Thursday, February 4, 2010

F80EXR vs F70EXR – Details, details … (Updated 10 Aug 2010)

There are a few other differences that will be rather important to shootability. I will summarize all differences here based on the Fujifilm global web site specifications:

1. Resolution: 12mp versus 10mp. Since sensor size has not changed, it is likely that the F70EXR will have better HR mode images because of a slightly lesser tendency for selective noise reduction to kick in. And at web sizes, the difference in resolution would be irrelevant anyway.

2. Internal memory: 40MB versus 47MB. Strange. Bigger images but smaller internal memory. Not important, but still strange.

3. Aperture range: Widest aperture remains the same … f/3.3 through f/5.6. But the narrow aperture range (remember that there are only two possible apertures at any focal length and the narrower one is actually the same size but uses a neutral density filter to accomplish the exposure change) has change dramatically. A *full stop* from the F70’s f/6.4 to f/11 up to f/9 to f/16 for the F80. Wow … the cam’s tendency to kick in the higher aperture early and drop shutter speeds really low has been a real problem …. what’s that going to be like when shutter speeds are cut in half again?

4. Scene modes: F80 adds dog, cat and underwater. :-)

5. Continuous shooting speed: The F80 is slower … 1.6 frames in top 3 mode instead of 1.8. 4.2 frames versus 4.8 in top 12 mode. The processor was obviously not changed to handle the larger amount of data. No surprise there.

6. Auto focus: F80 adds tracking mode to the auto focus options. I wonder how well that works with contrast focus. Might be useful if the processor can keep up.

7. LCD: 3” versus 2.7” but both have the same resolution. Thus, the F70EXR will have the crisper display. What a shock …

8. Movie modes: F80 adds 720p resolution. Nice. But the sound remains monaural, and it is very likely that they did not change the microphone, which means that the F80 will also be overwhelmed somewhat at concerts. Not as bad as the F11 was, but far moreso than the ZS3. That should have been their target.

9. Photography functions: F80 adds face recognition. Spies of the world rejoice.

10. Playback functions: F80 adds picture search. No doubt hooked into the face recognition tricks.

11. Video output: F80 adds HDMI port. Makes sense with the new HD video.

12. Size: The F80 is 0.7mm thicker (that’s more than it sounds) and weighs 0.2oz more. This is the wrong direction in today’s market.

Summary: Not one important addition from what I can see. Boris mentions in comments on my last F80 post that the F80 has an orientation sensor, but I do not see it mentioned in the detailed specifications. The resolution bump is irrelevant for prints of typical sizes yet might kick in more selective NR, resulting in more smearing. The change in higher aperture could cut the already low shutter speeds in good light even further … causing more blur at max telephoto. I just don’t get it …

I wish I could get my hands on one of these to test against my F70EXR … 

Update on 10 August 2010: I purchased one of these months ago and have been using it almost exclusively for the last two months. The bottom line for me is that the 2mp does improve detail retention *very slightly* in bright light, and destroys low contrast details at L size (but you should never shoot L size anyway.) The extra mp do add some chroma noise, especially blue channel pollution when shooting in really nasty orange light. The F70 is better there. But not enough for me to avoid the F80. The HD video is nice, but not enough better than The F70 to write home about. The orientation sensor is a great feature. All in all, I really like the F80EXR and am really looking forward to the F300EXR. I wish Fuji would stop revving this line every six months ... Being triple-dipped like that is starting to really annoy me ...


Boris said...

Hi again :)

I mentioned orientation sensor because "fuji guys" in their f80 youtube video demonstrated its functionality, so it is definitely present (at least in their pre-production sample). As for your remarks, I agree fuji should have targeted video mode (better codec, ultra silent lenses, longer recording time, sound...). The picture properties of f70 have been always good enough for compact camera - at least to me.


Lili said...

Interesting take on this camera, sadly while Fuji has used the EXR in this and a Z series, they are using HX1 type sony backlit sensor in their new bridgecam the HS-10.
30X zoom to boot.
The reivew will be...interesting.
Anyway glad your son is ok sorry about the car issues.
Kelly did get someone helped with warranty troubles so yay Kelly!
Been down with terrible cold this past week, not a chance to shoot, arrows or photons, on the mend now tho.

Kark said...

I nearly choked when I read the Title; "F80EXR vs F70EXR.." Having just purchased the F70 last week.
(I was completely unaware of the F80)
..and it is, nor would it be of any consequence as I'm quite happy with the F70 and just dropped in to offer my thanks for the recommendation and also the background info (how to shoot posts) on the unit.

