We are on the island of Mykonos, in Greece. The warm sun is shining brightly in the azure sky. We just found the perfect spot to take a breathtaking picture: Clinton and myself, sitting on a pristine white stone wall, and behind us is the cobalt Aegean Sea. We put our camera on our motorcycle, with the timer on. This picture is Instagram worthy! Just as we hear the ‘click’, the camera tilts over the motorcycle, and falls to the ground. Broken. Our digital camera broke right in the middle of our perfect Greek journey. Worst timing ever!
This incident happened in 2009. Since then, nothing much has changed. The life expectancy of all the cameras we ever had has been 1 year. It is sadly true! I have to admit that, since we are no professional photographers, we never had a very expensive camera. But still, even if we paid $250 for a digital camera, it would have been nice it would last longer! The thing is, it is partly our fault. We’ve never been too careful with our electronics. So we just kept buying cameras after cameras.
Until last Fall. I was planning our trip in Asia, and I thought to myself that we needed a war-proof camera, since besides myself and Clinton not being very careful, Emma-Kate would surely destroy it! After much research, I was happy I found the FujiFilm FinePix XP80 camera.
We used our XP80 for our whole 2-month trip in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, and it survived! We brought it to the beach, we swam with it, we dropped it a couple of times, but most importantly: we had a lot of fun with it (as we can see in this video)!
One thing that struck me the most with the XP80 is that it’s almost destroy-proof: we could use it in the sand and in the dust, in the water (to 50ft), in the freezing cold (to 14°F or -10°C) and we could drop it too (from 5.8ft or 1.75m). Perfect for us! With a quality picture of 16MP, an optical zoom of 5X and another 10X intelligent digital zoom, it is no comparison with a smartphone camera. And why use our smartphone camera when the FinePix fits in my jeans’ pocket? That way, Emma-Kate can watch her movie on my phone while I am taking pictures of the vista, or of her!
Clinton preferred at first to continue taking pictures with his phone, because, as he said, “it’s a hassle to have another camera“. But he changed his mind when he saw the quality of the pictures and videos, and it was much simpler and safe to use in all the different settings. Yes, he could take pictures and videos with his phone underwater, but only if he brought with him and correctly used its waterproof case, and the quality would be poor. With the XP80, we can take high-quality pictures and HD videos everywhere, all the time. It’s a one solution fits all. And it is so easy to use, even Emma-Kate, at 3-year old, took pictures with it during our trip! (See the featured image above, taken in Bangkok, Thailand)
As we can see in the pictures below, there’s quite a big difference in the quality of the pictures taken with my iPhone 5 and my XP80! Look at the clarity, and the colors. The sand is more beautiful on the XP80 picture… and it’s obviously the same sand! We almost can’t even see Clinton and Emma-Kate’s faces in the iPhone photo! (Please note that these images haven’t been edited)
Nowadays, with our social media obsession, the XP80 is more than ever very useful. So easy to use, the wifi photo transfer allowed us to take high-quality, unique and beautiful pictures, and transfer them in our smartphone to post them on Facebook and Instagram, via the FujiFilm Cam Remote App (free). We are also supposed to be able to transfer videos, but it doesn’t work with our iPhones because the movie files cannot be played on our smartphones. That’s a little bummer, but we got over it quickly!
And besides the usual 2 and 10s timer, we can now choose the Face Detection Timer Function: the camera automatically takes a picture when it detects the number of faces we selected first and when they are correctly positioned, so the focus and exposure is good. Now that’s smart!
Moreover, the camera has a cool wireless remote shooting option: we can take pictures using our smartphone as a remote control. I think FujiFilm embraces the fact that everyone now has a smartphone, and instead of only focusing on offering a much better camera than the smartphone’s, they did a good job at combining some of their camera’s features with what people use their smartphone for (posting on social media, photo transfer, etc.).
Also, beside the usual filters, such as beach, sunset, sport, night, portrait, snow, landscape, underwater, macro… the XP80 has an extra 11 filters that kids (and grownups) just love to play with: fish-eye, sketch, pop color, miniature, toy camera, partial color, and much more. We can see examples of these cool filters on FujiFilm’s website. I have to say I use a lot the SR Auto mode (scene recognition), since the camera detects by itself what scene I am taking a picture of, and adjust the mode accordingly, so I don’t have to change the camera mode all the time.
As for the videos, it is easy to edit our shootage, and I like that the wind noise is reduced during movie shooting. There’s even an action filming mode, for shooting outdoor sports.
Clinton’s favorite feature is the 360 degrees panoramic shots! Perfect for showcasing his golf games!
Or to capture an island’s divine landscape!
One last thing I like about the XP80, is that even if it comes with the usual Instruction Manual, the FujiGuys on YouTube give fun tips on the best way to use the camera. So no need to read for hours. It’s so much easier to learn how to do something when we see someone do it!
There’s a lot of other fun features on the FinePix XP80 camera, like the burst mode shooting and sharing our images with the built-in social network tagging, via MyFinePix Studio, but since I have not use these features, I don’t want to comment on something I don’t know.
If there is one thing I would like for you to remember about the FinePix XP80, it’s that it is one small camera that can do it all, and that can survive almost anything. I think this is the best family proof camera! I honestly do!
I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. All opinions, as always, are my very own.