The Fujifilm XP80 is built for challenging environments. It can withstand water to depths of 15m, cold to -10 degrees centigrade and falls from 1.75m. Waterproof also means dustproof, mud-proof and sticky finger-proof, making it a prime candidate for everyone from outdoor adventurers to young children to the perpetually clumsy.
It looks the part with its sweeping curves and splashes of green. It’s also available in blue, yellow or purple so there’s plenty of scope to coordinate it with this summer’s beachwear. The curvy design helps to avoid damage, too, and there’s no hint of flexing to its plastic shell. The card slot and USB and HDMI ports are located behind a door on the edge of the camera, and a dial must be pressed and twisted to release it. It’s less fiddly than the tiny recessed latches on most other waterproof cameras and still seems unlikely to be opened accidentally.
When powering up after removing or inserting a memory card, the camera flashes up a warning to check that the door is properly closed – a nice touch. However, it’d make more sense to show this warning after the compartment door was opened. No warning is given after opening it to use the HDMI or USB/charging socket. Though we suppose changing a memory card is more likely on the beach than the other alternatives.
Wi-Fi is built in, but Fujifilm’s companion apps for iOS and Android devices proved to be a little awkward to configure. We eventually got it talking to our Nexus 4 phone but it reminded us of how other camera brands’ Wi-Fi modes behaved a couple of years ago before their bugs had been ironed out. Having made the connection we were able to transfer photos and capture both photos and videos using the app as a remote control. There’s access to self-timer and flash settings, which is enough for group self-portraits.
In most other respects the XP80 is a basic digital camera. The 2.7in is small by today’s standards and both the physical buttons and available photographic controls are minimal. There are white balance presets but no manual white balance, manual exposure or metering options. We can’t imagine this will put many prospective buyers off, though. Exposure compensation and ISO speed can be adjusted, which gives enough control to tackle tricky lighting conditions. It’s a reasonably nippy performer, capturing a shot every 1.3 seconds in our tests. The continuous mode is excellent, capturing 10 frames at 9fps and readying itself for another burst a couple of seconds later. Battery life is less impressive at just 210 shots per charge.
The video mode is well specified, with 1080p recording at up to 60fps and the ability to record slow-motion clips at VGA and lower resolutions. The 13Mbit/s bit rate is on the low side for 1080p AVC, though, and clips suffered from visible compression artefacts. Video autofocus behaved well but the zoom motor was picked up by the microphone.
The lens has a reasonable 5x zoom but its f/3.9-4.9 aperture doesn’t let in much light. The 9cm minimum focusing distance is disappointing, too. We suspect it’s the same lens design that we saw many years ago on the Fujifilm XP30 – a camera we still remember for its poor focus.