EXR con and pro

A few more experiments with my ‘new’ Fujica F80 EXR. Let’s get right to the bad parts.

Cons:

There aren’t many. The body is a bit slick to hold on to and there’s no really good place to put your left hand. The mode control dial would be better placed on the top, and it’s a bit flimsy. The LCD screen is, as with all of them, difficult to see in bright daylight. The start-up is a bit sluggish (wait for the red light to stop flashing). The zoom control is not good for small changes. There is no adjustment for contrast or colour saturation (other than choosing a film simulation).

Um … that’s about it. Shall we add that the different film simulations for colour don’t have a huge variation between them? How about that it’s not a good low-light (night) camera? Not really issues. It does tend to underexpose in certain circumstances, but again not to the severity that causes problems – about -1/3 stop. Most everything else I’ve tried on it has worked well.

Pros:

Small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. Works well under average conditions, and even under some trying ones. If you were just going to use this for normal snapshots it would be a killer camera. Definitely up to and beyond the abilities of the venerable Kodak V1003, with a bit better automatic function, and far easier to get up and running than the Lumix ZS60.

So let’s look at some results.

DSCF1053
You go ahead; I’ll just wait here

Snapshot of Marley being lazy. Colour rendition is perfect (standard setting), of course it helps to have a mass of gray house to get the exposure right. All cameras want us to only take pictures of flat, 18% reflective gray surfaces you know.

DSCF1033
Raven flying

Slight underexposure, a little low on contrast, but good colour rendition. The CCD sensor provides excellent tonal range under most conditions.

Exposure corrected by +1/3 stop, and there’s nothing wrong with colour or contrast.

But just how good of a picture can we make with this camera? Let’s see:

bootsB&W
Boots being cute in B&W

This was done in B&W, not cropped (I actually bothered to frame & compose) just resized for the Internet (the original is 2816 x 2112 pixels), shot with flash in auto EXR mode. The monochrome setting is a little low on contrast, as are the colour offerings. This may be due to the age of the sensor. Here’s the original before I removed some rubbish and tweaked the contrast:

boots1

Now there are a lot more settings to try on this, including many menu adjustments. The menu is fairly sensible and easy to access, as are the other controls. The EXR function has four settings itself: auto, hi-definition, hi-dynamic, and hi-ISO/lo-noise. I’m looking forward to shooting with every combination I can figure out, before I settle down to what settings work best for me. It is already an amazingly competent camera, and convenient to carry too.

It’s a keeper.

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