FujiFilm FinePix XP170 Full Review - Cameras For Photographers
Specifications 2:

Type:
compact

Weight (inc. Battery) [?]:
205g

Wide Angle [?]:
28mm

Max. Focal Length [?]:
140mm

Zoom Range [?]:
x5

Sensor Size:
1/2.3"

Low Light Support [?]:
afternoons

Image Stabilization [?]:
sensor shift

Raw Format Support [?]:
none

Manual Exposure [?]:
no

Video Resolution [?]:
1080p

Optical Zoom In Video [?]:
yes

Stereo Sound [?]:
mono

Battery Life [?]:
300 shots

Flip Lcd [?]:
none

Touch Screen [?]:
none

Viewfinder [?]:
none

Freeze / Water / Shock - Proof [?]:
freeze: 14°f, shock: 6.6', water: 33'

Dimensions (w-h-d) [?]:
102.7 x 71.3 x 27.4 mm

Macro Distance [?]:
9 cm

Built-in Wireless [?]:
yes

Built-in GPS [?]:
none

Direct Video Button [?]:
yes

Panorama [?]:
sweep panorama

Rank: [?]
37.6

Initial Price:
$214 (change: $66, 31%)

Last Price Change:
$11 (7%) (Jun 6th)

Last Lowest Price:
$148




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FujiFilm FinePix XP170 - Full Review

Last Lowest Price: $148
xp170
  
FujiFilm FinePix XP170 (photos: FujiFilm)
The XP170's Price Watch:

Strengths & Improvements


The strong card of the XP170 is its resistance. To water, to dust, to falls, to low temperatures, that's the list. This opens a variety of things you can do and take it with you, to which you wouldn't normally think of taking your camera.

Of course, you can take it on nature treks and to the beach, but more importantly you don't need to think where you're taking it at all. It can go everywhere, and it doesn't matter where you place it. Or drop it. The taking care of it as any other delicate electronic device simply doesn't exist.

Other than it durability, the XP170 is a decent camera. It's a far from being an excellent camera, but also far from being a bad one.

Build Quality & Handling


As already mentioned, the body of the XP170 is the main source of its pride. In your hand, you quickly realize you can let go of your fears, and put it, drop it, throw it, any way you want (as long as it's less than two meters high)

It's not small as to be called an ultra compact, but it can definitely fit in your pocket, and more so as it doesn't really require a case which takes more space.

The buttons on the top and back of the XP170 are large and easy to use. This can be an excellent camera for those who tend to find it difficult fumbling with the controls.

Performance


Focus & Zoom Speed: The focus and zoom of the XP170 are in one short word - OK. Not brilliant, but good enough for any general use.

Continuous autofocus during video is relatively slow and hesitant, but acceptable for this product level.
It's not expected to be high-end fast, of course, so any focus lock within a reasonable time is thanked for.

Operation: Start up times are very short, mostly thank to the internal lens not needing to extend from its off position.

The menu system functions well, responds quickly and is adequately intuitive. There's no quick menu so all functions are accessed via the full menus.

Moreover, there are only two main sections in the menus, so all menu items are in two very long lists, some of which need many clicks to get to.

Exposure metering is easy to control to a certain degree by using half shutter presses and recomposition, thus metering on the desired object or area before taking the actual shot. Exposure compensation is also useful and quite easy to use.

The XP170 has a led light which can be used to illuminate dark scenes while taking videos, especially underwater. Control over this led light is via the menus - turning it on or off requires some navigation. It should be more accessible, quicker to reach, not through the menu.

On the opposite side, both in terms of functionality and accessibility, a useful silent mode is available like in all fujis. When is silent mode, the camera goes into unobtrusive mode, emitting no lights and making no electronic sounds. Unlike the led control, the silent mode is activated and deactivated by a long press on the 'disp' button. Easy as pie.

Image Stabilization: At this price point, there's no surprise that the capabilities of the image stabilization mechanism is somewhat limited. It's a sensor-shift type stabilization and as such, it's a struggle (but possible) getting a sharp image at low speeds such as 1/5th of a second at full zoom.


High ISO Performance:


See how the XP170 performs in various ISO sensitivities:

Scroll your mouse over the thumbnails to view the images, then click on the images for full size versions.




Battery Life: 300 shots for a compact is nothing to ignore. Much more expensive compact cameras usually deliver 200 and something shots on a single battery charge. Wi-fi is a battery gobbler, so if you wish to extend battery life, use it with prudence.

Image Quality


Colors & Contrast: In good lighting conditions, images produced by the XP170 and rich and colorful. It must be stated that colors tend to be over saturated in certain conditions.
Strong colors fail to exhibit subtle variations and seem as a solid color block.

