Fujifilm FinePix F500 EXR Review

4.0
July 15, 2011 | Matt Grayson |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 16 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5.5Mb.

The Fujifilm FinePix F500 EXR produced images of good quality during the review period. It handled noise fairly well, with a little noise appearing at the relatively slow speed of ISO 200 and then becoming progressively worse at the faster settings of ISO 400 and 800, along with a smearing of fine detail. The fastest full-resolution settings of ISO 1600 and 3200 suffer from an even greater loss of detail and colour saturation. The headling-grabbing settings of ISO 6400 and 12800 are both actually shot at a reduced resolution (medium and small respectively) and they're noisy too. Chromatic aberrations were well controlled, with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations. The 16 megapixel images were just a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpen setting and require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera sharpening level.

Macro performance is excellent, allowing you to focus as close as 1cm away from the subject when the lens is set to wide-angle. Commendably barrel distortion is well controlled even at the 24mm focal length. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and adequate overall exposure, although there is noticeable vignetting at 24mm. The anti-shake system works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range. The maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds allows the cameras to capture enough light for most after-dark situations.

The Pro Low-Light scene mode produces better image clarity at high ISO levels at the expense of a loss of fine detail, while the Pro Focus mode effectively throws the background out of focus for portraits. The Sweep Panorama mode works largely as advertised, making it simple to take hand-held low-light and wide-vista shots, although there is a clear ghosting effect around any moving subjects. The EXR modes offer a choice between shooting at full 16 megapixel resolution in High Resolution (HR) mode, or an 8 megapixel image in the Low Noise (SN) mode for shooting without flash in low light conditions, or the Dynamic Range (DR) mode to achieve an optimal balance between shadows and highlights.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Fujifilm FinePix F500 EXR. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

Focal Range

The Fujifilm FinePix F500 EXR's 15x zoom lens provides a focal length of 24-360mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

24mm

360mm

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little bit soft at the default sharpening setting, and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

File Quality

The Fujifilm FinePix F500 EXR has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

16M Fine (7.50Mb) (100% Crop) 16M Normal (6.62Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Fujifilm FinePix F500 EXR handled chromatic aberrations very well during the review. Just a little purple fringing was present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Fujifilm FinePix F500 EXR offers a Super Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 1cm away from the camera. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject in Macro mode (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Fujifilm FinePix F500 EXR are Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro, and any of those modes combined with Red-eye Reduction. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (24mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Wide Angle (360mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (360mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. Neither the Auto or Red-eye reduction mode caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red Eye Reduction

Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Fujifilm FinePix F500 EXR's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1/18 second at ISO 800. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Anti Shake

The Fujifilm FinePix F500 EXR has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results. As you can see, with anti shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti shake turned off. This feature really does seem to make a difference and could mean capturing a successful, sharp shot or missing the opportunity altogether.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/8th / 24mm
     
1/5th / 360mm

Panorama Mode

The Fujifilm FinePix F500 EXR allows you to take panoramic images very easily by 'sweeping' with the camera while keeping the shutter release depressed. The camera does all the processing and stitching, and there are three views available. The main problems are that the resulting image is of fairly low resolution - 1080 pixels high and 5760 pixels wide for the 360 degree image - moving objects are recorded as "ghost" images, and different lighting sources cause obvious vertical streaks to appear.

120 Degrees
 
180 Degrees
 
360 Degrees

EXR Modes

Fujifilm's EXR sensor can be utilized in one of three ways by the photographer. There's a choice between shooting at full 16 megapixel resolution in High Resolution (HR) mode, or an 8 megapixel image in the Low Noise (SN) mode for shooting without flash in low light conditions, or the Dynamic Range (DR) mode to achieve an optimal balance between shadows and highlights. The latter offers five strengths ranging from 100-1600%. If you can't decide which is best for a chosen scene or subject, then just leave the camera on the scene-detecting EXR Automatic Mode and let it choose for itself.

Resolution Priority

Resolution Priority (100% Crop)

   

High ISO & Low Noise

High ISO & Low Noise (100% Crop)

   

D-Range Priority - 100%

D-Range Priority - 200%

   

D-Range Priority - 400%

D-Range Priority - 800%

   

D-Range Priority - 1600%

 
 

Pro Focus

The Fujifilm FinePix F500 EXR's Pro Focus mode makes it easier to achieve a blurred background, perfect for portraits where compact digicams traditionally struggle, with three strengths of blurring on offer.

Pro Focus 1

Pro Focus 1 (100% Crop)

   

Pro Focus 2

Pro Focus 2 (100% Crop)

   

Pro Focus 3

Pro Focus 3 (100% Crop)

Pro Low-Light

The Fujifilm FinePix F500 EXR's Pro Low-Light scene mode produces better image clarity at high ISO levels, with the camera automatically taking a series of four high sensitivity/low-noise shots in quick succession which are then combined together using in-camera processing into an image with less noise than the single exposures. The main drawback is a noticeable softening of fine detail.

Pro Low-Light Off

Pro Low-Light On

   

Pro Low-Light Off

Pro Low-Light On

Film Simulation Modes

The Fujifilm Finepix F500 EXR offers 5 different film simulation modes to help repliatce the look of your favourite film stock from the past.

Provia / Standard

Velvia / Vivid

   

Astia / Soft

Black & White

   

Sepia

 
 

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, compact, 1080p, 16 megapixel, travel-zoom, fujifilm, travel, finepix, 8fps, 15x, 15x zoom, f500exr, Fujifilm FinePix F500EXR, Fujifilm FinePix F500EXR Review, f500 exr

Tracker Pixel for Entry