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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR

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Fujifilm F70EXR Review

Review Date: Oct 08, 2009

Category: Beginner Amateur

Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR

Photoxels Editor's Choice 2009 - Compact Ultra Zoom
Photoxels Editor's Choice 2009 - Compact Ultra Zoom 

HANDLING & FEEL

You would not know the Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR is an ultra zoom digital camera were it not for the small and subtle "10x WIDE" stamped on the front of the body. In a body about the same size and weight as the 5x optical zoom FinePix F200EXR, the FinePix F70EXR is currently the world's slimmest (22.7mm / 0.9 in.) 10x optical zoom digital camera. As such, it can be easily carried in a jeans pocket or small fashion purse.

Shunning designs that scream "ultra zoom", Fujifilm designers chose to stay with a more streamlined, classy and elegant look. The Fujifilm F70EXR uses the SD/SDHC memory card.

The Fujifilm F70EXR does not have a handgrip (or even "finger grip") but there's enough space on the front and back of the camera for your fingers and thumb to get a secure grip. Even then, the use of the wrist strap is a good idea, and the one included is a nice one with an eyelet to fasten the strap tightly around your wrist. There is an AF-assist Illuminator/Self-timer lamp above the lens. The microphone is a small hole near the bottom part of the lens.

The build and construction is excellent, but the finish is easily scratched, so be careful what you carry into the same pocket. The one improvement I would like to see is a more recessed Power button: I inadvertently turned the camera on a number of times just by holding the camera.

The lens is flushed with the body when the camera is off, but powered on, the lens extends approx. 24mm (0.9 in.) at wide-angle and 37mm (1.4 in.) at full tele.

Startup is slightly above 2 sec. (from Power ON to LCD ready for capture, i.e. time-to-first-shot) and shot to shot times are about 1.7 sec. (@ 6 shots in 10 sec. in M mode, 1/125sec.).

In good lighting, there is no practical shutter lag and AF is fast and precise. In low lighting, AF takes about 1 sec. to lock. There is no RAW file format.

Included in the box is a rechargeable Li-ion battery NP-50 that can take about 230 shots with the LCD ON (CIPA standard) on a fresh charge. A battery charger BC-45W plugs directly into the wall electrical outlet and recharges a depleted battery in approx. 150 min.

Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR Top View

The top of the camera has, from right to left, the large Shutter Release Button with the Zoom lever around it, and the Power ON/OFF button. I like the large shutter release button which makes it easy to press the button gently and avoid camera shake. It takes about 1.5 sec. to zoom from wide to tele and I counted approx. 18 intermediate steps. You can also see part of the Mode Dial which can be rotated with your thumb.

Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR Back View

FUNCTIONS ACCESSIBLE BY CONTROL BUTTONS (clockwise starting from the Zoom Lever)
- Mode Dial: AUTO, EXR, P, M, Movie, SP, Natural, Natural & Flash
- Playback: If you just hold it for about 1 sec. without turning on the camera, it will automatically go into Playback mode
- Photo (F) button: ISO ( Auto 1600, Auto 800, Auto 400, 12800, 6400, 3200, 1600, 800, 400, 200 100), Image Size, Film Simulation (PROVIA/Standard, Velvia/Vivid, ASTIA/Soft, B&W, Sepia)
- 4 Way Arrows: UP = Exposure Compensation/Erase; RIGHT = Flash; DOWN = Self-timer (10 sec. and 2 sec.); LEFT = Macro
- Face Priority
- DISPLAY (Info, No info, Info + Framing Grid) / Back
   
EXPOSURE COMPENSATION
- Exposure compensation is accessed directly by pressing the Exposure Compensation button
- Once set, the Exposure Compensation Indicator conveniently stays displayed on screen until it is reset to "0"
- Range: -2 EV to +2 EV (1/3 EV increments)
- The screen brightness will increase or decrease to reflect the value you use
- Note: the exposure compensation value selected is retained even when the camera is turned off (so remember to reset to "0" after using it or the next time you turn the camera on, your shots may be over- or under-exposed.)
- No Histogram is available
   
DISP/BACK
- Besides acting as a Display button to select whether info is displayed on screen or not, this button also serves as a "Back" button to back out of MENU choices -- something like the Cancel key on your computer keyboard
   
SHUTTER SPEED RANGES
- Night scene mode: 1/8s to 1/1000s
Night Tripod scene mode: 3s to 1/1000s
Fireworks scene mode: 4s to 1/2s
Manual mode: 8s to 1/2000s
Other modes: 1/4s to 1/2000s
   

There is no viewfinder but a large 2.7 in. LCD monitor with 230,000 dots resolution. The LCD has a fast enough refresh rate for a smooth display. The LCD monitor's brightness can be adjusted in SETUP. The LCD gains up very well in low-light.

The F70EXR has Sensor-shift image stabilization which is quite effective in helping to reduce camera shake at the long focal lengths and slow shutter speeds.

The Mode Dial is thankfully free rotating, i.e. you can rotate either way to select a mode. Besides AUTO, you can also select: EXR, P, M, Movie, SP, Natural, and Natural & Flash.

Most of you will probably leave the Mode Dial on EXR and select AUTO in the menu (3 other options are: Resolution Priority, High ISO & Low Noise, D-Range Priority). Natural scene mode uses a high ISO and disables flash. Natural & Flash scene mode takes 2 pictures: one without the flash and a second one with the flash.

A nod to more advanced photographers is the Aperture-Priority AE (turn Mode Dial to P and select Aperture-Priority AE as the shooting mode in Menu) and [full] Manual settings.

There are a number of Continuous Mode: Final 12, Top 12, Final 3, Top 3. Note that the High Speed Continuous Mode (Top 12, Final 12) uses ISO 400 and "Small" resolution. Top 12 and Top 3 allows you to take up to 12 and 3 images, respectively, as you depress and hold the shutter release button down. In Final 12 and Final 3, the camera takes up to 40 shots as soon as you press and gold the shutter release button -- but retain only the final 12 and 3, respectively, as you let go of the shutter release button.

You can record movies at 640 x 480 @ 30fps with sound until the memory card is full. You can zoom while filming videos, but you will also clearly record the zoom noise. You can set focus to Continuous in movie mode so the camera refocuses as you zoom; again you will record the auto focusing noise.

A couple of nice features: the hinged plastic Terminal door opens up wide to allow unimpeded access [don't you hate fighting with a rubber flap?] to the USB and A/V socket (one socket used by both cables). There is a very nice Battery/Card door and the battery has a latch to keep it from accidentally falling. Because the [metal] tripod socket is in the center at the bottom, you won't be able to change battery when the camera is on a tripod.

The Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR is well-built and handles well. I really like the compact form factor and that it does not shout "ultra zoom" but maintains a discreet design. Performance is very good for an ultra zoom and the controls are extremely intuitive, though a bit on the small side. Those with large fingers will want to try before they buy. The FinePix F70EXR is a great take-anywhere digital camera for the point-and-shoot photographer in your family. More advanced photographers will also find that the Aperture and Manual settings allow enough exposure control to satisfy them.

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