Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Fujifilm S8000 vs S700, S9600 or F40: Great zoom for SLR-like, great sensor for Compact

Fujifilm S8000 vs S700Fuji Film digital camera guide can surprise any photographer with its features distribution. The small FinePix F40 has 1/1.6” Fujifilm SuperCCD HR sensor, whereas the cool 18x Fujifilm F8000 is satisfied with 1/2.35” ordinary chip. The groovy S9600 (with SuperCCD HR sensor) has not only a low light, still an infrared shooting advantage (in case of FinePix IS-1, look at this post), but it is content without an optical image stabilizer. As for Fujifilm digital SLR – the IS Pro and S5 Pro, there is 6MP 23 x 15.5 mm sensor, but with 12.3 million sensor photo detectors.
Finepix S8000 key features
I have already written about S8000 in my previous post. Like the Olympus SP-560 UZ and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18, the Fujifilm S8000fd is an ultra-long zoom with an 18x optical zoom range and a small 1/2.35 instead of 1/2.5” 8.0-megapixel sensor. However, Fujfilm has added a lot of value to the ultra long zoom with the FinePix S8000. As a result, the S8000fd with a little bigger sensor, very quick pre-focus shutter lag, and comfortable grip and especially with Fujinon’s Wide Angle Optical Zoom lens, looks prettier than the Olympus SP 560 and the Panasonic FZ18. Still taking into consideration my 18-x scepsis to using this telescope in a digital camera, I am trying to compare it with 10-x zoom cameras as the Fujifilm S9600 or the Fujifilm S5700. Let’s run through its advantages.
Fujifilm S8000 features
- 8-megapixel 1/2.35 " CCD
- 18x optical zoom Fujinon 27-486mm 35mm equivalent lens
- Max Aperture f/2.8 at wide-angle, f/4.5 a telephoto
- 5.1x digital zoom
- EVF viewfinder and 2.5-inch LCD with 230,000 pixels
- Shutter speeds from 4 seconds to 1/2,000 second
- Dual Image Stabilization uses a CCD shift mechanism and high sensitivity
- Compact body with ergonomic grip
- Programmed AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual exposure modes
- Scene modes: Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night, Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Museum, Party, Flower, Text, Auction
- Fujifilm's Face detection technology adjust focus and exposure
- Ultra High Sensitivity ISO from 64 to 6,400
- 58MB internal memory
- Dual memory card formats SDHC/SD/xD support
- Focusing modes include Normal (to 2.3 feet), Macro (to 0.3 feet) and Super Macro (to four inches)
- Continuous shooting options include Top 3, Long Period, Top 15 High Speed, and Top 15 Ultra High Speed
- White balance options include Auto, Preset (Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White), Fluorescent light (Cool White), Incandescent light), and Custom
- Live histogram
- USB Full Speed interface
- Four AA batteries for power
Fujifilm S8000 pros and cons
Pros:
- Powerful 18x optical zoom
- Dual Image Stabilization system with optical and digital image stabilization
- 1/2.35” 8MP sensor
- Fast Fujifilm face detection technology also sets exposure and flash
- High resolution 2.5-inch LCD
- Sharp and clear electronic viewfinder
- Natural Light and Natural Light with Flash shooting modes
- Two Scene mode options on the Mode dial with user-settable defaults
- Short pre-focus shutter lag
- Good Super Macro mode
- Excellent low light focusing without assist lamp
- Good battery life from AA batteries
Cons:
- High distortion and chromatic aberration as a result of the 18-x long-zoom lens, which is a little higher than average
- Corners are soft at telephoto
- Noisy images above ISO 400, blurred by heavy noise reduction
- No RAW mode
- Stiff control buttons
- Wobbly battery compartment door is hard to close
- MMC card is not supported
- High-speed burst modes record only reduced resolution images
- Warm and pinkish indoors auto white balance
- Poor printed results at mid to high ISO with oversaturated color
Fujifilm S700 / S5700 key features
The Fujifilm FinePix S700 / S5700 is the cheapest long-zoom digital camera model, and has the same features and options as the previous Fujifilm S5600. So not surprisingly it has many of the same controls. Its features include dual media slots (Secure Digital / MultiMediaCard and xD-Picture Card), 27MB internal memory, a 0.24" electronic viewfinder with a high 230,000-pixel resolution, and a 2.5" LCD display with the same resolution. In comparison with the S8000, the Fujifilm S700 has a smaller sensor size and does not have an optical image stabilizer. With regard to using a long 10-x zoom lens, this feature would be not superfluous. However, what do you want from $180’s camera.
FujiFilm S5700 / S700 features
- 7.1 mega pixels 1/2.5” sensor
- 10-x optical zoom 38-380mm F3.5 - F13.6 / 7 Fujinon lens
- 2.5” 230.000 pixels LCD
- Shutter speeds from 1 seconds to 1/1,000 second
- 27 MB internal memory
- 640 x 480, 30 fps movie mode
- xD Picture Card
- Weight (inc. batteries) 406 g (14.3 oz)
- Dimensions 106 x 76 x 81 mm (4.2 x 3 x 3.2 in)
- AA (4) batteries
Fujifilm S700 pros and cons
Pros:
- Not bad photo quality, low noise through ISO 400
- Good value for the price ($180-200)
- 10X optical zoom
- Solid, well-build body, fantastic handling
- Large 2.5" LCD display with a high resolution and a fluid frame rate and good visibility
- Good EVF 230,000 pixels with fast refresh rate 60fps
- AF-assist lamp, good (but slow) low light focusing
- Dual xD/SD memory card slot
- Full manual controls
- 640 x 480 30 fps movie mode
- Can use optical zoom and digital image stabilization in movie mode
- Histogram on manual record mode and play
- Macro and super-macro settings are very good
- Great battery life - 600 shots on a charge; uses AA batteries
Cons:
Fujifilm S9600- Some corner blurriness, blown highlights
- Purple fringing is evident in nearly every shot, and at its worst in any images that are even vaguely "contrast"
- Trouble with Redeye correction
- Lens is slow at the wide-angle
- No optical image stabilizer
- Disappointing continuous shooting mode
- Sluggish shot-to-shot and image playback speed
- Poorly implemented manual focus feature
- Small electronic viewfinder
- Plastic tripod mount
- No USB 2.0 High Speed support
Conclusion
Of course, it is a bad idea to compare these SLR-like cameras. With their prices at $320-350 for the S8000 and $180-200 for the S700, with their 18-x instead of 10-x zoom lenses, they are at different camera levels. However, there is one more thing (first is the mfr) which unites the Fujifilm S8000 and the S700. These two are an amazing bargain in comparison with their SLR-like camera levels. Let the S8000 have a little smaller sensor and a little better lens, than the Olympus SP-560 or the Panasonic FZ18. Nevertheless, this 'a little' makes the Fujifilm S8000 as the best 18-x zoom digital camera. For more details look through Compare Fujifilm S8000, Olympus SP550, Panasonic FZ18 - nothing to S9100. Let the Fujifilm S700 have no optical image stabilizer. The great and expensive Fuji’s SLR-like camera – S9600 / IS-1 does not have it too. Instead, it has the same as Canon Powershot S5 or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 1/2.5” sensor for its funny $180. As for 10-x zoom instead of 12-x, it is not such a big difference.
Apropos, the FujiFilm F40fd with its large sensor, great image quality, good small body and attractive price is a bargain too. Special thanks for FujiFilm.
As for another SLR-like cameras, look through: Compare digital SLR-like cameras: from Canon S5, Olympus SP 560 and Sony H3, H9 to Panasonic FZ18 and Fujifilm S8000.

