Fujifilm FinePix XP60
Happened to see one of these for the first time today. An acquaintance had just returned from guiding a fly angling trip to Slovenia and showed me some of the pix he took with this camera.
I was really impressed with the image quality and the ( apparent ) simplicity of the menus, both for stills and movie with sound.
The camera is waterproof to 20 feet, shockproof from 5 feet, and freezeproof to 20*F putting it sqarely in competition with the Olympus Tough series and likely the current version of the Pentax Optio, or whatever name Pentax uses these days.
Follow the link the the FujiFilm website and the FinePix XP60 information.
Not quite sure what they are available for. Most of the websites listing them show a range from about $200 to $250. My acquaintance got his at the local Costco for $169, but indicated they are now on sale for something less than that, at least in Missoula.
If you are looking for a waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof camera, be sure to check this one out. When and if my Olympus 850SW gives up the ghost, the FujiFilm FinePix XP60 is gonna definitely be on my list of potential replacements.
P.S. I think I will be getting some pix of the trip to Slovenia. Will post them here, with credits, if I do get them.
John $139 at my Costco.
I hope John doesn't mind if I throw a few nearly random thoughts out here about the things to look at in a camera. Things are far more complicated than they used to be and getting snowed with information about what you get is common.
To start the Fujinon is a fantastic camera for the money!
The Fujinon gives you 16.4 megapixels... but how many do you need? At 5mp digital cameras equaled film and internet shots require far less to make a very decent image. At 16.4 mp you lose storage and processing speed. The Fujinon has a very powerful 95mb internal memory (we always used to call this "buffering") which allows us to take more shots in a hurry while the camera catches up. They have done a great job with this part of the Spec Sheet!
The ISO Speed range is also outstanding... Though the actual useful range is a bit slower than the high end spec would have one believe.
What does one lose with the camera? Several important features that might get lost... Shutter speed stops at 1/4 second, macro does not focus particularly close, and shooting programs are not there. Most of these cameras go to 4 seconds which can be critical in many situations from low light to attempting special effects like "Angel Hair" water. Giving up four full stops to the standard is kind of a big deal.
Macro focus range is lacking on the short end... But I forget the exact number and I am too lazy to look it up, again. My notetaking is nothing like it once was! But, IIRC it is over 3", which is just too long for a lens of this size... It eliminates many options.
Obviously this model is designed to meet a price point and cutting out the fancy shooting programs allows them to get closer. And frankly there are far too many of these on the fancy models (this from a photography-curmudgeon/dinosaur that uses virtually none of them!) But these are very valuable to many users and have real value to those that know how to squeeze the goodie from them.
Most reviewers have panned this model for its resolution, chromatic aberration, and loss of resolution due to noise at relatively low ISO, but it would serve perfectly for internet (Facebooking to family for example) uses and even prints if you still like the "old style" photo!
So to compare the camera to something far enough away from its pricepoint to make my points I looked at the Olympus TG-1. It should be available for about half-again the Fuji model.
You will only get 12 MP with it... How many do you need again?
Optical zoom is only 4x, which is a huge difference from 5x...
And you can only shoot in jPeg... when did you last shoot in some other format?
And you only get two choices in self-timer speeds... 2 seconds or 12... How many do you need?
They both use the CMOS sensor... but the lens that gets the image to the sensor is FAR more important. No one pans this camera lens and what it does... But how much resolution do you need?
So what do you get for all the things you give up and all the things you pay a lot extra for? Well, those ridiculous shooting programs suddenly take a big step forward to embarrass the curmudgeons in the audience... And then the special effects guys deliver the kill shot. Little things like subject tracking and face recognition allow a wide range of options not available on cheaper cameras.
And then there are the threads allowing you to thread on any number of filters for special effects to lens protection. "Angel Hair" shots just got real easy...
Oh, that tiny fly you just have to see magnified can be shot from .4" and enlarged on a larger, clearer screen than the one on the XP60. And you can select subject tracking and stay on that critter you want to monitor...
The programs and special effects stomp the competition.
Is the image quality that much better? Most reviewers say the difference is huge. Which specifications make the most difference to you?
I personally find the point and shoot lag time unacceptable for most uses and stick to my SLR cameras.
So which camera is the better choice with your personal set of parameters? I hope I helped you ask better questions.
Oh, and one last point... if you are buying a camera, stick to a camera company. Sony and Panasonic did not make film cameras and their offerings have been a mix of jokes and suspect performers when carefully examined. That leaves a broad range of manufacturers to choose from.
And the 4 second shutter speed could be mighty useful.
The lens and noise issues seen on the other camera are never mentioned relative to this camera... And I could not find the exact buffering speed, but it seems more than adequate.
Again, hoping to simply help one ask questions about cameras, not attempt to force anyone to go in a certain direction.
I have had an earlier version of the same camera (XP20) for about two years now and have been completely satisfied with it. It has been extremely easy to use and has consistently produced excellent images. The XP60 sounds like it's a bit of an improvement and I might be tempted. Here are a few pictures taken with my XP20.
Attachment 12055Attachment 12056Attachment 12054Attachment 12057
And this is exactly the point I was attempting to make... It produces "good enough" pictures for most folks. The internet photo is not a true test of how good the images are.
The Olympus line can produce pictures which can be enlarged greatly and printed. Which only matters if you are going to do something like that...
Actually, I have used some of the pictures taken with my XP20 (which, if I remember correctly, is rated at 14 megapixels) for magazine publication (I do a regular product review column for Flyfishing & Tying Journal). My XP20 is the second camera of that series which I've owned and the ease of use and quality of pictures has always impressed me. For internet purposes (as in the pictures above) I usually reduce the file size significantly in order to reduce the amount of time necessary to send it with my (admittedly antiquated) internet connection.