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Just before Christmas last year my wife made a trip to visit our newborn granddaughter. Unfortunately on returning home she had her bag snatched at the airport and with it the Canon digital camera that we have used for around ten years. At 2 megapixels it now seems seriously dated but there had been no need to change it until now.
In March, our new granddaughter came to visit and so a camera became an essential purchase to capture her every moment and after careful deliberation I chose the Fujifilm S4000. To date, I have been very satisfied with almost every aspect of this camera's performance.
** Overview **
The camera is a 14 megapixel camera that looks similar to the Digital SLR cameras. I couldn't justify the price of a Digital SLR and so when this camera came up in Amazon's listings at a very reasonable 139.99 pounds I decided to take a look. The camera certainly fits the label of 'superzoom' with a 30X optical zoom built in. This zoom is surprisingly effective even when handheld. If you take a common sense approach to assisting the stability of the camera, for example, resting the camera on your knee, even at full zoom you can obtain clear shots without the need for a tripod. The camera probably aims at the 'bridge' camera category that sits between the fully automated photography offered by a compact and the fully manual control offered by the Digital SLR cameras. For an amateur photographer with an interest in taking some control over pictures but without the technical know-how to assume full control over every aspect it is perfect. I could imagine photographers with more technical knowledge eventually reaching a point where they want more manual control than the camera allows.
The camera looks well built and incorporates a 3 inch LCD screen into the back which seems surprisingly light on battery usage. Certainly I am getting many hundreds of shots from the four AA batteries even with the screen switched on. The screen is good quality but obviously, as LCD, lacks brightness in direct sunlight.
As an additional bonus the camera can record 720p HD video which can then be played back on your computer screen or HDTV. The quality of the video is surprising given the cost of the camera but the built in microphone struggles with anything not extremely close and has a tendency to exaggerate background noise.
** How easy is it to use? **
I'm not a person that likes to read manuals and this camera doesn't need too much homework before you can unlock most of its features. The menu system is intuitive but it does react differently based on which setting has been chosen on the top dial. This can be slightly confusing until you get used to the top dial settings. A typical issue will be that a certain scene setting, for example macro, won't appear in the menu until you have chosen one of the appropriate modes that includes macro. Once you are aware of this though I would suggest the manual can rest in the box and the camera can be used with relative simplicity.
The 30X optical zoom is what will attract many people to this camera. In 35mm photography terms it is equivalent to a 24-270mm lens. Wildlife can jump into view, items on the horizon are suddenly within range and it can even add a depth of field effect to portrait photos making the background look slightly out of focus.
The auto-focus options are awesome, although at times the speed can be an issue as you ask your subjects to hold their smile whilst the camera adjusts the focus in and out until perfect. Auto-focus is operated with a two pressure button for taking pictures. You push half way for the camera to focus and then when the image has stabilized push the remainder of the way to take the picture.
The camera has a number of other features including modes for moving subjects, the ability to take a string of photos with one button press and even smile detection. The latter is a truly impressive offering when showing the camera to friends.
** Overall **
Overall, after four months of use I'm very satisfied with this camera. It doesn't fit in a pocket but it offers and image quality, a variety of pre-set modes and a level of zoom that are unusual to find in this price bracket.
I first published this review on Ciao under the same user name.
I wanted to buy a camera as my old one had bitten the dust but I couldn't afford to buy a Nikon or Canon so with the help of my parents who are keen photographers we came upon the Fujifilm Bridge camera as a good compromise until finance improve.
I really love the look of the Fujifilm it is not too big and bulky or heavy to carry around. I have also found that the different settings on offer are easy to use as I am not as well clued up on the ins and outs of photography as my parents. They are easy to use because when you select a setting you get a full description of the use by way of the viewing screen of through the view finder depending on the option you have selected to take your photo. Having the option of using either the view finder or the display screen at the back to take a photo is excellent because depending on what your doing you have the option. I would say that if taking photos outside in bright light then the display screen is difficult to use so having the option of the traditional view finder is perfect for such occasions.
The zoom is fantastic as you are able to take those lovely scenic shots from a good distance. There is also the panoramic option which I have played with a little bit but need a bit more practise with.
The quality of the photos is excellent being 14 mega pixels.
There is also the option to use as a video camera to capture those special moments.
