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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd


   


Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd Review

Review Date: Nov 14, 2006

Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur

Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd

Photoxels Editor's Choice 2006 Award

IMAGE QUALITY

The Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd is a digital camera targeted to Beginner and Serious Amateur photographers. It has 6.3 megapixels resolution on a 1/1.7 in. SuperCCD HR image sensor. The Fujinon lens is a 28-300 mm (35mm equivalent) 10.7x optical zoom lens, with an aperture range of F2.8(W)-F4.9(T).

We find the overall image quality of the Fujifilm S6000fd to be very good to excellent up to ISO 400, with low noise and images retaining most of the details.

10.7x Optical Zoom
Wide-angle 28 mm Tele 300 mm
Wide-angle 6.2mm
(28mm, 35mm equivalent)
Telephoto 66.7mm
(300mm, 35mm equivalent)

In the above pictures, we show the coverage for 28mm and 300mm. The lens is threaded and has a 58mm diameter. The 28mm wide-angle coverage is perfect for landscape and group shots.

The Fujifilm S6000fd has full exposure flexibility with PASM modes, Program Shift and easy-to-use Scene Modes.

The camera also provides exposure compensation (with Auto Bracketing) and Custom (Manual) White Balance. A Histogram can be displayed in Playback mode; in Shooting mode, a Histogram displays when the Exposure Compensation button is held down (though then you cannot change shutter speed/aperture, only dial in an exposure compensation).

Shutter speed ranges from 30-1/4,000 sec. in Manual Mode.

Macro
Macro
6.2mm, Manual, Pattern, Custom WB
8 sec., F8.0, ISO 100, Macro

The Fujifilm S6000fd can focus as close as 10 cm (3.9 in.) in Macro mode to and 1 cm (0.4 in.) in Super Macro mode. The subject in the above picture is, believe it or not, approx. 3 cm away from the camera. The wide-angle lens gives a wider than average coverage. AF locks precisely and fast, but requires the AF-assist in low-light.

The AF Area can be manually moved to any of (7 x 7 =) 49 areas. [Press the One-Touch AF button and use the Arrow keys to select an AF area.]

There are three metering modes (Photometry, selected in MENU): Multi (Multi-Pattern), Spot and Average.

Auto White Balance Indoors
AWB Custom WB
AWB Custom WB

As the above two pictures show, the Auto White Balance (AWB) is pretty good (slight yellow cast) under tungsten artificial light.

Fortunately, there is Custom (Manual) WB that is easy to set and provides excellent results. As expected, AWB works well in natural light.

ISO Comparisons
ISO 100
ISO 100
 
ISO 200 ISO 400
ISO 200 ISO 400
 
ISO 800 ISO 1600
ISO 800 ISO 1600
 
ISO 3200  
ISO 3200  

The Fujifilm S6000fd has 6 ISO settings going from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The 100% crops above (area delimited by the white square) demonstrate the noise at the available ISO Speeds. At ISO 100, 200 and 400, noise is low and under control. Noise starts to be slightly visible at ISO 800 but is still very usable. At higher ISOs (1600 and 3200), noise is very apparent. Fujifilm's low noise image sensor once again shines, putting to shame cameras costing many times more.

Does this mean that the Fujifilm S6000fd (like the FinePix F30) is the "perfect" or ideal low-light digital camera? Many readers write to ask us this very question.

The answer is simply, It depends.

Having talked to so many of you, I know what low-light means to you: in the dark. With that definition of low-light in mind, there is simply no compact digital camera that does well in those situations.

"A camera cannot record a picture if there is not enough light."

I think that when you think about this a bit, it makes sense. If there is not enough light, our eyes cannot see -- or we see darkly. Similarly, a camera also will see only darkly in low-light situations, resulting in under-exposed pictures and blurred pictures. That is why we use a flash and professionals use those strong studio lights. For a picture to be recorded beautifully, we need light, plenty of it, enough of it to correctly expose the picture.

However, the new Fujifilm models, such as the F30 and S6000fd, do much better than any other compact digital camera in low-light situations. In fact, there is just no comparison.

For many advanced photographers, being able to go to ISO 400 without noise is more than enough. So, for them, the F30 or S6000fd is an ideal compact low-light digital camera.

But most beginners who insist in wanting to take pictures in the dark (remember, low-light means "not enough light"), they will often be disappointed. Depending on where (and the light level in which) they take their pictures, the pictures will be a hit-and-miss proposition, sometimes coming out well exposed and sometimes not, and they will have no clue why.

So, there you have it. If you are looking for the "perfect" low-light digital camera, it doesn't exist. Not yet. But, if you want the "best" low-light non-DSLR digital cameras available today, the new Fujifilm models, such as the F30 and S6000fd, are hands down the winners.

 

Chromatic Aberrations
CA

CA is present in very high contrast shots. The corner delimited by the red square at top right, and reproduced at 100% crop at bottom right, shows purple fringing.

Long Shutter Speed
Long Exposure
6.2mm, Manual, Pattern, 15 sec., F5.0 ISO 100
Custom WB, Macro, Self-Timer (2 sec.), Tripod Used

The Fujifilm S6000fd provides a maximum long shutter speed of 30 sec. in Manual Mode, making it possible to take some nice night shots. Here I'm checking out the presence of noise at long exposure (noise usually increases the longer the shutter is left open). As usual, I place Bamm-Bamm under my office desk, in the shadows and, through trial and error, obtain a long exposure of 15 sec. at F5.0.

Note that the Exposure Compensation Indicator is useful to get a good approximation when correct exposure is achieved in Manual mode. It's only an approximation and I find that it tends to result in overexposed images. So, trial and error (and lots of bracketing) is recommended.

To eliminate camera shake, I place the camera on a tripod and use the self-timer (set to fire after 2 sec.). No noise reduction is required to produce rich dark blacks, and so no extra time is added to the 15 sec. exposure.

The Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd shines with respect to the image quality possible at high ISOs. The ability to take images with low noise (and acceptable detail) at ISO 400 in a non-DSLR digital camera sets the FinePix S6000fd apart from its competitors.

The pictures in the Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd Photo Gallery page provide a good sample of what the camera is capable of. I have provided samples at 800x600 pixels (compressed to Quality 60/100 in Photoshop Elements) as well as the 2848 x 2136 pixels original size (click on the image for the original version).

You can safely assume that most macro shots and slow shutter speed shots required the use of a tripod. Any image that is adjusted for levels in Photoshop has "_adjusted" appended to the file name.

I have defaulted the image size to 800x600 pixels. For those who have their monitor resolution set to 1024x728 pixels, everything should snugly fit and you should not have to scroll to see the whole image. If your monitor is set to 800x600 pixels resolution, start the slide show and then scroll to the right to position the image within your screen width. Then, press F11 (if you are using Internet Explorer) to switch to full screen mode, and the image should fill your screen nicely. Press F11 again at any time to switch your monitor display back to normal mode.

To return to this page from the Photo Gallery, click on the animated graphics of the camera.

Please open and download the original size version only if you need to and only once to your hard drive -- and save me some precious bandwidth. Thanks!

 

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