FujiFilm FinePix F600 EXR review

Is the FinePix F600EXR the next great, yet affordable, travel compact?

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Large zoom range

  • +

    Excellent picture quality

  • +

    GPS functionality

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Difficult to set panoramas

  • -

    Only black model is rubberised

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With it's 15x zoom, advanced GPS and new Motion detection function, the 16MP FinePix F600EXR certainly looks good on paper

Fujifilm is marketing the FinePix F600EXR as a travel camera and we think they are spot on. This meaty 16MP, 15x optical zoom compact's highlights include a new 30x intelligent zoom mode and a GPS navigator.

New to the F600EXR, and a massive advance compare to its F550EXR predecessor, is the addition of a new Motion Detection function that increases ISO speed when it detects moving subjects, and lowers ISO when there's no motion, for best quality. This feature works alongside the camera's mechanical image stabilizer and does so exceptionally well – pop the camera into Auto and you'll be pleasantly surprised with how it copes with moving subjects.

The camera's wide 15x zoom is complimented by the new Intelligent Digital zoom mode, allows you to get up to 30x magnification. Normally, we'd shun digital zoom as it generally results in noisy, low quality images but Fujifilm's new mode is gives drastically improved results, with good image quality.

GPS is pretty much standard on good quality compacts these days. Fujifilm has equipped the F600EXR with the same GPS functionality seen in the 550 EXR and added Landmark Navigator: a feature which automatically locates places of interest and displays these on the LCD, alongside their relative position and distance from where you are currently – absolutely great for travellers.

The F600EXR provides users with a full range of shooting modes: P,A,S,M, plus shooting modes. There are also Film Simulation modes, which allow you to shoot in black and white, or sepia, as well as colour – effects looks classy, rather than cheap. We were impressed with the Pro Focus advanced shooting mode, which makes for flattering portraits, with smooth skin tones.

Although the camera is equipped with a Motion Panorama 360 mode, getting 360-degree panoramas out of it is a challenge – it constantly asks you to shoot straighter, saying shooting has been interrupted, at around 320-degrees. This said, 320-degree panoramas are still impressive and they are impressivelyvisable join free.

Importantly for it's travel savvy target audience, as well as it's clever superzoom capabilities, GPS muscle and range of shooting modes including manual control, the F600EXR also allows for RAW image capture (RAF format) something most DSLR users look for it a compact camera – allowing for maximum editing possibilities later on.

FinePix F600EXR: Controls

The ergonomics of the FinePix F600EXR have certainly been well thought out – for a camera with a wide 15x zoom, built-in GPS and a plethora of features, the body is unsurprisingly uncrowded and it's very comfortable to hold and the front grip is well placed. If you buy a black model it comes with a rubberized rubber coating, which should make it even grippier – annoyingly, our review model was red... It's 104 x 63 x 33 mmdimensions and 220g weight means it's still small but feels like a serious compact, not a super-slim fashion camera. It'll pop into your coat pocket no problems.

There's a shooting mode dial, as well as a D-pad with menu button and dedicated buttons for video, playback, display and f-mode menu (ISO, image size, GPS etc.). Although there are a few different places to go to change settings, the camera isn't aimed at photography newbies – enthusiast newbies will find using it both intuitive and enjoyable.

FinePix F600EXR: Screen

The FinePix F600EXR is equipped with a 3-inch LCD screen, is incredibly bright and gives a crisp and clear view, thanks to the 460k-dot resolution. When you put the camera in video mode, the view narrows, to give a widescreen format, but this is the deal with compact cameras in general.

FinePix F600EXR: Speed

The FinePix F600EXR is fast to start-up, taking around two seconds. Changing shooting modes is equally speedy and zooming right through it's 24-360mm range, takes only two seconds. There are no complaints here from us.The FinePix F600EXR is a responsive camera – you won't be able to blame it if you miss a great shot.

FinePix F600EXR: Battery

Expect the FinePix F600EXR's battery to be good for around 300 shots, in Auto mode.

FinePix F600EXR: Pics and Video

Reassuringly, picture quality is FinePix F600EXR's biggest plus point – it's excellent. Images are clear, crisp, sharp, detailed and without visible noise. Even at the longest end of the zoom, there is no visible noise or artifacts in photographs. The motion Detection function is truly a great addition – all the test pictures we took of moving objects resulted in nice sharp images. Colours are vibrant, but not unrealistically so and skin tones are flattering.

We were impressed with the FinePix F600EXR's video capabilities: the mode is simple to use thanks to the dedicated button. Video quality is grear – bright, sharp and detailed picture, with impressive sound quality too.

FinePix F600EXR: Verdict

If you're looking for a compact camera with long zoom and impressive feature set for under the £200 mark, the FinePix F600EXR should certainly be on your list of contenders. It's bound to be popular with travellers – upto 30x zoom, GPS, RAW shooting, manual control and most importantly, great image and video quality. Thumbs up from us.

FinePix F600EXR availability: Out Now

FinePix F600EXR price: £192 online