March 5, 2013


The EXR series of Fujifilm FinePix cameras come equipped with the EXR chip, which provides some additional shooting modes to improve image quality. We had reviewed the Fujifilm FinePix F70 EXR last year, and now we have the F80 EXR with us, which has some improvements like increase in megapixel by 2 MP to 12 MP and 720p HD video recording. This compact camera comes with powerful 10x optical zoom and a nice large 3-inch LCD screen. With a wide variety of shooting modes, we think this camera should perform just as well as it is advertised.

  • Fujifilm FinePix F80 EXR
  • Battery charger with cable
  • USB 2.0 cable
  • User manual

The bundle is fairly sparse to reduce the cost. The battery charger lets you charge the battery separately, while you can also charge it using the USB 2.0 cable.

 Design and build
The Fujifilm FinePix F80 EXR belongs to the EXR class of point-and-shoot, ultra-compact digital cameras. The body is made of full metal with rounded edges and has a luxurious black glossy varnish finish, which makes it seem like plastic. It is kind of chunky and very firm to hold, and seems very rugged. The size is as small as a clenched fist and so the camera naturally feels tiny in your hands. But holding it for long is not a problem, especially because the camera is incredibly lightweight.

The wide-angle lens is a Fujinon f3.3-5.6 27mm with 10x optical zoom equivalent of 27 mm to 270 mm. The lens is protected by an automatic cover, which opens when the camera is switched on and closes when it is switched off. The Xenon flash is placed on the right at the front, just below the shutter button. This is actually a bad placement as you tend to accidentally cover the flash with your finger while holding the camera and clicking. A tracking/AF sensor is situated near the centre towards the top of the front side. A microphone is located just beside the lens in the lower part.

The top of the camera has just three controls - shutter button, zoom rocker and power button. The shutter button is towards the right and is large enough for comfortable use. The zoom rocker is situated around this button and you can easily zoom in or out with just a flick of the lever of the rocker. The round power button is not recessed into the steel frame, so it is difficult to just feel it and press without looking where the button is actually located.

The back of the camera has a bright and crisp 3.0-inch LCD screen with 230,000 pixels and an aspect ratio of 4:3. Being such a small camera, there is no optical viewfinder, so you have to depend on the LCD all the time. Most of the controls available in this camera are located at the back. These include a dial to select different shooting modes and a jog dial to sift through the captured photos or videos. The jog dial also lets you select different settings such as macro mode, flash, EV value, delete and delayed shutter.

You can choose other settings too by pressing the OK button at the centre, selecting the setting and then pressing OK again. There is a playback button between the two dials, to enter playback mode and view captured content on the LCD. To the right, there is F-Mode button that gives you fast and easy access to most frequently used functions in the selected shooting mode. Just below the jog dial, there is a DISP button, which sets the display mode (such as grid guides on LCD), or even lets you go back a menu. The button situated to the right of this button lets you quickly enable or disable Face detection without going through the menus.

At the bottom of the camera, a flap with a latch houses the battery compartment and the memory card slot. This camera supports SD and SDHC memory cards. The slim Lithium ion battery is a proprietary 3.6V Fujifilm NP-50 with a typical rating of 1000mAh. The battery cannot be charged in the camera and has to be charged in a separately provided charger. The sieve present at the bottom is the speaker. There is also a centrally located threaded tripod mount socket, which is made of metal rather than plastic, thus ensuring durability.

A proprietary socket is present on one side of the camera, covered with a protective plastic flap. This socket is to be plug in the USB or A/V cable. There is also provision to attach a wrist strap to the camera at the side.

 Features and Performance
The Fujifilm FinePix F80 EXR comes with 10x optical zoom.

The dual image stabilization technology, involving lens shift as well as CCD sensor shift, eliminates the effects of shaky hands, magnified with the large zoom to give you a steady, sharp photograph. If you are interested in zoom photography, then this camera should interest you.

