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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Fujifilm FinePix S7000

Fuji Digital Cameras

   


Fujifilm FinePix S7000 Review

Review Date: Aug 23, 2004

Category: Prosumer - Advanced Amateur

Fujifilm FinePix S7000

IMAGE QUALITY

The Fujifilm FinePix S7000 is a digital camera targeted to advanced amateur photographers. It has 6.3 effective megapixels resolution (12 megapixels output) on a 1/1.7 in. CCD image sensor.

The Super EBC Fujinon lens is a 35-210 mm (35mm format equivalent) f/2.8-8, 6x optical zoom. Note that the S7000 is labeled as 19x Zoom (6x optical, 3.2x digital), something that Fujifilm needs to work on correcting (after doing the right thing with effective megapixels resolution). There is also not the possibility to disable digital zoom, so pay attention to the zoom bar.

We find the overall image quality of the Fujifilm FinePix S7000 to be good.

6x Optical Zoom
35 mm 210 mm
Wide-angle 7.8mm
(35mm, 35mm equivalent)
Telephoto 46.8mm
(210mm, 35mm equivalent)

In the above pictures, we show the coverage for 35mm and 210mm. The S7000 provides medium wide-angle to medium telephoto coverage.

There still seems to be confusion among some about the megapixels resolution of the S7000 image sensor. The Super CCD HR used in the S7000 has 6.3 effective megapixels. It is able to output ("record" is still a little bit of semantics play on Fujifilm's part) 12.3 megapixels through interpolation. The important number here is 6.3 effective megapixels. Fujifilm is now reporting this number clearly and correctly in the specifications of all their digital cameras.

The S7000 can record images in RAW file format, but the RAW image is unfortunately saved interpolated 12M. It takes a relatively fast 5 sec. (from the time the green/orange light starts blinking to when it lights steady) to save a RAW image to memory card. The S7000 has an internal buffer and I am able to take 2 pictures one after the other before the camera freezes and starts writing to memory card. You don't have to wait for all the RAW images to finish writing; you can shoot the next picture after about 5 sec. (using the xD-Picture Card).

[The RAW file format records the image as captured by the camera's CCD with minimal processing, and allows you to precisely adjust white balance, contrast, sharpness and saturation in an image editing software without any loss of quality.]

Super Macro
Super Macro
8mm, Programmed Auto, Pattern, 1/210 sec., F4.5, ISO 200

The S7000 has two macro modes: Standard Macro at 10 cm (3.9 in.) and Super Macro as close as 1 cm (0.4 in.). At 1 cm in Super Macro mode, that's very very close. Do bear in mind that in practice it may be difficult to light your subject properly because the lens is so close to your subject that it may block the light or cast shadows. Though the area covered is comparable to the super macro on other digital cameras, for some reason, I somewhat expected to cover a tighter area since we were moving in so close to the subject. Otherwise, both macro modes are very good, and you are able to use the zoom in Standard Macro mode. I bemoan the lack of a swivel LCD monitor on the S7000 for macro shooting. The 2-sec. self-timer helps in eliminating camera shake.

Auto White Balance Indoors
AWB WB = Fluorescent 3
AWB WB = Fluorescent 3

As the above two pictures show, the auto white balance works very well indoors under fluorescent light, even better than using WB = Fluorescent 3. As expected, AWB also works very well in natural light. The S7000 allows you to set a Custom White Balance but it does not seem to be better than AWB (just a tad bit cooler).

ISO Comparisons
ISO 200
ISO 200
ISO 400 ISO 800
ISO 400 ISO 800 (3M)

The 100% crops above (area delimited by the white rectangle) demonstrate the noise at the available ISO Speeds of 200, 400 and 800. At ISO 200, noise is under control though visible in the images when viewed at original size. At ISO 400 and upward, noise becomes quite visible. (Note that the image records at only 3M at ISO 800.) ISO 200 (ISO 160 in Auto mode) is the lowest ISO possible on the S7000 and seems to account for the noisy images.

Chromatic Aberrations
CA

Fujifilm's Super EBC Fujinon lens does a good job at keeping CA under control. We found some CA at the corner delimited by the red square at top middle (reproduced at 100% crop at bottom right). In everyday shots, CA is very hard to find.

Long Shutter Speed
Long Shutter Speed
8mm, AE, Spot, 3 sec., F8, ISO 200
AWB, Super Macro, 10 sec. Self-Timer, Tripod Used

The S7000 allows the use of a long shutter speed of up to 15 sec., therefore allowing night photography. Note, though that you'll have to switch to Manual mode to be able to take advantage of that slow shutter speed. Generally, with CCD image sensors, noise usually becomes more prominent at slow shutter speeds.

For a cheap DIY backdrop, we use a black fuzzy sweater. Normal fluorescent light bulbs from the ceiling are the only source of illumination. We experiment a bit to obtain the optimum exposure, eventually settling on 3 sec. at F8, the high ISO 200 precluding the use of a longer exposure without the use of some kind of Neutral Density (ND) filter.

For those who like to use the movie mode, the image quality at 640x480 Motion JPEG (30 fps) with sound is quite impressive.

The last feature we will mention is the histogram. The histogram can be displayed live during Recording Mode (Single AF mode only). You can set the histogram to display permanently by pressing the info button (small hard-to-find button located on left side of camera body, just above the AF button) until the histogram displays. The histogram is invaluable to give an indication of under- and over-exposure (don't rely on the LCD/EVF since the brightness is adjustable and may be misleading).

The pictures in the Fujifilm FinePix S7000 Photo Gallery page provide a good sample of what the S7000 is capable of. I have provided samples at 800x600 pixels (compressed to Quality 60/100 in Photoshop Elements).

Most of the pictures were taken at Canada's Wonderland (12M) and Centre Island (6M).

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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