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Fuji FinePix F300EXR review

A lightweight 12MP compact camera comes with some fancy tech to take better pictures

Fuji f300exr

This new FinePix model comes with an array of useful features. The 3-inch, 460,000-dot LCD screen provides a clear view of images at quite wide angles even when shooting (or reviewing) in bright sunlight.

There is improved 'Face Recognition' and the new 'Auto Release Mode' fires the shutter as soon as it detects a face, making it perfect for restless small children. The F300EXR can track the kids and release the shutter when they look to the camera.

The new 'Hybrid Auto Focus System' analyses both light and contrast and chooses whether to use the 'Phase Detection Auto Focus' (bright, high contrast conditions) or 'Contrast Auto Focus' (low-light scenarios). I found it makes its choice quickly and reliably, so focus is generally swift.

In fact, the 'Phase Detection Auto Focusing' lives up to Fujifilm's claim for making focusing and release as quick as the blink of an eye. The only focusing situation found to be disappointing was the 'Tracking' mode. It tracked town traffic head-on fairly well, but shutter lag was evident, and relatively simple shots. Here missed as a result.

Also new to the FinePix F300EXR is '360 degree Motion Panorama Mode' allows you create an all around you image in one sweep. It's a feature that is popping up in a few places now.

As well as the usual plentiful scene modes this FinePix, like its predecessors has an 'EXR' mode with Auto, Resolution priority, High ISO & Low noise priority and Dynamic range priority options. The principal behind 'EXR' is that it gives the camera the ability optimise for detail resolution or to open up shadows and preserve the highlights. I suspect that many users of this camera, if they use the 'EXR' mode, will leave it on 'Auto'. This proves a good choice for the majority of situations.

Fujifilm has given users the choice to customise their style of capture, but having to scroll through up to 3 pages and their respective sub-menus can become a chore. SLR users know that most of these are easily changed using buttons or dials, a far quicker method. Some may feel the camera's ability to 'Rate' images, separate detected faces and create photo books in review mode is unnecessary.

A handy feature that Fujifilm have incorporated is the 'F' button; allowing the operator to quickly access three pre-programmed menus for ISO, image size & film simulation, and change their settings accordingly. It would be even better if the user was able to choose their own three settings and personalise this menu.

I found it especially useful that it is possible to make the camera silent and cancel its flash simultaneously by pressing and holding the 'Review' button. Nice and discrete. Another function that is very useful is 'Pro Focus Mode'; it lives up to its expectations, using three consecutive images to create a shallower depth of field.

Fujifilm's photographic film heritage gives us a choice of three colour modes; based on Fuji's E6 Chrome's. They are Velvia; saturation and contrast, Provia; overall neutral feel and Astia; less saturated and lower contrast. Dedicated black & white and sepia modes bring the total five, enough to cover all situations. My personal preference is the 'Velvia' setting; images have evenly balanced, saturated colours, with increased contrast.

Not surprisingly with a camera that is designed to appeal to less experienced photographers (as well as more advanced users), the F300EXR's in camera Auto White Balance systemis extremely good. In fact, it often gives results that are better than the White Balance pre-sets.

The FinePix F300EXR has three metering modes: 'Multi', 'Spot' and 'Average'. Multi generally renders the image lighter overall than I would have liked and as a result of this I used 'Average' the majority of the time. 'Spot' metering works well in conjunction with the easily adjustable exposure compensation, provided you understand the principals of spot metering. This was very useful for heavily backlit situations where the 'EXR' could be caught out.

Video on 'stills' cameras is now becoming normal and the FinePix F300EXR is no exception, offering 'HD' or '640' quality, available at the press of a dedicated button too. Cancelling video recording is as instantaneous, taking you back to the last mode.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution12 Megapixel
USBYes
HDMIYes
Wide AngleNo
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyFinePix F
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital (SD) Card
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom15x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameFujifilm
FeaturesFace Detection, Manual White Balance, Aperture Priority, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI)
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)195 g
Flash Memory Capacity40 MB
Minimum Focus Distance50 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Maximum Frame Rate30 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCCD EXR
Total Camera Resolution12 Megapixel
Height59.2 mm
Width103.5 mm
Depth32.6 mm
Product SeriesF
Focal Length4.40 mm to 66 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Audio FormatsWAV
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerFuji Photo Film Co. Ltd
Product ModelF300EXR
Product NameFinePix F300EXR Compact Camera
Product LineFinePix
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberP10NC03220A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.fujifilm.co.uk
Marketing Information

Featuring a powerful Fujinon 15x optical zoom, and an amazingly fast auto focus speed of 0.158 seconds (faster than you can blink!). Plus, a multi-award winning Super CCD EXR sensor for superb picture quality however challenging the shooting conditions. The new Motion Panorama mode allows you to press the button and swing the camera around to capture a 360° image, simply and easily. This super-smart camera will suit any member of the family, no matter what their experience behind the lens; optional manual sensor controls will suit the more discerning photographer, while EXR Auto offers point-and-shoot simplicity and guaranteed results every time.

Battery Life250 Shot
Package Contents
  • FinePix F300EXR Compact Camera
  • Li-ion Battery NP-50
  • Battery Charger BC-45W
  • Hand Strap
  • USB Cable
  • AV Cable
  • CD-ROM
Display Resolution460000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year