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Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR - Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR

By Cliff Smith



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Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR


Our Score:


In all respects apart from its sensor the F70EXR is a fairly typical long-zoom compact camera. Like all of Fuji's higher-spec models it is solidly made, with an all-aluminium body. It's on the smaller end of the scale for this type of camera, measuring 99.3 x 58.9 x 22.7mm, making it one of the slimmest camera to feature a 10x zoom lens. It's quite heavy for its size though, weighing a little over 200g including battery and card. The body shape includes a small raised lip on the right of the front panel which provides some grip, there is a shaped thumb rest area on the back incorporating the mode dial, and the camera is comfortable and secure to hold, although the shiny finish can be a bit slippery especially with damp fingers. It is available in either silver or the gunmetal grey of my review sample, but I did find that the gloss finish chipped and scratched very easily in day-to-day use, as you can see on the pictures below.

Most long-zoom compacts are fairly simple point-and-shoot cameras, but the F70EXR is somewhat more versatile. The main mode dial offers full auto, program exposure with a side-option of aperture-priority, and full manual exposure. In fact this is a bit limited, since only minimum and maximum aperture can be selected in either mode, although shutter speeds from eight seconds to 1/2000th of a second are available in manual.

The control layout is very simple and straightforward, with four buttons and a D-pad that are large and well spaced out with clear labels. Like all Fuji cameras the F70EXR has two menus, a quick function menu which controls only ISO setting, image size and the film simulation mode, and a main menu which controls everything else. I can't help but think that this is a wasted opportunity; there are other camera functions that would be more usefully placed on the function menu, such as metering mode or drive mode. The film simulation mode, useful though it is, would be better placed on the main menu. Perhaps a custom menu system like that used by rivals Ricoh would be a better idea.

When EXR mode is selected on the mode dial, the main menu also carries the EXR mode options. There are three settings: HR mode uses all 10 million photocells for the maximum resolution of 3616 x 2712 pixels, but has none of the low light benefits. SN mode reduces the image size to 2592 x 1944, or five megapixels, and limits the ISO setting to a maximum of 1600, but produces much higher quality images at high ISO and in low light. Finally the DR mode also reduces image size, but uses the extra light-capturing ability of the paired photocells to enhance dynamic range. There is also an Auto EXR mode which uses scene recognition to select the appropriate mode.

I have to say I've been very impressed with the three EXR cameras I've tested so far. The technology does live up to Fuji's claims, and the low-light performance is significantly better than almost anything else on the market, easily out-performing conventional CCD sensors. The only serious rival is the in-camera HDR technology developed separately by Ricoh and Pentax, which yields quite similar results. Some might think that limiting the image size to five megapixels is a step backwards, but it's big enough for a decent quality A4 print, and when printed at the typical snapshot size of 10 x 15cm the difference between an image from a 5MP camera and one from a 10MP camera is indistiguishable by the unaided human eye. Annoyingly however, if the camera is set back to Program Auto from EXR mode the image size remains at 5MP, even if it had previously been set to 10MP.

One feature lacking but frankly unmissed from the F70EXR's specification is HD video. It can record video at 640 x 480 and 30fps with mono audio, and the zoom lens can be used while recording if you don't mind hearing it on the soundtrack. To be honest video recording is a fairly low priority on my list of things I want from a still camera, so it's not going to lose any points here.

Tony Walker

December 1, 2009, 1:03 pm

I hope they've improved build quality from the F100fd. I ran an F100fd against the iXus 960is and was disappointed in the Fuji both with image quality and the very cheap feel of the thing. So reluctantly, Canon it was as a replacement for my Konica-Minolta G600 (brilliant camera) whose lens motor was starting to fail.

I've got a Panny TZ7 now though - stunning camera, blows the Canon away (to my Sister who's now using it, as bizarrely, her Nikon had lens motor issues).


December 1, 2009, 1:32 pm

Nice review. I've always been a Fuji camera owner (shall we add Fuji to my Sony/Apple fanboy labels?), I recently purchased the F200-EXR and will happily join you in singing the praises of the EXR sensor. After a weekend in the Mumbles testing nothing but the EXR modes I got some wonderful shots back, and even using the auto-EXR mode the battery still had plenty of juice left at the end of the day despite the constant whirring of the lense mechanism...


December 1, 2009, 3:38 pm

Great review, Cliff.

