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Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Review

We review the latest waterproof compact from Fujifilm, the FinePix XP120, which is waterproof down to 20m, but is the image quality up to scratch?

| Fujifilm FinePix XP120 in Compact Cameras


Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Review: Fujifilm FinePix XP120 (8)

The Fujifilm FinePix XP120 is this year's update to the Fujifilm FinePix XP90, offering an improved waterproof rating down to 20m, and the same 5x optical zoom lens, 16-megapixel sensor, 3inch screen and full HD video recording. Fujifilm has also added a new Cinemagraph Mode giving animated images, as well as refreshing the camera colours available. 

Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Features

Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Review: Fujifilm FinePix XP120 (13)

The Fujifilm FinePix XP120 features a 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, a wide-angle 5x optical zoom lens equivalent to 28-140mm in 35mm terms, and there is optical image stabilisation built-in, which moves the CMOS sensor to counter camera shake. On the back is a 3inch screen, with a resolution of 920K dots.  Wi-Fi is built in and the camera is compatible with the Fujifilm Remote Shooting app. Instax printing is now supported. 

An improvement found in the XP120 is an increased waterproof rating down to 20 metres, and the camera is shockproof to 1.75 metres, freezeproof, and also dustproof. FullHD video is recorded at 60 or 30 fps and you can use optical zoom while recording. Audio recording is from the built-in mono microphone. If you want to shoot quickly, then the camera will also shoot at 10fps in continuous shooting mode. 

There are a number of shooting modes, including Scene Recognition Auto, Auto, various scene modes including underwater, HDR, motion panorama 360, plus advanced filters and effects. There are no manual controls, but there should be enough modes here to suit most people.

There are only a small handful of waterproof cameras to choose from currently available, so let's quickly have a look at the options available:

Nikon Coolpix W100 Fujifilm XP120 Canon D30 Nikon Coolpix W300 Olympus TG-5
3x, f/3.3-5.9 5x, f/3.9-4.9 5x, f/3.9-4.8 5x, f/2.8-4.9 4x, f/2.0-4.9
10m 20m 25m 30m 15m
FullHD video FullHD video FullHD video 4K video 4K video
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Wi-Fi GPS GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth GPS, Wi-Fi
£120 £150 £250 £389 £399

So as you can see, the Fujifilm FinePix XP120 offers quite a good set of features, without being as expensive as other waterproof cameras. 

Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Review: Fujifilm FinePix XP120 (9)

Key Features

  • 16-megapixel BSI-CMOS sensor
  • 5x optical zoom lens, 28mm-140mm equivalent, f/3.9-4.9
  • Optical image stabilisation (sensor shift type)
  • 3inch screen, 920k dots
  • Waterproof (20m) / freezeproof (-10C)
  • Shockproof (1.75m drop)
  • 1080p video at 60/30fps 
  • Digital filters, Timelapse
  • ISO100-ISO3200 plus ISO6400 at reduced image size
  • Wi-Fi built-in
  • Up to 10fps continuous shooting

Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Handling

Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Review: Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Top (2)

The Fujifilm FinePix XP120 looks good and even came with a colour matched wrist strap. The camera feels quite well built for a (mostly) plastic camera. There is a small rubber grip on the front of the camera, and the rear has a slight rubber feel. The shutter release button is a good size, and has a decent texture to it, to help find it. 

There is a metal wrist strap loop on the back, and there is a plastic tripod mount underneath the camera. The battery/memory compartment has sockets for HDMI and MicroUSB charging. This compartment has a double locking system so that it makes it difficult to accidentally open in, as well as providing a good seal to keep water out of the camera. 

Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Review: Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Blue (2)

You can switch the shooting mode by pressing the Menu button. This brings up the menu system, where you'll find all the usual options, as well as the option to change to a different shooting mode. The menus are clearly laid out and quite easy to read thanks to the 3inch screen. The screen isn't a "gapless" design, so visibility isn't always great, particularly in bright light or underwater. The buttons on the camera can feel a little stiff at times, particularly the 4-way control pad.

Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Review: Fujifilm FinePix XP120 (7)

Wi-Fi features - The XP120 comes with built-in Wi-Fi, so that you can remotely control the camera, and transfer images to your smartphone or PC. The app on the smartphone works quickly making it easy to transfer images and there is a good level of control over the camera when remotely controlling it. You can add GPS / Geotag location information to photos from your smartphone as well. You can now setup a connection to an Instax printer, letting you print your photos directly.

Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Review: Fujifilm FinePix XP120 (1)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 210 shots according to Fujifilm / CIPA test results, which is fairly low, but fairly average for a compact camera, although others are better offering more shots. We would recommend a spare battery if you plan on travelling away from a charging point, although the ability to charge using a MicroUSB cable is useful here.

Speed - The Fujifilm FinePix XP120 isn't the quickest camera available, but in good weather conditions, with good light, performance and speed were reasonable. In low light, underwater or when trying to take macro or close up photos, focus struggled and the camera did occasionally miss a few shots.

Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Sample Photos

Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Lens test images

Camera Performance - Exposure is reliable, and colours are good, with the camera producing images that look reasonable, particularly when taken in good light. Photos taken with flash are reasonable with no red-eye visible, although the flash isn't the strongest we've seen on a camera, and the portrait photo isn't particularly sharp. The HDR mode takes a photo at a reduced resolution, however, the photo does show improved dynamic range.

The 5x optical zoom lens gives a good zoom range from wide-angle (28mm equivalent) to telephoto (140mm equivalent), however, the level of detail captured is quite low, with images quite soft. Flare can be an issue when a bright light source, such as the sun is in the frame. Purple fringing is fairly well controlled. The close-up macro focus is reasonably good, although the level of detail captured by the camera is a little disappointing, and care needs to be taken to avoid getting fingerprints on the lens.


Fujifilm FinePix XP120 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise performance is reasonable up to ISO400 and ISO800. However, the biggest problem with viewing images at 100% is how soft and over-processed the images look. If you're sharing images to Facebook or another social media website then this might not matter too much as colour saturation remains good until the highest ISO settings. At ISO6400 images are taken at a reduced resolution. 


Fujifilm FinePix XP120 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under tungsten lighting with a warm result produced, and a much more accurate result when using the Tungsten preset. Under fluorescent light, the AWB performs very well, and the fluorescent preset(s) give a strong colour cast to the images and are best avoided. Results are reasonable under mixed lighting. 


Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a number of digital filters and effects available in-camera. However, with Wi-Fi built-in to the camera, you're likely to find better filters, effects and editing possibilities on your smartphone or tablet. Panoramic photos are 1088 pixels tall, which produces a low-resolution image. The film modes available are standard, chrome, black and white and sepia. 


Video - The camera records full HD video (at 60fps) with mono sound, and optical zoom is available. You can also record high-speed video, although the resolution is reduced, with the camera offering VGA video at 120fps, 320x240 video at 240fps, and a tiny 160x120 at 320fps. With a slow lens, particularly at the telephoto end of the lens, the camera will struggle a little in low light. The Cinemagraph mode creates a video file, with part of the image still. 

Value For Money

The Fujifilm FinePix XP120 is available for around £150 if you shop around, making it quite good value for money, as cheaper alternatives offer less zoom. If you want a brighter lens, then you'll need to spend much more money. Have a look at other options in the Top 10 Waterproof / Tough Cameras. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.


Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Verdict

The Fujifilm FinePix XP120 looks good on paper, particularly when it comes to the price, but the camera struggles to deliver good image quality, with soft results. The slow lens means the camera struggles in low-light and can struggle to focus at times. If you're simply looking for a fun, compact, easy to use digital camera that's waterproof, and you're going somewhere sunny and bright, so that you can share photos to Facebook (other social media websites are available), then the camera should gives good results, particularly as the camera has good colour, however, we wouldn't recommend looking at photos in too much detail. 


Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Available in a number of colours
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • 5x optical zoom lens
  • Waterproof down to 20m

Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Cons

  • Slow lens
  • Short battery life
  • Soft images

Overall Verdict

Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.9 - f/4.9
35mm equivalent28mm - 140mm
Optical Zoom5x
Image Sensor
Pixels16.4Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1/2.3inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution920k dots
Touch ScreenNo
Min FocusNo Data
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • Multi Pattern
ISO sensitivity100 - 6400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
  • Underwater
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting10fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPS60i, 30p
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium Ion
Battery Life (CIPA rating)210shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsLi-ion battery NP-45S, AC Power adapter AC-5VT, USB cable, Hand strap, Owner's manual

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