Fujifilm FinePix F500 EXR Review

July 15, 2011 | Matt Grayson |


The Fujifilm FinePix F500 EXR builds on the success of the previous F300 model with a new 16 megapixel EXR sensor, which expands the ISO range up to 12,800, offers fast continuous shooting speeds and slow-motion movies, and adds full 1080p HD movies. It's not all good news, however, as the 16 megapixel sensor also results in more noise and loss of fine detail than on the 12 megapixel F300, first appearing at the slow speed of ISO 200 and becoming all too obvious at ISO 400. The F500 EXR also suffers in comparison to the slightly more expensive F550EXR model by not offering built-in GPS or perhaps more importantly RAW format support.

Just like its sister model, the HS20 EXR, the F500 EXR suffers from poorer image quality once you get above ISO 200. Noise quickly rears its ugly head at ISO 400, becoming progressively worse throughout the rest of the ISO range. 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 bad habits it's a quirk that you gradually find yourself putting up with over time.

In summary the Fujifilm Finepix F500 EXR is a stylish, well-featured and likeable compact camera, with the 15x zoom opening up a wealth of framing possibilities, but the move to a 16 megapixel sensor and the resulting drop in image quality rather spoils the party. The F500 EXR is still a good camera, with a logical, well-thought-out interface, but we can't help feeling that the model that the F500 replaces actually produces better photos, and that the better-specced F550EXR is the better camera of the two.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 3.5
Value for money 4