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Fuji Finepix F80 (with ACC Kit review: Fuji Finepix F80 (with ACC Kit

Fuji Finepix F80 (with ACC Kit

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Joshua Goldman
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Joshua Goldman

Managing Editor / Advice

Josh Goldman helps people find the best laptop at the best price -- from simple Chromebooks to high-end gaming laptops. He's been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software for more than two decades.

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8 min read

The Fujifilm FinePix F80EXR is another in a group of point-and-shoots using a Super CCD EXR sensor that, simply speaking, is designed to improve dynamic range and low-light performance--two things many compact cameras are not so good at. It first appeared in the company's excellent F200EXR and the technology has since been used in several models including the F80EXR's predecessor. However, the 1/1.6-inch type Super CCD EXR in the F200EXR is larger than the 1/2-inch type in the F80EXR. That does make a difference, so if you're reading reviews of the F200EXR and are expecting identical results from the F80EXR, you're not going to get them. What you will get is an overall very good compact megazoom for its street price and size. It certainly has limitations, though, so you'll want to thoroughly consider your photo quality needs before buying.

Fuji FinePix F80EXR (black)
7.6

Fuji Finepix F80 (with ACC Kit

The Good

Reliable Auto EXR mode; very good dynamic range and good high-ISO performance in EXR modes; small for having a 10x zoom, wide-angle lens.

The Bad

Limited aperture settings; menu systems take some getting used to; two EXR modes use 6-megapixel resolution.

The Bottom Line

The Fujifilm FinePix F80EXR is an overall very good compact megazoom for its street price and size, though it's not without compromises.

Key specs Fujifilm FinePix F80EXR
Price (MSRP) $279.95
Dimensions (WHD) 3.9 x 2.3 x 1.1 inches
Weight (with battery and media) 7.1 ounces
Megapixels, image sensor size, type 12 megapixels, 1/2-inch Super CCD EXR (6 megapixels in D-Range EXR and High ISO EXR modes)
LCD size, resolution/viewfinder 3-inch LCD, 230K dots/None
Lens (zoom, aperture, focal length) 10x, f3.3-5.6, 27-270mm(35mm equivalent)
File format (still/video) JPEG/Motion JPEG (.AVI)
Highest resolution size (still/video) 4,000x3,000 pixels/1,280x720 at 24fps
Image stabilization type Mechanical and digital
Battery type, CIPA rated life Lithium ion rechargeable, 220 shots
Battery charged in camera No; external charger supplied
Storage media SD/SDHC memory cards
Bundled software MyFinePix Studio (Windows only)

The F80EXR is attractive and remarkably small for a camera with a 10x zoom and a 27mm-equivalent wide-angle lens. It feels very well constructed and is comfortable to use, too. The only issue I had while testing was the position of the flash, which I frequently blocked with one or two of my fingers. The 3-inch LCD on back is bright and fared well in sunny conditions, but it was mottled with color noise in low light. To the top right of the LCD is the Shooting Mode dial, which moves a little too freely, but is at least sunken into the body instead of sitting on top of it.

The camera's menu systems can be a little frustrating at first, but once you understand them, they're simple. Below the Mode dial is the F-mode button for bringing up a menu of shooting options specific to the mode you're in. All other general camera controls--shooting priority, light metering, AF mode, continuous options, and image stabilization--are under the main menu system, reached by pressing the Menu/OK button at the center of the directional pad. This main menu system is where you go for a secondary selection of setup settings, too, for things like date and time, LCD brightness, and to format memory cards. The directional pad is used for navigating menus in addition to changing exposure compensation, flash mode, timer options, turning on Macro mode, and deleting photos in playback. At the bottom of the control panel sits buttons for changing the information displayed onscreen and directly turning on and off face detection. Also, pressing and holding the Display button will put the camera in a Silent Mode that turns off the speaker, flash, and self-timer lamp; press and hold again and it turns them all back on.

The battery and card slot compartment is on the bottom right. The door covering it doesn't lock, but the door slides forward instead of off to the side, which seems to keep it from accidentally opening during use or when stored loose in a bag. The battery life is average for its class; the battery must be removed from the camera for charging. Micro-USB/AV and Micro-HDMI ports are under a door on the right.

General shooting options Fujifilm FinePix F80EXR
ISO sensitivity (full resolution) Auto; 100; 200; 400; 800; 1,600
White balance Auto, Fine, Shade, Fluorescent (Daylight), Fluorescent (Warm white), Fluorescent (Cool white), Incandescent, Manual
Recording modes Programmed AE, Aperture Priority AE, Manual, Auto, EXR, Natural Light, Natural Light & with Flash, Scene, Movie
Focus modes Multi AF, Continuous AF, Center AF, Tracking AF, Macro
Metering modes Multi, Spot, Average
Color effects Standard, Vivid, Soft, Black & White, Sepia
Burst mode shot limit (full resolution) Five shots

As for shooting options, the F80EXR has a lot to pick from. For starters, there are the namesake EXR modes. This consists of High Resolution Priority, D-Range Priority, High ISO & Low Noise Priority, and Auto EXR. Auto EXR is scene recognition that also recognizes which EXR Priority option to use. It's effective and reliable as long as you're OK with the reduced 6-megapixel resolution of the D-Range and High ISO & Low Noise Priority modes. It continues to be one of the best put-it-there-and-leave-it-there auto modes I've tested.

If you don't want to use the EXR, there's a regular Auto mode for more ordinary shooting that uses the camera's full 12-megapixel resolution--or lower if you want--as well as 18 scene modes to choose from. Included in the scene modes are Pro Low-light and Pro Focus options. The Low-light mode snaps off four shots and then combines them into one lower-noise photo while the Pro Focus creates a shallow depth of field by digitally blurring the background. (You can view results of both in the slideshow later in this review.) There's a Natural Light mode for low-light shooting without the flash and a Natural with Flash that takes two pictures, one using available light and one with flash.

A Program mode lets the camera handle shutter speed and aperture while you tweak everything else. This also has an aperture-priority option, but the settings are limited to two stops at each step of the zoom, achieved using a neutral density filter. For example, you get f3.3 and f9 at the lens' widest position and f5.6 and f16 when zoomed out. There is a Manual mode as well, but again apertures are limited. Shutter speeds are selectable from 8 seconds to 1/2,000 of a second. And for those who like experimenting with film types, Fujifilm modeled color options after three of its film types: Provia (standard color), Velvia (vivid color), and Astia (soft tones).

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.

Shooting speed (in seconds)
(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)

Fujifilm FinePix F80EXR
2
4
1.4
0.7
0.5

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS5
1.3
4.8
1.7
0.7
0.6

Canon PowerShot SX120 IS
2.5
6.1
2.6
0.7
0.6

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55
1.8
4.5
3.7
0.8
0.6

Nikon Coolpix S8000
0.8
2.1
1.7
0.9
0.5

Typical continuous-shooting speed (in frames per seconds)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test digital cameras.

Fuji FinePix F80EXR (black)
7.6

Fuji Finepix F80 (with ACC Kit

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Performance 7Image quality 7
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