR Auto, Program, manual, Movie, Pro Focus, Natural Light, Natural Light + Flash and Auto.

When using Auto, EXR or SP modes, either you or the camera will have access to the various pre-set scene modes. These include: Pro-Focus, Pro Low-Light, Portrait, Portrait Enhancer, Dog, Cat, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night (tripod), Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Underwater (with optional waterproof case), Party, Flower and Text.

The “F” button or function shortcut takes you directly to some of the more commonly changed settings of the camera. Here you can see the ISO settings, Image Size and Film Simulation modes.

Also providing you with some shortcuts is the 4-way controller. Pressing it “UP” allows you to adjust the Exposure Compensation (not pictured), “RIGHT” changes the flash mode, “DOWN” sets the Self-Timer and “LEFT” enters Macro mode.

Shooting Menu (Program):

Shooting Mode – Choose between Program and Aperture Priority

IS0 – Auto (400-1600), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200M, 6400S, 12800S
Image Size – L 3:4, L 3:2, L 16:9, M 3:4, M 3:2, M 16:9, S 3:4, S 3:2, S 16:9
Image Quality – Fine, Normal
Dynamic Range – Auto, 100%, 200%, 400%
Film Simulation – STD (Provia), Vivid (Velvia), Soft (Astia), Black & White, Sepia
White Balance – Auto, Custom, Fine, Shade, Fluorescent 1-2-3, Incandescent
Continuous – Final 12, Top 12, Final 3, Top 3
Photometry – Multi, Spot, Average
AF Mode – Center, Multi, Continuous
Face Recognition – On or Off, Register, View & Edit, Erase, Auto Registration (On or Off)

Fujifilm has made setting the face detection incredibly easy, just the touch of a button in fact. pressing the Face Detection button on the back of the camera brings up this screen quickly and allows you to get that picture before the natives get restless.

The F80 EXR allows you to capture video with sound at resolutions of HD1280 or a standard definition of 640. Unlike most compact digicams, the F80 EXR also allows you to use the full 10x optical zoom while recording your video, but the internal microphone picks up the sound and it will overpower any other noise or dialogue.

When the camera is in movie mode and the “F” button is pressed you will be able to quickly choose your shooting format whether you want full High Definition 740×1280 or  a smaller file size like 640×480 which would be better for transferring over the internet.

Pressing the PLAY button enters the camera into playback mode.Here you can look through the pictures you’ve taken. When you press the DISP button you can choose from having information displayed or clearing the screen of information and just view the pictures.

The zoom control allows you to scroll through all the stored images quickly. By pressing the toggle toward the Wide view, the pictures are indexed for quicker navigating.

Pressing the toggle to the telephoto side, allows you to zoom in on an image. The camera allows you to zoom in multiple steps, which is great for checking focus, composition, facial expressions, etc.

Playback Menu:

Image Search – By Date, By Face, By Scene, By Type of Data

Erase – Back, Frame, All Frames

Slide Show- Normal Face Recognition, Normal, Fade-In Face Recognition, Fade-In, Multiple

Red Eye Removal – Remove red eye from portrait shots

Protect – Frame, Set All, Reset All
Crop – Used to crop an image

Resize – Used to change the file size of an image

Image Rotate – Rotate the orientation of an image
Copy – Internal Memory to SD Card, SD Card to Internal Memory

Voice Memo – As a voice note to a picture up to 30 seconds
Erase Face Recognition – Remove stored Face Recognition information
Print Order (DPOF) – With Date, Without Date, Reset All

Pressing the Face Detection button while in playback mode allows you to see all of the faces that were detected in any given photo. It highlights the main face with a green box and the secondary faces with a white one. As you continue to press this button, the camera will zoom in and center the image around each of the faces.

Pressing the “F” button when in playback mode will bring up these commonly used menu options.

Record a voice memo to any picture stored in the camera. The clips can be up to 30 seconds long. Press the OK button and the internal microphone will record your message and then press OK again to stop.

Movie playback allows you to watch you recorded video with sound on the LCD screen and built-in speaker. The 4-way controller allows you to control the video in a similar fashion to a VCR/DVR remote control. You also have the ability to go frame by frame through the video. With the included A/V cable, the camera can be hooked up to a TV for a larger video playback, or using an HDMI cable (not included) video and images can be watched on High Definition T.V.s.

