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Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd Review
Date: Oct 22, 2007
Beginner to Serious Amateur
The Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd is a digital
camera targeted to Beginner and Serious Amateur
photographers. It has 8.0 megapixels resolution
on a 1/2.35 in. CCD image sensor with a sensor-shift Image Stabilizer. The Fujinon
lens is a 18x wide-angle optical
zoom lens (27-486 mm, 35mm equivalent) with an aperture range of F2.8(W)-F4.5(T).
We find the overall image quality of the Fujifilm
S8000fd to be very good to excellent with good detail and low noise at ISO 64.
(27mm, 35mm equivalent)
(486mm, 35mm equivalent)
The Fujifilm S8000fd has a 18x optical zoom lens. In the above pictures, we show the coverage for
27mm equiv. and 486mm equiv. The 27mm wide-angle coverage is
perfect for wide landscape and large group shots.
For those who like to be able to add a polaroid (or other) filter on, it is not apparent whether the lens is threaded or, as seems to be the case, if the concentric rings are just part of the internal inner lens barrel construction. It does have a
"38.1mm diameter" label printed on the outside barrel which is usually put there only if the lens accepts filters. But then "38.1 mm" is quite small and is not a regular filter diameter. The lens might not be strong enough to hold a filter. There also is not any optional filters available from Fujifilm or any other vendors as of this writing -- and the manual makes no mention of filters, so this should be a strong clue. We're waiting for the official word from Fujifilm on this.
Image stabilization is sensor-shift based and is quite effective as the following two images demonstrate.
Without Image Stabilization
With Image Stabilization
Both pictures were taken hand-held at 1/2.1 sec. (4.7mm, F2.8, ISO 200).
The camera also provides exposure compensation
(with Auto Bracketing) and Custom (Manual) White
Balance. A Histogram displays when
the Exposure Compensation button is held down (in any of the PASM and Playback modes). In Playback, besides the Histogram, Highlight Warning
will flash the areas that are overexposed.
Shutter speed ranges from 4-1/2,000 sec. in
|9.8mm, P, Pattern, Custom
1.3 sec., F3.5, ISO 64, Super Macro
The Fujifilm S8000fd can focus as close as 10
cm (3.9 in.) in Macro mode to and 1 cm (0.4 in.)
in Super Macro mode. AF locks precisely, but requires the AF-assist in low-light.
The AF Area can be manually moved to any of (7
x 7 =) 49 areas. While the S6000fd had a very convenient One-Touch AF button, you need to access the AF mode on the S8000fd through the MENU (takes from 7 to 9 button presses).
There are three metering modes (Photometry,
selected in MENU): Multi (Multi-Pattern), Spot
and Average. We tested the Average and Multi-Pattern metering quite a bit and like the fact that they both tend to prevent blown highlights.
|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 very good results.
As expected, AWB works well in natural light.
The Fujifilm S8000fd has 8 ISO settings going
from ISO 64 to ISO 6400. The 100%
crops above (area delimited by the white square)
demonstrate the noise at the available ISO Speeds.
At ISO 64 and 100, noise is low and under
control. Noise starts to be slightly visible at
ISO 200 but is still very usable. At higher ISOs
(400 to 1600), noise is very apparent. Interestingly, note that ISO 800 seems to give a cleaner image than ISO 400, but it's at the expense of image detail. ISO 3200 and 6400 are also available at reduced 4M resolution and are very noisy with apparent loss in detail. Note that the S8000fd uses a conventional CCD, not the Super CCD HR used in the S6000fd.
CA is present in some of my high contrast shots. The
corner delimited by the red square at top right,
and reproduced at 100% crop at bottom left, shows
some purple fringing.
|9.8mm, Manual, Pattern, 4
sec., F6.3 ISO 200
Custom WB, Macro, Self-Timer (2 sec.), Tripod
The Fujifilm S8000fd provides a maximum long
shutter speed of 4 sec. in Manual Mode. 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 4
sec. at F6.3.
Note that the Exposure Compensation Indicator
is useful to get an approximation of when correct
exposure is achieved in Manual mode. It's only
an approximation and I find that the best result is obtained through trial and error (i.e. take lots of exposure at different shutter speed and aperture settings).
To eliminate camera shake, I place the camera
on a tripod and use the self-timer (set to fire
after 2 sec.). Noise reduction kicks in at shutter speeds of 1/2 sec. and slower, and you'll notice aprox. twice the processing
time before the next picture can be taken.
The Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd produces very good to excellent quality images for the most part and as long as you stay at the low ISOs. Even though the S8000fd does not use Fujifilm's famed Super CCD HR image sensor, I am quite happy with the image quality of the S8000fd compared to the S6000fd and to the S8000fd's closest 18x zoom competitors. I particularly like that its Multi-Pattern metering seems to be properly calibrated to retain details in the highlights without my having to compensate for it.
The pictures in the Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd
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 3264
x 2448 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