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Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £258
inc VAT

The photos have their strengths and weaknesses, but this is still one of the best compact ultra-zoom cameras currently available, if a little expensive.


1/2in 12.0-megapixel sensor, 15.0x zoom (24-360mm equivalent), 195g

Fujifilm’s EXR technology is one of the more enlightened developments in digital camera design in recent years. While most manufacturers are embroiled in a pointless megapixel race, Fujifilm produced a sensor that could switch between 12 and 6 megapixels at a fundamental level rather than just by resizing the image. This meant sharp details in bright light and reduced noise in low light.

The F200EXR was – and still is – a fantastic camera, but the 10x zoom F80EXR was a disappointment, with a physically smaller sensor that diluted the benefits of the EXR technology.

The F300EXR appears to supersede both models, and it comes out with guns blazing. There’s a new stabilisation and autofocus systems and a whopping 15x zoom – the biggest currently available from a compact-shaped camera. It can recognise family members’ faces (including the pets) to prioritise them in group shots, and capture a panorama simply by rotating the camera. It also has a new EXR II sensor. This has the same 1/2in diameter as in the F80EXR – significantly smaller than the F200EXR’s 2/3in sensor. Let’s hope that this second-generation design is back on track.

Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

The switch from metal to plastic is disappointing but the case still feels robust. We like the contoured grip and pop-up flash, which avoids it being obscured by your fingers. The 3in screen has a 460,000-pixel resolution and its rich colours really flatter photos. The navigation pad doubles as a wheel for quickly dialling in settings and there’s a dedicated button for video capture.

The most radical new feature is the hybrid autofocus system. As with all compact digital cameras, it uses contrast-detect to find the right focus by trial-and-error. However, there’s also a phase-detection autofocus system built into the sensor – something normally reserved for SLRs. The camera switches between these modes automatically, apparently using contrast detection in low light and phase detection at telephoto zoom settings. Autofocus was certainly quick in our tests, but it wasn’t in a different league to other compact cameras.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ****
CCD effective megapixels 12.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 460,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 15.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 24-360mm
Image stabilisation optical, sensor shift
Maximum image resolution 4,000×3,000
Maximum movie resolution 1280×720
Movie frame rate at max quality 24fps
File formats JPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)


Memory slot SDHC
Mermory supplied 40MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 250 shots
Connectivity USB, AV, micro HDMI
Body material plastic
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 195g
Size 59x104x33mm

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £258

Camera Controls

Exposure modes program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed 8 to 1/2,000 seconds
Aperture range f/3.5-10 (wide), f/5.3-16 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 100 to 3200
Exposure compensation +/- 2EV
White balance auto, 7 presets, manual
Additional image controls dynamic range, film simulation
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus 5cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, face detect, tracking
Metering modes eg: multi, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer

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