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Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD@DASHING THING REVIEW

11 Jul
image of Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD


The Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD features an SLR-like body that’s dominated by a powerful 15x optical zoom lens that offers a 27.6mm-equivalent wide-angle, and a useful 414mm-equivalent telephoto. Behind this lens sits a 1/2.3 inch CCD image sensor with 10 megapixel resolution, mounted on a movable platter that allows for sensor-shift type image stabilization. The Fuji FinePix’s rear panel includes both a 2.7-inch LCD display with 230,000 dots of resolution, and an electronic viewfinder that’s based around a 0.2-inch, 200,000 dot ferroelectric LCD. The advantage of FLCDs over other types is twofold — they offer higher refresh rates, and also can yield reduced power consumption since with the exception of backlighting, they draw power only while changing the status of a pixel.

The Fujifilm S2000HD is described by the company as its first to offer “full High-Definition compatibility.” The S2000HD has HD video output capabilities — at least, if you purchase an optional HD-S2 Accessory Kit, the precise specifics of which weren’t available at press time; although we do know it includes a remote control which can also be used to operate the camera when shooting images, not just in playback mode. The camera is also capable of recording 16:9 aspect ratio videos and still images at 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution, as well as 16:9 still images at 3,648 x 2,056 pixels. ISO sensitivity ranges up to a maximum of ISO 1,600 equivalent at full resolution (3,200 max at a reduced five megapixel resolution).

Befitting its SLR-like styling, the Fuji S2000HD offers a good range of manual controls — including the ability to shoot in shutter-priority mode or full manual, as well as manual control of focus, white balance and ISO sensitivity. When controlled automatically, focusing modes include Area, Multi, Center, or Face Detection — this last being capable of detecting up to ten faces in a scene. Other handy features include automatic red-eye removal linked to the face detection system, 13 scene modes that give some control over the look of images without the need to understand shutter speeds, apertures and the like, and a high-speed burst shooting mode that allows an impressive 6.8 frames per second at reduced five-megapixel resolution, or a whopping 13.5 fps at three megapixels.

The Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD stores its images on SD or SDHC cards or in 58MB of built-in memory, and draws power from four AA batteries. Available from September 2008 with pricing of about $300, the Fuji FinePix S2000HD comes with disposable alkaline batteries in the product bundle — so you’ll want to be sure to buy some rechargeables with it.

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD User Report

by Mike Pasini

Intro. The Fujifilm S2000HD is a compact long zoom using Fujifilm’s very comfortable mini-dSLR form factor. With above-average performance specs and a very enticing price, it’s a little short on features. But its greatest failing is in image quality.

Front View. The lens is retracted but I left the cap off.

Detail was obscured even at low ISOs and color was streaky and inaccurate. Highlights were blown on almost every shot I took. And as ISO went up, the problems just got worse.

Design. The S2000HD is designed to be carried not tucked away in a pocket or purse. I have no quarrel with that because a camera like this is more a sidekick than a piece of jewelry. You take it with you to use and you want it available to use.

Its black body in the shape of a small dSLR is imposing (like you mean business) but not an imposition (too heavy to handle). It’s actually much more compact than it appears in isolated product shots, maybe half the size of a compact dSLR like the Canon Rebel XSi.

Rear View. Nice large LCD with controls all handy.

In fact, it’s a dead ringer for the 18x zoom S8000fd — except it’s stylishly all black, which also reduces the risk of reflections.

Despite its size, the grip isn’t miniature, extended far out from the right side of the body to accommodate any size hand. It’s a well-sculpted grip, too. You’ll find your forefinger falling just where it should — on the Shutter button — as you wrap your hand around it. You can even get to the Power switch with a little twist of your forefinger. It isn’t comfortable, but it can be done.

The rest of the top deck has the popup flash, the large Mode dial and two buttons. The Intelligent Face Detection/Red-Eye Removal button is furthest forward and the Bust mode button just behind it.

Top Panel. A familiar Fujifilm design.

The left side of the camera body holds the SD card compartment with a well-designed cover you slide toward the back of the camera to unlock before it swings open on a metal hinge with a spring. It may seem a little larger than it has to be, but that just makes it easier to manage.