My only negative would be that there is a slight delay when taking the shot which is only a problem when I am trying to take a photo of my daughter as she dosen't always sit still for long so sometimes that perfect shot that was there when you pressed the button is not quite what you get as the end result but this is typical of a bridge camera.
I would rate this camera as great for starting out or if finances cannot stretch to the more expensive Canons and Nikon digital camera's
I have always been interested in photography. Last year I decided i was going to leave my little sony point and shoot and upgrade to a dslr. However i very quickly realised that the canon's and nikon's that i dreamed of were a lot of money. I decided to buy the fuji s4000 to see if i really wanted to spend the money on a dslr. I bought mine from amazon, the price was unbeatable and delivery was very fast. Now down to the fuji. Upon opening the box there is: The camera itself, a lense cap, a carry strap, batteries, warantee booklet, instructions and a software cd.
The good things. the fuji looks like a complex dslr however it is actually incredibly similar to control to an ordinary compact. This makes it easy to judge if you would be happy to carry an slr camera around with you all day. Next up is the usp of the camera which is the whopping 30 times optical zoom, this is an amazing feature allowing you to take full hd pictures and video at long range. When it comes to features they are pretty much the same as your ordinary compact with a few extras for example the scene recognition, in this mode the camera analyzes the surroundings and adjusts iso and shutter speed based on what type of picture it thinks you are taking eg portrait. The camera is installed with blink and smile detection allowing really great pictures of people and groups without someone blinking or not smiling. The manual mode allows complete control over shutter speed and apature giving you a taste of slr shooting. 14mp full hd pictures and videos is the source of all the great pictures with the s4000. The best way to describe the pros is that the s4000 has all the features of a compact, with high quality pictures and video in a dslr body and an incredible zoom.
There are some small downsides as such but nothing major. The flash has to be released manually so that is up to the user to decide when it should go off. The tripod grip is actually made of plastic and doesn't look very strong, however just be careful with it. Also the screen may be big but the quality is not exceptional, good for a quick check of the picture but definitely need to upload to pc. something that some of my friends have commented on is the noise of the zoom recorded over videos, however this could be countered by using the digital instead of optical zoom.
Buying this camera was the best thing i did when moving up from compacts, originally i planned to buy this to see if i wanted to spend the big money on a dslr then sell it. However I loved this so much that i didn't want to sell it. I have upgraded anyway to a canon eos 500d but still use the fuji as backup. All round fab cam beginer and backup camera.
I treated myself to this camera last October and took it to northern highlands of Scotland on our holidays, it is easy to use and very comfortable to hold with the shutter button in easy reach even for my small hands!
The 30x zoom is fantastic and you can zoom again once the picture is taken, allowing fabulous close ups of wildlife a long way away!
The screen is a good size allowing you to see exactly what your snapping, or you can flick a switch and use the viewfinder.
The clarity of the pictures are wonderful, even with maximum zoom they are clear and sharp.
You can take stills and videos on it, i found the panoramic view useful and very simple to use allowing a fabulous views to be captured in full.
The camera switches off after so long in order to save battery life, and does not switch on if the lens cap is on, it is advisable to invest in re-chargeable batteries and always have spares with you just in case!
It is easy to upload your photos to a PC and very fast.
I would recommend this camera to everyone!
If you only want to view your photos on your computer and at a size no larger than your monitor then this is a great camera. Otherwise, don't get your hopes up. I've been using the Finepix S1500 for the past 3 years and LOVED it, so I REALLY wanted to like this camera. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I've tried I just can't do it. Maybe it's because I'm comparing it to the S1500, but I checked the specs on the S4000 before buying it and the only real difference between it and the S1500 is the increase in zoom and the bump from 10mp to 14mp. I figured with everything else being the same I should get at least the same picture quality as I did with the S1500 right? WRONG. Here's the thing. The pics from the s4000 look fine on the LCD...and they even look good when viewing it on your computer screen at the fitted size. However, as you zoom the photo closer to it's ORIGINAL size you begin to see it's flaws. I take a lot of photos at the beach so that's where I took mine for a "test drive". It also was a good way for me to compare the photos against photos I'd taken at the same location with my S1500. The first thing I noticed was that my photos looked "flat" and the colors weren't very vibrant...not even using the CHROME color setting. This seemed to cause the edges around the subject(s) to look "Hard" against the backdrop, similar to the look you get from a photo that has been oversharpened. This also made the photo look a bit cartoonish and almost unreal. The next thing I noticed was that the photos lacked focus...or crispness. I'm not talking about a slight blur caused by subtle motion, but rather little "smudges" of blur throughout the photo...even with stationary objects. It's as though the lens just cant seem to make up it's mind what to focus on. I tried using a variety of settings to try and correct the problem or at least notice a difference, but to no avail. Let me again point out that, although I'm not a professional photographer, I AM experienced with the S1500 which is nearly identical to the S4000, so this camera is very comfortable to me. Still, I thought maybe I was doing something wrong, so I checked with some members of the S4000 Camera Users group on Flickr to find out what they've experienced. Turns out these same issues are points of frustration with other s4000 users, especially those who use or have used other cameras.
