The Fuji Finepix F600EXR offers very good value for money. It is packed with features, takes top quality pictures and has a very compact body size. Among its main attractions are 16 megapixels, a 15x zoom lens, GPS tracking and Full 1080p High Definition movies with stereo sound.
The amount of zoom power offers a great deal of flexibility when it comes to the photo opportunities it can cover. It also has a range of manual exposure controls that are likely to appeal to the more serious photographer.
The competition for the Finepix F600EXR is fierce. It stands up well against its main rivals and looking at its price tag it offers good value for money. This type of camera is often popular with people taking a holiday owing to its smaller size and range of features.
Megapixels and Zoom
This camera has 16 megapixels and a 5x wide angle lens. The focal length is equivalent to 24 - 360mm in 35mm format.
Memory Cards and Batteries
You can use SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards. Power is supplied by a lithium ion battery. Fuji estimates you should be able to take up to 300 shots in between charges.
Full 1080p High Definition movies can be recorded. Stereo sound can be recorded too.
The LCD screen in 3 inches in size.
Manual Shooting Modes
For when you would like to take extra control over the way your photos look there are a set of manual exposure controls. These are Fully Manual, Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority.
When you are working close up to your subject there is a macro mode that can focus from 5cm away from your subject.
To make this camera even more popular with holiday makers Fuji have equipped the Finepix F600EXR with GPS tracking. You can use this to tag your pictures with details of where in the world your were when they were taken.
The EXR part of this camera name comes from the name Fuji give the camera processor. There are two extra settings available when your switch to EXR mode. The first is Wide Dynamic Range. This takes two exposures of a scene. One exposure is for the brightest areas and one for the darker areas. It then merges them into one 8 megapixel picture. The second mode works to reduce noise and bring out extra detail in lowlight conditions.
Motion Panorama makes it easy for you to create a panoramic shot. All you do is press down the shutter button and sweep the camera round in an arc of up to 360 degrees.
Fuji have included a feature that lets you capture shots in RAW and Jpeg simultaneously. Extra detail is recorded in RAW mode. This increases your options if you work with your images after they have been taken using packages such as Adobe Photoshop.
To help you photograph fast moving subjects there is a burst mode that can capture images at a rate of up to 8 frames per second for 8 photos.
Image stabilisation is always useful to have with a digital camera, but becomes more important with cameras with longer zoom lenses like the Finepix F600EXR. It makes the biggest difference when you are taking photos in lowlight.
Picture Quality Summary
On the whole the Finepix F600EXR produces an outstanding set of test photos. The resolution showing in the shots is first rate giving you attractive pictures with great clarity. One weakness is that when lighting levels dip the camera can hunt for focus and sometimes struggle to find it.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 1
This picture was taken with the camera in EXR mode, using the Wide Dynamic Range setting. It certainly works with far more detail showing in the lightest areas of the shot than a lot of other cameras manage. For example the wooden slats under the roof of the building show clearly as individual slats rather than just as an ill defined area of white.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 2
Taking into account Fuji have equipped the Finepix F600EXR with an extreme wide angle lens the sharpness of this shot is very good indeed. Sharpness does tail off to a degree as you move towards the edges of the shot, but this is a very common issue and this camera manages to contain the degree of sharpness and the size of the area well when compared to many cameras with a similar lens.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 3
Using full zoom produces a shot with impressive sharpness. In addition to the sharpness on show the colours are vibrant too. The Finepix F600EXR has performed very well so far.
The level of detail and depth of colour in this shot is outstanding. There is a small loss of sharpness at the very edges of the shot if you blow it up to examine it at full size, but in the main the quality is very hard to beat. It puts the Finepix F600EXR right up there with the best compact digital cameras.
This is quite a light looking photo. Focusing is sharp. This confirms that the Finepix F600EXR performs very well in outdoor situations with good light. As it is able to work closer in as well as with the more distant scenes it gives you a wide range of flexibility.
Indoor Portrait With Flash
There were focusing issues for both indoor shots with the Finepix F600EXR. Although in focus shots were achieved in the end the camera seems a little hit and miss with its focusing once the light becomes more challenging.
The result with flash makes the skin tones look somewhat red.