I bought my Fujifilm FinePix F40fd based on your review 2.5 years ago, do you think the F70EXR is a worthy upgrade? The TZ7 caught my eye, but the F70EXR looks a more attractive buy (even if it is missing HD video).


December 1, 2009, 3:40 pm

I've got the F70EXR, and I have to admit too the EXR sensor is a joy, especially the low light mode. In fact the flash is rarely ever used, even when I was taking picture at a Halloween disco.

Also something not mentioned in the review is the F70 also has a Pro Focus mode for doing some fancy shots, which I think is something unique to compacts.

I used to have fuji finepix s9600 that of course can take great picture, but takes a lot of effort, with the F70 nearly every picture I've taken has been smack on.

Some bit of advice. Get some spare battery's, there cheap enough from Ebay. Also set the Max ISO to 800, the auto mode will pick 1600 where 800 would have been fine otherwise.


December 1, 2009, 4:58 pm

@Keith - Snap! The S9600 was previously my pride and joy, too, but I *never* took advantage of all it's wonderful wizardry... I've made the decision to eBay it off for Christmas now.


December 1, 2009, 5:51 pm

Arg, I was going to buy the F200-EXR for my wifes birthday then this review comes along and messes with my head, any one recommend which one to go for? Both the same price on a certain merchants website!

BTW, the price you list is way off the mark.


December 1, 2009, 5:58 pm

Considering u can have it for over £100 less than the as reviewed price think u should be bumping the value score up to ten.


looks like an awesome camera.


December 1, 2009, 6:02 pm

Can get it for about £167 (delivery extra) from Pixmania. I ordered from Amazon for £180 inc delivery...


December 1, 2009, 6:09 pm

@Cub: Yes, I found trying to take good pictures of our 2 year old with the S9600 seemed next to impossible. :) Something else I forgot to mention the Anti-Shake on this works really well too, even at Max Zoom hand held the images were very clear.


December 1, 2009, 6:44 pm

@Christopher, I think you need to decide what your priority's for a camera are.

The F70 has less mega pixels if that's a concern.

I believe the 200 doesn't have the pro-focus mode.

When on holiday in Center Parcs I found the extra zoom came in very handy, certainly outweighing the extra mega pixels, but your mileage may vary.

Oh, yes. Whoever pays £280 for this camera has been ripped off. I got mine for less than £200 with 4 Gig SDHC, leather case & mini-tripod, and that was 3 months ago.


December 1, 2009, 7:55 pm

The camera generally has very good reviews on most websites and forums apart from a considerable ammount of complaints about poor corner sharpness.Judging by the comments it is rather hit and miss if you get a good one or one with the above lens problems. This is why i bought a 200EXR instead as there are no lens problems with this model.


December 1, 2009, 8:50 pm

Thanks Keith, like you say I need to think about my end usage before I decide. What's the battery life like on this 1? Do you recommend a 2nd battery?

Martin Daler

December 1, 2009, 10:01 pm

oooh - logged in and dropped straight back to the page I logged in from - nice.

Oh yes, that was my question, what setting was the ISO series shot at, was in SN setting by any chance?

@Tony Walker - I have a F50fd, no problems with build quality and its been suffering regular family use since the model was launched - sorry to hear your F100fd has not stood the test of time for you.


December 1, 2009, 11:57 pm

Tony I am sorry to hear about your experiences with the F100fd; seems you had a bad one (the ones I used produced excellent images). I am however surprised that you describe it as feeling cheap; I found it a very solid device, in contrast to the Ixus range which I have always found quite flimsy (and which, when I was selling them, seemed disproportionately prone to jamming lens mechanisms and other faults). The only thing I didn't like was the lens cover which didn't feel quite so sturdy. Oddly enough I did not find the images from the Panasonic TZ5 or 7 any better than those from the Fuji, although the Pannies were more user-friendly, and their build quality is even better than Fuji's (and everyone else actually). Nevertheless I still think that the recent Fujis have the edge for image quality, although this is probably more due to personal preference than anything objective.


December 2, 2009, 1:11 pm

@Christopher - Assuming this is like the F200EXR, which it certainly seems to be in most respects, the battery life will be fantastic. Even spending a whole day using almost nothing but the auto EXR mode - in which there is constant rejigging of the lense and an ammount of whirry noises (I'm not great on the technical terms here), I still had plenty of battery life left at the end of the day.


