My review of the Fuji F770exr

Started Mar 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Altruisto
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My review of the Fuji F770exr
Mar 1, 2012

The Fuji forum is one of the most active ones on Dpreview, I missed posting here since the F70exr days (it has been stolen). I always have had an interest on Fuji cams and owned some of them: F20, s6500fd and F70exr. The disappointing F300exr pushed me to Nikon P7000 which was an excellent camera, but I missed the F-series form factor, and especially their snappy and reliable AF. Lately I have been to Japan and was surprised to find the F770exr available there. I didn't mean to buy it, based on recent Fuji trend of quirks in each new model, but it was love at first sight. It's actually smaller than the F300exr, and has a great grip, making your index fall naturally on the shutter. The body has a rubber-like feel to it, very pleasing and secure to hold. I kept coming and going between on one side Nikon P7100, Olympus XZ-1, Canon S100 and on the other side Fuji F770exr. It seemed to improve in every aspect, and I couldn't resist to the temptation. I did want to wait for the Panasonic ZS20, but the lack of RAW was a disappointment. It'll be Fuji way again this year.

Japan was my field of experimentation, and I'll share with you my findings. I'll compare it sometimes with the Nikon J1 which I had at the same time.

ERGONOMICS:

  • The thumb position on the back of the camera is perfect. With the sizeable grip on the front, it permits a comfortable hold of the camera. (Comparatively, I hated holding Canon S100, and XZ-1. No grip, buttons clutter,...)

  • Now when you magnify an image in review mode, then you skip to the next image, it keeps the magnification. Practical for comparing similar shots and discarding the worst.

  • The screen is perfectly visible in direct sunlight, but less so than J1 which had a noticeably better anti-glare coating.

  • The flash now can be bounced, for nicer portraits (unfortunately, it's too weak and need at least ISO400 to illuminate a subject 3 meters away from the camera).

  • An Fn button can be found now on top of camera and can be assigned to ISO which is great. Finally!

  • It has a very effective Servo AF-like focus mode for focusing elsewhere than the center. You lock the focus with the left button then recompose. A very welcome addition (at least compared to my F70exr, I don't know about F550exr).

  • The mode wheel has some resistance to it preventing it from sliding to another mode inadvertently in your pocket.

In a word, I like it! It's glued to my hand.

IMAGE QUALITY:

Original size can be found on my Flickr page or Dpreview gallery. Photoes has gone through minimal processing for straightening, cropping and exposure adjustment.

  • After the wide angle problems, and lens softness witch plagued most F550exr, I'm happy to report that F770exr has actually very good corner performance at 25mm (yes, sites that reported 24mm are wrong). You can check on these samples.

Fuji used to have wider lens than announced, this time I'd go the other route. It seems like a 26mm lens. Someone else could check, but my J1 with 27mm and 2/3 shaped sensor and images was getting approximatively the same view. Hmmmm

Lens distortion is pronounced too, needing -25 distortion correction in Lightroom (look at the Samouraï museum series further). On a positive note, It doesn't have the moustache distorsion reported by some on the F550exr lens. Very easy to correct if you don't mind the tighter view. It's wide enough to get the kind of perspective I like in some scenes.

As a consolation, WA is devoid from the purple fringing problem of F70exr, apart from the extremes. Very good performance!

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owning a Nikon D90, and a Nikon J1

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