Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR Review

September 15, 2010 | Gavin Stoker | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Fujifilm Finepix F300EXR is a new 12 megapixel compact camera with a 24-360mm, 15x zoom lens. Featuring Fujifilm’s next generation EXR technology with hybrid high-speed autofocus, the F300 EXR switches between phase detection AF and contrast AF depending on subject and light levels, promising DSLR-like focusing speed. Other highlights of the successor to the F200EXR include an EXR sensor, improved image stabilisation system, high-resolution 3 inch LCD screen, 360° Motion Panoramas, and 720p HD movie. The Fujifilm Finepix F300EXR is available in black at a retail price of $329.95, and will be available in the UK from October 2010 for £329.99.

Ease of Use

Pleasingly Fujifilm appears to have, of late, regained the sense of purpose it displayed at the start of the decade, before being overtaken by those whose heritage lay in consumer electronics rather than film. Not a million miles away from the glossy curves of its recent F80EXR compact, with the matt black F300EXR naturally sporting the same 2nd generation triple-action EXR sensor, it appears to be pushing its boat out with regard to the burgeoning 'travel zoom' sector.

The new 12-megapixel model additionally shoehorns a class leading 15x optical zoom (24-360mm equivalent in 35mm terms) into a slender, handbag or pocket friendly chassis, just 22.9mm in depth at its thinnest point. The lens is neatly folded away when not in use.

Yet even in its inactive state, the camera's optics look like they're ready to burst forth from the body, Alien style. For the lens is barrel surrounded by what resembles a pregnant bulge, its rounded edges and controls avoiding this Fujifilm looking like the usual rectangular box so many other compacts resemble. Apart from that, the camera presents a clean and sophisticated faceplate, the only feature apart from said lens being a window for the self-timer/AF assist lamp top left.

The back of this camera also impresses, in sporting a 3-inch, wide view 460k-dot resolution LCD. So in practice we didn't miss that the camera omits an optical viewfinder of any kind; the screen is perfectly adequate for outdoor use. The F300EXR competes directly with Canon's 14x zoom PowerShot SX210IS, which, design wise, now seems lacking finesse in comparison. Pricing is nigh identical to its close contender, the Fujifilm having a high-ish suggested pricing of £329 in the UK. Out of the box you get a basic quick start manual, with the rest on a supplied CD ROM. This also includes the usual basic software, here FinePix Studio Version 1.0 for Windows PCs and FinePix Viewer Version 3.5 for Macs.

Since this is a point and shoot camera first and foremost, Fujifilm has thoughtfully ramped up the performance of its auto focus features, with phase detection auto focus (as on Sony's newest A33 and A55 DSLRs) for near instantaneous (officially 0.158 seconds) captures, plus a new hybrid auto focus system to measure light and contrast. Other key features include a new 360° motion panorama mode for sweeping landscapes, the ubiquitous face detection/recognition (now extending to dogs and cats), tracking auto focus, the DSLR-like background blurring Pro Focus mode seen on other EXR compacts, plus 'intelligent' flash and gyro sensor image stabilisation.

Film modes showing off Fujifilm's 'wet' heritage also make a re-appearance, the choice once again being the well-saturated colours of 'Velvia' mode, the default natural-looking setting of 'Provia', or the soft and gentle 'Astia' for portraiture. Likely to get more use by those with families is an auto release mode that fires the shutter when the camera detects the subject is looking directly at the lens. Fujifilm suggests this is ideal for photographing never-sit-still children and babies. We also get 1280x720 HD movie clips, with usefully a dedicated video mode button on the backplate that falls readily under the thumb, and mini HDMI output alongside regular AV and USB output at one side. Plus, in playback mode, there's a chance to sort through images faster with a new Photobook feature, as well as rate your favourites by allocating stars to them. Everyone's a critic!

Canon PowerShot A2100 IS Canon PowerShot A2100 IS
Front Rear

The Fujifilm F300EXR comes across then as fairly feature packed, but at the end of the day if you just want to point and shoot you can. The camera is as intuitive as you'd expect a consumer model from Fujifilm to be.

