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 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).
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 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 - 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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