33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Capable of stunning pictures...even in conditions perceived to be its weak area!,
This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR Digital Camera - Black (12MP, 15x Zoom 3.0 inch LCD Screen) (Camera)
Just reviewing some pics of a Sade concert taken last night with my wife's 300 EXR and thought I'd share some feedback. I am a DSLR user usually (Nikon D90) so have reasonably high standards when it comes to my pics.
Please check out my user images on the pics section...they are AMAZING given what was being asked of this camera.
I hear what some are saying on here about inconsistent results / really poor images. If the camera is set on EXR / (Auto everything) yes sometimes it gets it wrong I would agree. However, with a little patience this camera is capable of spot on results most of the time; you just need to learn its weak points. It's easy to learn though! Poor light without flash and this camera can and will let you down unless you give it a chance to shine. I fear too many reviewers are writing the camera off without reading the manual / being prepared to learn from the results the camera produces and acting on the results.
Okay so there are some who want to point / shoot and not touch a setting...if this is you, perhaps go for one of the more expensive canon compacts...but beware this cameras immediate competitor in that range is the SX210 and it is capable of some truly poor results in full auto mode also!
Before the Sade concert I played with the camera settings in the arena a little trying different modes etc and how it impacted on images.
My advice for indoor concerts would be to set the camera to P Mode and set the DR to 100 and the ISO to 800.
Now pause for thought;
If you just thought what the hell is he talking about? I don't want to know what "P" "DR" or "ISO" are, I just want good pictures...its time to wave a white flag and sell your 300EXR! If this is you, you are probably likely to continue to produce pictures beneath any cameras capabilities no matter what you replace your 300EXR with.
If on the other hand you are already heading for either your settings menu button or 300EXR manual...you are much more likely to produce consistently stunning images with this camera (or any other for that matter).
To be honest, whilst I acknowledge the all auto weaknesses of this camera, this is true of the vast majority of compacts. If you want stunning results from full auto, ironically I would advise you to buy a budget SLR...it will cost you a bit more and isn't so portable, but will give you the results you are craving without engaging the brain beyond pressing the shutter. This may seem bizarre as this type of camera is designed for increased user control not submission to full auto...but if its FULL auto with 100% results you demand this is what i would advise. I would currently recommend perhaps the Nikon D3100 at just over £400. It will definitely produce consistently stunning pics without worrying about settings beyond full auto (and far more besides if you feel inclined later).
One word of caution if heading down this route...despite the huge looking zoom lenses you can buy for DSLR's they do not zoom nearly to far as this lens. And so the problem is...every compact camera is performing miracles with the tiny build / weight etc for the capability on offer. For example...check the close up pic of Sade...with the standard DSLR lens, you would have the whole band in the picture from where I was stood!
The EXR (all auto) does work stunningly well in some situations...one example is say if you want to take a close up picture of a flower in your garden...most cameras require you to change the settings to Macro (close up) focus mode or will produce a blurred picture...the 300EXR on the other hand knows what you are doing and automatically switches to macro for you for that shot and will produce a beautiful result...It then reassesses next time you take a picture and adjusts accordingly etc. Much more convenient than changing to macro etc as on the vast majority of cameras.
It has a really cool mode for taking extra wide pics...you sweep the camera from side to side and it takes a series of pics and joins them into a single image...similar to Sony's Sweep Panorama function. It works well and is capable of full 360 degree angle sweep (you will need better legs / hips than me for that function though!) or you can do it to a lesser angle to suit.
One final note on the video capabilities...in good light no problem, but indoors / poor light it performs best if you don't zoom during recording as it can lose focus. It can also suffer from vertical lines on the video sometimes...something most similar cameras suffer from i gather...though i don't take many clips myself so can't comment further. This said some of the clips are incredible from the concert.
In summary, I would sum up my review as follows;
Capable of absolutely stunning results given the camera size etc.
Patience / Perseverance required for best results
Great video if you acknowledge limitations in some conditions.
I really hope this review was helpful to anyone considering buying the 300 EXR...Don't hesitate, the price fantastic now that its updated version is out [550 EXR] (very little improvement for currently double the cost!)
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Initial post: 8 Jun 2011 21:27:29 BDT
Thanks for taking the time and trouble of writing this excellent, balanced and fair-minded review. I do despair at people expecting full frame DSLR performance from compacts.
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