Friday, December 05, 2003

The Fujifilm Finepix S7000 - a short Review

The Fujifilm Finepix S7000 is positioned at the top of of the consumer range and has many professional features, thus qualifying for the monicker "prosumer camera". So it is not a Nikon D series but it is also much more than a point and shoot digital snapshooter.

The features that help to qualify for "prosumer" status include:

A 6.3 megapixel CCD
Interpolation to 12.3 million pixels (4048 x 3040)
A 6x f2.8 quality zoom lens with additional digital zoom available
A Through-The-Lens electronic viewfinder, switchable to LCD screen
Three meter modes
TTL contrast type autofocus with manual override
File format option includes CCD-RAW uncompressed
Storage media can be both xD Picture Card and Microdrive/CF Type II
USB 2.0 file transfer
Fully manual operation (exposure, focus, flash)

The features that are usually associated with point and shoots include:

Built in flash (but there is also a built in flash shoe)
Automatic exposure programs (i.e. P and SP modes)
Movie option with sound

In general, the S7000 is a relatively easy camera to use, given that there are lots of menus to become accustomed to. It is easy to operate as a point and shoot. The negatives are far fewer than the positives and so I will stress the few negatives I could do without!

Start up time takes a couple of seconds as the lens has to telescope out from the body. Once ready to shoot there is a small shutter lag (I would guess around 1/10 to 1/5 of a second) which can be reduced by using pre-set manual or semi-manual focus;

I have ordered a very fast flash card so that images can be saved quickly. There seems to be no point using this camera in 2 or 3 megapixel mode, so large files need to be saved quickly if several photos are to be taken in succession with CCD-RAW switched on. I'll update on this once I have tested the faster storage card;

Fuji should have included the optional AC power supply as it really is necessary when transfering files to the computer;
Apple's Image Capture software doesn't always recognize the camera connection. I am not sure why but a restart is then necessary;

I have also ordered two extra sets of high capacity Ni-MH AA batteries as the one good set I have discharge quite quickly. I wouldn't even consider putting alkalines in the camera unless it was in an extreme emergency!

Here is an image trimmed down from a larger file: