The Bottom Line
The F300EXR doesn't perform very well in HD video mode, and its image quality probably won't appeal to high-end photographers who want to make extremely large prints ... but, then again, almost no sub-$300 cameras do. The F300EXR works fast, focuses sharply, offers a great LCD, and has a 15X zoom lens. It's a great value and a great camera for beginners.
- Outstanding value for camera with 15X optical zoom
- LCD is large, bright, and sharp
- Outstanding response times
- Focus is sharp throughout the zoom range and in macro mode
- Mode dial is handy to use and provides on-screen explanations of each mode
- Popup flash is easy to block with your left hand
- The look of the camera is nothing special and is only available in black
- HD video mode is of below average quality
- Resolution: 12.0 megapixels
- Optical zoom: 15X (24-360mm)
- LCD: 3.0-inch, 460,000 pixels
- Maximum image size: 4000 x 3000 pixels
- Battery: Rechargeable Li-ion
- Dimensions: 4.1 x 2.3 x 1.3 inches
- Weight: 7.6 ounces (with battery and memory card)
- Image sensor: CCD 1/2 in.
- Movie mode: 720p HD video
Guide Review - Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR Review
First things first: If you're expecting to make huge prints with the F300EXR -- or with any camera in this price range -- you're probably going to be disappointed with the results.
If you're going to make average sized prints, however, the F300EXR's image quality is really good and surpasses many other cameras in its price range. Colors are accurate and bright, subjects are very sharp, shots are well exposed, and flash photography works very well with the F300EXR. I was very pleased with the image quality of this camera.
The focus accuracy of the F300EXR is simply amazing. The autofocus for the F300EXR creates extremely sharp photos, regardless of whether you're using macro mode or you're shooting at the maximum zoom level. Sharpness continues in great light or even when using the flash in low light. For a camera in this price range, the FinePix F300EXR's autofocus mechanism may very well be the best you'll find.
Despite offering the large zoom lens, camera shake problems are rare with the F300EXR, even when shooting at the maximum zoom. You'll experience a few blurry photos from camera shake, but it's not a common problem.
In the sub-$300 price range, you won't find too many cameras that can match the response times found in the FinePix F300EXR. It starts quickly, has almost no shutter lag, and responds well between shots. The zoom lens moves quickly through its range, and the camera's autofocus works fast, too.
Speaking of the F300EXR's zoom lens, at a 15X zoom, it is one of the largest optical zoom lenses you'll find in a relatively thin, point and shoot camera. It also includes some nice wide angle capabilities.
If you like to create panoramic photos, you'll love the F300EXR's 360-degree panoramic option, which makes shooting panoramic photos an automatic process. It takes a little practice to move the camera at just the right speed and on just the right plane to record the 360-degree photo, but once you do, the results are very interesting.
The F300EXR's 3.0-inch LCD is very sharp and bright, and you'll have few problems with screen glare when shooting outdoors.
The camera's popup flash works very well, but it's a little awkwardly placed on the left side of the top panel (when viewed from the back of the camera). In fact -- I'm embarrassed to say -- I didn't realize the flash popped up automatically when I began testing the F300EXR because I was pressing it down inadvertently with my left index finger, while holding the camera. The flash can make it a little awkward to hold the camera comfortably, and it pops up as soon as the camera is turned on.
Fujifilm included on-screen "help" whenever you turn the mode dial, which is handy for beginners.
It would be really nice if Fujifilm offered the F300EXR in a color other than black, but when that's one of the few problems with the F300EXR, you know you have a really great camera -- both in terms of value and performance -- for beginning and intermediate photographers.