December 2, 2009, 3:06 pm

@Christopher, Yes I'd recommend another battery. I got a pack of 2 from Ebay for only £8.95.

@Cub: I suppose it depends on how much you use it, but with the F70 at Center Parcs I did need to use a second battery during a day.


December 2, 2009, 9:10 pm

Thanks guys, decided on the F200EXR, £175 and 30 quid cashback from Fuji UK for F200EXR camera bought in December:)


Tony Walker

December 3, 2009, 4:42 pm

@ Martin Daler - the Fuji was returned

@MrGodfrey - The build was very light and plasticky, the buttons had poor usability and the battery/card door felt like it was going to fall off. The iXUS 960 (as befitted it being top of the Canon compact range at the time) felt like it was hewn from a solid lump of metal with good buttons/battery door and much better image quality. Yes it could be the Fuji was a bad 'un, but reading the comments above, they make plenty of them.

The TZ7's pictures have that "wow" look about them (I'm incredibly anal when it comes to PQ too). A large part of this is the glass - prob. the best ever lens on a compact digital camera. I also can't believe the sensor is as small as 1/2.33" as it punches way better than that - I'd love to know whose sensor they're using.


December 3, 2009, 11:01 pm

Tony - I don't know why you say that the comments above suggest that Fuji make a lot of bad cameras; the comments on this page were mostly positive except for yours and jon67's (who was referring to comments on other sites rather than speaking from personal experience). Image quality is quite subjective, but on the subject of build quality I am indeed confused by your experience, to the extent that I wonder if we're talking about the same camera. The "plasticky" F100fd was aluminium and relatively heavy for its size. By modern compact standards I felt the build was pretty good - try using the lower-end Ixus or Coolpix models!

I am certainly with you on the TZ7 though; the lens is amazing and the results are great (although I have to tone it down a bit as I find the standard output too 'punchy' and overly processed). Most of all the Panasonics are by far the best for ease of use. It amazes me that no-one else thought of the "intelligent auto" mode which, for example, automatically switches to macro focusing for close subjects.

Dennis Sigler

December 4, 2009, 7:31 pm

I am looking at the following cameras... Fuji F70EXR, Nikon Cool Pix S630 0r S640 and the Sony WX1. Any thoughts as to the direction I should head. Each Camera from what I have read seem to be excellent cameras even in low light.


December 4, 2009, 10:48 pm

Hi there, can anyone help. I am considering either this Fuji (F72 from Jessops, same as F70), or the Canon SX200 or the Panasonic T27. Which is the best of the 3? The size of the Fuji is a bit better than the Canon. The flash doesn't bother me on the Canon. It is for my 16 year old daughter who is comfortable with a P&S and I see this as an interim step before a digital SLR as well as being easily portable. Any comments of ease of using/understanding the menus on each?


January 15, 2010, 1:58 pm


Just bought the F72 EXR from Jessops for 165.00 less 30.00 cashback! Bargain 135.00.

Have been testing it in Prague along side my wife's Panasonic TZ3. The Fuji is brilliant, excellent dynamic range and good low light. The wideangle 27mm is wonderful to have and suprising how much extra I can fit in over the TZ3's 28mm. The 3" screen is better on the TZ3 and the battery life is slightly better. To be fair I haven't run out of juice with either averaging about 180 pictures and 'chimping' along the way.

F72 EXR - Nett price for 135.00 is awesome! Buy before they change their minds :-)


January 25, 2010, 6:35 pm


in the specs for the camera it states the macro focusing distance is 1cm but on the fuji website is states it to be 5cm, would anyone be able to clarify this for me as I am particularly interested in extreme clos-up shots

Many thanks


January 27, 2010, 1:39 pm

If you are getting the F72EXR from Jessops (it's the same camera but in black) use code WINTER10 at the checkout for delivery or store collect and you get £10 off. Then claim the £30 cash back from Fuji....absolute bargain!

terry 9

April 10, 2010, 12:45 am

hi, have just bought the f72exr and its the worst camera i have ever had,picture quality is rubbish .not sharp colours are not true to life ,i went back to jessops the next day and they said that was as good as it gets for a compact and if i wanted top quality photos i should have had a dslr,they wont take the camera back or exchange it as they say its not faulty ,but can anyone explain why my 10 year old grandson gets perfect pin sharp photos on a camera bought from asda costing £45 and i get rubbish unsharp photos and have spent £200

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