Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR review: Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

5 stars 1 user review

The Good Good size, build and handling; 'pro low light' mode enables excellent shots in dim lighting; useful 10x, 27-270mm zoom.

The Bad Bad colour-fringing problem; the EXR sensor often imposes a resolution penalty.

The Bottom Line Even if you were just getting a 10x wideangle superzoom, the compact Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR would be good, but, with its EXR sensor technology, it potentially has the upper hand over many of its rivals. Its fatal flaw, though, is its susceptibility to colour fringing, which seriously undermines all its other good work

8.3 Overall

We raved over Fujifilm's FinePix F200EXR back in March. It was the first camera to feature the company's innovative EXR sensor, offering high dynamic range and excellent high-ISO performance. Now the company's made the 10-megapixel FinePix F70EXR, a 10x superzoom compact with the same technology, and it can be yours for around £220.

Offbeat sensor
Fujifilm's always experimented with offbeat sensor designs aimed at improving picture quality beyond sheer megapixel counts. The approach taken by the EXR sensor is to use all its megapixels in its high-resolution mode, but to pair them up for its high-dynamic-range and high-ISO modes. In the high-dynamic-range mode, the two sets of pixels are used for two different exposures which are then combined in the camera. In the high-ISO mode, pixel pairs are used to increase sensitivity without increasing noise.

The fine detail looks crisp, but there's not a great deal of texture in the pencil tips. The EXR sensor offers good colours and amazing dynamic range, though (click image to enlarge)

The penalty? In both the high-dynamic-range and high-ISO modes, you only get half the resolution. That wasn't a problem, we thought, with the F200EXR, but the F70EXR is slightly different because the sensor is physically smaller and has 10 megapixels rather than 12. We can live with 6 megapixels but, for some reason, a 5-megapixel resolution feels rather iffy.

Nevertheless, the high-dynamic-range mode works spectacularly well. Other compacts leave bright skies washed out, but the F70EXR captures all their colour and subtlety. And, instead of inky black shadows, you get richly graduated dark tones. A 5-megapixel resolution isn't so bad when the improvement is this spectacular.

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