- Great image quality
- Good low light performance
- Feature-rich, manual exposure modes
- Some AF quirks in movie mode
- Advanced features require some manual reading
Quick TakeThe Fujifilm F600EXR produces some very nice images and is especially impressive in low light. Enthusiasts will like RAW shooting options and manual exposure modes.
Fujifilm has a long track record of creating compact cameras with innovative sensor designs that produce surprisingly good image quality in low light, especially considering the small size of the sensors. The first several generations of Fuji’s special sensors were called the “Super CCD,” and used octagonal rather than rectangular pixels. The most renowned camera of that first era was the F31fd, which camera buffs still talk about with reverence.
In 2008 Fuji announced a new version of the Super CCD sensor, the EXR, which used a color filter array layout that allows for binning (combining) two adjacent pixels of the same color. In early 2011, Fuji released the F550EXR, in which its EXR technology was combined with a back-illuminated CMOS sensor for greater speed and low light ability. The F600EXR is Fuji’s follow-up to the F550EXR.
As I mentioned in my “First Look,” the F600EXR is very similar to the F550EXR. Based on looks alone, you’d be hard pressed to tell them apart. Both use a 1/2.0 inch, 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS EXR sensor, have a 15x optical zoom lens with a lens range of from 24 through 360mm (35mm film camera equivalent), have a built-in GPS for geo-tagging your photos, can shoot in RAW mode and can take HD movies at 1080p resolution. The only significant differences I can see is that the F600EXR employs motion detection in Auto EXR mode to reduce blur, a Landmark Navigator feature to improve the functionality of the GPS, and an intelligent digital zoom which effectively doubles the telephoto range of the lens.
The F600EXR is packed with attractive features. In addition to those mentioned above, it also has an advanced mode with options for “Motion Panorama 360,” which enables you to take easy panorama shots simply by sweeping the camera horizontally or vertically, “Pro Focus,” in which the camera takes three shots and combines them to create an image with a blurred background, and “Pro Low-Light” in which the camera combines four shots to reduce noise and blur. Another interesting feature of the camera is a dynamic range adjustment mode in which the camera combines shots to increase detail in high contrast shooting situations.
I brought the F600EXR with me to Williamsburg, Virginia, which is a restoration of what was once the Virginia capitol back in the colonial era, and had fun taking photos and movies. Overall, I enjoyed my experience with the F600EXR. Let’s take a close look at this interesting camera.