In harsh contrast, the small sensor of the XP170 loses its grip of details in the image. Highlights are easily blown out.



Dynamic Range: Being a compact camera that it is, the XP170 can only withstand a certain amount of contrast in the frame. A combination of bright objects with dark areas or vice versa results in loss of detail in one of them, depending on the chosen exposure.

The HDR mode is very helpful in those high contrast and harsh lighting conditions - taking more than one shot to combine and compensate for the lacking ability of the sensor. The results contain far more detail, as can be seen below.


HDR - High Dynamic Range Mode:


See how the HDR mode shows more detail in high contrast situations::

Scroll your mouse over the thumbnails to view the images, then click on the images for full size versions.




ISO Range: The XP170's 1/2.3" sensor works well as long as there's plenty of light around. When thing go dark, even indoors or at twilight time, you'll struggle to get an image which is both sharp and noise free. This limited flexibility for low light conditions dictates that you either use less zoom when there's little light (this helps a bit), use the flash, or find another way to light to scene.


High ISO Performance:


See how the XP170 performs in various ISO sensitivities:

Scroll your mouse over the thumbnails to view the images, then click on the images for full size versions.




High ISO Performance - 100% crops:


Here are full size crops of the images above:

Scroll your mouse over the thumbnails to view the images, then click on the images for full size versions.




White Balance: Considering that there is no manual settings at all, it's not surprising that there isn't an option to manually set white balance. Except that it is surprising. Manually white balance setting should (and usually is) included in many cameras without other manual settings. This way, you must trust the camera's automatic white balance, or use one of its few custom made settings. It's ok, but far from being really good.

Video Quality:

Advanced Features

The XP170 has few to almost no fun stuff. It's all about taking photos in harsh conditions and transferring them from the camera to the world.

What it does have is a very cute (and at the same time efficient) group and couple timer, with adjustable proximity. This means you can set the camera to take a shot only when it identifies a certain number of people in the frame (up to four or five). When taking a shot of yourself as a couple, you can set it to take a shot not only when you're both in the frame, but you can also tell it how close to each other you want to be. Much like a smile detection mechanism in other cameras, it will identify how close you are together and only then will take a shot.

Wireless Connection : Fuji is working hard to insert wireless connectivity to its cameras, correctly identifying the needs of the market and the current trend.

Wi-fi installation is quick and easy - it requires installing one of two applications on your smartphone. Then, when you want to transfer a photo to your phone, you turn on the hot-spot of the XP170 by pressing the dedicated button on top of the camera, and connect your phone to that hot-spot.

This may sound cumbersome, but it is quite straight forward and necessary only once. Other times, you turn on the app and press the button on the camera.

Transferring the images to the phone takes time, though, so don't count of backing up hundreds of photos without an effort. A full size image takes about 10 seconds to transfer, but the menu offers downsizing the images automatically for wireless transfers. Resized images of 3 megapixels take much less time (2-3 seconds).

Artistic Filters: Similar to the previous section, the XP170 also has very few filters, effects, etc. Available filters just black & white and sepia.

For anyone daring to work in P mode rather than in auto mode, there is a bonus in the shape of a chrome filter, which is added to the list.

The Competition




Score:


Image Quality: 7.5
Performance: 7
Build & Handling: 8
Advanced Features: 7.5
EyalG's Total: 7.5

Last Lowest Price: $148


Zoom Capabilities:


Images are shown from the shortest focal length (wide angle) to the longest (telephoto).
Digital Zoom is shown by 'x' factor:


Scroll your mouse over the thumbnails to view the images, then click on the images for full size versions.




Image Stabilization Capabilities:


Here's an example of the same image taken with and without image stabilization:

Scroll your mouse over the thumbnails to view the images, then click on the images for full size versions.




Optical Zoom During Video:






In Your Hand:






Sample Images (hand held, out of camera, with no post processing):



1/300 sec, f/6.2, 28mm, ISO 100

1/480 sec, f/8, 140mm, ISO 100

1/750 sec, f/7.1, 48mm, ISO 100

1/50 sec, f/3.9, 28mm, ISO 100

1/140 sec, f/3.9, 28mm, ISO 100

1/200 sec, f/3.9, 28mm, ISO 100


Rank:

Automatically compared to similar cameras, based on specifications:

Low Light:
 

Wide Angle:
 

Zoom Range:
 

Weight:
 

Other Features:
 

Price:
 

Total Rank:
37.6


 

Lineage:


FujiFilm FinePix XP170
 
 
FujiFilm FinePix XP170 Eyal Gurevitch March 27, 2013 $148 37.6 100

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