8 comments:

Alvaro Lever said...

Iam very confused between a popular Canon S3is or a goodlooking S8000fd, prices are similar...viewing photo samples at flickr i can say that the s8000 fd is very impressive, but Canon S3 have excellent ratings among especialists...

Can you help me please???

fototramp said...

To Alvaro
If you don’t need an 18-x zoom, it is better to look at the Canon S3. As an oldest model, it has a cheaper price. However, for better picture quality it is good to pay attention to the Fujifilm S9600.

Alvaro Lever said...

Yep, agree, but the 9600 is kinda away from my budget...i think that i hate noise at low light conditions...the s8000 is better than S3?...wide angular looks fine also...

Still confused, thanks

fototramp said...

Yes, the Fujifilm S8000 is better, but just a little (8-megapixel 1/2.35 " CCD instead of 1/2.35"). Maybe it's better to look through some not expensive SLRs, such as Olympus E330, E400 or Canon Rebel XT.

Jimmy said...

What do you think about the new Fujifilm FinePix S8100? This prosumer model sits between the consumer-oriented convenience of the pocket digital camera and the professional specs of DSLR cameras. The Fuji S8100 is closer to a pro level camera in performance than the typical compact digital camera, and is still cheaper and more convenient than a full-blown DSLR camera.

Dmitry said...

Hello!

Please help me a little bit if you have time!

I got my first digital camera (and it was Canon PowerShot A610) two years ago. It is ok and produces good images.

Now I've decided to look around and see what the digital industry has to offer today.

The first thing I came upon was Olympus SP-560 UZ. It looked like a great bargain to me. Really, the wide angle which I have been badly missing with my A610 and a superb zoom level!!!

However upon looking at sample photos scattered around the web, I noticed they were not as sharp and vivid in color as I got used to get with my Canon camera. So I read some more articles (and found your site, btw) and thought: ok, maybe x18 zoom is a little bit too much. You can't have everything working great in one box.

So I kept on browsing the web looking primarily for wide angles. Found FujiFilm s9600 again featuring both cool wide angle abilities and x10 zoom. However, sample pictures looked boring again compared to those produced by Canon cameras. And the camera itself was released two years ago meaning why should I buy a camera released two years ago today when there is so much innovating stuff available?

So… I am frustrated. The Canon doesn’t want to produce wide angle cameras. I’m sure its SX100 does great pictures and its lens is great too, but the minimal focus length I can get with it is 36mm. Some of my friends bought entry levels SLRs like Canon EOS 350D and are happy. I’m not sure if I want a SLR. After all, I’m rather a point-and-shooter and the idea of changing lens every time I switch from portraits to scenery scares me.

Should I wait a year or two until Canon releases a point-and-shooter wide angle camera? And what if it’s not going to do so in the nearest 10 years?

Or should I buy an entry level SLR and forget about zoom levels higher than 3?

What do you say?

Anonymous said...

you can try the new canon s5, which is quite new camra (and you don't have to be afraid to change the lences). but i realy don't understand why do you say that other cameras pictures are not as good as your old canon. you just have to pick the right mode on the dslr camera (of any kind),something you can't do with your old camera, and you will see that pictures will come much better. by the way, i already saw some dslr cameras, and i got impressed from the fuji s8000. my brother has an old fuji dslr camera (only 4 mega pixel!!) and he's very pleased with it.
and something else: it's only 300-400$. i think you will be able to survive after you will "waste" the
money! enjoy your new camera!

neil said...

Previously I owned a Fuji S7000 which produces stunning results. The S8000 has most of the 'wants' I had of the 7000 incorporated. The 18x zoom is tremendous, the stabiliser is great, 8MP are very useful, intelligent flash really shows you what can be done. Add to that superb optics, red eye reduction, face recognition and you have a very competitive camera.

dsi r4