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Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd Review
Date: Nov 14, 2006
to Serious Amateur
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.
(28mm, 35mm equivalent)
(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
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
|6.2mm, Manual, Pattern, Custom
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
|Auto White Balance
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.
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.
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
|6.2mm, Manual, Pattern, 15
sec., F5.0 ISO 100
Custom WB, Macro, Self-Timer (2 sec.), Tripod
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