Camera Setup Menu:

DATE/TIME – setting of date and time
TIME DIFFERENCE – Allows you to set the local time and still know the time from where you live
LANGUAGE – Choose the menu language used

SILENT MODE – On or Off
RESET – Resets all camera settings to default
FORMAT – Formats the xD card or internal memory

IMAGE DISP. – Off, Zoom (Continuous) 1.5 sec., 3 sec.

FRAME NO. – Continuous or renew (file numbering)
OPERATION VOL. – Volume for camera controls

SHUTTER VOLUME – Off, Low, Medium or High

SHUTTER SOUND – Sound 1, Sound 2

PLAYBACK VOLUME – Choose between ±5

LCD BRIGHTNESS – Adjust the displays brightness
AUTO POWER OFF – Off, 2 or 5 minutes

DUAL IS MODE – Continuous (Mode 1) or Shooting only (Mode 2)
RED EYE REMOVAL – On or Off
DIGITAL ZOOM – On or Off
AF ILLUMINATOR – Turn On of Off the AF-assist lamp
SAVE ORG IMAGE – Save original image when using Red Eye Remove (On or Off)
AUTOROTATE PB – Choose ON to automatically rotate tall pictures during playback

BACKGROUND COLOR – Choose from 6 different themes

GUIDANCE DISPLAY – On or Off
VIDEO SYSTEM – NTSC or PAL video signal timing
POWER MANAGEMENT – Power Save Mode, Quick AF mode, Clear LCD Display

Building on the success of the F70EXR from last year, FujiFilm has released their F80EXR. This new FinePix model carries over most of the advanced options found on the F70EXR, like a powerful 10x optical zoom lens, Real Photo Processor EXR, Pro Low Light and Pro Focus mode, a Super CCD EXR image sensor, EXR intelligent auto shooting mode, etc. The F80EXR has been upgraded with more resolution at 12-megapixels, a larger 3.0-inch LCD, Dual Image stabilization (high ISO and sensor-shift IS), HD video recording at 720p resolution and Dog/Cat Detection. That’s right, the camera will now find and lock focus and exposure on your furry friends.

One of the benefits of their newer EXR processor is the Multi-frame technology, which captures several frames at once that will then be aligned and combined in-camera into a single image. Along with these more advanced settings, the F80EXR still includes several “Auto” shooting modes (including your typical “Scene” modes) that will allow any member of your family or office to pick the F80EXR up and start snapping pleasing photos. For those who like to “play” with more advanced controls, the camera does offer a Manual exposure mode.

The Super CCD EXR imaging sensor uses larger pixels, while placing them closer together and in difference arrangement when compared to conventional CCD sensors. This allows the EXR processor to produce images with increased resolution without sacrificing image quality due to cramming more, smaller pixels into the same surface area. It also allows the camera to be more sensitive to light and produce more lifelike colors. There are three EXR modes to choose from: Resolution Priority, D-Range Priority and High ISO Low Noise, which you can choose manually or the camera will select from them automatically. Their intelligent “EXR Auto” exposure mode not only chooses from one of the three modes above, but also combines that chosen setting with one of the standard scene modes (thanks to its scene recognition system). The result is the camera will capture the highest quality images possible, not matter what the shooting situation at hand.

The body of this camera is quite small, especially when you consider that it’s packing a 10x optical zoom lens inside. The right side of the frame is slightly “fatter”, which is designed to help make holding the camera with your right hand more comfortable. It also allows for simple one-handed shooting. All of the camera controls are easily accessed by your finger tips. Like we saw with the F70EXR, you have to watch your fingers on your right hand to ensure they don’t block the flash. One noticeable improvement on the F80EXR is the large 3.0-inch LCD screen. This is a welcomed addition over the 2.7-inch display of old, and we found it worked well in most lighting. The surface is very reflective, which can cause some issues in bright sunny conditions. The live image is nice and bright, so that will help you frame your subject in these harsh conditions. 