I'm still pretty ignorant of the interplay between the core adjustments and also the processor cntl settings but with your 'how to shoot' guide have managed some modicum of success already. least I like them and they're light years better than the shite cameras and images I suffered through prior.

sounds like you've got some f**ktards giving you grief from DPReview. Thats a shame but not surprising (to me) and that has nothing at all to do with you. Obviously, I don't even know you. It's not surprising because having been internet weaned on Usenet I learned that any forum with sufficient geographical reach will eventually devolve into brinksmanship and bitter wounded egos lashing out at anyone who sticks their head over the parapet.
as the dude says. "bummer"
cause it could be so much more.

I have found though, that those forums that are kept local, or are geographically based seem to suffer the f**kwits much less. (accountability, lack anonymity I presume) Not sure if there's a local photo site like that but anyway, just throwing it out there.

hmm, seem to have strayed from my purpose. Which was to thank you for offering your expertise. I've benefited greatly.

Dmitry said...

According to Fuji guys (you know the Canadian duo on youtube) the thickness of both F70 and F80 is the same 28mm at the lens portion, and 23mm at the thinnest portion, they are in fact the same. I asked them the specific question on their youtube site and they said, the 28mm was erroneous by Fuji before the final specs came in. They also during their discussing of F80 claim the orientation sensor is a reality.

absolutic@dpreview forums

Kim Letkeman said...

Hmmm ... I appear to have lost one of my comments. Sorry about that.

Lili, I must admit that the HS10 has me intrigued. I could live with the crappy daytime images for that reach at concerts. But I would need to test it in concert conditions. Of course, if I can live with F70 video, then not much is required :-) And I', glad you are feeling better.

Thanks Mark, I'm glad you are benefiting from the info here. That's why I do it.

Dmitry, thanks for the info. Sounds like the F80 might be a great cam, assuming the extra pixels have not pushed the medium res images over the edge at high ISO.

Bat_74 said...

Do you think the Waterproof Case for FinePix F80EXR (WP-FXF80) could work also for F70exr? I think it could be the best improvement...

Kim Letkeman said...

Bzt, it should fit. But of course you will want confirmation of that from Fuji before spending money on a new cam.

John Clifford said...

The F80 has HD video, which is a big win. So what if it's not stereo, at least I can get sharp full-screen video.

The F80 also has a new multi-shot low-noise feature; the camera will take several photos very quickly and then superimpose them into one low-noise image... kinda like natural-looking HDR. This is another win.

In short, The F80 combines the best attributes of the F200 (high resolution) and the F70 (wider focal length range) and adds the multi-shot low-noise feature and HD video. The additional features (dog/cat, etc.) are just comparison shopper checklist gravy.

Sure, you can pick up an F70 for the low $200 range... but the F80 at $299 offers better performance than the Sony TXx line at a lower price, and was a well-positioned move by Fuji. I've got one on pre-order @ Amazon.

Kim Letkeman said...

John, the F80 has HD on the wrong codec. Yes, it is a definite improvement and I think I will buy one just to see how well it does, but if they did not address its poor audio then they wasted their time on that (i.e. it is merely a check box.)

The multi-shot low noise feature exists in the F70.

The F200 does *not* combine the best attributes of the F200 (high resolution) because it still uses a smaller sensor, which means that packing more pixels on is a probable net loss of real resolution. The daylight tests Fuji has posted show a lot of clumping in hair in bright light ... we will see how bad it really gets when I can get hold of one of these things.

It does not appear that you read my articles very closely, else you would have known these issues and caveats.

BP said...

F80EXR Capture 720p video in 24fps.How will it be in comparison to 30fps of 720p video

BP Pant

Kim Letkeman said...

BP, film has been shot at 24fps forever, and I have never found it too jumpy. Fuji probably needed to keep the fps down because of their inefficient format and perhaps because of their propensity for slow processors (why else would they use such a horrible RAW format?) Anyway, I doubt that it will make a really big difference to the final result. I would be far more concerned about their habit of using mediocre microphones.

Arash said...

very informative and right to the point; just what i wanted to hear...
you mentioned that f80 has added dog, cat and underwater... does this mean f80 is waterproof and suitable for underwater shooting? i can't seem to spot this features in the detailed specs of the camera anywhere... that can be the only tempting thing to potentially make me go for it depite the higher noise and thicker size.

