The Fujifilm FinePix XP80 is a straightforward rugged and waterproof camera. It boasts similar rugged characteristics of the entire field of rugged waterproof cameras in its class, plus the XP80 offers the basic levels of quality and performance most people need and expect at a reasonable price point. As it turns out, this FinePix XP80 review boils down to this: The XP80 is a surprisingly serviceable rugged camera that offers a compelling blend of price-to-performance in 2016.
How do I know this? Thanks to the pros at B&H Photo Video, I was able to use seven waterproof cameras out on the rivers and beaches of the Northwest. By using these cameras side-by-side while fly fishing, swimming, and just messing around, I started to appreciate the XP80 far more than what I expected from my first impressions.
Fujifilm XP80 Review
First, it’s just a bit lighter than similar cameras — 7.1 ounces compared to the beefy 8.6 ounces of the Olympus TG-4. That doesn’t seem like much on the web, but you’ll appreciate it when you pack the camera in the pocket of your shorts while hiking. Because it feels lighter in the hand relative to its size, XP80 doesn’t feel as robust, but it somehow feels more friendly. FujiFilm doesn’t publish an easily found crushproof rating (the standard is about 220 pounds) so it might not be as technically strong as some of the top 3 waterproof cameras. Either way, it’s not a factor I worry about.
Second, it doesn’t come with built-in GPS or mapping capabilities, so it’s not going to compete with the top cameras in this class.
But as I used the XP80, I came to appreciate its relative simplicity and generally good performance. Plus, the XP80 will shoot 1080p video at 60 frames per second, which is pretty good when you’re trying to film moderate action video — say, a fighting fish or water play on a beach. The waves, for example, come crashing in just a bit smoother and more visually enjoyable than when you record at 30 fps.
As it turns out, that 1080p at 60 fps is a surprising feature to find on a waterproof camera that can generally be found at half the price of the Olympus TG-4, which doesn’t shoot at 1080p at 60 fps (but does shoot with better overall photo quality).
Speaking of photo quality, the XP80 is pretty good. Not as good as the best in this class, but surprisingly good for the cost, making the XP80 a bargain buy. The controls are solid and the performance of the camera is snappy and thoroughly usable.
Fujifilm XP80 Review: Core Specs
The 16.4 megapixel Fujifilm FinePix XP80 is waterproof down to 50 feet, freezeproof to 14 degrees, and shockproof to 5.8 feet. It has a 5x optical zoom with a 28mm wide-angle setting with optical image stabilization.
As I mentioned, you can shoot Full HD movies at 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps, plus it has a handy wind filter setting to reduce wind noise.
The XP80 has a nifty feature for shooting rapid-fire photos, too: You can snap 10 frames per second by using a dedicated continuous shooting button on the back of the camera. This is one of those features that real comes alive through the simplicity of the button — if you’re kids are throwing sand at the beach, use this button and you might get a sweet series of photos.
Another cool feature of the XP80 is Action Camera Mode, which moves the camera’s lens to 18mm and turns off the rear LCD, saving battery life for those times you want to mount the camera to a chest harness while you do something cool.
If you’re into filters, the XP80 has 10 built-in filters.
If you install the free Fujifilm Camera App, you can wirelessly transfer photos and video to your smartphone, tablet, or computer via WiFi. Better yet, you can remotely take photos or video by using the Fujifilm Camera Remote App from your smartphone.
All in all, the Fujifilm FinePix XP80 is a surprisingly serviceable rugged, waterproof camera. I was pleasantly surprised by the photo and video quality, as well as the overall build quality. If you can find the XP80 for under $200, it becomes a best-buy bargain for this class of camera. Oh, one last recommendation: Invest in a decent SD card so your rapid-fire photos and 1080p video records at maximum available speeds. I like the SanDisk Extreme Pro series for the quality-to-price ratio.
XP80 vs XP90 in 2016
Update: What about the newly released XP90? The new XP90 is a very slight upgrade over the XP80. They have the same lens, processor, body, and overall specifications with the exception of one thing: The rear LCD screen is now sharper with more pixels and offers a few minor playback options like red-eye reduction during playback on the camera itself. How important is this: Not very. The photo and video quality is the same as before. If you can save more than $30 with the XP80, I wouldn’t hesitate to snap up the XP80 over the newer XP90.