F900EXR Review. 4 1/2 Stars

Started May 11, 2013 | User reviews
John McCormack
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F900EXR Review. 4 1/2 Stars
May 11, 2013

I've been into photography for over 50 years and have used many, many cameras. Digital cameras just keep getting better and better all the time. The F900 is the first Fujifilm I've owned since my F31 died.

I've been using the F900EXR for about three weeks now and just returned from a trip to Belgium and Holland where I used the camera extensively for travel snaps. I usually post process every image, though I find the F900EXR images only require a bit of contrast enhancement and maybe some cropping or addition of a vignette. Here's a gallery of images I shot in the past few weeks: SmugMug Gallery for F900EXR

I've been using Kim Letkeman's settings (see How to Shoot a FujiFilm EXR Camera). I've only shot a few RAW files - they are huge - and processed them in Silkypix. Silkypix seems more responsive than in the past, which I welcome.

I can't comment on the movie functions, as I'm not into video much.

Here is a synopsis evaluation.

Pluses

Very fast AF. Runs rings around most P&S cameras I've used.

Image quality is very good. Colors in Standard Mode are pleasing and accurate, perhaps a bit warm overall. Velvia/Vivid seems a bit too strong for my tastes. There are no controls for sharpness, contrast or saturation.

Image Stabilization is very good.

The lens is sharp edge to edge and in the corners - at least on my copy.

The E-Fn menu is unique and customizable. A nice touch in light of the fact that there are no custom settings on the control dial.

I like the Auto bracketing feature, though I've found that the metering (I like Center weighted) is very good. -1/3 EV works in most daylight situations.

The sweep panorama function is great - one of the best I've ever used.

Minuses

There are no custom settings on the control dial. At least one would be welcome.

RAW files are huge - 20-25MB.

The LCD can be hard to see in bright light, but that's true for most P&S cameras. Note that it is possible to increase screen brightness with a long push of the E-Fn button.

The Movie button can be pressed accidentally if you're not careful.

John McCormack's score
4.5
Average community score
4.5
bad for good for
Kids / pets
good
Action / sports
good
Landscapes / scenery
excellent
Portraits
good
Low light (without flash)
good
Flash photography (social)
okay
Studio / still life
unrated
= community average
Eddaweaver
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Re: F900EXR Review. 4 1/2 Stars
In reply to John McCormack, May 11, 2013

Fuji appears to have made improvements to image processing in this model over previous generation F series EXR cameras.

That being said, what is happening with the right side of the frame in that picture of the houses taken from the canal?

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John McCormack
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Re: F900EXR Review. 4 1/2 Stars
In reply to Eddaweaver, May 11, 2013

Eddaweaver wrote:

Fuji appears to have made improvements to image processing in this model over previous generation F series EXR cameras.

That being said, what is happening with the right side of the frame in that picture of the houses taken from the canal?

Are you referring to this image? That pic. was a grab shot taken through a car window, so some distortion may be evident. I did crop out some of the window glare also.

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Sir Corey of Deane
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Re: F900EXR Review. 4 1/2 Stars
In reply to Eddaweaver, May 11, 2013

Beautiful colour, clarity and variety with those photos, John. F900 eh! I have an F300 and which does me proud but I have to say that I think your model is in a slightly different league.

I thoroughly enjoyed the slideshow and thanks for linking to it :).

Regards,

Robert.

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Photofreak7
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Re: F900EXR Review. 4 1/2 Stars
In reply to John McCormack, May 12, 2013

I picked one of these up for a great price ($262) and it is a very nice camera (even jpgs) -but- the camera AF hunts alot during videos and the DR isn't quite as good as my XF1 ... other than that I agree with what you wrote in your review it's a very versatile pocket cam.