For those not already up to speed re: the properties of Fujifilm's Super CCD EXR sensor meanwhile, it can be utilized in one of three ways by the photographer. There's a choice between shooting at full 12MP resolution in High Resolution (HR) mode, alternatively choosing wide Dynamic Range (DR) mode to achieve optimal balance between shadows and highlights, or Low Noise (SN) mode for shooting without flash in low light conditions. If you can't decide which is best for a chosen scene or subject, then leave the camera on scene-detecting EXR Automatic Mode and let it choose for itself, comparing the subject before the lens with pre-optimised settings, here these govern landscapes, portraits, macro, night time, night portrait and backlit portrait settings in particular.

Overall dimensions are 103.5x59.2x32.6mm and the camera weighs 215g with battery and optional SD/SDHC memory card inserted. xD-Picture Card now seems to be a thing of the past for Fujifilm.

Like most of its travel zoom ilk it's made for the pocket, there's not much of the actual camera to get a firm grip on. There's a gentle curve and rubber patch to the left hand edge at the front while at the back the F300EXR Fujifilm has introduced possibly the first 'booty' on a digital camera. A bulge top right provides a resting place for the thumb, a backward slanted shooting mode dial (thus echoing the FinePix HS10) topping it off; an unusual move that Fujifilm suggests makes for easier control access and so faster operation. It looks at once like that portion of the camera is melting, and at the same time very cool indeed.

Switch the camera on via the recessed top plate button that sits alongside the shutter release, once again encircled by a zoom lever, and there's an immediate irritation however. The integral flash, prior to this neatly sunk within the top plate, rises automatically, and without request. Much the same in fact as the flash does on the aforementioned Canon PowerShot SX210 IS; however, unlike on the Canon where its flash could immediately be clicked back down into place and scolded like a naughty child, the Fujifilm's own remains raised and somewhat in the way of your fingers when holding the camera in both hands.

The F300EXR takes roughly two seconds from being activated before you can fire off the first shot, rear LCD bursting into life and lens extending to maximum wideangle with an audible mechanical whirr. A half press of the shutter release button and AF is not quite instantaneous; it feels like there's a good second between a half press and a beep of affirmation that the camera has picked out a target, with the lens again audibly adjusting. Fujifilm by contrast suggests it's a mere blink of an eye. But hey, we can certainly live with that. Though it's neither here nor there, the on/off switch glows with a cool blue light, which recalls the same feature incorporated on Samsung's compact range.

Canon PowerShot A2100 IS Canon PowerShot A2100 IS
Front Top

Also on the top plate is the camera's built-in mono microphone, with a speaker located on the camera's left hand flank, if viewing it from the back. Both the power button and shutter release fall readily under the forefinger when gripping the camera in your right hand, and the zoom lever is similarly ergonomically located. Nudge the latter and said zoom veritably powers through its broad focal range, zipping from maximum wideangle to extreme telephoto in actually under three seconds; shame then that it sounds like a wasp buzzing your ear as it does so.

Surprisingly then the zoom function can also be used when shooting movies, but in this mode it is altogether smoother, steadier and any operational noise - though still audible if filming in quieter environs - is nevertheless dampened down. However our review sample took an age to store the memory hungry video once we'd recorded it, all functionality frozen whilst it did so. A maximum resolution JPEG takes around 3-4 seconds to write to memory.

As previously mentioned, top right of the backplate, and appearing to be sliding backwards off the top plate, is the Fujifilm's shooting mode dial. It's here that there's the suggestion of the F300EXR being a bit more than your average point and shoot by virtue of it including the creative quartet of Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority and Manual settings, plus four further options. Here the four are regular point and shoot Auto mode, the much trumpeted 'EXR' mode, SP or 'Scene Position' - basically the Fujifilm's pre-optimised scene/subject modes - plus 'Adv' or Advanced mode. It's with the latter selected that you'll have access to the otherwise unmarked 360° panorama option, which, with a press of the menu button and a further tab of the four way control pad or its surrounding scroll wheel, can be swapped instead for Pro Focus or Pro Low light focus modes, the latter to enhance the clarity of still subjects in very low light, according to the explanatory text that pops up on-screen as a guide. Since these involve firing off and combining more than one image, a steady surface or tripod is a must.

With video not represented among the other shooting modes on the dial, as mentioned at the outset this thoughtfully has its own button just below, a press of which kicks off recording whichever alternative mode had previously been in use. This means that movie quality needs to be adjusted separately by delving into the camera's shooting menu via the main 'menu' button. Do so and the choice is limited between 1280x720 pixels HD shooting at 24 frames per second or standard definition 640x480 pixels at 30fps. Not quite as sophisticated as the options to be found on today's Panasonic Lumix models then.

