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Fujifilm F550 EXR - Image Quality and Verdict

Audley Jarvis

By Audley Jarvis

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Overall image quality is generally good to very good, albeit with a few minor reservations. Depending on the choice of film simulation the F550 is able to deliver punchy, vivid colours or something more muted and understated. The camera’s Automatic White Balance setting also proves consistently accurate, with no tendency to make things too warm or too cold, or to generate unwanted green/magenta colour casts. Chromatic aberrations on high-contrast borders are thankfully absent too.

Processed JPEG images are, as might be expected, noticeably sharper than their unprocessed Raw counterparts, although of course it’s possible to get better results from Raw files by sharpening them to your own personal specifications using dedicated post-production software.

Viewed at less than 100%, JPEG’s shot at the full 16-megapixel resolution appear to offer plenty of fine detail. However, viewed at 100% these same images do have the softer look inevitable with a compact camera, moreover there's sometimes some minor JPEG artifacting. It’s not something that should cause undue concern though, unless you are looking to regularly blow JPEG images up to A3 size and beyond. Macro mode is excellent, allowing you to focus little more than a centimetre away from your chosen subject.

VERDICT

Compared to its main rivals within the advanced travel compact sector the FujiFilm F550 EXR is a well-built camera that delivers a fairly expansive feature-set at a competitive price. It's easy-to-use and adaptable, delivering images of a consistently good, if not quite exceptional, quality. Adventurous types will doubtless be enticed by the addition of GPS functionality, while the ability to record lossless Raw image files further broadens the camera’s appeal to enthusiasts. The Fujifilm F550 EXR is certainly worth a look if you are in the market for a travel or advanced-level compact.

Alan Edwards47c

May 20, 2011, 5:04 pm

Always on GPS vs. On when camera is on - GPS will go through a full cold acquisition if it's moved more than about a hundred miles when turned off. If you leave it on during transit (assuming it can see the satellites) it can do a quick warm startup at the other end. It will hammer the battery though.

This would be tempting if I'd not just got a Panasonic TZ8. I've spent far too much on cameras recently, but maybe next year...

Terryeric

June 1, 2011, 10:58 pm

Battery drains very quickly catching you out if not concentrating
you need lot's of spare batteries However a nice camera

davestravelgear

July 12, 2011, 10:44 pm

This is a great travel cam, admittedly it had some problems in the beginning, as Fuji seem to be having some quality control issues, but after a few firmware updates the battery and GPS are working fine on my unit!
Only had it about 3 months, and once I'd worked out a few settings, like only shooting in "M" image size (8mp) it started to exceed my expectations!
I've taken it to concerts, flower shows, nature walks and on holiday to Portugal, and it's been so much fun to use I left my HS10 at home!
You can see some of my pics on my blog; toptravelgear.blogspot.com
Would recommend this to anyone wanting an ultra compact travel cam, it has a very useful lens and feature set, better in low light that I'm used to, and not too shabby at Macro either......eight and a half out of ten from me :-)

HCarl

August 25, 2011, 6:27 am

Being a novice in the world of picture taking, I am trying to learn the settings as suggeted by more experienced users. As a "point and shoot" camera with so many features to improve picture taking, I am anxious to apply some of these features as my experience so dictates. One of my complaints from day one (even though I turned the GPS feature "off," has been the fast depletion of power by the camera from the battery. Within less than 24 hours and few pictures taken, the battery is dead. If anyone out there have any suggestions as to how to extend the life of the battery, I would welcome them on this web site.

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