Summary

Our Score

8/10

User Score

Pros

  • Diverse choice of shooting modes
  • Large zoom range
  • Build quality

Cons

  • GPS drains battery quickly
  • No AE/AF lock
  • Some minor image quality issues

Review Price £250.00

Key Features: 16-megapixel sensor; 15x zoom (24mm-360mm); GPS image tagging; Wide range of shooting modes; High-speed shooting

Manufacturer: Fujifilm

The advanced travel-compact market has become increasingly competitive in the past few years with models such as the Lumix TZ20, Sony HX9V, Nikon S9100 and Canon SX220 all jostling for position and market share.

Clearly hoping to join the ranks of the travel-compact elite, the Fujifilm F550 EXR is a feature-packed compact that builds on the strengths of the F300 EXR launched last year. However, in spite of being a direct descendant and looking almost identical to the F300, the F550 is actually quite different inside.

Built around a newly developed 16-megapixel back-side illuminated CMOS sensor (as opposed to the F300’s 12-megapixel Super CCD chip) the F550 further improves on its predecessor with Full HD movie recording and built-in GPS functionality, neither of which was present on the F300 EXR. It does, however, retain the same 15x Fujinon zoom lens that offers a focal range of 24-360mm in 35mm terms.

At a first glance, the 15x zoom and GPS functionality mark the F550 out as a camera that’ll especially appeal to travel photographers looking to document their adventures with accurate location data. But add to this the ability to record images as lossless Raw files, and the F550 will also appeal to photography enthusiasts looking for an advanced digital compact, or something more portable to keep with them when a DSLR is impractical. Does it live up to either promise? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

Next page

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.

comments powered by Disqus