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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd

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Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd Review

Review Date: Oct 22, 2007

Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur

Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd


The Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd joins the 18x optical zoom crowd and is Fujifilm's first ultra zoom with image stabilization (sensor-shift based). There's a really deep handgrip for a secure hold. It is most comfortably carried slung over a shoulder or around the neck. It has one memory slot which can accept either an xD-Picture Card or a Secure Digital (SD/SDHC) memory card.

The lens barrel juts out from the body at about 4 cm (1.5 in.). When the camera is turned ON, the lens extends an extra 2.3 cm / 0.9 in. (W) and 6 cm / 1.4 in. (T). See the side view further below the page for an idea how much it juts out.

Startup time and shot to shot times are not too fast, at about 3 sec. Though shutter lag is not really a problem, AF lag will depend on your subject contrast and lighting. Autofocus is generally fast and precise, even at the longer focal lengths (with the usual slight AF lag). Depending on subject contrast, AF can sometimes be challenging in low-light (even with AF-assist). Pre-focusing is recommended.

The FinePix S8000fd does not have the manual Zoom Ring of the S6000fd but does keep a wide-angle optical zoom lens and adds an effective sensor-shift image stabilization.

- Colours: overall black with silver/chrome accents
- Looks: SLR type
- Deep non-slip textured handgrip for a secure hold
- Controls are well positioned and spaced
- Best way to carry this camera is slung over the shoulder or around the neck
- Dimensions: 111.3 x78.2 x 78.9 mm /
4.4 × 3.1 × 3.1 in.
- Weight: 412 g / 14.5 oz. (excluding accessories, batteries and memory card)
- Takes 4 AA type alkaline batteries (included) or 4 AA rechargeable NiMH batteries (optional)
- Startup with lens extending about 4 cm (1.5 in.) and LCD turning on and ready in about 3 sec.
- Shot to shot time in approx. 3 sec. (including time to write to card)
- No real practical shutter lag (though AF can be affected by subject contrast, see below)
- AF is fast and precise. At long focal lengths, there is the usual slight AF lag but it locks positively. At close ups, AF sometimes challenging depending on subject contrast.

Included in the box are 4 AA Alkaline batteries but we recommend that you invest in 4 AA rechargeable NiMH batteries and battery charger (if you don't have them already) because they are longer lasting (and environmentally friendly).

The Terminal compartment is conveniently on the left side of the camera (viewed from the back) with a hinged rubber cover that rotates out of the way for easy-enough access to the USB/AV socket and DC socket.

There is an electronic viewfinder (EVF) with 230,000 pixels resolution and a large 2.5-in. LCD monitor (also 230K pixels) that both gain up very well in low light (though grainy, as to be expected). The frame coverage is approx. 97% for both and the refresh rate is a fast 30fps (or 60fps) for a smooth display.

Fujifilm S8000fd Flash Up

The flash is powerful and has a range of 0.5 m - 8.8 m / 1.6 ft. - 28.9 ft., which is excellent. You need to manually pop it up before it can be used -- the type I prefer. When closed, you won't be surprised by the flash suddenly popping up and firing when you don't want it to. Press a small button and it pops up; you can then use the RIGHT ARROW to select 4 flash options: Auto Flash, Forced Flash, and Slow Synchro. To turn the flash off, simply close it (with quite a loud clack).


Fujifilm S8000fd Top Controls

The top of the camera has the Shutter Release Button with the Zoom Lever around the collar, the Power ON/OFF switch (spring-loaded: slide right to turn on, slide right again to turn off), the Intelligent Face Detection/Red-Eye Removal button, the Dual IS (Image Stabilization) button, and the Mode Dial with usual PASM modes, plus Movie, AUTO, Picture Stabilization, Natural Light, Natural Light + Flash, SP1 (Scene Position 1) and SP2 (Scene Position 2).

Zoom Bar
Zoom Bar

The Zoom Lever is a collar around the shutter release button, has a short angle of motion and it only takes a quick 3 sec. to zoom all the way from wide-angle to 18x telephoto. I counted about 17-28 intermediate steps (depends on how gentle you can touch the zoom lever) and a zoom bar displays to give you an indication of where you are in the zoom range.

