The Fuji Finepix F300EXR packs a lot of features into its small, compact body. On top of this I think the Finepix F300EXR sports some fairly stylish looks.
Main features include 12 megapixels and a 15x wide angle lens. This camera performed very well in my tests and has an impressive combination of picture quality and features. Some of the features available are hard to find with brands other than Fuji.
Why Buy The Fuji Finepix F300EXR
I think Fuji have the Finepix F300EXR about right. It takes good pictures, looks stylish and has a range of features that beat the majority of smaller compacts.
103.5 x 59.2 x 32.6mm
SD / SDHC
Where to Buy - Fuji Finepix F300EXR
Headline features are 12 megapixels and a 15x zoom lens. The lens offers ultra wide shooting capabilities. Other more standard features for this type of digital camera include image stabilisation and the ability to shoot High Definition movies. There is a 3 inch LCD screen for composing images and accessing the menu system.
For the more serious photographer there is a manual exposure mode, plus aperture priority and shutter priority modes. On top of this you also have access to settings for white balance, ISO, three metering modes and four auto focus modes (centre, multi, tracking and continuous).
Fuji have also provided film simulation settings. These relate to different film types that Fuji sell for traditional cameras. Options include Velvia (vivid) and Astia (softer focus). Black and white and sepia are available too.
It is when you place the Finepix F300EXR in EXR mode that extra features that are hard to find elsewhere become available. These include a Dynamic Range Priority mode and a High ISO & Low Noise setting. If you choose either of these modes the camera reduces the resolution you are shooting at. The theory behind the Dynamic Range Priority mode is that it helps the camera to show extra detail in lightest and darkest areas of high contrast scenes.
Other features you can use include a 360 degree panorama shot. There are also Pro Focus and Pro Lowlight settings. The Pro Focus setting throws backgrounds out of focus. This is an effect used in many professional portrait and macro shots. It helps to ensure your subject really stands out. The Pro Lowlight mode takes four shots and merges them into one in an attempt to decrease noise and generally increase picture quality.
The handling of the Finepix F300EXR is a bit different to other digital cameras. For a start there is a raised area on the back of the camera where you normally place your thumb. Next the flash pops up on the top of the camera. This is right where you are likely to place the fingers of your left hand to hold the camera. These are minor rather than major issues, but you do need to take extra care when using the flash unit as it is easy for your fingers to be in front of the flash unit blocking out some of the light.
Aside from those points this is a fairly typical compact camera when it comes to handling.
The on / off button is on the top of the camera along with the shutter button and zoom ring. The flash unit pops up automatically when the camera is turned on. At an angle between the top of the camera and the back of the camera is a control dial. This is used for selecting the shooting mode (i.e. automatic, manual, EXR).
On the back of the camera there are four buttons plus five further options place inside a selection wheel or jog dial. Fuji have placed the buttons a little further down the camera than normal. This helps to give you plenty of room for resting your thumb.
The buttons give you access to review mode, shoot a movie, changing the information on the LCD screen and accessing functions. Within the selection wheel are options for exposure compensation (doubles up to delete a photo in review mode) macro mode, flash settings, the self timer, plus menu access.
The shooting menu runs to 12 items. There are also four setup pages with six items per page. In addition there are three additional options under the function button (ISO, image size, film simulation).
Image Quality - See Sample Images Below
Outdoor Scenic Shot 1
Looking at my first shot the Finepix F300EXR did not produce the absolute clarity that I have seen from other digital cameras in this part of the Fuji range. This is especially the case in areas of light shade. Although I ran this test in EXR mode in an attempt to get the widest possible dynamic range I found that other cameras I tested at the same time managed to show greater detail in both the lightest and darkest areas of the shot.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 2
This test shot shows an extremely wide angle of view. Taking this into account I am impressed with how sharp the shot is. Cameras with wide angle lenses can find it hard to produce truly sharp shots when the lens is zoomed out completely. There is just a hint of darkness creeping into the corners of the shot.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 3
With the lens zoomed in the Finepix F300EXR produces a very good result. The picture is sharper than a lot of cameras manage. The only place focusing starts to lose its edge is in the corners of the shot. The colours have a good balance to them.
In this test shot the Finepix F300EXR does very well indeed. The sharpness of the brickwork is quite eye catching. You can even see the difference between this camera and others in smaller prints. Another plus point is the colour in the shot. Although the colours are vivid they still manage to retain a natural look.
I would like to have seen a bit more colour in this shot. That would have helped to give it a little more zest. Moving in closer brings no problems when it comes to focusing as the Finepix F300EXR produces a sharp shot.
Indoor Portrait With Flash
I like this shot. One of the biggest strengths of the Finepix F300EXR is the colours in produces. Flash can produce harsh lighting and wash colour out of the shot. In this instance the camera does an excellent job of retaining warmth in the shot.
Indoor Portrait Without Flash
This is another good effort with plenty of detail showing in the shot. For a camera of this size the Finepix F300EXR works very well indoors.
Although you cannot get in quite as close as you can with some cameras the Finepix F300EXR is still able to produce a good quality macro shot. When blown up to the absolute maximum there is the slightest hint of fringing, but that is unlikely to be much of an issue.
Testing this camera alongside models from Panasonic and Canon I can see the colours used have a softer, more natural look than those brands. This shows up especially well if you look at blue skies.
Noise is controlled very well. In fact I would say the Finepix F300EXR controls it better than a lot of cameras. Skies also show very little grain even when larger prints are made.
Picture Quality Summary
The Finepix F300EXR handled most of my tests very well. If you are looking for a snapshot camera with a bit extra then in terms of picture quality this camera is worth adding to your short list.
Shutter Lag Times
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time
Ease of Use
Owing to the number of features on offer it is likely to take a while to fully appreciate and get to know this camera. Time spent experimenting and checking out the different modes will be rewarded. You also have the option to use the camera in fully automatic mode.
Points I Like
Features - Picture Quality - Design
Where it Could Improve
A minor gripe, it could be faster to turn on.
I like this camera. The Fuji Finepix F300EXR ticks most of the right boxes if you are looking for a digital camera to slip into a pocket ready for the next photo opportunity. The features on offer give you plenty of flexibility and different shooting options.
Where to Buy - Fuji Finepix F300EXR
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