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Cesaregiancarlo
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Re: F900EXR Review. 4 1/2 Stars
In reply to John McCormack, May 12, 2013

Very good review indeed ! I'm in great tentation to replace my Sony HX9V with the F900EXR (as I have  a good  souvenir of my shots with my old F200 EXR)

2 questions please ! Have this camera the total  silent mode (no flash , no sounds)  ?  Can you add a 5 seconds memo voice to the shots  to memorize for example  the location , the name of one person, the name of one square, one monument ?

Thank you

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Cesaregiancarlo

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Canon PowerShot G7 Canon ELPH 300 HS Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS30 Fujifilm FinePix F900EXR Canon PowerShot S120
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John McCormack
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Re: F900EXR Review. 4 1/2 Stars
In reply to Cesaregiancarlo, May 12, 2013

Cesaregiancarlo wrote:

Very good review indeed ! I'm in great tentation to replace my Sony HX9V with the F900EXR (as I have  a good  souvenir of my shots with my old F200 EXR)

2 questions please ! Have this camera the total  silent mode (no flash , no sounds)  ?  Can you add a 5 seconds memo voice to the shots  to memorize for example  the location , the name of one person, the name of one square, one monument ?

Thank you

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Cesaregiancarlo

1. Yes, the F900EXR does have a silent mode that will disable the sounds, speaker and AF illumination light.

2. No, there is no voice memo feature.   I really wish there was; it would help to record a note about places visited as you said.

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PPW
PPW
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Re: F900EXR Review. 4 1/2 Stars
In reply to Photofreak7, May 12, 2013

Photofreak7 wrote:

I picked one of these up for a great price ($262) and it is a very nice camera (even jpgs) -but- the camera AF hunts alot during videos and the DR isn't quite as good as my XF1 ... other than that I agree with what you wrote in your review it's a very versatile pocket cam.

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Don't feed or mess with the crazy person ... just take a photo and walk away ... just walk away man!

Freak -

I also got one for $262, from Ebay. I have to believe that the price was a typo
by the seller (i.e., intended to be $362).

Have not tried video yet.  AF is great for still pics in bright light; pretty good in dim
light, too.  JPGs look very nice SOOC.  In my hands, using the settings recommended
by Kim Letkeman, I prefer 0 exposure comp, not -1/3 EV.

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- Paul

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PAUL TILL
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Re: F900EXR Review. 4 1/2 Stars
In reply to PPW, May 12, 2013

PPW wrote:

Have not tried video yet.  AF is great for still pics in bright light; pretty good in dim
light, too.  JPGs look very nice SOOC.  In my hands, using the settings recommended
by Kim Letkeman, I prefer 0 exposure comp, not -1/3 EV.

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- Paul

You can't just set the EV and forget it, it will need to go up or down depending on the situation.

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You Must Be 10% Smarter Than The Equipment You're Operating

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CAcreeks
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Re: Fn long press to brighten screen
In reply to John McCormack, May 14, 2013

John McCormack wrote:

The LCD can be hard to see in bright light, but that's true for most P&S cameras. Note that it is possible to increase screen brightness with a long push of the E-Fn button.

Good pointer! I wanted to try this on my F750 but didn't have time before a trip. Hopefully it works on older F models, because it is much more convenient than delving into the menus.

Thanks a lot for your interesting review, John.

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Cesaregiancarlo
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Re: F900EXR Review. 4 1/2 Stars
In reply to John McCormack, May 20, 2013

John McCormack wrote:

Cesaregiancarlo wrote:

Very good review indeed ! I'm in great tentation to replace my Sony HX9V with the F900EXR (as I have  a good  souvenir of my shots with my old F200 EXR)

2 questions please ! Have this camera the total  silent mode (no flash , no sounds)  ?  Can you add a 5 seconds memo voice to the shots  to memorize for example  the location , the name of one person, the name of one square, one monument ?

Thank you

-- hide signature --

Cesaregiancarlo

1. Yes, the F900EXR does have a silent mode that will disable the sounds, speaker and AF illumination light.

2. No, there is no voice memo feature.   I really wish there was; it would help to record a note about places visited as you said.