The Image Stabilizer is selected by pressing the Dual IS button on the top of the camera. This turns on the CCD-shift image stabilization feature to reduce/eliminate the blurring caused by camera shake. If the shooting mode is AUTO or Picture Stabilization (set on the Mode Dial), then the camera will also reduce blur caused by a moving subject by favouring a high ISO (and high shutter speed, if possible).

Manual Focus

Manual Focus is selected in the MENU. Note that the central portion of the screen is not enlarged but the camera will turn the central circle yellow when it thinks focus is achieved. To operate the MF control, you hold down the [+/-] exposure compensation button while using the zoom lever.

The Mode Dial rotates easily (but not loosely), and you can use your thumb to do that while holding the camera. It clicks solidly in place and I've not had any problem where the setting on the Mode Dial is inadvertently changed.

In case you're wondering why there are 2 Scene Position modes on the Mode Dial, this is just Fujifilm's way to allow you to customize your 2 favourite scene modes on the dial. Both SP1 and SP2 give you access to all 13 scene modes, so you can set SP1 to one scene mode and SP2 to another scene mode (though you cannot, and would not want to, set SP1 and SP2 to the same scene mode). By default, SP1 is set to Portrait scene mode and SP2 to Landscape scene mode.

The Natural Light scene mode disables the flash (even if it is popped open), turns on High Sensitivity (sets ISO to AUTO) to capture an image that retains the natural ambience of low-light photography (indoors, by candlelight, in restaurants and museums).

But what if you are not sure whether to use the flash or not indoors? The Natural Light + Flash scene mode is so far unique to Fujifilm digital cameras and takes 2 images with one press of the shutter release button: one as in the Natural Light scene mode (which captures the "ambiance") and a second one with the flash fired (which requires that the flash is up) to correctly expose your main subject. Then it's up to you to select the one you prefer or merge them in a photo editing software to have a picture that is correctly exposed for both the main subject as well as the background.

The Picture Stabilization scene mode tells the camera to use a high ISO and a fast enough shutter speed to minimize blur caused by a moving subject. Combines with the Dual IS mode, you effectively compensate for camera shake and subject motion.

You can record movies with sound (until the memory card is full or 2GB is reached -- when using a super high-speed SD memory card) at either 640 x 480 or 320x240 pixels at 30fps. You can preset optical zoom before any movie mode recording, but cannot zoom (optical or digital) during movie recording. Sound is always recorded.

Video Storage Capacity
1m 2s
18m 42s
1m 39s
29m 36s

As you can see, you can't record too much onto the approx. 58MB internal memory. We recommend a 1GB or larger capacity SD/SDHC memory card.

xD-Picture Card Storage Capacity (approx. # images, JPEG)
Quality 58MB 1GB
8M F 14 261
8M N 29 520
3:2 32 581
4M 57 1031
2M 91 1640
03M 448 7996

As the above chart shows, at 8MP Fine image quality, you can store only 14 images in the 58MB Internal Memory. We recomend that you purchase at least a 1GB xD-Picture Card or SD/SDHC Memory Card, depending on the number of images you normally shoot in one session.

- Mode Dial (PASM, Movie, AUTO, Picture Stabilization, Natural Light, Natural Light + Flash, SP1 (customizable, defaults to Portrait), SP2 (customizable, defaults to Landscape)
- Intelligent Face Detection/Red-Eye Removal
- Dual IS
- Face Detection can be turned ON, with or without Red-Eye Removal.
- Blurred images are caused by camera shake and/or subject movement.
- Pressing this button turns on the sensor-shift IS and helps counteract camera shake.
- When you set the Mode Dial to Picture Stabilization, the camera selects a high ISO and fast shutter speed to freeze subject movement. Flash may be used in this mode.
- When Picture Stabilization is selected on the Mode Dial AND the Dual IS button is set ON, then the camera is in "Dual IS" mode.
- Natural Light works similar to Picture Stabilization but disables the flash. While the objective of Picture Stabilization is to freeze the subject movement, Natural Light's objective is to record the ambiance of the surroundings.
- Natural Light + Flash takes two pictures with one push of the shutter release button: the first one is taken without flash (objective: capture the ambiance of the surroundings) and the second one with flash (objective: freeze the subject).
SP1, SP2
- Instead of deciding for you which two scene modes should be on the Mode Dial, SP1 and SP2 allow you to decide what the two scene modes should be -- and change them as often as you want.

Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd Back Controls
Mouseover image for closeup of controls

- EVF/LCD monitor selector
- Playback
- Photo (F) Mode (ISO, Image Quality, Color)
- 4 Way Arrows: UP = Erase, Brighten LCD; DOWN = Self-timer; LEFT = Macro, Super Macro; RIGHT = Flash
- DISP/Back
- Exposure Compensation
- Pressing the exposure compensation displays a Live Histogram and allows you to dial in an Exposure Compensation and, if in P mode, use Program Shift.
- To dial in an exposure compensation, you use the LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys.
- To use Program Shift in P mode, you use the UP and DOWN arrow keys.
- A Live Histogram also displays and stays on screen until you press the Exposure Compensation button again.
- Once set, the Exposure Compensation Indicator conveniently stays displayed on screen until it is reset to "0"
- Range: -2 EV to +2 EV (13 steps in 1/3 EV increments)
- The screen brightness will increase or decrease to reflect the value you use
- Note: the exposure compensation value selected is retained even when mode is changed or camera is turned off (so remember to reset to "0" after using it or the next time you turn the camera on, your shots may be over- or under-exposed.)
- ISO 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, AUTO (400), AUTO (800), AUTO (1600)
- ISO 3200 and 6400 changes the Image Quality to 4M resolution.
- We welcome the return of ISO AUTO 400, ISO AUTO 800 and ISO AUTO 1600 in PASM.

Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd - Left View

The lens extends quite a bit (about 6 cm/1.4 in.) at full Tele.

- Flash (manual) pop-up button
- Microphone (tiny hole just to the right of the Flash pop-up button)
- Speaker (the 12 holes above the Terminal Cover)
- Rubber Terminal Cover (A/V, USB, DC IN) underneath the Speaker
- The lens cover stays securely on. The lens extends with quite some force and will push the lens cover right off if you forget to remove it first before turning the camera on.

LCD & Menus

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) and LCD screen each has a high 230,000 pixels resolution, a fast 30fps (or 60fps) refresh rate for a smooth display, and gains up very well in extreme low-light situations to permit you to compose. Coverage for both is approx. 97%. The eyepiece is large and has an effective diopter correction.

The UP ARROW button allows you to instantly increase the LCD brightness, useful when viewing the LCD in bright sunlight.

The circular projection between the flash and the handgrip is the AF-assist illuminator. The AF-assist illuminator (orange light) is quite effective, but you have to remember not to get your fingers in the way; also, the relatively long lens can be in the way of the AF-assist light illuminating a subject that is very close (e.g. in macro photography).

There is no lens shade included. I'm not sure if the lens is threaded or if the concentric rings are just part of the internal lens barrel construction. There is a "38.1mm diameter" printed on the lens barrel; however, there does not seem to be any filter available for this camera from either Fujifilm or a third-party vendor at the time of this writing.

Best Framing

You can display a framing grid of horizontal and vertical lines by pressing Disp/Back button, which is very useful when you need to align vertical and horizontal lines precisely. Fujifilm terms this framing grid "Best Framing" and is perfect for the Rule of Thirds composition use.

A great feature is the AF Area mode, though you now need to access it in MENU. Once set ON, you use the ARROW keys to move the AF target point to any of (7 horizontal x 7 vertical =) 49 positions and the camera will focus where the AF target point has been moved. I find this very helpful in macro photography and whenever the subject is off-center.

If you use Face Detection to take a picture, then in Playback you can press the Face Detect button to identify on which face (if there are more than one faces in your picture) the camera focused on. Press the Face Detect button again to zoom in on the face and see if it is in focus. This provides a quick and convenient way to review a portrait and determine if accurate focus on the face (or, eyes) has been achieved.

You cannot save images in the RAW file format. Most photographers will not miss this, but I know some of you keen on capturing the best image quality possible might miss this feature.

There are 2 MENU screens and 4 SETUP screens. The user interface is very well implemented and easy to use. Some of the MENU screens are semi-transparent (but easily read); the SETUP screens have a solid white background.

MENU 1 of 2

- Photometry: Multi, Spot, Average
- White Balance: AUTO; Custom; Fine (Sunny); Shade; Fluorescent 1, 2, 3, Incandescent
- High-Speed Shooting: Off, On (speeds up AF, uses more battery)
- Continuous: Top 15 High (15 frames, 2M, 15fps), Top 15 Medium (15 frames, 4M, 7fps), Long Period (0.5fps), Bracketing, Top 3 (3 frames, 1.5fps)
- Focusing: Continuous AF, SIngle AF, MF
- AF: Center, Multi, Area

MENU 2 of 2

- Sharpness: Hard, Standard, Soft
- Flash Bracketing: 0, ±1/3 EV, ±2/3 EV
- Auto Bracketing: ±1/3 EV, ±2/3 EV, ±1 EV

SETUP 1 of 4

- Image Disp.: Continuous, 3s, 1.5s, Zoom (Continuous)
- Frame No.: Continuous, Renew
- AF Illuminator: On, Off
- Digital Zoom: On, Off
- EVF/LCD Mode: 30fps, 60fps

SETUP 2 of 4

- Date/Time
- OPeration Volume
- Shutter Volume
- Playback Volume
- LCD Brightness
- Format

SETUP 3 of 4

- Language: 17 languages to choose from
- Auto Power Off: 5m, 2m, Off
- Time Difference: Home, Local
- Background Color: 6 colors to choose from
- Discharge
- Video System: NTSC, PAL

SETUP 4 of 4

- Reset


-17 languages to choose from


- Portrait
- Landscape
- Sport
- Night


_ Fireworks
- Sunset
- Snow
- Beach


- Museum
- Party
- Flower
- Text


- Landscape
- Sport
- Night


_ Fireworks
- Sunset
- Snow
- Beach


- Museum
- Party
- Flower
- Text


- Auction Mode

White Balance

- Custom
- Fine (Sunny)
- Shade
- Fluorescent 1 - Daylight FLuorescent
- Fluorescent 2 - Warm White Fluorescent
- Fluorescent 3 - Cool White Fluorescent
- Incandescent

ISO 1 of 2

- AUTO (1600)
- AUTO (800)
- AUTO (400)
- 6400 (4M)
- 3200 (4M)
- 1600
- 800

ISO 2 of 2

- 400
- 200
- 100
- 64


- In P mode, Program Shift is accessed by first pressing the Exposure Compensation button and then using the UP ARROW and DOWN ARROW to shift the shutter speed and aperture in tandem

Photo (F) Mode - ISO

- Ships from factory set to ISO AUTO(800)

Photo (F) Mode - Image Quality

- Ships from factory set to 8M N

Photo (F) Mode - Color Effects

- Chrome

Photo (F) Mode - Color Effects

- B&W


1st line from left:
- P mode, Dual IS mode ON, Face Detection ON, Super Macro ON, Self-timer 2 sec., Multi-Pattern, 8M Fine, space left for 281 images

2nd line from left:
- Custom WB, High Speed Shooting, Auto Bracketing, ISO AUTO (400)

- Camera Shake Warning

- Live Histogram

- Shutter Spped, Aperture, Exposure Compensation


- Camera disables flash and selects a higher ISO


- Camera selects a fast shutter speed to reduce camera shake (aperture and ISO are adjusted accordingly for correct exposure)


- 640x480 @ 30fps
- 320x240 @ 30fps


- 18m42s left


- Minimal info by default


- To see EXIF Info, press the Exposure Compensation button in Playback
- You can't see it clearly in this picture, but besides the Histogram, Highlight Warning is also flashing the areas that are overexposed


- In Playback, toggle the Zoom lever toward the W once to display 2, 9 or 100 frames (Micro Thumbnail)

The Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd is a well-designed ultra zoom digital camera with good handling. Performance is good, but operation is not as fast as on the S6000fd or S9100. Beginner amateur photographers will find this camera easy-to-use; advanced amateur photographers will appreciate the many practical features and full exposure flexibility. We welcome the addition of the sensor-shift image stabilizer which helps tremendously when hand holding at the longer focal lengths.

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