Now I am not one of those people who buy an entry-level camera and expect it to perform like a high-end DSLR. However as a former Finepix user who was extremely happy with the photo quality of the S4000's predecessor, the S1500 (which by the way was also a budget "bridge" camera that sold for around $200 dollars), my expectations were quite modest and far from unrealistic.
As far as the other CONS I listed, they weren't a big deal to me and honestly I couldn't care less about them. It's the PHOTO QUALITY that just kills me. Like I said at the beginning, this camera is great if you just want to upload your photos to be viewed from a computer. You might even be fine having 6x4 prints made at a kiosk down the street. But if you need a camera that will give you a photo quality thats suitable for slightly larger prints, you might want to look elsewhere.
I recently went on a trip to America from San francisco to Miami, and I took this camera and a cheap camera with me. This was the one I used for the scenes such as the grand canyon, yosemite and the Redwoods. The camera was really powerful and managed to catch some great sights. My favourite being the thunderstorm over the grand canyon where it painted the sky purple. I was highly relieved to have a powerful camera on me, so therefore I would definitely recommend this one to you.
Video wasn't as good, however I chose the camera for the photos, next time I might seperately bring a camcorder.
Fujifilm is a highly reliable camera make. The camera I had before this one was a fujifilm and we took it to a water park and it was literally drenched! It worked completely fine throughout and is still fully functional, a massive relief to me as the pictures were epic!
I went to comet and bought one of these, I couldnt wait to use it when I got home. I found it so easy to use and to hook up to my computer, the clarity of the photograph's is just brilliant, the one downside was the price, I found it quite expensive but its definitely worth investing in on of these babies! The zoom was really good especially for taking picture that were really far! The pictures were very clear, and I found it so easy to use because I'm not very good with technology, so I highly recommend it to you if you're not very tech geeky! My eldest daughters keep stealing it from me without asking, I remember when I first bought it, my eldest daughter Lucy stole it when she travelling to Thailand. I definetly highly recommed this camera especially if your not a tech wiz! I hope this helps, Thank you!
I am a nature lover and I keep visiting Natural parks and wildlife reserves and I am always accompanied by Fujifilm's Finepix S4000 as it has a super wide-angle 24mm zoom which helps me click photos in a true high quality and adds a professional touch to the photos. I feel quite comfortable carrying around this camera as it is quite lightweight as compared to the SLR equipment i have preciously used.
This SLR camera offer images of great clarity even if i shoot at a place where there is scarce light available. This enables me to shoot even if the light is not adequate and i can capture in a good quality even in the evening time. The previous SLR cameras that i have used captured blurred images if the object i was shooting moved or if I couldn't handle the camera in a stable position , but this one has got great ISO Sensitivity feature and shoots clear pictures even if we click it in a shaky motion.
The best feature of this Fujifilm FinePix is that it offers video recording at 720p HD at an stunning frame rate of 30 frames per second. I love to watch the videos i have captured in my HDTV and the quality makes it look real-live like.
Thanks to Fujifilm , i can post my images or videos on Facebook or Youtube making use of a bundled software toolkit. I just have to connect my camera to a laptop and upload the pictures making use of the Fujifilm software. This is the feature i love the most , because it enables my friends to be updated with the latest happenings as they can have a look at the creative pictures captured by my Fujifilm buddy.
I would recommend anyone who loves quality pictures to for this and experience true photography with this Fujifilm.