Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My Review of the Fujifilm Finepix XP90

Living in the tropics, the Philippines in particular, can mean one of two things: either a particular weekend can be a beach weekend, or it can be a really wet weekend. Since we don’t have the four seasons here, you can go to the beach anytime, or you can be cooped up in your house, or hotel, because of really strong rains.

In either situation, the Fujifilm Finepix XP90 can be your best friend…

Let me discuss…

As I've said, if there are no typhoons, then any weekend can be a beach, or dive, weekend. And when the wife and I go to the beach, we always have this mantra: leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories.

And memories, in my opinion, are best taken with a reliable camera. That's why I believe that when you go to the beach, a waterproof camera is an absolute essential.

The Fujifilm Finepix XP90 is the first Fujifilm camera I have ever used. It was so new when I got it that Fujifilm Philippines actually does not have it in their website yet!

It is a dust-proof, drop-proof, freeze-proof, and waterproof camera. The camera I used came in a nice orange color. It has a slim profile and is absolutely pocketable. It comes with the battery, a hand strap, a micro-USB cable, and a wall charger. The last one is not an essential since you can actually charge the camera using a USB port on your computer. You can even use the battery brick that you bought for your smartphone! This is the first camera that I have used that actually has that feature! However, not having a separate battery charger means that you cannot charge an extra battery while you are using the camera. Also, the hand strap is on the slim side, not unlike what you use with a regular point-and-shoot. I thought that, since this is a rugged camera, a camera designed for action shots, the XP90 would have a heftier strap. But no, you are stuck with this one unless you replace the strap.

Using the camera is really simple. You just turn it on, point and shoot! There is a "P mode", something like a program mode in DSLRs though with this, the most you can do is change the exposure of your shot. I would have wanted to change the aperture opening or the shutter speed, but having the ability to over- or under-expose my shots using a point-and-shoot camera is already a big plus.

There are other photography effects like "Action Camera", "Pro Low Light", and "HDR", to name a few, but I rarely, if ever, use these. Two of the camera features I use most are time-lapse photography and panorama captures. I use the former feature a lot when I do "unboxings" and I am happy that I will be able to shoot time lapse with this camera instead of my iPhone. Panorama can be a hit-or-miss event however. The camera is so sensitive that when you tilt the phone slightly, it will stop shooting your panoramas.

This is an action camera so there is a dedicated button at the back of the camera that, when activated, will enable you to shoot in burst mode at 10 frames/second! How cool is that?!?

But of course, when on a beach, the best camera feature to have is the waterproofing. With this camera, you don't have to worry about the inside of your camera getting wet. Or getting submerged! You can do underwater photography up to 50 feet! And since this camera shoots HD video also, you can document your underwater escapades easily.

Another feature that this camera has is wifi. With it, paired with Fujifilm's smartphone app, you can control the camera with your smartphone, even use the phone as a viewfinder. You can also transfer photos from the camera to the phone and then edit there to your heart's content! (This was what I did when the wife and I went to a beach getaway.) And lastly, when paired with a smartphone, you can geotag photos using the phone's GPS antenna. This is well and good while you are walking along the shore of the beach but this system fails when you want to go deeper into the water - if your phone is not waterproof then you will have a bit of a problem. So what do you do? You leave your phone on the shore and your geotagging process will come to a halt when the connection between the phone and the camera is severed.

How I wish that Fujifilm, and all camera makers, just put the GPS antenna inside the cameras...

Battery life is on the tinny side, as in, in my experience, it does not last one whole day. And when you shoot videos, your battery will be taxed more. This makes having and an external battery charger crucial to have in the box. And add to that an extra battery...

And if you are not on a beach, you can use the camera even if it's raining really hard! Like when I reviewed the JBL Charge 3! A strong rain, or typhoon, should not prevent you from making great photos. Oh, just make sure to stay on the safe side when there is torrential rain and really strong winds...

All in all, the Fujifilm Finepix XP90 is a fine camera to bring in your next beach getaway. It is a great point-and-shoot camera and the waterproofing is highly reliable. This could be the camera to have in your next beach getaway, which, if you live in the tropics, could be this weekend!

Just make sure that you wash the camera with fresh water after you dipped it in the ocean!

Highly Recommended!

All photos and the video were taken at the lovely beach resort Tajo Seaside Haven in the island of Cebu, Philippines!

All scenic photos  were made using the Finepix XP90 and edited in an iPad using the app VSCO

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