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Old Sep 12, 2012, 11:42 PM   #1
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Default Fujifilm F660EXR - Initially

In the past, I have had a good run with Fujiflim cameras, especially in the sort of low to middle class category, as opposed to those cameras which need many different lenses and need you to input every setting and slight adjustments to get that perfect shot.

From the small handful of Fuji cameras I have owned, I learned quickly that they are generally great cameras to point and shoot and get great results. Just 2 days ago I saw that a local electronics shop was having a sale day on many of its appliances, some digital cameras included. One of the camera's I was intetrested in buying over last weekend, the F660EXR was included in the lineup and had an incredible $90 reduced from its price the day before - Wowwww, $90... For anyone wanting to buy a camera in that price range, $90 is not to be ignored. That's a huge percentage, so I bought it.

I put it through its initial paces early this afternoon, knowing full-well what I "should" expect and I have to say on the whole, it delivered. Bright sunshine days are made for taking pictures so I strutted out and clicked away at many different objects to get as wide-a-selection of shots as possible to give it a good tryout...

First up, I have to say that the actual quality, as in sharpness and crispness, of almost all the photos was as much as I could expect. Under no or full zoom, it made only little difference to the results. Closeups were especially good and a little or even a medium zoom in still gave the great results I have come to expect from a Fuji camera. I would score this 9 or even 10 out of 10 in this department.

One thing that somewhat spoiled the session was the camera's ability or inability to hold a steady exposure setting while trying to line up on a shot in direct sunlight,, into or away from. The view kept changing as I waved the camera across the subject, changing the view from good to where the subject was amost completely whited out. The worst case was my black cat against a lighter background while I was standing in a shaded area and the cat sat in a sunny lit up area. OK it is to be expected as these shots, even with my Nikon DSLR which doesn't have an Auto mode, are quite hard to get right, but the Sony HX20V I bought just 2 days before this F660 EXR handles these shots exceedingly well. With the HX20V you don't even really get a light vs dark view, it just stays the same - spot on. You just point and click. I am sure I can play around with some of the F660's focussing settings and get this right. It's ok on an inanimate object with time on your side but with live subjects you can lose your chance in the blink of an eye, so this is a "must fix".

Compared to the Sony HX20V, the F660's screen area is quite a bit smaller but that matters NOT to me. It's quite clear and easy to read in the menus and gives a very clear image when lining up a shot. I really don't know why everyone makes such a fuss over smaller screens. On one hand the world wants to go smaller and more compact, while on the other we all want more in that "compact" space. It's a simple case of having your cake and eating it syndrome. You can have either but not both. If you think this issue is bad in digital cameras, try the portable media players, you know, iPods and Walkmans etc. Everyone wants a big screen on their iPod to view their portable video movies. Sony puts out a 4 inch screen which eats its opposition alive (I know as I have an iPod Touch and a Sony Walkman Z-1060) and everyone says it's too big. Where do we get off...???

Another area of initial worry, no, slight annoyance,, was the charging of the battery. Am I right in thinking that you have to charge it only with the supplied charger or can this be charged via USB while in the camera..??? I need to do some more reading. I suppose I can live with the outcome in either direction...

Anyway, my initial opinion of this F660EXR is sort of in the 7-8 out of 10 region mainly because of the good quality of the shots and I am looking forward to further usage. If any of the past Fuji's I've owned is anything to go by, then this camera will only grow on me and get much easier to use. I know you can say the same for almost anything you buy/own but Fuji's are especially user friendly.

Last edited by fewpics; Sep 13, 2012 at 12:00 AM.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 8:39 AM   #2
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Extra to what I said yesterday...

Today I got a chance to really stretch the F660's legs and I decided to take it. I also decided to take along the new Sony HX20V as well. Since they are both brand new and I haven't had the chance to really test either so I saw this as a gift horse indeed. I went for a ride down the road and chose the local pond as a venue, a large pond with swans, geese and other water fowl, also a childrens playground with trees and housing in the background etc etc etc... The day was blue sky with the occasional small cloud,, more or less perfect..