On the opposite side of the camera is the flash popup button, the speaker, and, covered by a small rubber flap, the AV out and HD out ports. Fujifilm includes an AV cable but the proprietary HD connector is optional.

The front of the S2000HD is almost all glass. The big lens dominates, but if you look closely in the top right corner, you’ll find the microphone. There’s also a AF-assist illuminator on the body between the lens and the grip and on the grip itself is a remote control receiver. The remote is not included; instead it is supplied with the optional HD cable.

Flash. The popup flash ready for action.

Underneath is the battery compartment for four AAs built into the grip and the tripod socket. It was a little hard to open and close the battery door, as it was on the S8000fd.

The back of the Fujifilm S2000HD is the business end, populated with the viewfinder, the LCD, the button to switch between them, and the controls. There’s a Selector button surrounded by a four-way navigator ring which is surrounded by four buttons. The Playback button is top left, the Photo mode button (which accesses lots of goodies when you’re shooting) is top right, EV is bottom right, and Display/Back is bottom left.

Fujifilm supplies a good quality shoulder strap with the S2000HD but my preference for a camera this size is to use a wrist strap and carry the camera in a holster. Either approach works well.

The lens glass is so large it’s not practical to incorporate a lens cover so Fujifilm supplies a cover shaped like large plastic cup that you tether to the strap or eyelet.

Grip. Nicely textured and just the right size.

Because it’s a 15x zoom, an optical viewfinder is impractical too. Instead the 0.02-inch electronic viewfinder provides 200K pixels with about 97 percent coverage when shooting (and 100 percent on playback). The EVF is surprisingly handy. I almost always preferred to use it when shooting outdoors when the sun made the LCD difficult to use. But there is no dioptric adjustment.

The lens covers quite a range, the 35mm equivalent of a 27.6-414mm zoom. That’s a 15x range, superseded only by the monster 18x and 20x zooms that cost over twice as much. At wide-angle the biggest aperture available is f/3.5 and the smallest f/7. When the barrel extends for telephoto, the largest aperture is f/5.4 and the smallest f/10.8.

Fujifilm uses a CCD-shift type of optical image stabilization to minimize the effects of camera shake both at long telephoto lengths and in low-light conditions.

Modes. There’s a curious omission in the S2000HD’s shooting modes. For me, it’s a deal breaker because it’s the most useful mode of all, the mode many photographers prefer to use. It’s Aperture Priority mode. Program AE, Shutter Priority, and Manual modes are all there but Aperture Priority is missing. So if you like to control depth of field, you’ll have to resort to Program AE or Manual mode. The reason for the absence of Aperture mode is that there are only two apertures available. At wide angle, those settings are f/3.5 and f/7; this is more common among pocket cameras with very narrow depths-of-field, much less common on a camera with a large, long lens. Consider it another strike against the Fujifilm S2000HD.

Controls. Right where you expect to find them.

Controlling the shutter speed in Shutter Priority is just a little confusing. The S2000HD doesn’t have a command dial or a joystick. Instead, you use the EV button. But instead of using the Left/Right buttons to change EV, you use the Up/Down buttons to select the shutter speed.

In Manual mode, where EV itself is non-functional, you use the Left/Right buttons to switch between shutter speed and aperture.

Custom settings allow you to store the F-mode settings for ISO, Quality, and FinePix Color; the Shooting menu settings for Photometry, White Balance, High-Speed Shooting, Focusing, AF mode, Sharpness, Flash, Bracketing, Dual IS mode; the Setup menu settings for Image Display, AF Illuminator, Digital Zoom and EVF/LCD mode; and other settings for burst mode, Intelligent Face Detection, instant zoom, Macro mode, exposure compensation, flash mode, display type (EVF/LCD) and indicators/framing guides/post-shot assist window.

Scene modes include the primary ones on the Mode dial itself: Picture Stabilization (Anti-Blur), Natural Light, Natural Light & With Flash, Zoom Bracketing, and Soft Portrait.

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Posted by on July 11, 2011 in cameras

 

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