Fujifilm FinePix F660EXR: Almost Everything

 
The Fujifilm FinePix F660EXR

The Fujifilm FinePix F660EXR

It seems as if the Fujifilm F660 EXR has everything that a serious enthusiast can ask for. How well does it perform? Chandni Gajria finds out.

Time and again, I keep telling my friends about how small cameras have an undue advantage to them. You can be discreet and shoot around anywhere without attracting too much attention, unlike a DSLR. But the only way to fully enjoy a compact is if, apart from being fun, it actually allows you to control each and every aspect and detail. Fortunately, the Fujifilm F660EXR does and we find out exactly how!

Features
The F660EXR borrows a few features from its predecessor, F600EXR. The camera is built with a 1/ 2-inch EXR CMOS sensor that packs in 16 megapixels. It has a Fujinon 15x optical zoom in a 24–36mm equivalent lens with an aperture range of f/3.5 at the widest end and f/5.6 at the telephoto end. Though the aperture range is not exactly fast, it is manageable and suffices in many situations.

Moving on, the camera offers full manual controls with the P, S, A and M modes which is a huge benefit to have in a basic compact camera for any serious enthusiast.

The EXR Auto mode automatically detects 11 scene modes and over 106 patterns in totality. This mode also offers three options—Resolution & Priority (for shooting subjects in detail), High ISO & Low Noise (to get pictures with minimal noise) and D-Range Priority (improves dynamic range in high contrast scenes).

Besides the serious modes, the camera also packs in a good deal of fun, with modes like Motion Panorama 360° and Multiple exposure where one image is superimposed onto another.

Another thing that impressed me were the video features. F660EXR records Full HD 1080p ,720p and 480p video with continuous AF at a speed of 30 fps. The dedicated video recording button eases the function. And not only this, a Film Simulation feature in the camera lets you shoot the video in black and white tone too!

Handling
With a metallic solid finish, the camera’s bulk built keeps it steady while shooting. Also, the rubber grip on the right side of the camera strengthens the grip. Keeping things simple, only a power switch and the zoom rocker have been situated on the top panel. On the back panel are two dedicated video and playback control buttons along with a navigation command wheel dial, which is very comfortable to use.

A FinePix button below this allows you to quickly access the ISO, image resolution, continuous shooting, antiblur and Film Simulations. Besides this, the mode dial has been stylishly kept at an angle on the right and a small bulge under this dial serves as a rest for the thumb. While the act of navigation is not difficult, more than often, I got tired of scrolling within so many menus in the camera.

Performance
With a 3-inch 460,000-dot LCD, the resolution of the LCD is not high but images look quite good on the display nevertheless. The AF of the camera is decent and not at all problematic. On the Continuous Burst mode and the Best Capture mode, the camera records images of medium/small size at 11fps. Image quality and the colours produced too is really good.

In low-light situations, the F660EXR does better than most other basic compact cameras. ISO 3200 works decently well if you downsize the photograph or if you use the black and white mode. Of course, the inclusion of ISO 12800 is obviously for marketing purposes. The built-in flash of the camera works really well. The flash metering is spot on and it combines very well with the ambient light to give a soft, pleasing effect.

Conclusion
A price tag of Rs 19,999 is not really high for a camera of this nature, but I was surprised to see that the F660EXR does not support RAW format, which is present in its predecessor F660EXR as well as the more expensive F770EXR.

Today when most cameras under Rs 20,000 have Wi-Fi, the F660EXR falls flat for not having any connectivity. It could also have improved by incorporating a fast lens, like the less expensive Nikon P310. Despite these shortcomings, it is hard to neglect the fact that the camera is good to use, offers a lot of control and produces very good quality photos due to its reasonaby large 1/2-inch sensor.

The 15x zoom range is very useful in situations where you cannot move in closer. Also the colours of the camera look quite good. Exposure: 1/60sec at f/5.5 (ISO 400). Photograph/Chandni Gajria

The 15x zoom range is very useful in situations where you cannot move in closer. Also the colours of the camera look quite good. Exposure: 1/60sec at f/5.5 (ISO 400). Photograph/Chandni Gajria

Final Ratings
Features
Full Manual control, 15x zoom, EXR Auto mode, film simulation, motion panorama 360°
25/30

Performance
Good video and image quality, fast AF
32/35

Build Quality
Metallic solid finish, slightly bulky
13/15

Ergonomics
Comfortable rubber grip and thumbrest, easy navigation, too many menus.
13/15

Warranty & Support
Two year warranty
2/5

OVERALL: 85%
Value For Money: 4/5

Who should buy it?
Serious enthusiasts or beginners who are looking for full manual control.

Why?
This is a no-fuss camera without features like GPS, WiFi or touchscreen. But its image quality and the control over exposure is very good.

Tags: Chandni Gajria, Camera review, december 2012, fujifilm f660exr, f660exr review, better photography review, fijifilm finepix f660exr