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Fujifilm FinePix F600EXR Camera Review

Fujifilm FinePix F600EXR Camera Review - Joshua Waller reviews the new Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR - like the F550 before it, it features a 15x optical zoom, but adds new GPS functions.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR
Price : £125
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR

The Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR is the latest compact pocket zoom from Fujifilm and is an update to the F600 EXR, adding these new features:

"New EXR Auto with a Motion Detection capability to virtually reduce subject blur in all lighting conditions. The built-in GPS functionality adds a Landmark Navigator feature to help photographers pin-point locations and the 15x wide-angle optical zoom lens now doubles its telephoto power (to 30x) thanks to the new intelligent digital zoom mode."

It also adds a new textured finish on the black model and features a 16 megapixel EXR CMOS sensor, 15x optical zoom lens, 3 inch screen, GPS and RAW support. (As this camera is so similar to the predecessor, this review is based on the F550 EXR Review).

Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR

Fujifilm FinePix F600EXR Features

The Fujifilm FinePix F600EXR sits at the top of the range in Fujifilm's line-up of pocket-zoom / travel-zoom cameras and features a wide angle 15x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 24-360mm.

Another feature of the F600 is a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor for high speed shooting and Fuji's unique EXR pixel arrangement to give three modes of operation: HR: High Resolution (uses all pixels to make a 16 megapixel images), SN: High Sensitivity for high ISO, low noise at 8 megapixels and DR: for dynamic range improvements (upto 1600% now available), at 8 megapixels.

The F600 and F550 goes beyond what the F500 offers, by including manual controls and RAW support and GPS support. If you don't need or want these features you can save some money by going for the Fujifilm FinePix F500 EXR instead. Both cameras are capable of recording Full HD video with optical zoom and stereo sound.

GPS options are further enhanced on the F600EXR with the following GPS options: GPS On (permanently), On (when camera switched on), Off. Location info ON/OFF. Auto time correction (On without summertime, with summertime, or off), GPS Tracking data on/off (creates a text document on the memory card with GPS information). GPS KM/Mile setting.

In playback you can access landmark navigator, this gives you a compass when the camera is pointed down or a view of GPS landmarks such as public facilities, tourist spots, leisure spots and my landmark. GPS Photo Navigation is another option. You can copy the location info, or search images by date, GPS location name, face, favourites, scene, type of data, or by upload mark (Youtube or Facebook).

Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR

Key Features 

  • 16.0 megapixel back-lit EXR CMOS sensor
  • 15x optical zoom lens, f/3.5-5.3, 24-360mm in 35mm equivalent
  • 3inch screen, 460k pixels
  • Full HD video, 30fps, with stereo sound
  • High speed video 320/160/80fps
  • Scenes / Pro shooting mode / Pro Focus / Pro Low Light
  • 120/180/360 degrees motion panorama
  • Image stabilisation: Image-sensor shift type
  • ISO100 - ISO3200, ISO6400 at 8mp, ISO12800 at 4mp
  • 5cm Macro mode
  • Pop-up flash (electronic button)
  • RAW+JPEG mode, Manual controls
  • New GPS Features
Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR

Fujifilm FinePix F600EXR Handling

Despite being quite a compact camera, it features a rubber front grip, along with a textured / rubberised body. There is also another rubber grip on the back of the camera, although they are simply rubber spots where your thumb rests. This design gives good grip generally, although a tripod may still be necessary when using the full optical zoom.

On the back is an easy to use slanted mode dial and a number of buttons on the back provide quick access to the main modes, including playback and video modes. The video button is quite large, however it felt a little spongy which meant I occasionally wondered whether the camera had started recording.

Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR
Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR - virtually the same to look at, except the F600 has a pop-up button for the flash. This also means you can close the flash more easily than the previous model. The camera features a stylish metal body, with a metal tripod mount.

The F600 is really quite compact for a camera with such a large zoom and it's just the lens that protrudes out of the camera when off, meaning it will easily fit into the more compact camera cases such as the Tamrac Neo 14 (possibly one of the smallest cases available for this camera) with a very snug fit.

Menus: The Fujifilm FinePix F600 menus are quite straightforward, with the main controls split into photo menus and setup menus. Another set of options can be changed by using the F button on the back of the camera, this gives quick access to: ISO, Image size, Continuous shooting, GPS settings, Advanced anti blur and film simulation. Although the availability of the options are dependant on the mode you are currently in. More advanced GPS options, IS mode selection, Red-eye removal and RAW options are available in the setup menu, including the option to save the original image - this works when using red-eye removal, pro focus, pro low-light and motion panorama modes.

Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR

Battery Life: The CIPA rating is 300 shots, although I suspect this is with GPS positioning switched off as the battery life seemed much lower when GPS was left switched on. The battery is a 1000mAh 3.6v battery (NP-50) and is rather small, which would explain the slightly disappointing battery life of only 195 shots.

Speed: We tested the Fujifilm FinePix F600EXR and tested the camera with the Canon Powershot SX230 and Sony Cybershot HX9v, taking 6 shots and using the average to ensure consistent results.

  Fujifilm F600EXR Canon SX230 Sony HX9
Shutter Response <0.05 0.05 <0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.20 0.35 0.20
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.20 0.40 0.20
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 2.3s 1.8s 2.0s
Shot to Shot (without flash) 1s 1.8s 1.0s
Shot to Shot with Flash 2.6s 3.2s 1.9s
Continuous Shooting
(full resolution)
8fps
(8 shots)
2.5fps 10fps
(10 shots)
Continuous shooting (with flash) N/A 1.2s N/A

The Fujifilm FinePix F600 has a good number of options for continuous shooting: No. of frames: 4, 8, 16, 32. 8fps full resolution (max 8 shots), 11fps at Medium (8mp), max 16 frames / or 32 frames at S (Small, 4mp).

