The Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR camera offers a great touchscreen interface, fast autofocus, and excellent image stabilisation.
Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR: Touchscreen Controls
The Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR truly shines when using its display for menu navigation and image playback. The back of the camera is dominated by a roomy 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen, which features 460,000 dots of colour and an aspect ratio of 16:9.
The Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR's touchscreen operation is considerably smoother when compared with two other notable touchscreen cameras of 2010, the Lumix DMC-FX75 and the Cyber-shot DSC-TX9. For one thing, all the on-screen buttons are larger and easy to press with your finger (or, at the very least, the tip of your finger). This is a much nicer implementation than, say, on the Lumix DMC-FX75, where almost all of the touchscreen operations need to be performed with a stylus.
The Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR's menus are composed of large on-screen buttons, and they're intuitive and very easy to use. Unlike the Lumix DMC-FX75, the menus are not entirely image-based - each icon features words as well as images for easy navigation.
Playback on the Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR offers a smorgasbord of features, such as the ability to do some very basic editing (cropping, rotating, making collages, resizing, and removing red-eye), along with some convenient search features. If you're one of those people who usually keeps hundreds of photos on an SD card, these options will be very helpful - you can search for images on your camera by date, starred favorites, type of data (photo or video), face (using face recognition technology), by scene (landscape or portrait), and by "upload mark." The "upload mark" feature is another convenient option - you can mark certain photos for upload, so that when you connect your camera to a computer (and open the corresponding software), it will automatically upload those pictures to Facebook or YouTube.
Another fantastic playback feature is the "compare" option, which allows you to take two photos and compare them, side by side, on the touchscreen. All in all, the Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR is one of the best cameras we've seen in terms of in-camera playback and retouching options.
Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR: Performance, Image Quality, and Video Quality
In our standardized image and video testing, the Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR lost a bit of its lustre when its photos were compared with those from other point-and-shoot cameras. The bright spots were exposure quality, colour fidelity, and lack of distortion: The Z800EXR netted scores of Good, Good, and Very Good in those areas, respectively.
Image sharpness, however, was a major weak spot. The Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR turned in a score of Poor in our sharpness test, lagging behind most point-and-shoot cameras we've tested in 2010 in that category.
In my hands-on informal tests, photo quality looked decent for a point-and-shoot. Colours tend to be a little washed out, especially with the flash, and there's some visible noise at ISO 400 (though it doesn't become really apparent until ISO 800). Still, the Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR seemed to be better at high-ISO settings than our other two touchscreen cameras (the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX75 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX9).
The Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR also falls short of the competition in terms of video quality. In bright light, 720p sample clips shot with the Z800EXR in AVI format at 24 fps was smooth and bright, but quite a bit less sharp than the video output of similar point-and-shoot cameras. But in our low-light test clip, we couldn't see any of the moving scene at all. Our panel of judges gave the Z800EXR an overall video score of Poor, but bright-light video quality is decent. Audio quality recorded through the Z800EXR's on-board microphone was rated as Fair.
Lastly, battery life falls way short of the 300-plus average we've seen on the vast majority of point-and-shoot cameras. The Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR has a battery life rating of 170 shots per charge of its battery, just enough juice for a battery life rating of Fair.
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