Fuji F800EXR Overview
by Mike Tomkins
Posted: July 25, 2012
If you're looking for a dedicated camera to augment your smartphone or tablet, Fujifilm had you in mind when it designed the FinePix F800EXR. With the combination of a much larger image sensor than you'd find in your phone or tablet's camera, plus a powerful long-zoom lens, the Fuji F800 lets you capture shots you'd miss with your other devices. Its built-in wireless networking connectivity makes it easy to get your photos on your phone and your tablet once they're capture though (and from there, it's a short hop to social networking sites, where friends and family can admire your creations!)
At the heart of the Fuji F800EXR, the company has selected a 1/2-inch type EXR-CMOS image sensor, with a resolution of 16 megapixels. It's likely the same chip seen previously in the HS20EXR, F550EXR, F600EXR, and Z900EXR, or at least closely related to that chip's design.
Like the earlier Super CCD EXR designs, the EXR-CMOS chip retains the same 45-degree octagonal pixel layout seen in Super CCD EXR chips, which allows somewhat increased resolution on the horizontal and vertical axes. It uses a backside-illuminated layout, with the wiring moved off the light-sensitive side of the chip, hence increasing the light gathering area available for each photodiode. Fuji's EXR image sensors feature a rearranged Color Filter Array, offering more effective pixel binning (for improved sensitivity at reduced resolution), plus the ability to read out half the pixels during exposure (for increased dynamic range). The camera can automatically select the best mode of operation -- favoring the best resolution, dynamic range, or signal/noise ratio -- via its EXR Auto mode.
The F800EXR's Fujinon-branded 20x optical zoom lens, meanwhile, provides everything from a generous 25mm wide angle to a powerful 500mm telephoto. Maximum aperture starts from f/3.5 at wide angle, and falls to f/5.3 by the telephoto position. Fuji states that autofocus lock can be achieved in as little as 0.16 seconds. Tracking autofocus function aims to follow your subject, and keep them in focus or thereabouts, as they move around the image frame. A Super Macro mode allows focusing as close as just five centimeters (two inches).
Burst shooting is possible at rates of up to eight frames per second at full resolution, or 11 frames per second at reduced resolution. An Intelligent Image Stabilization system aims to fight blur both through mechanical means, and by raising ISO sensitivity when subject motion is detected. That's pretty important: blur would likely be a significant issue at the more extreme focal lengths. A built-in flash strobe also does its part to try and freeze your subject, at least if it's reasonably near the camera.
Catering to your creative side, Fuji has included six new photo filters in the FinePix F800: Pop Color, Toy Camera, Miniature, High Key, Partial Color and Dynamic Tone. There's also an Enhanced Motion Panorama function, which captures full 360-degree panoramas, both horizontally and vertically. If your subject's beauty doesn't extend quite so far, you can also limit the range to 180 or 240-degree panoramas.
If you prefer to do your editing on your computer, you'll be pleased to find that the F800EXR also supports recording images as raw files, not just JPEGs.
The Fuji F800EXR also provides for progressive-scan Full HD movie capture--that's 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution, also known as 1,080p--at a rate of 30 frames per second, with stereo sound. Additionally, you can record high-speed (i.e. slow-motion) video at rates of up to 320 frames per second, although this will be at (as-yet unstated) reduced resolution.
When you're done shooting images and movies, the Fujifilm F800EXR's WiFi wireless networking connectivity, along with two free apps for Google Android or Apple iOS. Using the "FUJIFILM Photo Receiver" app, you can download images in batches of up to thirty at a time, to your smartphone or tablet, without dealing with passwords or fuss--just press an on-screen button to start the transfer. From there, you can upload images to the Internet for use on social networking sites, etc. The other free app is "FUJIFILM Camera Application", which lets you view images and tag them with their capture location, using the phone or tablet's GPS receiver. (The camera itself has no built-in GPS receiver, so photos not transferred in this way at capture time will not be geotagged.)
The Fujifilm FinePix F800EXR ships from August 2012, priced at US$350. Only a black body color will be offered in the US market.