Kim Letkeman said...

Arash, underwater mode only means that Fuji have boosted saturation for that environment. You will still need to purchase a housing.

Augie said...

Hi Kim-

Appreciate your guidance with the f70. Took some shots of a few bands in a dark bar last week, but couldn't remember your recommended settings.. EXR auto mode with flash suppressed served well in a pinch, though. I'll be more diligent at an upcoming larger concert, with outside nighttime performances. I'd like to get some great shots then. It'd be cool if there was a memory feature to save all those custom settings..

I did want to ask (everyone), though, if you knew of a good underwater housing (bag or hard case) for the f70. Also, recommended settings for underwater shooting.

Thanks, and be well.

Sergio said...

Hi guys

I hope you can help me with the important and difficult decision !!


I'm still thinking about, but Im not an expert in that!!!

Im not worry the price !!! I just want the best camera for options and for quality pics!!

Hope you can help

Thanks a lot


Kim Letkeman said...

Sergio: It depends on what you want ... but my short answer is: if you want still images in low light, then the F70 is the one to buy. The F80 is good, but in challenging light the F70 is better.

Sergio said...

Hi Kim
Thanks for your comment.

Just to know if there is a big difference in still images in low light, and where I can see it in the features cos the f80 has some new features as bigger LCD monitor.

Kim could you explain me the features shown below?

Aperture f70
Wide: F3.3 / F6.4, Telephoto: F5.6 / F11.0

Aperture f80
Wide: F3.3 / F9.0, Telephoto: F5.6 / F16.0 with ND filter

Mode dial

Auto, EXR, Natural Light, Natural Light & with Flash, SP, P, M, Movie
Portrait, Portrait Enhancer, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night (Tripod), Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Party, Flower, Text, Pro Focus, Pro Low-light.

Mode Dial:

EXR MODE, Auto, Natural Light & with Flash, Natural Light, Scene Position, Movie, Manual, Program Auto
Pro Focus Mode, Pro Low-light Mode, Portrait, Portrait Enhancer, Dog, Cat, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night (Tripod), Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Underwater, Party, Flower, Text.

Thanx a lot

Gonzaki said...

Hi Kim,
A week ago I bought F70EXR. But when it works continuously heated and warm. Is this normal?

Kim Letkeman said...

Gonzaki: Yes, the EXR line does warm up under continuous use. It gets very warm with continuous video, which I find a bit annoying. It does not seem to do any harm, but they should try to address it in the F300EXR.

hector said...

Hi, so I bought the F80 a couple of weeks ago and just took it out of the box. I wanted to upgrade from my old F20 that I still love. But I wanted something that did well on the zoom. I figured the F80 would be amazing in low light and I'm realizing it's not. My F20 is amazing in low-light situations and that's just on the normal Natural mode. I took 2 pics one with the F20 and another with the F80 both in natural mode and the difference is huge. I take a lot of low light pics and am very very disappointed with the F80. Is there some setting I should have it on? It seems there's tons of noise in my shots too. The daytime pics are very nice.

My big question is I still have the opportunity to return it and get a refund. I'm thinking of returning it and getting the F70 instead. Before doing so I want to know if the F70 does great in low-light in comparison to the F80? I hope it does, it'd be a real shame if my old F20 puts both the models to shame with low light photos.

Here's to hoping you tell me the F70 is much better! Thanks in advance. Sorry about writing a book. :)

Kim Letkeman said...

Hector: I like both the F70 and the F80 in low light, but the F70 is cleaner. Neither looks as good as t6he F20 at 100%, and if you do not want to process, you will need to experiment a bit with the F70 and F80 to get the contrast back to the same amount, which tends to hide noise (but also details.) I have an article on this site called "how to shoot EXR sensors" which is linked on the top right "popular articles" section. Try those settings and see whether they help.

Pooolie said...

To the person who asked who asked whether the F70 fits inside the WP-FXF80 - I have both cameras and that housing. The F70 DOES fit but not all of the buttons align. The power/shutter/zoom are fine. The mode button and all those below it are adrift to the side by about 5mm. I suppose adjust of some via sticky rubber bungs might be possible.
The mode wheel will turn...but not well. I suppose this would work fine if you set the camera up before using it. The lense extension is not a problem, it's well within front housing glass. Hope this helps!

koes said...

I read that F80EXR has the same thickness as the F70EXR, It's true?


Kim Letkeman said...

Yes, the F80 and F70 feel identical in the hand and in the pocket.