Has anyone ever used a Fujifilm FinePix XP 85 camera?

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PAwildernessadvocate
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Has anyone ever used a Fujifilm FinePix XP 85 camera?

Post by PAwildernessadvocate » Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:37 pm

I am thinking about getting a Fujifilm FinePix XP 85 camera because it is compact, waterproof, takes 16.4 MP photos, and 1080 HD video. And it's relatively inexpensive. It would be for taking out in the woods and out on the water kayaking and canoeing, etc.

I was just curious about the picture quality. You never know how good it's going to be until you get out there and start taking pictures and then start looking through them on your computer screen afterward. I hate it when you get a camera that has the little subtle blurry "fish eye" effect in the corners, and/or one that can't distinguish detail like fine branches or leaves on a tree in the distance and so they turn out looking blurry or fuzzy.

I am looking for something that will take really nice, crisp, sharp, professional-quality photos that can be blown up to a large size for display in a gallery or printed as a large poster if I ever wanted to. That is why I think I need something that is at least 16 MP.

If anyone else has used this camera, I would be interested to hear your opinion about it.

Thank you!
Last edited by PAwildernessadvocate on Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Has anyone ever used a Fujifilm FinePix XP 85 camera?

Post by Erik Danielsen » Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:58 pm

I will say that all the 16mp compact cameras on the market have relatively similar image quality, which is to say not much better than similar 14, 12, 10, 18, or 24-megapixel compact cameras. Unfortunately the determining factor here is that all of those pixels are crammed into really, really tiny sensor circuits. This both makes them susceptible to electrical and photon "noise" on the surface of the circuit and also is extremely demanding on lens designs- most of which really don't keep up with these high-megapixel sensors. The result is that above about 10, the extra megapixels are there more to sell new cameras than to improve photo quality. Satisfying professional-quality, poster-printable images are unlikely except in the very best lighting conditions.

On the other hand larger sensors in DSLRs allow those pixels to be spread over a much larger circuit area. This minimizes the aforementioned issues. I cringe every time I open a file from my compact camera (a decent quality 12mp camera from canon) because the files simply have no depth. Files from my 8mp olympus DSLR from back in 2004 gave me better detail, color, and enlargement capacity. The 16mp sensor in the Pentax K-5 I currently use (already outdated by camera industry standards) is practically a miracle worker when it comes to delivering gorgeous image files in spite of the worst lighting I can find and sometimes subpar lenses.

Unfortunately the tradeoff is that DSLRs are of course less compact, most are far from waterproof, and more expensive. Here's where I have to plug my favorite brand, really. Pentax has been offering heavily weather-sealed SLRs and lenses in their lower price tiers (most brands just offer weatherproofing for their higher-end offerings) for over a decade. I have put their K20D and K-5 to the test in plenty of weather (and even the K-x, which is not sealed) with no issues. Their offerings are also characteristically more compact than competitor's products (and many like myself prefer their ergonomics).

Finally, there's a robust resale market for pentax cameras and lenses, which is why I have never bought one new. I've bought all my cameras and lenses used through pentaxforums.com. I got my K-5 for $250 last year (MSRP was $1k+) and expect to put at least 5 years on it (I put 6 very rough years on my lower-end K-x, and then sold it for a song to someone who still uses it) and other weatherproof offerings like the K-7, K20D, K-30 and K-50 sometimes go as low as half that. Add in a weathersealed lens (about $100, though often the camera and lens are sold together for less overall) and it's definitely more outlay than the fuji, but the fuji is likely to last you a couple years or less. Another particular advantage of pentax is that their lensmount has been stable since the 60s- my favorite lens is a manual-focus 50mm lens from the 70s that I bought for $35. It's as sharp and nice as newer lenses that can cost 30x that. Also important to expeditionary use is much greater battery life than most compact cameras.

If it's an option that interests you, let me know and I could go over the pros and cons of specific models with you in a little more detail. Sorry if I sound like a salesperson, I just know what has worked very, very well for me.

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Don
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Re: Has anyone ever used a Fujifilm FinePix XP 85 camera?

Post by Don » Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:58 pm

I guess the 'Bible' for me on cameras has been the website http://www.dpreview.com
They do a pretty fair job of grouping cameras into similar types, and then comparing them within their own type.
For some time I sought a pocket-able digital camera that had some 'reach-out-and-touch' zoom capacity. For such a camera, go to their website and do a search on Travel Zoom. We have the FujiFilm model you mention, but have just purchased it and haven't had it out in the field yet. My go-to camera is a Sony DSC HX9V (with 24mm to 360mm equivalent to 35mm lens). To do much better, as Erik says, you'd need to go to a larger sensor, and that means...compromises. If you go with the Fuji, let us know how it works for you. For me, the first thing I looked at was to see if it had a tripod mount.
I'm including an example with significant depth of field and variation in the color spectrum, exported at highest quality (10+ megs)...once you click on it to open it, unless you have a very large monitor, you'll have to pan around to see it all...it does 8x10 photos pretty well.
Roadside scene along northern California Highway 1 coastline...
Roadside scene along northern California Highway 1 coastline...
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Joe

Re: Has anyone ever used a Fujifilm FinePix XP 85 camera?

Post by Joe » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:54 am

A good friend of mine recently took a photography course offered by a National Geographic photographer. That guy says he now does most of his work with a I-Phone! One would think that the tiny lens would make it a poor choice- but this guy goes into wild and crazy places and he thinks it's good enough and extremely convenient.
Joe

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Has anyone ever used a Fujifilm FinePix XP 85 camera?

