DCRP

Fuji FinePix F70EXR Review

by Jeff Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor

Originally Posted: December 3, 2009

Last Updated: December 4, 2009

The Fuji FinePix F70EXR ($249) is a compact ultra zoom camera that uses the unique SuperCCD EXR sensor, which allows it to take better low light / high ISO photos than your typical point-and-shoot camera (I'll explain how it does that later in the review). It's largely the same camera as the FinePix F200EXR (see our review), with the main difference a 10X lens (versus 5X) and a smaller LCD (2.7" instead of 3.0"). The F70EXR also has a lower resolution and slightly smaller SuperCCD EXR sensor.

Other features on the F70EXR include image stabilization, manual controls, auto scene selection, an elaborate face detection system, and new "pro focus" and "pro low light" modes.

Does this compact ultra zoom produce better low light photos than its competitors? Find out now in our review of the FinePix F70EXR!

What's in the Box?

The FinePix F70EXR has an average bundle. Inside the box, you'll find:

  • The 10.0 effective Megapixel FinePix F70EXR digital camera
  • NP-50 lithium-ion battery
  • Battery charger
  • Wrist strap
  • USB cable
  • A/V cable
  • CD-ROMs featuring FinePix software and camera manual
  • 43 page basic manual (printed) + full manual on CD-ROM

Most cameras have built-in memory these days, and the FinePix F70EXR is no exception. It has 47MB of onboard memory, which is able to hold a dozen photos at the highest quality setting. While that's more than on most cameras, you'll still want to get a memory card right away. The F70 is one of the first Fuji cameras to cut the cord entirely from the xD memory card format, supporting only SD and SDHC media. I'd suggest starting with a 2GB card, and you don't need to go overboard with a super high speed model.

The F70EXR uses the same NP-50 lithium-ion battery as the FinePix F200EXR and several other Fuji cameras. This battery holds 3.7 Wh of energy, which is about average for this class. Here's how that translates into battery life:

Camera Battery life, LCD on
(CIPA standard)
Canon PowerShot SX200 IS 280 shots
Casio Exilim EX-H10 1000 shots
Fuji FinePix F70EXR 230 shots
Kodak EasyShare Z950 180 shots
Nikon Coolpix S630 220 shots
Olympus Stylus 9000 250 shots
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 320 shots
Ricoh CX2 290 shots
Samsung HZ15W 280 shots
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 290 shots

Battery life numbers are provided by the manufacturer

All of the cameras on the above list have zoom lenses ranging between 7X and 12X. The 1000 shot number on the Casio may look like a typo, but it's for real (what is it, nuclear powered?). While not the worst in this group of ultra zooms, the F70EXR's numbers are definitely below average.

As with every other camera on the above list, the F70EXR uses a proprietary lithium-ion battery for power. This batteries tend to be expensive (a spare NP-50 will set you back at least $45), and you can't use an off-the-shelf battery in emergencies. That said, you won't find any really compact cameras that use "regular" AA batteries.

Fuji BC-45W battery charger

When it's time to charge your battery, just pop into the included charger. The charger plugs directly into the wall, so there's no power cord to deal with. It takes approximately 150 minutes to fully charge the NP-50.

As with all compact cameras, there's a built-in lens cover on the FinePix F70EXR, so there's no lens cap to deal with.

There is really just one accessory for the F70EXR, and that's an AC adapter. You actually have to buy two parts to make it work: the AC-5VX AC adapter ($34) and the CP-50 coupler ($25).


FinePixViewer 5.5 for Windows

Fuji includes their FinePixViewer software with the F70EXR for Mac and Windows. Both versions look about the same with the usual thumbnail view when you first start it up. The Mac version's functionality is quite limited: you can rotate, resize, and crop photos, print text on them, and that's about it. In other words, use iPhoto instead. The Windows version can do a lot more, including showing slideshows, reducing redeye, and adjusting things like brightness, color, and contrast.

Recently, Fuji joined the growing list of camera manufacturers who no longer include a full, printed manual in the box with their cameras. What you will find is a 43 page "basic manual" to get you up and running, plus the full manual in PDF format on an included CD-ROM. The quality of the manuals is above average (by consumer electronics standards) -- it's having to load up the PDF that's a pain. Documentation for the bundled software is installed onto your computer.

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