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Fuji XP70 Waterproof Camera – refunded

I am going to Hawaii for a family vacation, so I need a waterproof camera to capture the beach moment of Marcus. I already borrowed one from my cousin, but I saw the Fuji XP70 on sales at Bestbuy for $180. Why don’t I give it a try, it’s always handy to have a waterproof camera when you have a little kid.

The spec of this camera is pretty good, on paper at least, waterproof up to 10m, shock proof up to drop of 5m, 16M pixel, 5x optical zoom and image stabilization. Long story short, after I used it for a week in Hawaii, I already refunded it. It is an OK camera and it is waterproof as advertised, but the image quality is worse than my 2 years old Canon S-100. It has much smaller aperture, so shooting under the sun on the beach is fine, but indoor photos all look blurry without using the flash. The most annoying thing about this camera is the long shutter lag, it feels like forever between I press the shutter and the camera actually takes a snapshot. I think it is even slower than my phone (Nexus 5). A camera is pretty useless if you can’t capture the right moment of the little kid.

There are other little things that I don’t like about this camera is the user interface is quite inconvenient. It is understandable that all the body has to be waterproof, so it limited the functions of the button. I am so used to the ring and dial interface of my S-100, I find it very tedious to pressing buttons many times just to navigate through the menu options. I end up putting the camera in auto mode most of the time because it is too much trouble change the setting back and forth. The waterproof button itself is not responsive, sometime I have to press twice to get camera going. I can avoid most of the buttons by staying with auto mode but I just can’t avoid the zoom buttons.

I don’t need two compact DC and I will have to get rid of one of them. I am happy with my old S-100 and it does not worth much selling it second hand anyway. I am not very happy with the XP70, I can refund for full price and I don’t really shoot photos in water that often. It is pretty obvious which camera should I keep. Maybe I will just buy another waterproof camera if I am going to Hawaii again. Alternatively, I can simply borrow the waterproof camera from my friends. It seems I know many friends also have a waterproof camera just sitting around and collecting dust 99% of the time.

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