One thing we'd take issue with on the Fujifilm however is battery life. Provided here is a NP-50 lithium ion cell which is claimed to be good for a modest 250 shots from a single charge, but on our sample suddenly dropped from showing two thirds full on its indicator to glowing red when we were nowhere near that; even if we had admittedly been turning it on and off a lot to check features and functionality.

To the left of the video record button is the familiar playback button. Press this and as well as reviewing images the user is invited to have access to all the camera's extensive photobook features.

Canon PowerShot A2100 IS Canon PowerShot A2100 IS
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

Beneath this again Fujifilm has implemented the aforementioned Canon-like scroll wheel and central control pad combo, the latter itself encircling a central menu/OK button - for calling up said menu folders, always clear, concise and to the point with Fujifilm, and then executing any functional changes.

Ranged around this scroll wheel/pad are a means of adjusting exposure when in one of the capture modes, or deleting duff images in playback. We also get access to the camera's flash settings (oddly disabled if you've switched the camera to silent mode), self timer options and the ability to switch from infinity to macro focus - here close ups are offered down to 5cm. Perfectly acceptable, but no match for the 1cm capability of the recent Ricoh CX4, to take just one competing example.

Also doubling up, in terms of control, is a 'display' and 'back' button - the latter very useful if, in your keenness for exploration of the F300EXR's Pandora's box of features, you've stumbled onto a setting you didn't actually want and want to retrace your steps.

Last but no means least, tucked into the right hand corner of the F300EXR's backplate is an 'F' (for 'Foto') button which, as regular Fujifilm users will know, provides a short cut to the likes of image quality and the film simulation modes. Operation pared down to the bare essentials for quick and easy access then, and very useful it is too.

The right hand flank of the camera features the cover for the mini HDMI port and AV/USB output, with lug for attaching a wrist strap just above. At the camera's base meanwhile we find a centrally located screw thread and, to its side, a sliding door hiding the shared compartment for optional media card and battery.

Ultimately then there's nothing about the F300EXR, despite its sophisticated exterior trappings, to fox even the uninitiated. The broad focal range, as we find with any camera of its 'travel/high zoom' ilk, is hugely beneficial in terms of throwing open your options for seizing the moment and capturing that shot that you probably would have missed if you had to walk - or run - closer instead with a less generously equipped compact.

But the above doesn't count for much if the actual images aren't up to scratch. So how does the F300EXR fare when images are downloaded and scrutinized in detail? Read on and find out…

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4Mb.

Given the camera's showy exterior, zoom range and general responsiveness, we were looking forward to seeing how our Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR test shots had panned out, and sad to say though in general terms we were happy we were nevertheless a little disappointed with it.

In terms of sharpness and clarity, though good results are possible if weather conditions are perfect, the camera is no Panasonic LX5 (more expensive), nor even Ricoh CX4 (cheaper). The Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR struggled with brighter conditions, introducing burnt out highlights and the ghoulish spectre of purplish pixel fringing between areas of high contrast. If anything there's a tendency to over-expose rather than under expose to preserve detail.

Plus, colour wise, we felt the images were generally a little flat, dull and lacking in oomph, except when selecting Velvia mode, which matches the warmer results most point and shoot competitors provide on default standard settings. As usual with Fujifilm compacts and their EXR sensors, we struggled to tell the difference between images taken on one setting and another, so certainly its advantages are not for the most part that pronounced.

In terms of low light shooting without flash and ISO performance, noise doesn't start to intrude significantly until ISO 800, so that much is par for the course. At ISO 1600 we're losing edge definition and the image is beginning to take on a more painterly aspect. And so it continues at ISO 3200, losing both colour with a compensatory resolution drop and definition at ISO 6400 and at top whack ISO 12800 setting, pictures appear as if they're being viewed through a frosted shower screen. So stick to ISO 400 or below if you want to avoid the appearance of grain entirely.

Overall then, in terms of image quality the Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR gets a 'could do better' from us. It's a shame, because in most other respects the F300EXR is spot on for features and usability.


