Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR digital camera
Despite the F70EXR's diminutive size, it manages to showcase a surprising number of advanced exposure controls
- Handy Pro Focus and Natural & Flash modes, same EXR sensor and modes as higher-end cameras
- Only two f-stops in aperture settings, Body design is hard to hold
The Fujifilm F70EXR is a surprisingly powerful pocket megazoom camera that makes challenging photo situations easier for casual shooters.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
The Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR is about as compact as cameras get, yet it somehow serves up a 10X-optical-zoom lens (spanning from 27mm to 270mm), dual image stabilisation, and a 10-megapixel sensor. It generally emphasises pocketability rather than advanced features, but despite the F70EXR's diminutive size, it manages to showcase a surprising number of advanced exposure controls.
What makes this camera much more than your average pocket megazoom is the fact that Fujifilm built this camera around the EXR sensor also found in the FinePix F200EXR and FinePix S200EXR. This sensor can create a standard 10-megapixel image, of course, but it can also reconfigure itself--by combining information from adjacent sensor sites--to take 5-megapixel images that offer improved low-light sensitivity or improved dynamic range.
You can treat EXR mode like an advanced Program mode setting; it'll choose the right EXR effect (full resolution, low light, or dynamic range) depending on the situation. You can also dial in the mode you want directly. As I found with the camera's big sibling (the FinePix S200EXR), EXR mode is effective--but often very subtle. When shooting in EXR mode, you need to weigh the advantages of exposure settings versus the loss of resolution.
The F70EXR includes a few other shooting modes designed to help you eke out superb photos with minimal effort. The Natural & Flash mode, for example, is sort of like a flash bracketing mode: It takes two images back to back, one with the flash enabled and one without. I found this to be the single most useful mode in the F70EXR, because it simplifies a huge problem that photographers commonly face: Flash or no flash? Now you get both, and you can just pick the better photo afterward.
Another cool feature is Pro Focus, which makes it easy for anyone to get the classic portrait effect of a sharp subject and a blurry background.
This isn't just a matter of shooting with a wide open aperture; the camera actually takes a pair of photos with different aperture settings and combines them into a single composite shot. When it works, it's pretty neat. But I found that the camera baulked more often than not, complaining that it could not create the effect (presumably because I hadn't put enough distance between the camera and the subject, or the subject and the background).
In addition to the special exposure modes, you'll find a standard Program mode and full Manual. You choose from the usual assortment of scene modes, including portrait, beach, sports, and night, through the on-screen menu. That keeps the physical controls very simple--the command wheel, for example, has only about a half dozen settings.
One oddball button, called F-mode, is a sort of feature overflow through which you can set ISO (all the way up to 12800), set the size and aspect ratio of your photos, and access a film simulation mode that lets you set the colour response and saturation of your photos using the names of old 35mm film standards. (Velvia mode, for example, has a high colour saturation and is great for nature photos. Thank goodness the camera gives you on-screen help to explain these options, since most of today's photographers probably never used any of the old films.)
In PC World Labs imaging tests, the FinePix F70EXR earned an overall photo-quality rating on a par with that of its early-2009 predecessor, the FinePix F200EXR. The F70EXR's strengths included colour accuracy and lack of distortion; it didn't score as highly in sharpness and flash exposure quality. Overall it received an imaging score of Good.
In battery-life tests, the F70EXR received a mark of Very Good, taking 322 shots per charge of its included lithium ion battery. We've seen examples of better battery life in 2009 point-and-shoots, but that 320-plus-shot count still puts this model among the top performers of the year.
The F70EXR makes fewer compromises than you'd expect in a camera of this size. On the minus side, the F70EXR captures video, but only at a maximum of 640x480 pixels (shot at 30 frames per second and saved as AVI files). More frustrating is the fact that the camera has just two f-stops for aperture settings (f3.3 and f5.6--that's it). On the plus side, the camera's continuous shooting mode is so fast that you'd swear you were using a digital SLR. It's easily up to the task of shooting a sporting event.
The camera itself is very compact--almost too compact. When I wrapped my fingers around the body, I tended to obscure the lens or the flash; those with smaller hands may fare better. I also found the exterior just a little slippery, so you'll want to use the wrist strap. Of course, no camera this size will include an optical viewfinder, but the F70EXR's 2.7-inch LCD was bright enough that I never had trouble seeing my subject, even outdoors.
It isn't often that you encounter such a tiny camera that aspires to be so much more. The EXR sensor, combined with its wide array of features that make advanced shooting techniques accessible, make the Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR a compelling option as both a pocket megazoom and as an everyday compact camera.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 3 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 4 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- Ring Video Doorbell review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSales Client Services Manager (Mid-market)QLD
- FTIntegration Architect- NSW GovernmentOther
- FTSenior Java and AEM DeveloperOther
- TPETL DeveloperNSW
- FTSplunk Software Developer | 6mth ContractOther
- FTNetwork Security EngineerOther
- FTManual Test AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Project AnalystOther
- FTSenior PHP Developer/Team LeaderNSW
- TPProject OfficerQLD
- CCJunior Network Designer - Telco - GISVIC
- FTJunior .Net DeveloperOther
- FTBusiness Development ManagerOther
- FTSenior Siebel Developer - Canberra/MelbourneACT
- FTSmallworld Developer - GIS , Spatial data,Other
- FTSenior SharePoint Administrator. Location -ACTACT
- FTICT Security Senior ManagerACT
- FTPractice Director Quality Assurance – Adelaide Delivery CentreSA
- CCICT Training ManagerNSW
- CCEUS Junior Application Project ManagerNSW
- TPSolution ArchitectNSW
- CCCloud Architect - AWSVIC
- CCSenior PMO AnalystNSW
- FTLean Six Sigma - Change ConsultantOther
- FTSecurity Solutions ManagerWA