Fuji FinePix F550 EXR review

A high-end compact with a raft of enthusiast-friendly features and GPS

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  • Excellent image quality at low sensitivities
  • Superb LCD screen
  • Manual exposure control
  • Raw image capture
  • Automatic geo-tagging via built-in GPS


  • Slow start-up time
  • Mode dial easily knocked off desired setting
  • Small buttons
  • Occasionally miss-focuses at maximum zoom

With each new update to Fujifilm's F-series, they have added features that promise to push the boundaries of what's normally expected from a compact digital camera.

These cameras have been popular with enthusiasts looking for something compact, due to their inclusion of manual exposure control, low noise at high ISO sensitivities, or extended dynamic range.

With the Fuji F550 EXR price tag at £270, Fuji's latest high-end compact sits at the top of its range of compact cameras and sports a rear illuminated EXR CMOS sensor, which has a few extra tricks up its sleeve.

The red, green and blue photosites are arranged in such a way that pictures can either be taken at the full 16-megapixel resolution if conditions are ideal, or at a reduced resolution of eight megapixels in either of the alternate EXR modes.

One mode is designed to reduce the amount of noise when shooting in low light, and the other increases the dynamic range captured in high contrast situations.

The 15x zoom lens covers a range equivalent to 24-360mm, without making the camera overly large or bulky. The 24mm wide angle is great for capturing groups of people, whilst the telephoto is useful for picking out details over distance, or for isolating subjects.

Fuji f550 exr review
Fuji f550 exr review

As it may be difficult to hold sufficiently steady at maximum telephoto, the CMOS-shift image stabilisation is a welcome addition. This works by moving the sensor around behind the lens to counter motion associated with hand-holding the camera.

Aperture and shutter priority exposure modes are included alongside full manual exposure control. Automatic scene recognition will suit those who prefer to point and shoot along with other photographic aids, such as face detection and red-eye removal.

If pets are more your cup of tea, rather than people, dog and cat detection is also provided.

Raw and JPEG images can be captured simultaneously, which is a feature not often found at this price point and should please many enthusiasts. SilkyPix Developer Studio is bundled with the camera to process the Raw files, along with Fujifilm's photo management software.

As HD video recording seems to have become a standard feature on digital cameras, the F550EXR sports full 1080p capture at 30 frames per second. Unlike many other compacts the built in microphone captures stereo sound and the zoom can be used during recording.

An on board GPS function automatically tags images with location information, including the names of places visited. Images can then be searched for by place name in the software provided or in camera, which is great for sifting through hundreds of images quickly.

If you've lost track of where you've been, the GPS can be used to navigate back to the spot from which a picture was taken. The direction and distance to where a particular image was taken can be displayed on-screen.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution16 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilyFinePix F
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom15x
Digital Zoom5x
Brand NameFujifilm
FeaturesFace Detection, Manual White Balance, Aperture Priority, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsQuickTime MOV
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)195 g
Image Sensor Size1/2" (6.40 mm x 4.80 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height62.5 mm
Width103.5 mm
Depth32.6 mm
Product SeriesF
Focal Length4.40 mm to 66 mm
Image FormatsRAW, JPEG
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerFuji Photo Film Co. Ltd
Product ModelF550EXR
Product NameFinePix F550EXR Compact Camera
Product LineFinePix
Exposure Control
  • Programmed AE
  • Shutter-priority AE
  • Aperture-priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberP10NC03760A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.fujifilm.co.uk
Marketing Information

In pursuing for the ultimate image technology, Fujifilm has developed a unique collaboration, the EXR CMOS, optimizing the best of EXR and CMOS imagining technologies. See for yourself the dynamic resolution and its brilliant speed, opening a new door to another era in photography.

Package Contents
  • FinePix F550EXR Compact Camera
  • Li-Ion Battery NP-50
  • Battery Charger BC-45W
  • Hand Strap
  • USB Cable
  • A/V Cable
  • CD-ROM
  • Owner's Manual