There are 8 ISO settings available on the Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR. 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)


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 soft and ideally benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can't change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


Chromatic Aberrations

The Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR didn't handle chromatic aberrations particularly well during the review, obvious purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)


The Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 5cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop


The flash settings on the Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR are Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro, Red-eye Reduction Auto, Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash and Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Suppressed Flash - Wide Angle (24mm)

Forced Flash - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Suppressed Flash - Telephoto (360mm)

Forced Flash - Telephoto (360mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Forced Flash setting or the Red-Eye Correction option caused any red-eye.

Forced Flash

Forced Flash (100% Crop)

Red-eye Reduction Auto

Red-eye Reduction Auto (100% Crop)

Night Shot

The Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR's maximum shutter speed is 8 seconds in the Manual mode, which is fairly good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 3 seconds at ISO 200. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Intelligent Sweep Panorama Mode

The Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR 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, with he main catch being that the resulting image is of fairly low resolution.


Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR camera, which were all taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1280x720 at 24 frames per second. Please note that this 31 second movie is 95.4Mb in size.

Product Images

Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Front of the Camera

Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Front of the Camera / Flash Raised

Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Front of the Camera / Lens Extended

Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Isometric View

Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Isometric View

Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Rear of the Camera

Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Top of the Camera

Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Bottom of the Camera


Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Side of the Camera

Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Side of the Camera

Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Memory Card Slot

Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Battery Compartment


The Fujifilm Finepix F300EXR may command a premium price but, in return, it looks great, is very well constructed and, noisy zoom aside, handles like a dream. Shame then that its image quality was not quite as stunning as its showy exterior or rear review screen seemed to suggest in the field. The flash automatically popping up when you turn the camera on, rather than just when you've actually selected to use a flash mode, is also annoying, though like a partner's annoying habit it's a quirk that you gradually find yourself putting up with over time.

As regards that price, a price point of £299 would feel much fairer for this class of camera, and, indeed, at the time of writing the nation's biggest e-tailer was advertising the F300EXR for £280. A price drop of £50 therefore mollifies some of our earlier grumbles.

Ultimately then with the Fujifilm Finepix F300EXR you're getting quite a lot of power in your pocket in terms of an extensive feature set, and, even if phase detection auto focus plus EXR sensor don't quite for us live up to the hype, the advantage of a 15x optical zoom in opening up a wealth of fast framing possibilities cannot be underestimated. It's not perfect in every respect but then no point and shoot camera ever is.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 4

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR from around the web.

neocamera.com »

The Fuji Finepix F300 EXR inherits the unique EXR technology introduced in the F200 EXR and extends it with built-in Phase-Detection autofocus right on the imaging sensor for ultra-fast focusing speed in a compact digital camera. The EXR sensor is designed to capture high-resolution, low-noise or high-dynamic-range images, depending on one of its three operating modes. Unlike the 12 megapixels high-resolution mode, the enhanced modes capture 6 megapixels images with up to 800% more dynamic range than normal cameras can in a single exposure.
Read the full review »


