Fujifilm FinePix S7000 Review
Date: Aug 23, 2004
- Advanced Amateur
Jul 29, 2004 - Here's what I receive in the box:
AA Alkaline Batteries
USB and A/V Cables
Cap and Retaining String
Instruction Manuals: QuickStart; Owner's Manual
Software CD: Software for FinePix SX v4.1d
Fujifilm FinePix S7000 review nearly
did not get done because I was having such a good
time taking pictures with the S7000 that I forgot
about reporting the results! It's one of the most
intuitive digital camera I've used; it gets out
of the way, allowing the photographer to concentrate
on the picture.
Even though it's not a compact camera, its all-black
body and quiet operation make it an unobtrusive
camera to use in street photography. Small things,
such as a well-placed shutter release button,
an excellent electronic viewfinder (EVF), and
intuitive controls make this camera enjoyable
The S7000 takes four AA Alkaline or rechargeale
NiMH batteries. It comes with 4 AA Alkaline batteries
and no recharger. The batteries last quite a long
time (in Single AF mode), probably due to the
LCD monitor automatically turning off after only
30 sec. of inactivity (though there is Power Save
at 2 min and 5 min to control power off, this
auto off LCD after 30 sec. seems to be out of
the control of the photographer). A slight tap
on the shutter release button switches the LCD
I sorely miss a swivel LCD monitor on the S7000.
Without it, macro shots are very challenging.
The S7000 accepts dual memory cards: xD-Picture
card and CF cards, including the IBM micro drive.
Interestingly, Fujifilm specifies that the S7000
uses xD-Picture card and the IBM Microdrive. No
mention is made of CompactFlash memory cards per
se, though I used a CF I for this review.
The great thing about having 2 memory cards in
your camera is that you can effectively double
the amount of pictures you can take without having
to physically switch cards in mid process. I only
wish Fujifilm had provided a dedicated button
to do that without having to go into Setup menu.
Both the battery compartment (the S7000 uses 4
AA batteries) and the memory card compartment
open wide for easy access.
There is no CF card supplied with the S7000.
I recommend you purchase at least a 512MB CF card,
or as large a memory card as you can afford. For
example, a 256MB CF card will allow you to record
about 51 12M (output) Fine images (4048x3040 pixels)
or 166 6M images or 19 RAW images.
There are three light metering modes: Multi,
Spot and Average. The S7000's metering is very
responsive, so much so that I find the Spot mode
(my favorite, usually) tends to overexpose highlights.
So for scenes that combine bright and dark areas,
be careful when using Spot mode. I find that on
the S7000, the Multi mode is perfect for most
situations, and reserve Spot mode for super macro
A histogram can be displayed live in Record mode
(press the INFO button on the left side of the
body), but only when you are using Single AF.
It is also available in Playback mode in all AF
everyone leaves the top of the slide at the same
shouldn't they also all arrive at the bottom at
the same time?
17mm, Programmed Auto, Spot, 1/480 sec., F7, and
The S7000's weak points are:
- somewhat noisier images than average in this
- a painfully slow Playback
- no B&W high-gain EVF/LCD display in extreme
low-light situations (also no AF Assist Illuminator)
A couple of Whys:
- Why is SETUP accessed on the Mode Dial instead
of via the MENU button?
- Why is RAW set in SETUP, and not thru the
Photo mode (f), i.e. part of Image Quality (where
it seems to make more sense)?
- Ergonomic & intuitive
- Very fast AF in good light; not much problem
focusing in low-light
- Excellent EVF (though useless in extreme low-light)
- One of the best menu system
With Windows XP, you don't need to install any
software to transfer images from camera to PC.
Just plug the USB cable into your camera and PC
USB socket, switch the S7000 to Playback Mode,
and turn the camera on. The S7000 is automatically
configured as an external drive.
There is a difference in writing time and transfer
time between using CF I memory card or the xD-Picture
It took me about 8 sec. to transfer a 12M Fine
image from the camera to my PC (P4, 1.60 GHz,
512MB RAM). The S7000 comes with high-speed USB
2.0, though my PC only has USB 1.0 ports, and
so you will get faster results with a high-speed
Transfer Time (sec.)
(USB 1.0 port
instead of USB 2.0 port)
A converted TIff file (4048x3040) saves at about
36MB; A RAW file (4048x3040) saves at about 12.8MB;
a 12M Fine image (4048x3040) saves at about 4.5MB;
and a 6M image (2848x2136) saves at about 1.6MB.
If you intend to print very large prints, use
the 12M Fine image quality; otherwise, the 6M
image quality is perhaps the best choice, though
the output is severely compressed. So, try them
out both yourself to decide which one you prefer.
It takes about 2 min to convert a RAW file to
TIFF using the RAW File Converter LE. The latter
does not provide any functionality other than
the RAW to TIFF conversion, which kinds of defeat
the purpose of using RAW. We recommend that you
use your own RAW conversion software or purchase
the optional RAW File Converter EX.
Here are approximate writing time when saving
images to my CF type I memory card (timed from
when the shutter is depressed to when the green/orange
light stops blinking and lights steady). However,
thanks to the S7000's internal buffer, you won't
have to wait the full time to take another shot;
the number in parentheses is the number of shots
I was able to fire off one after another before
the camera locked up writing to memory card:
4 (CF=5, xD="no lag")
||2 (no lag)
At 12M Fine image quality, I was able to take
5 images in rapid succession using the CF I card;
thereafter, I can take an image after every 3
sec. Using the xD-Picture Card, I can keep taking
pictures. In RAW file format, I can take 2 images
in rapid succession before the camera locks up
writing to memory card; thereafter, I can take
an image after every 8 sec. (5 sec. for xD-Picture
Card). At 6M image quality, there is no shutter
lag or writing lag, i.e. you can take as many
shots as you want one after another. Power up
is fast at about 3 sec.
I love the FinePixViewer software because all
the information is contained in one screen. Each
image's filename is clearly visible and you do
not need to launch another window to view the
EXIF info. There is some valuable screen real
estate wasted along the rightmost column with
the "Register Now" ad. You can do basic
image editing, re: brightness, saturation, hue,
The S7000 Instruction Manual is well illustrated
and written, though the print font is very small,
and the paper is cheap newsprint.
Other features I have not touched upon: Final
5 saves the last 5 shots, Top 5 saves the first
5 shots, and Long Continuous allows up to 40 continuous
shots at intervals as short as 1 sec.
All in all, the Fujifilm FinePix S7000
is truly one of the most enjoyable prosumer digital
camera I've used. Some cameras just seem to be
like that and I find the S7000 to be especially
ergonomic, intuitive, and so simple to use --
almost point-and-shoot simple! And the manual
features are there, a simple button press away.
The EVF is one of the best (though Fujifilm needs
to add extreme low-light capability to it) and
the large viewfinder makes a huge difference in
how easy it is to compose and concentrate on the
images you want to take.