John, it's strange that a so useful feature is now forgotten in 99% of the cameras. As I use the camera in travel abroad or also in Italy. when I need to memorize a place, the name of one square, church, person or any other information I need to have a pen and a piece of paper !! Frankly my old Panasonic TZ7 was much better  : 5 seconds immediately after the shot or 30 seconds in review mode and the most important was that in the PC  the memo record  show exactly the shot in reference . The only alternative is to take a 5/10 seconds video with your voice that explain the  details  of the shot .

Hard life indeed for the travel photographers !

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Cesaregiancarlo

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Canon PowerShot G7 Canon ELPH 300 HS Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS30 Fujifilm FinePix F900EXR Canon PowerShot S120
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John McCormack
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Re: F900EXR Review. 4 1/2 Stars . Memo Record Alternative
In reply to Cesaregiancarlo, May 20, 2013

Cesaregiancarlo wrote:


2. No, there is no voice memo feature.   I really wish there was; it would help to record a note about places visited as you said.

John, it's strange that a so useful feature is now forgotten in 99% of the cameras. As I use the camera in travel abroad or also in Italy. when I need to memorize a place, the name of one square, church, person or any other information I need to have a pen and a piece of paper !! Frankly my old Panasonic TZ7 was much better  : 5 seconds immediately after the shot or 30 seconds in review mode and the most important was that in the PC  the memo record  show exactly the shot in reference . The only alternative is to take a 5/10 seconds video with your voice that explain the  details  of the shot .

Hard life indeed for the travel photographers !

-- hide signature --

Cesaregiancarlo

I agree about the lack of a memo recording. If I'm at a landmark, statue, art work or building I will try to find a plaque or description of it and take a picture to remind me of it later. It's a pain to search Google or Wikipedia later to find information about a location, though searching will usually turn up a similar image, sometimes with a description.

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zorbey
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Re: F900EXR Review. 4 1/2 Stars
In reply to John McCormack, May 20, 2013

Hello,

Thank you for review and the links.

Can I ask you if you tried automated modes? Or, did you use manual adjustments all the time.

I will be appreciated if you can give some idea about taking pictures in auto modes.

Regards,

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CAcreeks
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iPhone has an app for photo voice memo
In reply to John McCormack, May 20, 2013

Another strike against compact cameras. If you take pictures with a smartphone, you can download an app for this.

The iPhone and Android phones also have more accurate GPS.

John McCormack wrote:

I agree about the lack of a memo recording. If I'm at a landmark, statue, art work or building I will try to find a plaque or description of it and take a picture to remind me of it later. It's a pain to search Google or Wikipedia later to find information about a location, though searching will usually turn up a similar image, sometimes with a description.

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John McCormack
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Re: F900EXR Review. 4 1/2 Stars
In reply to zorbey, May 20, 2013

Almost all the images in the gallery were shot in P mode with DR set to 400. A few were shot in sweep panorama mode, which works quite well, but gives you little control over exposure. The Night shot auto mode also works well. I haven't used EXR mode at all. I think you'd be happy with the Auto modes.

zorbey wrote:

Hello,

Thank you for review and the links.

Can I ask you if you tried automated modes? Or, did you use manual adjustments all the time.

I will be appreciated if you can give some idea about taking pictures in auto modes.

Regards,

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Cesaregiancarlo
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Re: F900EXR Review. 4 1/2 Stars . Memo Record Alternative
In reply to John McCormack, May 21, 2013

John McCormack wrote:

Cesaregiancarlo wrote:


2. No, there is no voice memo feature.   I really wish there was; it would help to record a note about places visited as you said.

John, it's strange that a so useful feature is now forgotten in 99% of the cameras. As I use the camera in travel abroad or also in Italy. when I need to memorize a place, the name of one square, church, person or any other information I need to have a pen and a piece of paper !! Frankly my old Panasonic TZ7 was much better  : 5 seconds immediately after the shot or 30 seconds in review mode and the most important was that in the PC  the memo record  show exactly the shot in reference . The only alternative is to take a 5/10 seconds video with your voice that explain the  details  of the shot .

