The Z800EXR is a quick, responsive camera. Menu operations are smooth, with little delay. The camera is somewhat slow to start up, as it took about three or four seconds after sliding down the lens cover for the menu to become active. However, the camera focuses and shoots quickly. I was able to take numerous successive pictures, both outdoors and indoors, with only a couple of seconds of delay between them. Using the flash adds an additional second.
The performance tables confirm that the Z800EXR is one quick little camera. Compared to the Nikon Coolpix S8000, the Panasonic DMC-FX75 and the Canon Powershot S95, the Z800EXR was the quickest overall. Shutter lag - the time between pressing the shutter and taking the picture when the camera is pre-focused (the shutter is pressed halfway down) - was a virtually instantaneous 0.01 second.
Auto focus acquisition, the time between pressing the shutter and taking the picture without pre-focusing, was a DSLR-like 0.19 seconds, one of the quickest times I've seen for Point and Shoot cameras. These figures are consistent with my experience with the Z800EXR, as I found it to be noticeably quicker to capture focus than most of the small cameras I've used.
Shutter Lag (press-to-capture, pre-focused)
|Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR||0.01|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX75||0.01|
|Canon PowerShot S95||0.02|
|Nikon Coolpix S8000||0.05|
AF Acquisition (press-to-capture, no pre-focus)
|Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR||0.19|
|Nikon Coolpix S8000||0.26|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX75||0.28|
|Canon PowerShot S95||0.36|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX75||3||2.6 fps
|Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR||4||1.6 fps
|Nikon Coolpix S8000||10||1.2 fps
|Canon PowerShot S95||∞||0.9 fps
*Note: Continuous shooting framerates are based on the camera's fastest full-resolution JPEG continuous shooting mode, using the fastest media type available (300x CF, SDHC, etc.). "Frames" notes the number of captures recorded per burst before the camera stops/slows to clear the buffer.
The Z800EXR rarely failed to find focus in good light, though it occasionally had focus problems in low light - unsurprising considering that it lacks an AF assist lamp. While its continuous shooting speed, 1.6 frames per second, is not blazingly quick, it beats two of the three other cameras. Overall, a very good showing by the Z800EXR.
The camera comes with an NP-45A lithium ion battery which Fuji claims will shoot 170 frames. This is a rather low number but it is quite understandable considering the power drain caused by the high resolution touch screen LCD. While using the Z800EXR I noticed that that battery life was relatively short and I made sure I charged the battery each time I took the camera out to do some shooting. It would be a good idea to purchase an extra battery, especially if you plan to take movies or make extensive use of the LCD.
The lens range of the Z800EXR is 35-175mm (35mm film camera equivalent), usefully long at telephoto but somewhat narrow at the wide end. The practical effect of this is minor - the user will have to move back when taking certain pictures at wide angle to make sure everything at either side of the frame fits into the image. However, most of the cameras in the Z800EXR's class have much wider angle lenses.
With regard to lens performance, most pictures I took were sufficiently sharp, even at the long end of the zoom, but some would have benefited from additional sharpening. Unfortunately the camera does not include the option to increase sharpness. I found the lens to be mostly free of distortion, with little chromatic aberration, no vignetting and only minor blurriness at the corners. I noted a small amount of barrel distortion at wide angle and pin cushion distortion at maximum telephoto.
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