There is, of course, face detection--with or without auto red-eye correction--which features improved detection for up to 10 faces, upside down, slanted, and sideways, head on or profile. Face Recognition is included as well, letting you register the faces of up to eight people in the camera's memory; you simply line up their faces with some onscreen markings, snap a picture, and then add info like name, birthday, and a category, such as friend or family. The camera will then prioritize focus and exposure for registered people when detected in photos--up to four at the same time. For pet lovers, there's Dog and Cat Face Detection that, well, detects the faces of dogs or cats in frame. (However, it doesn't work on animals with black or long fur on their faces.) What's probably nicest about this feature is that there is a pet face detection shutter release, so when the camera is able to detect a dog or cat, it will automatically focus and shoot.
Lastly, you get a Movie mode that captures up to a resolution of 1,280x720 pixels at 24 frames per second with continuous AF and white-balance control.
The F80EXR has all-around decent shooting performance. From off to first shot is 2 seconds and then it's just 1.4 seconds between shots. However, turning on the flash extends shot-to-shot time to 4 seconds. The camera's shutter lag is a passable 0.5 second in good lighting. In dimmer conditions, it only lengthens to 0.7. Lastly, though its full-resolution burst is limited to five shots, it fires them off at 1.6 frames per second. A 23-shot burst is available capturing at approximately 4.2fps, but the images are 3 megapixels and the image quality is on par with a camera phone.
Considering the F80EXR's street price and overall capabilities compared with others in its class, its photo quality is very good--especially if you're not a pixel peeper and don't intend to do a lot of heavy cropping or enlarging. That said, 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 and more painterly 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. The technology is able to reduce the amount of noise at higher ISOs so photos look slightly cleaner.
The F80EXR's lens goes from a 35mm-equivalent 27mm to 270mm giving you some nice shooting flexibility in a small package. Its 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. It has some barrel distortion on the left side at the widest lens position. Zoom all the way out and you get a nearly unnoticeable amount of pincushion distortion. There are 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--such as strongly backlit subjects--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.
Despite being "HD" the movie quality is merely OK; it's good enough for Web sharing, but a little too soft to enjoy on a large HDTV. Again, you do get use of the optical zoom, though the movement is picked up by the mic. That's typical of most point-and-shoots that allow zooming, however.
Though it has some very good photo results compared with other compact megazoom cameras, the Fujifilm FinePix F80EXR will likely disappoint those expecting the greatness of the company's first EXR model, the F200EXR. They share similar technologies, but the sensors are not the same. It's still one of the better cameras in its class with a lot of shooting flexibility and reasonably reliable auto features, though it's best if you take a little control away from the camera. You'll also have to overlook that the resolution of two of the three EXR modes are 6 megapixels. However, considering how low the street price is, I'm sure there are plenty of people who can deal with its few limitations.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Time to first shot||Typical shot-to-shot time (flash)||Typical shot-to-shot time||Shutter lag (dim)||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
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