Check out an examination of photo quality from Fujifilm's higher-end compact megazoom, the FinePix F80EXR.
These ISO test photos were taken at the camera's full 12-megapixel resolution, not using any of the EXR modes. The results are good, but they are nothing special. Even at the lowest ISO setting, the camera behaves like a typical compact megazoom producing soft photos that noticeably dip in quality at ISO 400. They also tend to look more like watercolor paintings than photos when viewed at 100 percent as well as with large prints or on a large TV screen. Things get grainier above that, but there's still perceived detail if photos are viewed at small sizes. The 6-megapixel High ISO & Low Noise EXR mode results are slightly better.
Here is a side-by-side look at the F80EXR's High ISO & Low Noise mode at ISO 400, 800, and 1,600, going from top to bottom. The technology is able to reduce the amount of noise, most evident at ISO 1,600. These are crops at 100 percent, so they're really worst-case scenario. At smaller sizes, say a 4x6-inch print, the technology allows you to get a slightly cleaner high-ISO photo.
What works even better, though, is the camera's Pro Low-light scene mode, which quickly takes a series of shots and combines them into one photo, removing noise and blur from hand shake. However, it only works on stationary subjects. In other words, it's perfect for capturing night scenery, but not people.
Like the Pro Low-light mode, this option takes multiple shots and then combines them into one photo. In this case it's to simulate a shallow depth of field. The top photo was taken in Program mode, the bottom in Pro Focus. For the best results you need to have a subject with a good amount of distance from the background. Otherwise the camera has a difficult time deciding what needs to be blurred, which is why the upper right corner is still in focus.
The F80EXR's lens goes from a 35mm-equivalent 27mm to 270mm giving you some nice shooting flexibility in a small package. Center sharpness is fairly good. It's also good off to the sides with the exception of the top corners where there was noticeable softness when photos are viewed at full size.
The F80EXR produces average to above average amounts of purple fringing in high-contrast areas of photos. It's mostly only visible when photos are viewed at 100 percent, but in certain conditions it's enough to ruin smaller prints and would require a lot of editing to remove.
Though not technically accurate, the colors produced by the F80EXR are quite nice and natural. If you like your colors a little more vivid, like most compact cameras, an option is available to punch things up. The auto white balance seemed a little warm indoors and a little cool outside, so take advantage of the manual setting for better results. The dynamic range is pretty much the best you'll find on a camera this size.