Shooting at 8fps for 8 shots, the camera will take 18 seconds to save the photos before you can take any more. Fast focusing and shutter response. As well as a quicker switch on time, the camera also gives a quicker shot to shot time compared to the predecessor.

High speed shooting: shooting at 8mp, you can shoot at speeds up to 11 fps for up to 16 shots. Full resolution continuous shooting is available with shots being taken at 8fps.

Fujifilm FinePix F600EXR Performance

Here are several sample photos taken in a variety of lighting conditions, click "Hi-Res" to view full size sample photos, there are more sample photos in the equipment database where you can also add your own photos and review:

Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR Sample Photos


The portrait photo with flash shows very little red-eye, although better detail should be available by manually selecting a lower ISO setting. The shots have bright saturated colours with strong reds and blues. "Intelligent Zoom" is just another name for digital zoom and you should be able to get better results using dedicated enlargement software should it be needed.

Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR Lens test images


Lens test images show the camera at wide and telephoto zoom, with quite good detail, although the top right corners are soft on the wide shot and images could be a little sharper. Purple fringing is generally quite lot, except in strong contrast. Macro focusing is possible with the subject 5cm away from the front of the lens, this produces good macro photos, as can be seen above.

Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR ISO test images


ISO test images show low noise at the lowest ISO settings of ISO100 and ISO200, with noise gradually increasing as the ISO setting increases. At ISO6400 the images are resized to 8mp and at ISO12800 images are resized to 4mp. At ISO3200 and above you would most likely be best resizing images for use on the web. There is some pincushion distortion in these shots.

Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR White-balance test images


Auto white balance under tungsten lights gives a warm / yellow cast to images and using the preset gives a more accurate colour rendition. Auto white balance under fluorescent light is very good with very natural / accurate looking colours and using the preset gives the image a magenta / pink cast. Under the majority of situations, indoors or outdoors auto white balance produces good results.

360 1/450 sec | f/3.8 | 5.7 mm | ISO 200
360 1/450 sec | f/3.8 | 5.7 mm | ISO 200

The panoramic options are 120, 180, 360 / 360 circular with horizontal and vertical directions both available.

Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR Digital filters


Digital Filters / Colour modes - the camera lets you choose film simulation modes with the default being standard / provia and others available: Velvia/Vivid, Astia/Soft, Black and White and Sepia

Some more of the features are shown above and the ability to save the original image is useful in case the features don't give you the results you were expecting. The Advanced option on the mode dial give you access to the panoramic, pro-focus, pro-low-light and panoramic modes. Additional examples using these modes can be seen in the F550 EXR Review.

Video - The video quality is good and there are a large number of options, including high speed video with upto 320 frames per second (at reduced resolution), for examples have a look at our youtube channel. Full HD video struggled at times focusing at full optical zoom, more than I've seen on other compact pocket zooms. Video defaults to single AF, but if you're using optical zoom then you'll need to set it to continuous focus so that it can focus.


Value for Money
The Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR offers very good value for money priced extremely competitively compared to the competition and is only £30 more than the F550, undercutting the Sony Cybershot HX9v, Panasonic Lumix TZ20, Canon Powershot SX230 HS, although the Casio Exilim H20G is available for roughly the same price, it features a 10x optical zoom lens instead. Have a look at our GPS Travel Zoom comparison.

Fujifilm FinePix F600EXR Verdict

The Fujifilm FinePix F600EXR is a good incremental update to the F550 EXR and still packs everything into a compact body and does so at a significantly lower price than the competition. With a wide angle 15x optical zoom lens, a large 3inch screen and built in GPS, the compact camera would make a great travel companion, especially as it's one of the smallest pocket zooms available with GPS. The use of an EXR CMOS sensor allows high speed shooting, high speed video, improved dynamic range and low noise modes. Image quality is very good with strong colours and the camera has a good macro mode. The improvements made to GPS with a built in compass and landmark navigator could be of particular interest to people who are interested in things like geo-caching, travelling, hiking or just generally knowing where they are and where nearby landmarks are. However, using GPS does drain the battery quite quickly.

The Fujifilm FinePix F600EXR adds some interesting new GPS features and takes bright colourful photos.
Fujifilm FinePix F600EXR Pros:
Full HD video, stereo sound and high speed video
High speed 8fps continuous shooting for 8 shots
Quick performance (particularly at wide angle)
Huge amount of zoom in a pocket-able body
Dynamic range expansion, low noise modes
Enhanced GPS features including compass
Built in vibration reduction
Excellent 3inch screen
Great value for money

Fujifilm FinePix F600EXR Cons:
Some purple fringing
Some pincushion distortion
GPS lock can be slow
Low battery life when using GPS

FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE
OVERALL

Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR Specifications

ManufacturerFujifilm
Lens
Max Aperturef/3.5 - f/5.3
35mm equivalent24mm - 360mm
Optical Zoom15x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS EXR (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1/1.2 inch
Sensor Size (width)6.4mm
Sensor Size (height)4.8mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution460k dots
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest8sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
ISO sensitivity100 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting8fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiNo
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium Ion
CIPA Rating300
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera, Li-ion battery NP-50, Battery charger BC-45W, Hand strap, USB cable, A / V cable, CD-ROM, Owner's manual
Dimensions
Weight195g
Width103.5mm
Height62.5mm
Depth32.6mm

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Photographs taken using the Fujifilm FinePix F600 EXR

Sunset over the MeadowGreat Grandma giving in to the Onesie trend!Fighting the stormThe River PlymNatures MirrorPebble tower #2At Rest in the TorridgeLemurUntitledBeak fightBaby EmuWallabyWallaby eating bananaPlayful MarmosetsMarmoset
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