Fujifilm Finepix F80EXR review

On paper it’s the perfect compact camera – and it comes close to delivering – but image quality is actually worse than its predecessor

16 Apr 2010
F80EXR in black
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT


1/2in 12.0-megapixel sensor, 10.0x zoom (27-270mm equivalent), 183g

Fujifilm’s F70EXR is the best point-and-shoot camera we’ve seen, with a 10x zoom, excellent image quality (particularly in low light), a compact design and a great price. Our one reservation was its lack of an HD video mode. The F80EXR is essentially the same model but with 720p HD video capture, which should make it the perfect compact camera.

Video quality proved to be good but not fantastic. Noise reduction suppressed fine details but still let some noise get through, even in sunlit shots. Still, detail levels were far better than in any VGA video mode – including the F70EXR’s – and automatic exposures were smooth. The M-JPEG compression produced huge files of around 3MB per second, although this helped keep the quality high.

Stereo audio is recorded at better-than-CD quality, but sadly, the camera doesn’t have the goods to back it up. Bass frequencies were boomy and a constant hiss was audible in quiet environments. Worst of all, the lens’ zoom and autofocus motors obliterated the soundtrack with whirrs and clicks. It’s best to disable continuous autofocus and leave the zoom at its wide-angle setting (which keeps everything largely in focus) while recording clips.

The extra buffer memory required for 720p video also means the camera can capture five shots in its 1.6fps continuous mode whereas the F70EXR could only manage three. Autofocus remains extremely quick, and in general use the camera feels responsive. There’s still an issue whereby we had to wait for a picture to be saved before we could access the menu, but if our memory serves us correctly, the delay is shorter this time around.

The other major difference between this camera and its predecessor is a move from 10 to 12 megapixels. To some people this will be seen as an improvement, but for us it’s the wrong decision. The key to the F70EXR’s superiority over other big-zoom compact cameras is its image quality in low light, and a major contributing factor to that is its relatively modest resolution.

The F80EXR’s photos are still better than those from rival cameras, thanks to its relatively large 1/2in sensor, its ability to halve its resolution either to avoid clipped highlights or to reduce noise, plus its Pro Low Light mode that merges four exposures for remarkably clean photos (see our F70EXR review for more details). However, because of the resolution increase, the advantage isn’t as big as it was with the F70EXR.

The negative tone of this review is more about the high standards we’ve come to expect from Fujifilm’s EXR range rather than how the F80EXR compares to its rivals. For all our complaints, it still manages to deliver respectable photo and video quality and an excellent set of features for casual snapping at a competitive price. However, the 720p video mode isn’t good enough to justify the dip in image quality. So unless HD video is a big priority then buy the F70EXR.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
CCD effective megapixels 12.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 230,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 10.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 27-270mm
Image stabilisation optical, sensor shift
Maximum image resolution 4,000x3,000
Maximum movie resolution 1280x720
Movie frame rate at max quality 24fps
File formats JPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)


Memory slot SDHC
Mermory supplied 40MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 230 shots
Connectivity USB, AV, HDMI (Type D)
Body material plastic
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier 5.4x
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 183g
Size 59x99x28mm

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £190
Supplier http://www.play.com
Details www.fujifilm.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed 8 to 1/2,000 seconds
Aperture range f/3.3-9 (wide), f/5.6-16 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 100 to 1600
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 7 presets, manual
Additional image controls dynamic range, film simulation
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus 5cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, tracking, face detect
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer