Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR

      Photo Review 9

      In summary

      A slimline digicam with a 10x optical zoom lens and new, extended dynamic range sensor technology.Fujifilm has used the EXR sensor technology featured in the FinePix S200EXR camera in its slimline FinePix F70EXR model. The sensor chip is the same size, too, but its resolution is lower at 10 megapixels instead of 12. The retracting zoom lens is quite different from the flagship model, offering only 10x optical zoom but providing a wider angle of view (equivalent to 27mm in 35mm format) at the expense of light-capturing ‘speed’. . . [more]

      Full review


      Fujifilm has used the EXR sensor technology featured in the FinePix S200EXR camera in its slimline FinePix F70EXR model. The sensor chip is the same size, too, but its resolution is lower at 10 megapixels instead of 12. The retracting zoom lens is quite different from the flagship model, offering only 10x optical zoom but providing a wider angle of view (equivalent to 27mm in 35mm format) at the expense of light-capturing ‘speed’.

      Although not quite credit-card sized, the F70EXR is certainly pocketable and its overall design reflects that objective. The lens tucks neatly into the camera body behind diagonal ‘doors’ and the front panel is populated by only a slim, built-in flash tube, AF-assist LED (which doubles as a self-timer indicator) and twin holes for a microphone, located below the LED on the lower edge of the lens housing.


      Front view of the FinePix F70EXR showing the retracting lens in its open position. (Source: Fujifilm.)

      The LCD monitor covers two thirds of the rear panel, which also carries a standard arrow pad. The mode dial is mounted vertically on the top right corner and carries settings for Full Auto, EXR, P, M, Movie, Scene Program, Natural Light and Natural & Flash shooting modes. It’s conveniently positioned and not too easy to reset unintentionally.


      Rear view of the FinePix F70EXR. (Source: Fujifilm.)

      Surrounding the arrow pad are four buttons that access the Play, F (photo mode) settings, Face Detection and Display settings. The top panel carries a small on/off button plus a much larger shutter release with a surrounding zoom lever. The battery and memory card share a compartment in the camera’s base, which also carries a metal-lined tripod socket and six-hole microphone grille. A USB port is located on the side panel, under a lift-up cover.


      The top panel of the FinePix F70EXR. (Source: Fujifilm.)

      Controls and Functions
      Overall functionality has been downscaled from the S200EXR model, in line with the much smaller size and different target market for this camera. In line with most slimline digicams, the F70EXR has no viewfinder, forcing users to rely on the LCD for adjusting camera settings and framing shots. And it’s a pretty average performer, with its relatively low resolution reflected in the camera’s price tag.

      Some key functions are retained. You get the same Full Auto, EXR, P and M shooting modes, plus the Natural Light & Flash and Natural Light settings. The Scene Program mode contains 15 pre-sets, among them the Pro Focus, Pro Low Light and Portrait Enhancer settings we covered in our review of the FinePix S200EXR.

      Unlike the FinePix S200EXR, only two aperture settings are available in the Manual mode: wide open and stopped down. The actual value depends on the focal length setting, with the widest aperture of f/3.3 available only when the zoom is set to Wide. At the Tele position, the maximum aperture stops down to f/5.6, which is pretty slow. Dual Image Stabilisation, which uses both CCD-shift and ISO boosting to achieve faster shutter speeds, provides some compensation for slow lens speeds.

      The arrow pad buttons provide quick access to the exposure compensation, flash, focus (macro) and self-timer settings with a central Menu/OK button to open the menu and lock settings in. Unlike the S200EXR, the F70EXR has only two pages in its shooting menu, covering 10 adjustable functions. The Set-up menu contains four pages; one less than the S200EXR.

      Like the S200EXR, the F70EXR comes with only a brief printed ‘Basic Manual’; the more comprehensive User Manual is supplied on a CD in 17 different languages. A separate software CD is provided, containing FinePix Viewer V. 5.5 for Windows and V. 3.6 for Macintosh.

      Sensor and Image Processing
      We’ve already covered the new EXR sensor technology in our review of the FinePix S200EXR so we won’t repeat the details here. Suffice it to say the FinePix F70EXR provides the same EXR Priority and Film Simulation shooting modes as its ‘big brother’. It also uses the same pixel-binning strategies to achieve the Pro Focus and Pro Low Light modes. In these modes, effective resolution is reduced to Medium size, which equates to 5-megapixels with the 4:3 aspect ratio setting.

      Raw file capture is not supported in the FinePix F70EXR; instead the camera offers three image size options, each with three aspect rations. Two ‘quality’ settings govern JPEG compression levels. Typical file sizes are shown in the table below.

      Aspect Ratio








      3616 x 2712




      2592 x 1944




      2048 x 1536





      3616 x 2400




      2592 x 1728




      2048 x 1360





      3616 x 2048




      2592 x 1440




      1920 x 1080



      Video recording is identical to the FinePix S200EXR. Only two resolutions are offered: VGA (640 x 480 pixels) and QVGA (320 x 240 pixels), both at 30 frames/second. Monaural soundtracks are recorded via the built-in microphone. You can zoom manually while movie clips are being recorded and focus, exposure and white balance are adjusted continuously. Typical recording times for a 2GB memory card are shown in the table below.

      Movie setting

      Frame rate

      Maximum length on 2GB card

      VGA (640 x 480)

      30 fps

      29 minutes

      QVGA (320 x 240)

      30 fps

      57 minutes

      Pressing the Playback button displays the last picture taken and you can use the horizontal buttons on the arrow pad to move backwards and forwards through the images stored in the camera’s memory or on an inserted memory card. Pressing the Disp/Back button lets you choose whether an image is displayed with or without shooting data and access the calendar display.


      Calendar playback.

      Playback zoom is accessed via the normal zoom lever. By our rough estimate, the maximum enlargement available is approximately 10x and you can move the enlarged section around the frame with the arrow pad buttons.


      Playback zoom.
      Multi-frame playback lets you change the number of images displayed by turning the zoom lever. You can move from one frame to one frame with previous and next to two, nine and up to 100 micro-thumbnails.


      Multi-frame playback.

      Pressing the Menu/OK button accesses the playback menu, where you can erase image and video files (singly or globally), protect files, play slideshows, engage in-camera red-eye removal, rotate, crop, resize and copy selected images. You can also add 30-second voice clips to selected images (but not movies or images marked as ‘protected’.


      Playback options provided via the F-mode button.

      The F-Mode can also be used to select the Slide Show and Print Order (DPOF) functions. Five slideshow settings are provided: Normal with direct transition from image to image, Fade-in with fade transitions between frames, Normal Face Detection and Fade-in Face Detection, which are the same as the Normal and Face Detection modes, except the camera zooms in on faces selected with Intelligent Face detection. The multiple slide show mode displays several pictures at a time.


      Slideshow options.
      Not unexpectedly, many of the features we identified when reviewing the FinePix S200EXR were also found in the FinePix F70EXR. The EXR shooting mode produced the expected recovery of detail in highlight areas that were blown-out in the normal shooting mode.

      However, Imatest showed resolution to be slightly below expectations for the sensor’s resolution and revealed some edge softening, particularly mid-way along the lens’s focal length range, where image resolution was highest. The graph below shows the results of our Imatest tests.


      Lateral chromatic aberration hovered around the border between ‘low’ and ‘moderate’ throughout the focal length range we tested. Coloured fringes were seen in shots taken in bright outdoor lighting, although they weren’t quite as obvious as the fringing we found with the S200EXR model.

      Imatest showed colour accuracy to be superior to that of the S200EXR and saturation was slightly lower. Subjective assessment of test shots confirmed these objective measurements. Differences were particularly evident in images containing skin tones, which were more natural-looking (and less ruddy) than those from the larger, higher-resolution camera.

      Resolution was highest with the ISO 100 setting and remained relatively high up to ISO 1600, where images are captured at maximum resolution. The expected drop in resolution occurred at ISO 3200, where image size falls to 2592 pixels wide, with a further drop for ISO 6400 and ISO 12800, where resolution declines to 2048 pixels wide. The graph below shows the results of our Imatest tests.


      Image noise became visible at ISO 800 in both flash shots and long exposures. Both pattern and colour noise were evident in shots taken at ISO 1600, although the effects of the noise were not quite as severe. However, from ISO 3200 on, shots were severely noise-affected; enough to be considered unusable at ISO 6400 and ISO 12800, where images were blotchy, fuzzy and off-colour.

      The built-in flash was able to illuminate an average-sized room from ISO 200 on and flash exposures were evenly balanced through to ISO 12800. Image noise was also less visible in flash shots than long exposures.

      The lack of a super macro setting limits the user’s ability to take photographs closer than 5 cm from subjects. However, at this range, close-up performance was generally good. The digital zoom was an above-average performer, although JPEG artefacts were visible in shots and overall sharpness was compromised. Backlit subjects were handled very well and little flare was evident in shots with the sun just out of the frame.

      Slight barrel distortion was seen in test shots at the widest angle of view. This changed to very slight pincushion distortion at around the 12mm focal length. In neither case would the distortion affect normal photography.

      The review camera powered up in approximately 1.5 seconds and shut down almost instantaneously. We measured an average capture lag of 0.35 seconds, which reduced to 0.1 seconds with pre-focusing. Shot-to-shot intervals averaged 2.3 seconds without flash and 3.1 seconds with. It took 2.2 seconds to process each high-resolution JPEG image.

      In the Top 12 continuous shooting mode, the review camera captured 12 shots in 2.5 seconds. It took 5.7 seconds to process this burst. With the Top 3 sequential mode the camera record three frames in 1.1 seconds. It took 2.5 seconds to process this burst.

      Buy this camera if:
      – You’re looking for a pocketable long-zoom digicam that is good value for money.
      – You take a lot of photographs in bright conditions (beach and/or snow) and need the ability to record highlight details in subjects.
      – You’d prefer a camera with useful automated functions.

      Don’t buy this camera if:
      – You require high performance levels in dim lighting, particularly for long exposures.
      – You want to shoot widescreen or high-definition video.
      – You want to shoot raw files. (The FinePix F70EXR is JPEG only.)





      Auto white balance with incandescent lighting.


      Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.


      Close-up. 5mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/189 second at f/6.5.


      5mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/508 second at f/6.5.


      50mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/148 second at f/10.9.


      Digital zoom; 50mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/407 second at f/5.6.


      4:3 aspect ratio; 14mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/191 second at f/9.8.


      3:2 aspect ratio; 14mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/167 second at f/9.8.


      16:9 aspect ratio; 14mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/141 second at f/9.8.


      5mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/271 second at f/6.5.


      Crop from the above image showing coloured fringing..


      Flash exposure; 21.3mm focal length. ISO 100, 1/91 second at f/4.5.


      Flash exposure; 21.3mm focal length. ISO 1600, 1/91 second at f/5.5.


      Flash exposure; 21.3mm focal length. ISO 12800, 1/91 second at f/5.5.


      Long exposure: ISO 200, 8 second exposure at f/3.2; 7.2mm focal length.


      Long exposure: ISO 1600, 4 second exposure at f/3.2; 7.2mm focal length.


      Long exposure: ISO 12800, 1 second exposure at f/5.6; 7.2mm focal length.


      Skin tones; 50mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/172 second at f/5.6.


      Dynamic range: 50mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/501 second at f/5.6.


      Backlighting; 50mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/212 second at f/10.9.


      Flare; 5mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/1017 second at f/6.5.


      50mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/252 second at f/10.9.


      27.6mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/304 second at f/10.9.




      Image sensor: 8.08 x 6.01 mm Super CCD EXR with 10.0 megapixels effective
      Lens: Fujinon 5.0-50.0mm f/3.3-5.6 zoom (27-270mm in 35mm format)
      Zoom ratio: 10x optical; up to 4x digital
      Image formats: Stills – JPEG (Exif Ver. 2.2 ); Movies – AVI (Motion JPEG )/WAV
      Image Sizes: Stills – 4:3 aspect: 3616 x 2712, 2592 x 1944, 2048 x 1536; 3:2 aspect: 3616 x 2400, 2592 x 1728, 2048 x 1360; 16:9 aspect: 3616 x 2048, 2592 x 1584, 1440 x 1080; Movies – VGA/QVGA at 30 frames/second
      Shutter speed range: 1/45 to 1/2000 seconds; to 8 seconds in Manual mode
      Self-timer: 2 or 10 second delay
      Image Stabilisation: CCD-shift type
      Exposure Compensation: +/- 2EV in 1/3 EV increments (EXR and P modes only)
      Focus system/range: Contrast-detect AF with Multi, Centre and Continuous modes; range 45 cm to infinity; macro 5-90 cm
      Exposure metering/control: TTL 256-zones metering with Multi, Spot and Average modes
      Shooting modes: Auto, Program, Manual; Scene modes: Natural & Flash, Natural Light, Pro Focus, Pro Low Light, Portrait, Portrait Enhancer, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night (Tripod), Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Party, Flower, Text
      ISO range: Auto, ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200; ISO 6400, 12,800 at reduced resolution
      White balance: Auto, Sunlight, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm white), Fluorescent light (Cool white), Incandescent light, Custom
      Flash modes/range (ISO auto): Red-eye removal Off/On: Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro. Range: 30 cm to 4.2 m
      Sequence shooting: Max. 4.8 frames/sec. for 12 frames
      Storage Media: 47MB internal memory plus SD/SDHC expansion slot
      Viewfinder: 0.2-inch, Approx. 200,000 dots, FLCD monitor, Approx. 100% coverage
      LCD monitor: 2.7-inch, Approx. 230,000 dots, LCD monitor, Approx. 100% coverage
      Power supply: NP-50 rechargeable lithium-ion battery (CIPA rated for approx. 230 frames/charge)
      Dimensions (wxhxd): 99.3 x 58.9 x 22.7 mm
      Weight: Approx. 180 grams (without battery and card)






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