Post by Erik Danielsen » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:06 am

The i-phone photography fad is an interesting one, but I would suggest that the only folks who've been particularly successful at it have been those who already know the ins and outs of producing good photographs in a wide range of conditions with a wide range of equipment. If you're highly skilled in the first place, of course you can play to the strengths of a limited but convenient piece of equipment.

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Re: Has anyone ever used a Fujifilm FinePix XP 85 camera?

Post by PAwildernessadvocate » Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:18 am

Thanks for all of the excellent advice everybody. Erik if I ever upgrade to something other than a compact camera that is so easy to take out into the woods, it sounds like Pentax is the way to go! If I get the FujiFilm FinePix camera I will come back here and report on how I liked it.

Unfortunately the iPhone is out the window for me. I am still in the stone ages with a little $15 cell phone from the AT&T store. All it does is make & receive phone calls! But I have seen some beautiful smart phone photography in recent years, that's for sure.
"There is no better way to save biodiversity than by preserving habitat, and no better habitat, species for species, than wilderness." --Edward O. Wilson

Joe

Re: Has anyone ever used a Fujifilm FinePix XP 85 camera?

Post by Joe » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:51 am

I'm just curious- can you zoom with a smart phone?

Somebody should invent add on lens- for the smart phones- for wide angle and long shots.
Joe

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Don
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Re: Has anyone ever used a Fujifilm FinePix XP 85 camera?

Post by Don » Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:46 pm

Joe-
The 5S and later iPhones can do an optical zoom (for me it's more like a enlarged cropping). I've had various generations of iPhones (I'm still with a 4S, but will be ready to jump for a '7' when they come out) since 2007 and continue to be impressed by their image quality, given (as you say) their small lens size.

Here's a startling fact...more images have been captured by iPhone cameras than all other camera brands together, since the beginning of cameras. Of course part of it is that the IPhones serve so many purposes and are so easy to have along with you. But they truly are 'point and shoot'-ers, and in the context of tree measuring capabilities, there are increasing apps that support our "cause", with Clinometer, Theodolite, Scientific Calculator, Annotation to mention a few.
By the way, there are a number of add-on lens, mostly for wider angles (they're already amazingly wide angle, and serve to capture vertical subjects like trees) but some for zooming too (recently saw one on "Elementary" TV show). Most of those are rather small, and of lesser quality.

Sony has two lens that wirelessly connect to the iPhone: the QX-10 which is an 18.2 meg rez 25-250mm telephoto range; the QX-100 is a 20.2meg rez 28 to 100mm telephoto. These have 1" CMOS sensors. They connect by virtue of their own "wifi" that sends a signal to the iPhone, and while they have mechanical attaching capabilities, they need not be attached. These are high quality lens, that are taken from their regular camera line, and modified for this specific use. And they do connect with other smartphones (those based on Android system).
-Don
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

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View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
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Re: Has anyone ever used a Fujifilm FinePix XP 85 camera?

Post by PAwildernessadvocate » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:13 pm

Never mind, I found it after all.
"There is no better way to save biodiversity than by preserving habitat, and no better habitat, species for species, than wilderness." --Edward O. Wilson

Connie Lentz
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Re: Has anyone ever used a Fujifilm FinePix XP 85 camera?

Post by Connie Lentz » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:12 am

Everything in photography is a trade-off. As a 45 plus year photographer who started in the dark ages of non-automatic 35 millimeter cameras I have used equipment from Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus and even Kodak and Polaroid and I've played with larger format cameras. I could have retired a long time ago if I had the money I'd spent over the years. I do mostly nature photography of very tiny subjects (macro photography) and long zoom photos of birds. I've never had much use for wide angle lenses, which are smaller and easier to manufacture and are usually on point-and-shoot cameras. When a camera says it has a 10x zoom what you need to know is the 35mm equivalent focal length. I currently have a Canon Digital Rebel SLR ( with a so-called APS-C sensor) with lenses ranging from 28mm equivalent to 300mm, a Canon 780is (tiny and lives in my purse), an Olympus Pen ILC lite E-PL6 camera which I regret buying (because the long lens I bought with it does not have manual focus) and Nikon Coolpix 610 super-zoom. My husband (Bart Bouricius) uses a Nikon Coolpix P510 (also a super-zoom). As I've gotten older I prefer the lighter super-zoom to my SLR and assorted lenses in the field though it has it's limitations. I rarely if ever use my smart phone camera.
Bart uses the super-zoom to take pictures of the leaves and flowers on the canopy emergents he photographs in the tropics, for identification, and also for general views of the trees. In the tropics the problem is not so much getting a wide enough angle to shoot the whole tree, it's finding a spot with an unobstructed view.. It's all about what you want to do with the camera. Like Erik, I think you will be disappointed with the small sensors on compact cameras when trying to make enlargements much more than 8x10. They have poor dynamic range, meaning that they can't capture highlights and shadow well and the a fore mentioned noise. However if you are hiking and carrying a lot of weight a small camera may be all you want. Pay attention to the battery life and be sure to carry extra, charge batteries. Again, it all depends on what you plan to do with the camera. No camera does everything well. Zip lock bags are a great way to protect cameras from rain and mud, although you still can't take most of them underwater.
I've gotten most of my camera buying advise from www.steves-digicams.com There is a real Steve and he has been doing reviews since the dawn of digital photography. The web site has gotten more commercial but if you pay attention to his pros and cons, and to his final assessments (does he call the camera decent or amazing?)
I'm sure that whatever camera you buy it will do many things well-the only question is whether or not those are the things you most want to do.

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