FinePix Z800EXR review

Fujifilm’s 12-megapixel touchscreen FinePix Z800EXR packs a 5x zoom within a simple design. The only hardware controls are a shoot/play mode toggle and a shutter button with a zoom ring.

The back is dominated by a 3.5in LCD touchscreen and operation is considerably smoother than similar touchscreen cameras. The onscreen buttons are easy to press.

The EXR moniker denotes Fujifilm’s Super CCD sensor, which gives the user increased manual control. You can optimise the sensor for high-resolution shots, high sensitivity in low light or wide dynamic range.

The FinePix Z800EXR’s real draw is its quick autofocus, coupled with good image stabilisation – Fujifilm touts it as the world’s fastest. The gyro sensor does a good job of blur-free photos, too.

The Z800EXR’s 3.5in LCD makes operation far easier than on other touchscreen cameras

The Manual mode overrides white balance, ISO, dynamic range, exposure and autofocus, while Auto modes give control only over ISO. The Z800 has 15 scene modes, including the interesting Dog and Cat, which can detect and optimise the settings for up to 10 dogs or cats in a photo. The Movie mode offers 720p HD recording at 24fps, while continuous shooting mode tops out at 1.6fps.

You can mark photos for upload; when you connect the camera to a computer they’re automatically uploaded to Facebook or YouTube. And this FinePix has the most built-in playback and retouching options we’ve seen at this price.

It lost some of its lustre when its photos were compared with those from other point-and-shoot cameras, though. Exposure quality, colour fidelity and the lack of distortion went in its favour, but the image sharpness was a major weakness. The photo quality looked decent, but colours tended to wash out.

The Z800EXR also falls short in video. In bright light, 720p clips were smooth and bright, but much less sharp than from similar compacts. In our low-light test, we couldn’t see any of the moving scene.

OUR VERDICT

Fujifilm’s Z800EXR has a fast autofocus and numerous playback options, coupled with an easy-to-use touchscreen. It’s not as good-looking as some pocket cameras, but the Z800EXR offers very good value.

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