Battery life is exceptionally good, with Fuji claiming 500 shots from the huge 1950mAh Li-ion battery. I didn’t shoot that many shots with it, but after two full days of shooting the battery indicator was still reading a full charge.
As with the F10, the F11’s real party piece is its low-light performance, thanks to Fuji’s outstanding high-ISO noise control. Most other cameras in this class have a maximum ISO setting of 400, and images shot at that speed tend to be very noisy. The F11 has a maximum ISO setting of 1600, but thanks to the Real Photo Processor it produces less image noise at this setting than most of its rivals do at 400.
What this means in practice is that you can use higher shutter speeds at low light while still maintaining high image quality, rather than risking camera shake at lower shutter speeds. This is the only real alternative to expensive image stabilisation systems, and gives roughly the same 3-stop advantage. Of course including the Real Photo Processor and an image stabilisation system would mean you could shoot hand-held in almost total darkness, so maybe that will be Fuji’s next step.
Since the F11 has the same optics, CCD and image processing system as the F10 it’s no surprise that its image quality is identical, which is to say very good indeed. Exposure, focusing and colour reproduction are all first class, and the high quality Fujinon 8 - 24mm F2.8 - F5.0 lens produces outstanding edge-to-edge sharpness at all focal lengths, while keeping wide-angle barrel distortion to a minimum. However, it does suffer from the same major problem as the F10; obtrusive purple fringing around most bright highlights. This a real shame, because apart from that the image quality is right up there with the very best of the competition.
Like the F10, the F11 is a very good camera, offering unrivalled high-ISO performance, superior build quality and handling, generally good picture quality and excellent value for money. The addition of manual exposure options and a better monitor just makes it that little bit more tempting.