Model Name FinePix F300EXR / F305EXR
Number of effective pixels *1 12.0 million pixels
CCD sensor 1/2-inch Super CCD EXR
Storage media
  • Internal memory (Approx. 40MB)
  • SD memory card / SDHC memory card *2
File format
still image
JPEG (Exif Ver 2.3 *3)
AVI (Motion JPEG) with sound
WAVE format, Monaural sound
(Design rule for Camera File system compliant / DPOF-compatible)
Number of recorded pixels Still image:
L : (4:3) 4000 x 3000 / (3:2) 4000 x 2664 / (16:9) 4000 x 2248
M : (4:3) 2816 x 2112 / (3:2) 2816 x 1864 / (16:9) 2816 x 1584
S : (4:3)2048 x 1536 / (3:2) 2048 x 1360 / (16:9) 1920 x 1080
<Motion Panorama 360>
360° Vertical 7680 x 1080 Horizontal 7680 x 720
240° Vertical 5120 x 1080 Horizontal 5120 x 720
120° Vertical 2560 x 1080 Horizontal 2560 x 720
Fujinon 15x optical zoom lens
focal length
f=4.4 - 66mm, equivalent to 24-360mm on a 35mm camera
F3.5(Wide) / F5.3(Telephoto)
Digital zoom L, M : Maximum approx 4x
S : Maximum approx 4.4x
Aperture F3.5 / F7.1 / F10.0(Wide), F5.3 / F11.0 / F16.0(Telephoto)
Focus distance
(from lens surface)
  • Wide : Approx. 45cm / 1.5ft. to infinity
  • Telephoto : Approx. 2.5m / 8.2ft. to infinity
  • Wide : Approx. 5cm - 3.0m / 2.0in.- 9.8ft.
  • Telephoto : Approx. 1.2m - 3.0m / 3.9ft. - 9.8ft.
Sensitivity Auto / Auto(400) / Auto(800) / Auto(1600) / Equivalent to ISO 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / 6400 / 12800* (Standard Output Sensitivity)
  • * ISO3200 : M mode or lower, ISO6400, ISO12800 : S mode
Exposure control TTL 256-zones metering, Multi, Spot, Average
Exposure mode Programmed AE, Shutter-priority AE, Aperture-priority AE, Manual
Shooting modes Natural Light, Natural Light & with Flash,Portrait, Portrait enhancer, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night(Tripod), Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Underwater, Party, Flower, Text, Dog, Cat
Image stabilizer CCD-shift type
Face detection Yes
Exporsure compensation -2.0EV-+2.0EV 1/3EV step
Shutter speed Auto : 1/4sec. to 1/2000sec.
All modes : 8sec. to 1/2000sec. with mechanical shutter
Continuous shooting
approx. 1.5frame/sec. max. 5frames
TOP 23
approx. 4.5frame/sec. max. 23frames *
approx. 1.5frame/sec. max. 5frames
approx. 4.5frame/sec. max. 23frames *
  • * Image size S only, ISO 200 - 3200
Auto bracketing -
Single AF / Continuous AF
TTL contrast AF / Phase detection AF
AF frame selection
Center, Multi, Tracking
White balance Auto, Custum, Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light 1(Daylight), Fluorescent light 2(Warm White), Fluorescent light 3(Cool White), Incandescent light, Underwater
Self-timer 10sec. / 2sec. delay / Auto-shutter(dog, cat) / Auto release
Flash Auto flash(super i-flash)
Effective range: ( ISO 800)
  • Wide : Approx. 15cm - 3.2m / 0.5ft. - 10.5ft.
  • Telephoto : Approx. 90cm - 1.9m / 3.0ft. - 6.2ft.
Flash modes Red-eye removal OFF : Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro.
Red-eye removal ON : Red-eye Reduction Auto, Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro.
Hot shoe -
Electronic Viewfinder -
LCD monitor 3.0-inch, TFT Color LCD monitor, Approx. 460,000dots,(approx. 100% coverage)
Movie recording 1280 (1280x720 : HD), 24frames/sec.
640 (640x480 : VGA), 30frames/sec.
with monaural sound
  • * Zoom function can be used during movie recording.
Shooting functions EXR mode (Auto / Resolution priority / High ISO & Low noise priority / Dynamic range priority), Face recognition, Face Detection, Auto red-eye removal, Film simulation, Dog / Cat detection,Power management, Framing guidline, Frame number memory, Advanced mode (Motion panorama360, Pro focus, Pro low light)
Playback functions Face Detection, Auto red-eye removal, Image search,Crop, Resize, Image rotate, Slide show, Multi-frame playback (with Microthumbnail), Autorotate playback, Voice memo Favorites, Photobook assist
Other functions PictBridge, Exif Print, PRINT Image Matching II, 31 Languages, Time difference, Silent mode
Video output
NTSC/PAL selectable
Digital interface
USB 2.0 High-Speed
HD output
HDMI MICRO connector
Power supply NP-50 Li-ion battery (included) / CP-50with AC power adapter AC-5VX (sold separately)
Dimensions 103.5(W) x 59.2(H) x 32.6(D) mm /
4.1(W) x 2.3(H) x 1.3(D) in.
(Minimum thickness : 22.9mm / 0.9in.)
Weight Approx. 195g / 6.9oz. (excluding battery and memory card)
Approx. 215g / 7.6oz. (including battery and memory card)
Operating Temperature 0°C - +40°C / +32°F - +104°F
Operating Humidity 80% or less(no condensation)
Guide to the number of available frames for battery operation Approx. 250frames
Accessories included Li-ion battery NP-50
Battery charger BC-45W
Hand strap
A/V cable for the FinePix F300EXR
USB cable for the FinePix F300EXR
Optional accessories Li-ion battery NP-50
Battery charger BC-45W
DC coupler CP-50
AC power adapter AC-5VX
HD player HDP-L1

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