Hard life indeed for the travel photographers !

-- hide signature --

Cesaregiancarlo

I agree about the lack of a memo recording. If I'm at a landmark, statue, art work or building I will try to find a plaque or description of it and take a picture to remind me of it later. It's a pain to search Google or Wikipedia later to find information about a location, though searching will usually turn up a similar image, sometimes with a description.

I'm one of the few persons having only one  cell phone to call and receive calls  , no smartphones, no IPhone, no IPad , no  I xxx .  so the camera is my only tool during my travels. As I use to print my pictures and in my photo-albums I write all the info regarding the travel  (altitude, temperature, hour and  sometimes also the weather ) because to glance at my albums is to  I live again my travel . I'll stick in my albums also the flight ticket,  restaurant and hotel bill etc..  If you have 5 minutes  time to  spend you can have a look at the link below that Patagonia dedicated me due to my numerous travels all the world around. So you  can easy understand how many info I need to record with my camera
http://www.thecleanestline.com/2011/03/our-man-in-guinea-bissau-a-stand-up-guy.html

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Cesaregiancarlo

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Canon PowerShot G7 Canon ELPH 300 HS Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS30 Fujifilm FinePix F900EXR Canon PowerShot S120
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Edmund Dorf
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Transfer File By WiFi
In reply to CAcreeks, May 22, 2013

How well does this work? Is it necessary to have a WiFi card to do this or will the camera be able to transfer files from any card?

I'm asking because I previously had an F800 but sent it back when I discovered that one of the lens cover blades had come loose and was partially blocking the lens leaving a dark shadow on the bottom of the pictures. But I'm now considering the F900 as a replacement. My primary use for the camera will be for concerts where they are very restrictive about the type of cameras allowed or prohibited. The F900 does have the zoom needed. Reports are that it does well at high ISO needed for converts.

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Edmund Dorf
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I Often Use Video To Record Info About The Photo
In reply to John McCormack, May 22, 2013

I will record their name so I can later put it on the photo. I can also get their e-mail address so I can send them the photo later.

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Currently shooting:
Fujifilm E550
Olympus PEN E-PL1 with Kit zoom lens, Olympus M.Zuiko
17mm F2.8, Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm, Olympus 45mm F1.8, Canon FD 50mm F1.4, Olympus Zuiko 50mm F1.8, Pentax 135mm F2.5, Panasonic 20mm F1.7, Panasonic 14mm F2.5.
Panasonic DMC-GH2 with the kit lens, Panasonic 45-200, Panasonic 14-140mm, and all of the lenses that I have for my Olympus PEN E-PL1
Panasonic HC-V700 camcorder
Sony DSC-RX100
Sony DSC-TX7

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eilivk
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Re: F900EXR Review. 4 1/2 Stars
In reply to John McCormack, Jun 11, 2013

Interesting review! Just found a lot of praise for it from a user in Norway. He reported of a few quirks, but overall impressed. Most serious con: "- AF in poor light not too impressive, and with no manual focus offered, this is a serious issue."

Wonder if it's better at high ISO than F200? WB ok? Find it a bit bluish in F200, have to use "custom" a lot of the time.

Have been thinking about a small superzoom, like a Sony HX, maybe it's not so good in weak light. F900 looks better!

The review is in English:

http://www.diskusjon.no/index.php?showtopic=1515510

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CAcreeks
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Re: Fn long press to brighten screen
In reply to CAcreeks, Jun 11, 2013

John McCormack wrote:

It is possible to increase screen brightness with a long push of the E-Fn button.

Hopefully it works on older F models, because it is much more convenient than delving into the menus.

Nope, it does not work.

I have taped over the Fn button on my F750 because it's very distracting when I press it mistakenly, as often occurs with gloves.

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