Fujifilm FinePix XP70 Review

August 8, 2014 | Jack Baker |
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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 7Mb.

The XP70’s image quality is initially impressive, with bright, vivid colour reproduction that manages to avoid looking unrealistic. The 16.4MP CMOS sensor delivers decent detail at close range, although distant subjects like landscapes are vulnerable to image smoothing from the camera’s overzealous noise reduction processing.

The flip side of this is relatively low levels of image noise at higher sensitivities. Even at ISO1600 colour speckling is virtually eliminated and though grain is clearly visible, it’s gone once you zoom out to 50% image size. However detail again pays the price, as even when viewed at this size, it’s not hard to spot some painterly smearing.

Things are noticeably improved at ISO800 though, where there’s a better balance between retaining detail whilst allowing some grain and colours are also nice and punchy at this sensitivity. Drop down to ISO400 and the XP70 is in its element, producing fairly low levels of noise. It’s a good job too, as unlike some cameras, the XP70 isn’t averse to capturing at ISO400 and above to help ensure sharp shots.

Dynamic range is less impressive as highlight areas often overexpose in high-contrast scenes as the camera attempts to capture a balanced overall exposure. Activating the HDR mode can help matters, but it doesn’t increase dynamic range as much as some rival cameras achieve.

High contrast scenes also reveal a moderate amount of chromatic aberration and some lens flare when shooting towards the sun. The lens also introduces minor barrel distortion at wide angle, but its corner sharpness is a good match for the centre of frame.

Noise

The XP70 has seven sensitivity settings available at full resolution, ranging between ISO100 and ISO6400. ISO6400 shots are only captured at an 8MP maximum resolution, whilst Auto ISO mode can be capped at ISO400, 800 or 1600.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso200.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso800.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso3200.jpg
   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

 
iso6400.jpg  

Focal Range

The camera’s 5x optical zoom lens gives you a focal range of 28-140mm (in 35mm-camera terms). It’s not the widest lens on the tough camera market, though Fuji’s optional ACL-XP70 wide-angle lens converter creates an 18mm-equivalent focal length.

28mm

140mm

focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg

Sharpening

The Fujifilm FinePix XP70 doesn't have any built-in sharpening tools so if you wish to sharpen the images, you need to use an external editing suite such as Adobe Photoshop. We used the standard sharpen setting in our test using CS4. We found that because of the lack of noise control to smooth out images, sharpening simply made the roughness of the noise that was present even worse. Images appear to be sharp enough anyway.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

File quality

Two JPEG compression options can be selected: Fine or Normal.

16M Fine (7.5Mb) (100% Crop) 16M Normal (3.8Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_fine.jpg quality_normal.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

Chroma is handled well on the Fujifilm FinePix XP70. We did find traces of it, but it's only mild and at the extreme edges of the frame. It's entirely possible that the noise present on the images could be also breaking up the chroma, in a way, as it breaks up any clean lines.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Macro

The XP70’s macro mode allows you to focus down to 9cm from your subject. It’s close enough to capture plenty of detail, but nowhere near as impressive as the 1cm macro modes offered by some tough cameras.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg

Flash

The camera’s built-in flash includes four modes: Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash and Slow Synchro. Red-eye removal can be switched on or off via the main menu.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (140mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (140mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

In our testing with the XP70 successfully avoided red-eye and the flash produced only minor wide-angle vignetting from a distance of 1.5m.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg
   

Red Eye Reduction

Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg

Image Stabilisation

Fujifilm’s Image Stabilisation system does a great job at ironing out the effects of camera shake, although the relatively short zoom reach doesn’t make it as essential as on longer-zoom cameras.

Image Stabilisation On (100% Crop)

Image Stabilisation Off (100% Crop)
antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg

Advanced Filters

Fifteen Advanced Filter effects are available and previewed live as you shoot. Choose from Toy Camera, Miniature, Pop Color, High-Key, Low-Key, Dynamic Tone, Fish-Eye, Soft Focus, Cross Screen and Partial Color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple). Check out the example images to see what they do.

Toy Camera

Miniature
advanced_filter_01.jpg advanced_filter_02.jpg
   

Pop COlor

High Key

advanced_filter_03.jpg advanced_filter_04.jpg
   

Low Key

Dynamic Tone

advanced_filter_05.jpg advanced_filter_06.jpg
   

Fish-eye

Soft Focus

advanced_filter_07.jpg advanced_filter_08.jpg
   

Cross Screen

Partial Color

advanced_filter_09.jpg advanced_filter_10.jpg

Motion Panorama 360

The camera’s Motion Panorama 360 mode will capture 120°, 180° or 360° pans automatically as you sweep the camera left or right. Results are typical of cameras with similar features and are downsized to around 1100 vertical pixels. Some signs of stitching are visible if you scrutinise, and you can’t pan for less than the minimum 120°. Even when panning smoothly, the system can struggle to capture successfully.

panorama1.jpg

Night

Use this mode to shoot a long exposure of a dimly-lit scene with reduced image noise. This sample shot required a 0.91-second shutter speed at ISO400, so as the mode name suggests, a tripod is a must. Alternatively Fuji’s Pro Low-Light mode lets you ditch the tripod and automatically snaps multiple exposures of a night-time environment and then combines them into a single image with reduced noise.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

HDR & Sunset Modes

HDR mode follows the same principle as the Night (Tripod) setting, capturing multiple exposures and merging them into one shot with increased shadow and highlight detail. This doesn’t always make a significant difference though. The first shot of this sunset is taken in standard Auto mode, and the second image using HDR. The latter has better highlight detail, but it’s a subtle difference. Switching to Sunset mode for the third image gives a very similar result to HDR, though the increased colour saturation arguably gives this image the edge over the HDR shot.

Auto

HDR

high_contrast_auto_mode.jpg high_contrast_hdr_mode.jpg
   

Sunset

 
high_contrast_sunset_mode.jpg