Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd
Just two days after Panasonic unveiled the FZ18, Fujifilm unveiled an electronic viewfinder-based digicam that couples eight megapixels of resolution with an 18x optical zoom lens. The Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd has body styling reminiscent of a single-lens reflex digital camera, and uses a 1/2.35-inch CCD image sensor. The front of the Fujifilm S8000fd is dominated by the Fujinon Zoom-branded 18x optical zoom lens, which offers a 27mm to 486mm zoom range and an f/2.8 maximum aperture at wide-angle. With a zoom lens this powerful, image stabilization is a must-have and Fujifilm uses its Dual Image Stabilization system in the Fuji S8000fd, which includes both mechanical image stabilization and high ISO sensitivity/shutter speeds, to freeze camera shake and subject motion.
Other features of the Fujifilm S8000fd include a 2.5-inch LCD display with 230,000 pixel resolution, ISO sensitivity to 1,600 (or 6,400 at reduced resolution), a range of creativity-friendly options including both aperture- and shutter-priority, plus a full manual mode, and 13 scene modes to keep things approachable for the less experienced photographer. Fujifilm S8000fd images are stored in 58MB of built-in memory or on xD-Picture Card/SD/SDHC cards in JPEG format. There is no Raw file format on the Fuji FinePix S8000fd. Power for the FinePix S8000fd comes from four AA batteries, with disposable alkalines included in the product bundle. S8000 connectivity options are NTSC/PAL video and USB 2.0 Full Speed.
The Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd went on sale in September 2007, priced at about U.S. $400 — setting up a head-on battle with the same schedule and pricing as Panasonic’s camera.
Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd User Report
by Mike Pasini
Intro. 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 an 8.0 megapixel sensor. I had the Fujifilm and the Olympus here at the same time for review and my gallery shots are nearly identical to make comparisons between the two models even more fun.
Powered On. But not fully extended.
While I can’t speak for the Panasonic, the Olympus and Fujifilm models are so similar in specs and capabilities that it’s very hard to distinguish between them. In fact, if you look at the lenses, they’re identical, and most of the components are located in exactly the same place, though the overall shape is different. We wouldn’t be surprised if both were made by the same manufacturer. Whether that’s Olympus, Fujifilm, or a third party is tough to know.
Both have a very pleasing tactile grip but the Fujifilm S8000fd’s grip is larger with the Shutter button comfortably further forward. The Fujifilm S8000fd is certainly elegant and nicely designed, but the Olympus has a more understated elegance (less chrome), though the Shutter button on the SP-560 is pushed back too far for me.
Performance tests were a bit misleading, too. On the face of it, the Olympus has faster autofocus lag, but in practice you almost always use pre-focus with a long zoom (to see what you’re doing) and there the Fujifilm S8000fd was slightly more responsive.
On those two factors alone, I gravitated more toward the Fujifilm S8000fd and the color it delivered certainly didn’t make me regret it. There are certainly differences between these three similar ultra long zooms. Let’s explore what the Fujifilm S8000fd offers.
First Impressions. I’ve never been quite so amused by a lens cap before. This one has a cutout on its rim to avoid the flash housing on the body. But the cutout also guarantees the company name will appear in the correct orientation on the cap. My first experiences with the Fujifilm S8000fd suggested that quite a few features had been subjected to such scrutiny!
The Fujifilm S8000fd is a handsome little machine with a better grip than some dSLRs and the Shutter button in just the right place. But the battery door hinge (on the short edge of the cover) is a pin floating in a slot (so the cover can slide open) rather than a hole, which makes it hard to align when you close it. And the memory card goes in only at an angle (another oddity), whether it’s an xD card or an SD card.