Fujifilm XP80 Waterproof Camera Review

Fujifilm FinePix XP 80 review
Fujifilm

Determining whether you want to consider purchasing the Fujifilm FinePix XP80 is a pretty straightforward choice: If you plan to use this camera primarily for outdoor sports, such as hiking, swimming, skiing, or diving, it's worth considering. If you plan to use the XP80 occasionally for such outdoor sports, but you want to use it mostly for everyday photography, look elsewhere.

The image quality you'll achieve with the Fujifilm XP80 just isn't good enough for us to recommend it highly as a general-purpose camera. It's also extremely limited by its 5X optical zoom lens. The unit's LCD is below average, as is its battery life. It just doesn't compare favorably with other easy-to-use cameras aimed at everyday usage in its price range.

However, those drawbacks aren't as glaring when you're comparing the XP80 to other point and shoot waterproof cameras. The FinePix XP80's price is at the lower end of waterproof cameras, which makes it a model that's well worth considering if you want to use it in tough conditions. 

Specifications

  • Resolution: 16.4 megapixels
  • Optical zoom: 5X (28-140mm)
  • LCD: 2.7-inch, 460,000 pixels
  • Maximum image size: 4608 x 3456 pixels
  • Battery: Rechargeable Li-Ion
  • Dimensions: 4.0 x 2.6 x 1.0 inches
  • Weight: 6.3 ounces (with battery and memory card)
  • Image sensor: CMOS 1/2.3-inch
  • Movie mode: Full HD 1080p

Pros

  • Reasonably good image quality versus other small waterproof cameras
  • Works in up to 50 feet of water depth
  • Can shoot video in first-person view with Action Camera function
  • Numerous movie recording options
  • Sturdy build for inexpensive waterproof camera

Cons

  • Optical zoom of only 5X
  • Low light images are not of a good quality
  • Small 2.7-inch LCD screen that suffers from glare in sunlight
  • Small control buttons on back of camera
  • Poor battery life
  • Battery must be charged inside camera

Image Quality

Compared to other cameras in its price range, the Fujifilm FinePix XP80 doesn't quite measure up in terms of image quality. When compared to other basic waterproof point and shoot cameras, though, the XP80's image quality is around average. 

Photos are sharper than we would expect for a model of this type, meaning the FinePix XP80's autofocus mechanism is accurate. However, color accuracy is slightly off with this model, and many of the outdoor photos we tried seemed slightly underexposed. Low light photos are not of a good quality with the Fujifilm XP80. 

Fujifilm provided a host of special effect modes with this camera, looking to make it enjoyable for beginners to use. And while most of the special effects were fun to use, a few created extremely odd-looking photos.

You'll be able to share good-looking photos from this model through social networks, but don't expect to make great-looking prints of even medium sizes.

Performance

This model is designed as a fully automatic camera. You can adjust white balance or EV setting manually with the XP80, but don't expect to do much more. 

The XP80 outperforms other point and shoot waterproof cameras in terms of shutter lag, although its speed slows noticeably when shooting in low light.

In an effort to compete with cameras like the GoPro, Fujifilm gave the XP80 an Action Camera mode, which locks the camera into a wide-angle setting, and allows you to attach the camera to your body, creating a first-person effect for video. Fujifilm provided several video shooting modes, which is great for this type of an action camera.

Battery performance is poor with the FinePix XP80. You'll be lucky to achieve 150 photos per battery charge. If you're shooting in cold underwater conditions, you can expect to shoot even fewer photos per charge. And while Fujifilm gave the XP80 wireless connectivity capabilities, it's hardly worth mentioning because the poor battery performance almost makes this feature unusable.

Design

Obviously, the primary selling feature for the XP80 is its ability to work in up to 50 feet of water depth. This camera can survive a drop of almost 6 feet, so it works well for using around water and in areas where you'll be hiking or doing other activities where the camera could suffer damage. 

Fujifilm had to minimize the areas where the camera body could be penetrated by water, so you won't see a lens housing that extends from the camera or a popup flash or other similar components that are commonly found on digital cameras. Because the entire zoom mechanism of the lens must be contained within the camera body, the FinePix XP80 is limited to a 5X zoom lens, which makes it tough to use this camera on an everyday basis.

The battery and memory card compartment contains a double-lock mechanism, which will prevent the unit from opening accidentally while you're underwater.