Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gear Review: Fuji XP20 Camera

A little while ago (as in before Christmas) I decided to sel,l what I felt was, a cumbersome camera for a simple point-and-shoot which would not only be lighter and easier to carry while backpacking, but which would also last through the elements that I encounter while in the outdoors. I wanted something that still took excellent photos, but which would give me peace of mind when hiking in the Summer heat or Winter temperatures, or would survive me dropping it into a stream. I came up with this plan after seeing an advertisement for the FujiFilm XP20 in a Backpacker magazine, and felt that if I could find one for a decent enough price, then it would be worth pursuing. I found one for just around $100 at Costco and snatched it up after selling my previous camera (Sony's Cybershot DSC-H2).

In a nutshell let me just say that I have been disappointed in some ways, but feel that the camera lives up to it's purpose. It is a small camera with serious durability, and suits my needs while in the outdoors. It does not, however impress me with indoor photos, photos with tricky lighting situations, or pretty much anything other than a photo outdoors with the right light and decent conditions. Even outdoors it is very difficult to see whether or not the photos taken are acceptable or not, as the viewfinder shows blurry photos consistently - even when the photos look good when uploading them onto the computer.

Here are a couple of better photos I took while on a trip to California

Utilizing the fun panoramic setting - be careful when you choose which side to start the panoramic shot, if you are shooting a stark contrast with lighting then one side of your photo won't look too hot.

This photo looks decent, but you can tell that it was taken with a cheaper camera. Just goes to show that megapixels are not all that counts when trying to pick out a decent camera.

The bottom line: buy this camera if you are wanting something that will take a beating and keep on shooting, but don't buy it if you are looking to be artistic. I'll take it with me on the trail, but I won't rely on it to take family photos or anything of more significance than scenery. I haven't had a chance to take any shots underwater, but will try it out when fly fishing in the Uintas next month. I guess that I now have a reason to buy a more expensive camera that will not only outshoot this camera, but the one I gave up for this one as well.