Thursday, April 12, 2012

F770EXR Review – Part 1 – The arrival …

An enormous box arrived today from MSL Canada, the people who administer the blogger review program for Fuji Canada (thanks Celine!)

I was a little shocked, because I was expecting a tiny box as always … just big enough to hold one F770EXR in its original packing. Well, that’s apparently not how it is done now. This is what was in the box … wow …

And on the inside … two F770EXR cameras!

So here they are with the F550EXR and F300EXR by contrast …

Note that these images are shot in really nasty light, so the saturation is a bit off on some of the colours. That red especially. This next one is a bit more realistic … the F770EXR flanked on the left by the F550EXR and on the right by the F300EXR. The F200EXR and F70EXR are pretty pointless in this company so they get a pass.

I was worried about testing the F770EXR before Adobe releases support for its RAW format, but I decided to try an obvious work around and use a HEX editor to substitute F55 for every occurrence of F770 in the RAF file – it turns out that there are 3.

That did the trick and I was able to process a quick hack shot in RAW in ACR7:

F770EXR (RAW)  640iso  f/5.3  1/60  -1.33ev  500mm

That shirt hangs about 5 feet past the tripod head, and is nicely blurred. That’s what 500mm can do for you, even on this tiny 1/2” sensor. Nice …

Now, here is the JPEG file processed in Lightroom 4.

F770EXR (JPEG)  640iso  f/5.3  1/60  -1.33ev  500mm

As you can see here, I decided to keep the image a bit more subdued in order to bring back some detail on the ball head. Also note that there is a location stamp on the image. I switched that off after I noticed this, but it should be noted that the stamp is only on JPEGs, not on RAWs. So leaving it on might be useful if travelling with the intention of processing only the RAW images.

One last initial image …

F770EXR (JPEG)  800iso  f/3.5  1/9  -1.33ev  25mm

This is a quick hack macro and is not perfectly sharp at 100%. However, I was impressed at the closeness with which I could focus. I will definitely be testing that more in future parts to this article.

First Impressions

  • The bodies look amazing. A real stylist finally got a job at Fuji.
  • The mode dial has very strong détente at each position. About time.
  • The shutter button is tilted slightly forward. That takes a bit of getting used to after so many bodies with the shutter on top.
  • The camera seems to come back right away after shooting, but you must wait until the light stops flashing before you can really do anything else. Fuji sent me a slow card with this camera (the red one, anyway) so I may have to use my own to get a realistic view of its performance shot to shot.
  • The zoom range is stunning. And so far the lens on this one seems good. But I’ll test both copies more thoroughly in a future part to this series.
  • GPS on this camera is amazingly responsive. I never got closer than 10 feet from my window and it synced up in minutes. I have no idea how. And it is accurate within a few feet:


So far I really like it. If it is as good as it seems to be then I expect that there is one in my future.