Fujifilm FinePix F800EXR review
1/2in 16.0-megapixel sensor, 20.0x zoom (25-500mm equivalent), 232g
We're big fans of Fujifilm's EXR series of cameras, and all the more so since they sprouted ultra-zoom lenses. The competition is catching up for image quality in low light, though. While the budget Fujifilm Finepix F660EXR earned itself a five-star review, the Fujifilm Finepix F770EXR couldn't match the all-round appeal of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ25.
Fujifilm has just one new model this time around, but with features taken from the F770EXR and a price that has already been discounted to around £230, it looks like a promising pocket ultra-zoom.
The F800EXR includes Wi-Fi – a first for a Fujifilm camera. With the help of accompanying free apps for iOS and Android, it can send photos to smartphones and tablets and use these devices' GPS radios to tag photos. It's a clever idea. Cameras tend to be turned on and off regularly, which disrupts GPS tracking, whereas a phone app can keep tracking constantly. The implementation is clumsy, though, requiring lots of finger ballet on both the phone and camera each time we wanted to update our position. The F770EXR's built-in GPS worked much more neatly.
Here's the iOS app in action
Transferring photos from camera to phone proved to be fairly arduous too. The camera creates a Wi-Fi network for the phone to join, but it often gave up waiting and closed down the connection before we managed to transfer anything. A little persistence usually paid off, though. It's great to be able to take a photo and immediately post it on Facebook without having to resort to a smartphone's inferior camera. This is going to become a must-have feature for all digital cameras.
Otherwise, the F800EXR appears to be identical to the F770EXR. That means a range of clever shooting modes to minimise noise or expand the dynamic range for better highlight and shadow detail. Priority and manual exposure modes are included, but not manual focus, and it's not possible to move the autofocus point. There are two function buttons for quick access to key settings, except that certain key settings such as white balance and raw mode are only available by delving through the main menu.