Image quality has not improved over the F70EXR. By stuffing more pixels onto the same size sensor (12-megapixels compared to 10), we feel that the F80EXR’s image quality has suffered when compared to its predecessor. That’s not to say that the F80EXR doesn’t capture nice photos. We just noticed when comparing them side by side, the F70EXR’s photos looked better to us. The most noticeable difference in quality that we noted was imager noise. The F80EXR shows increased amounts of noise over the past model, in almost every situation. Again, we want to reiterate that the F80EXR does capture pleasing 12-megapixel photos for a camera of this size. Exposures are quite nice, as are colors. Images show good contrast and sharpness throughout the frame, with a slight softening seen when viewing at 100% due to noise. 

The F80EXR’s 10x optical zoom lens boasts a versatile equivalent range of 27-270mm. This will afford a nice wide view for indoor or landscape type photos, while at the same time give you good reach for tight close-ups and brining distant subjects closer. We found that the lens helps the camera produce clear images throughout the zoom range, with moderate barrel distortion at the wide end, along with slight pincushioning at full telephoto. We also saw some small traces of aberrations in some of the high-contrast areas of our photos.

When shooting our M&M man photos, we saw similar results to the F70EXR. At ISO 100 the camera captures beautiful photos that show great detail, however you can see a good amount of noise in low contrast areas and around bright colors. ISO 200 is where noise starts to become noticeable. At the same time, some of the fine details, such as the flag stitching, start to disappear. At ISO 800 is when you will have to start worrying about noise showing up in prints 8×10 and smaller. Although the camera features ISO settings up 12800, which is normally only found on high-end dSLRs, the higher ISO images look horrible. This is more of a gimmick to be honest, as I can not see one single use for the 6400 and 12800 settings as the photos look like a water-color art mode. Even ISO 3200 is unusable for even 4×6-inch photos. Luckily, the camera keeps the ISO to 800 and below when using the auto ISO setting. 

The F80EXR’s Super Intelligent Flash unit performed well for such a small speedlite. It offers a decent amount of power when compared to other cameras of this size, and was able to give us good illumination on subjects less than 10 feet away; depending on the zoom and ISO settings. Fuji claims a range of up to 13.8ft. (w) at ISO 800. As long as you do not expect this camera to illuminate an open room, you should be pleased with your flash mode shooting results.

Pro Low Light mode, which takes several images at once and combines them into a single image with lower noise, worked quite well. You can see some examples on our samples page where we shot our M&M man under some very low lighting in Auto, EXR Auto, and the Pro Low Light mode. While all three images show similar exposure, you can see that the Pro Low Light mode did help produce less noise than the others. While this seems like a very useful feature, we noted that it was most useful when using a tri-pod for support. Hand holding that camera at shutter speeds of 1/4 of a second would have produced some very blurry photos due to camera shake. 

Our videos results were average at best. While our HD samples look great on the 3.0-inch LCD, once you enlarge them on a monitor (like my Dell 24-inch widescreen), you can see that they are not sharp at all. Playback is nice and smooth, and the camera handles exposure well. The optical zoom can also be used during video, but you’ll find that it takes a second for focus to catch up. Overall, this is a nice function to have, just don’t expect to create the latest blockbuster with this camera. 

Battery life was Ok for a consumer mode. FujiFilm claims that you can shoot up to 230 photos on a single charge, which is about average. Many newer cameras are achieving 300+ photos on one charge, which is much more appealing in my opinion. This battery life should get you through a days worth of shooting, however we recommend you pick up a second pack if you are going on vacation. Since the battery is charged outside the camera, you can use one pack while the other is charging.

Bottom Line – FujiFilm’s latest EXR FinePix model is a versatile compact camera. This unit has a lot to offer and packs a wealth of cool features inside of its body, including a powerful 10x wide angle zoom, Multi-frame technology, Dog/Cat detection, HD video mode, and much more. With good overall image quality, speedy performance, and a street price of $300 or less, we feel the FujiFilm FinePix F80EXR offers great “bang for your buck” when you consider the versatility and features you are receiving from such a compact package.

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The Review Crew
The Review Crew is a group of beat editors, writers, and consultants that have been working together for years. They know just about everything about everything collectively and have published their collective work under the Review Crew brand moniker for almost 20 years.