The different modes selectable through the mode dial are EXR Auto, Auto, Program AE, Manual, Movie, Special Program (SP), Natural Light and Natural Light & with Flash. Auto mode puts the camera on auto-pilot, with minimal control to the user. Manual mode allows shutter speeds from 8 seconds to 1/2000 seconds.

In the EXR Auto mode the camera automatically recognizes the scene and selects the best setting. There are four EXR Auto modes to choose from; the default EXR Auto mode is to set camera settings as per scene, the Resolution Priority mode is for shooting the subject in detail, High ISO & Low Noise mode is for taking clear shots with minimal noise, and D-Range Priority is to capture the highest dynamic range so as to prevent washouts and retain best possible tonality in the resultant photograph. At the heart of all this is the EXR chip that controls the mode.

An example for D-Range Priority is if you shoot under lighting conditions where there is a great amount of mixing of bright and dark areas. The camera takes two shots at the same time by dividing the CCD sensor into two parts. In one snap the sensor adapts itself for bright conditions, while the second snap is for dark conditions. The two images are then combined and the final result is a photograph with a wider dynamic lighting range and better tonal quality.

Program Auto mode lets you change most of the settings manually, except shutter speed and aperture size. Natural Light mode retains natural ambience when shots are taken in low light conditions, while in the Natural Light & with Flash mode (in which the camera takes two photos - one with and one without flash), the camera clicks two images continuously - one with flash and one without to create natural photographs even in conditions with insufficient light.

There are 18 scene modes to choose from to suit every shooting condition imaginable. Notable are two modes namely, Pro Focus, in which the camera focuses on the subject and soft focuses on the background, and Pro Low-Light, in which the camera enhances the clarity of still subjects in very low light. What's new in this camera is the Pet Detection technology, with two shooting modes catering to this new tech. One mode is optimized for detecting faces of dogs, while the other is optimized to detect the faces of cats. In fact, there is even an option for the camera to automatically take a snap of your pet when it is directly looking at the camera.

Five rupee coin shot from a distance of 3 cm with an exposure of 1/75 sec at ISO 400 in fluorescent light

With the macro mode, you can shoot subjects as close as 3 cm from the lens with auto-focus.

Flowers shot from a distance of 3 cm with an exposure of 1/600 sec at ISO 100 in normal daylight

As you can see, the details are captured, but we don't get the sharpness we are looking for in a macro shot.

Also worth noting is the AF Tracking, which lets you lock focus on fast moving subjects and shoot them.

Pro Low-Light scene mode was used to snap this shot under sodium lights. The shutter speed was automatically slowed down to 1/4 second at ISO 1600. Though this ISO value cannot be selected manually in this mode, the automatic mode can select it. The photo looks normal at a glance, but a closer look shows some graininess as is expected of photographs with high ISO value, but it is still less than what we usually see in many of the other cameras.

The Fujifilm FinePix F80 EXR may look like a normal point-and-shoot camera but packs in a lot more. The main difference is the EXR chip that powers the EXR shooting modes. These modes make a good improvement in the quality of photographs as against those shot in automatic mode. It is an ultra-compact camera which is small and light enough to be carried in your trouser pocket. Though the design won't make a style statement, it is a lot better than many of the other cameras in this range, especially because of its rounded contours.

The build feels solid and the ergonomics are well taken care of. Image quality is good in most situations and we noticed a good improvement in low light photography. The 10x zoom works very well and the image stabilization lets you click good photos even if you don't have the steadiest of hands. The wide angle lens can capture a large crowd and can detect up to ten faces at a time. Along with face recognition, there is even a pet face detection mode to shoot photos of your pet cats and dogs. You can also capture 720p HD videos at 24 FPS and they do look good.

Probably the one con we noticed was that there is no way to manually control the focus, so you have to rely on autofocus, which can be fuzzy at times. Also, the photos turn out to be a bit soft. Overall, this 12 MP camera has an easy to use interface for anyone who has no background in photography. Apart from black, it is also available in red, pink and silver. The Fujifilm FinePix F80 EXR is available for an MRP of Rs. 17,999, which is a bit on the higher side.



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