The photos from the F660 were nearly all as good as you could expect from a point and shoot camera of this price and class bracket. Zooming made some but only a little difference to the quality but at no or moderate zoom the pictures were as near to perfect (or at least my version of "perfect") as I would expect. At the top end of the zoom, you could begin to notice some drop-off of quality but I don't think you could really get too upset with the overall results. I played around with the menu settings last night to try to get rid of some initial problems I had with the F660, of trying to take shots from darker areas into a well lit up area and winding up with pictures looking all ghosted out, and whatever I did appeared to work as none of the 50 or 60 shots suffered from this again. Speaking of menus, the F660's entire setup menu is so easily navigated and the available choices are eaisly found and changed. All in all I am quite satified with the F660. I didn't buy it for 1080 video or GPS or many of the other "extras" they throw in these days. I bought it to take digital photos and that it does, quite well. One thing I did notice though which is not necessarily a mark against it but more a little quirk of its design, was the inability change its zoom while the picture you just took was being processed and stored. Even if you kept your finger on the zoom switch and kept it pressed to change the zoom, even after the new photo is finally stored, it still wont change until you let the switch go and try again. At first I thought I had a broken unit but quickly realized this to be a natural thing with this camera. If you waited and zoomed after the picture is saved, no problem at all. I didn't notice the Sony HX20V suffering from this action. I'd hate to give it an out of 10 score because many might think this was based on a comparison to other cameras,, other cameras that I do not own and have/will not ever test, but, if I was to give it my own personal score based on what I got for the price I paid and how pleased I was with it, I'd say, since first of all I got it at $90 under the usual price, I'd give it around 9 - 9.5 out of 10...

The Sony HX20V's photos were also about as good as you would expect from this bracke ot camera. Earlier experiences with some lesser quality shots appeared to all but disappear this afternoon. I have to say though that at the top end of the zoom, the quality most certainly did drop off quite noticably. With the digital zoom enabled some of the results were less than pretty but that was at a heck of a lot of zoom for a small camera like this. At the same sort of zoom as the F660, the results were very similar. I doubt if I will visit the extreme zoom of the HX20V again...

As a comparison I did take a shot from each camera of the childrens play area. Moderate zoom, distance was approx 75m (83yds) away. The one on the left (or top) is from the Sony HX20V and the right (or bottom) is the Fujifilm F660... You can see the slight difference. The F660's is quite crisp and clear whereas the HX20's is a little blurry, yet the F660's appeared to be a little duller, but this wasn't representative of all the similar shots I took,, just that this was the chosen subject of comparison. It appears to be give and take between these two cameras. No real winner,, no real loser,, just two different cameras...
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Last edited by fewpics; Sep 14, 2012 at 8:41 AM. Reason: photos did not line up...
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 12:58 AM   #3
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fewpics, thanks for sharing your info.
Great to know you enjoy your new cam
I previously using F31 for around 5 years, and stop working few months ago.
Yesterday just got myself F550, not bad, but yet to try more.
1 thing lack compare to F31, is the battery.
***People only failed when they give up***
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 4:48 AM   #4
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I nearly bought the F550 but when I went over to the shop they didn't actually have one. It was advertised in the junkmail and on their website but was actually the F660 so I settled on this instead. Seeing it a few days later at the reduced price was a blessing.

The F660 has become my favourite pocket camera. The more I use it, the better things get. It is a great little camera and I think it is almost identical to the F550, except for maybe some zoom, so I am sure you will enjoy yours too.. Magic...!!!

Cheers armidilloshield...

I have mounted my F660 ontop of a Vanguard GH-100 pistol grip and this makes a deadly combination as the small F660 and the Sony HX20V I also have have slipped out of my hands once or twice. They are very easy to use now, but aren't really pocket cameras now - hahahaha...!!!

Last edited by fewpics; Sep 24, 2012 at 5:01 AM.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 7:20 AM   #5
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I needed a small camera for use at football(soccer) games and looked at the F660EXR. I finally plumped for the F770EXR with 20x zoom and I've been very pleased with it's overall capabilities. The 320 fps video is very useful too. Even the 40x digital has come in handy a few times for zooming across the pitch to the dug-out. Amazing spec when you consider that these cams easily slip into a shirt pocket.

Last edited by Wardonia; Sep 24, 2012 at 9:56 AM.
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