Indoor Portrait Without Flash
Compared with the indoor portrait with flash this picture has a much more natural look to it. The camera did struggle to gain focus. It has a number of features to improve performance in lowlight and these were used, but none appear to guarantee focus.
Being able to focus from 5cm away from your subject is about standard for a compact digital camera. The Finepix F600EXR is able to focus sharply on your subject. The depth of field is quite shallow, meaning that you can throw the background out of focus to highlight your main subject.
There are plenty of richness to the colours. This will help to give you a series of photos with deep colours.
On the whole noise levels are kept to a minimum. There are plenty of features to further reduce noise for you to experiment with to find what gives you the best results.
Nikon Coolpix S9300 Rating 86/100
For a camera that is small enough to take anywhere the Nikon Coolpix S9300 has a lot of features packed into it. If you are planning to take a holiday GPS tracking will tell you where you were when a picture was taken. The length of the zoom lens also gives you plenty of scope when it comes to picture opportunities. Although there is plenty of completion in this category the picture quality on offer here combined with the features makes this camera very attractive indeed. Recommended.
Read Review: Nikon Coolpix S9300 Review
Canon Powershot SX260 HS Rating 86/100
The Canon Powershot SX260 HS is one of the very best digital cameras in this category. In fact if you are happy to miss out on features such as 3D photography and 360 degree panoramas it is very hard to beat. It has a great set of features packed into its relatively compact body size and picture quality helps to make it stand out from the competition. Although it is one of the more expensive cameras in this field it still offers good value for money.
Read Review: Canon Powershot SX260 HS Review
Sony DSC HX20V Rating 85/100
There is a lot to like about the Sony Cybershot DSC HX20V. As well as being crammed with features it is a very reliable when it comes to taking pictures. It can handle most photo opportunities without breaking sweat. The amount of zoom power and other features available gives you a great deal of flexibility. Competition between similar cameras is very tough, but this model performs very well when put up against its main rivals. I would happily own this camera.
Read Review: Sony DSC HX20V Review
Review Date: February 2012
If the Fuji Finepix F600EXR had managed to focus consistently and quickly in lowlight I would have said it was more or less the perfect compact camera. In most situations this camera is able to produce pictures of the highest quality. It is packed with features and fair play to Fuji for managing to offer a camera this good at a reasonable price.
Ease of Use:
Value for Money:
103.5 x 62.5 x 32.6mm
Single Shot With Flash:
Five Shots With Flash:
Turn on Time:
The Finepix F600EXR handles well. It is a step up in size from a true pocket sized digital camera. This gives you more room to get a better hold of the camera. On the front of the camera is a raised grip area. This has a small rubberised strip to stop your hand from slipping. There is a dimpled area on the back of the camera that gives you ample room for placing your thumb.
The only handling issue comes from the placement of the flash unit. It pops up on the top of the camera right where you would normally look to place your left index finger. This is more of an inconvenience than a major issue, especially as you only need the flash unit up when it is in use. The reason for placing the flash unit on the top of the camera is a lack of room on the front. This is due to the lens position and stereo microphones.
LCD Screen Quality
LCD screen quality varies from camera to camera, but in this case quality is outstanding. It is one of the easiest screens to view you will find. Full marks to Fuji for the clarity of the screen.
Turn on Time and Shutter Delay
Compared with other digital cameras the Finepix F600EXR is on the slow side to turn on. Once up and running it has fast responses, especially when flash is turned on. This is an area where it outperforms a lot of cameras.
Design, Build Quality and Finish
In terms of design the Finepix F600EXR has a neat and tidy look. The front and back of the camera have a matt finish, while the sides are glossier. The lens dominates the front of the camera.
The camera feels sturdy in the hand.
On the top of the camera is the shutter button and on / off button. A zoom ring encompasses the shutter button. There is a control dial that sits at an angle. This places it between the front and back of the camera.
The first two buttons on the back are to review photos and shoot movies. After this is the main control centre. This is home to buttons for exposure compensation, setting flash, the self timer and placing the camera in macro mode. In review mode the exposure compensation button doubles up to control the deletion of images. In the centre of this section is a button for accessing the menu and confirming your selections. Running around the edge of the control area is a selection wheel. This speeds up the selection of options. Finally there are buttons to change the LCD display and access the main functions. The button to change the LCD display acts as a back button when you are viewing the menu.