"Very nice camera"on by jnsmith47
Pros Very good for the money
Cons Not really a compact
Summary This camera has everything that a novice to an intermediate would want. The image stabilaztion program is vey nice as well. It allow's you to take nice crisp pictures. With the 10x zoom, you are getting a bargin at the current price. Just yesterday I shot well over 200 pictures without even a hiccup. The ease of use is very good as well as the layout on the camera itself. It is just a tad bulky but the picture quality I get is well worth the trade. I would encourage those who are looking for a good "point and shoot" to purchase this camera.
Cons Not exactly compact
Summary I find this camera to be very good. I researched seven other comparable cameras before choosing this one.
[ Finepix S700, Olympus Stylus 780, Canon Powershot A710 IS, Powershot S3 IS, Panasonic Lumix Dmc-F28, Sony CyberShot DSC-H2, and the Nikon Coolpix P5000 ]
I really liked the Nikon, but the Finepix S700 gave me everything that I wanted for a much cheaper price.This unit uses both the xD and sD memory card. Continuous shooting is at 1.4 fps, ISO is up to 1600, picture stabilization is solid, and it is lightweight. Shutter speed is at 1/1000 vs. 1/2000.
There is a dual shot mode that will take two consecutive pictures, with one press of the button. One will be without a flash, and the other will have a flash. You can then either keep them both or just the best one.
The iFlash is awesome. The camera can sense the surrounding light, and will flash if necessary with only the intensity needed to get a great picture. The pictures are beautiful. If you only point and shoot, you will like 90% to 95% of your pictures.
I would say that this camera is at the low end of the scale with regards to price (from free up to $1,000), and near the high end of the scale with regards to photography technology (powder flash up to U2 spy plane camera).
Pros 10x Optical Zoom, 60fps LCD and EVF, 60fps 320x240 video, 30fps 640x480 video, scene shooting, quick power-up, macro/super macro
Cons Digital Noise
Summary Despite the expected digital noise you find when zoomed in on your picture, the S700 is a wonderful camera. With 10x optical zoom, it reaches even the farthest points. With no lag in the EVF or LCD, thanks to the 60fps technology, you know what you're shooting exactly when you shoot it. FujiFilm's S700 also offers video mode in both 60fps (320x240) and 30fps (640x480) with accompanying audio. One important factor within the camera is the ability to choose a scene. This option allows the camera to make the necessary adjustments for you according to the preset scene. One scene you will be sure to use is Flower. Flower allows you to shoot in macro mode. Macro mode is also available in Auto as is Super Macro mode. Super macro allows you to come within 1 cm of the object and still maintain focus. Overall, this camera is one marvelous little point and shoot. Digital noise aside, the only thing that could be better would be a manual focus ring. Anyone wanting professional looking photographs and numerous options need look no further. You've struck gold.
Pros Offers a ton of shooting options if you are willing to learn how to use them, good price, compact lens, 200 + shots on 4 alkaline batteries, nice "training camera" before stepping up to DSLR
Cons "Auto" mode does not cover every shooting situation, not a true image stabilizer, indoor non flash lit shots can be disappointing, images can be "soft" at times
Summary O.K., here is the deal. I haven't purchased a new digital camera in about 8 years and I have been doing quite a bit of reading on other models out there. I had thought about the S6000fd, then the S5600, just about every camera in the Nikon D series and the Canon Rebels and it seems like no matter where I looked, just about every digital camera has its flaws. This wasn't helping my decision making. Then I saw this camera on Amazon for a little over two hundred bucks. I like the long zoom, the variety of scene modes, the fact that I have full manual control (when I actually learn to use it) and the fact that you can use 4AA batteries which is nice if you need to get up and shooting again quickly without spending the money on an expensive camera-specific rechargeable battery.
I also saw this camera as a way to learn how to take full manual shots playing around with lens speed, aperture, ISO speed, etc, without throwing down $400 or more on a DSLR, which I may or may not like.
I know that many of the point and shoots out there also offer full manual control, too, but I wanted something somewhat with the feel and look of a DSLR.
I see myself as being in a position that lots of other people might also be in when they want something better. Do you throw down the cash on something that might be a bit overwhelming and expensive (i.e. DSLR) or do you go a step up from a basic point and shoot?
Out of the box, the camera takes decent indoor photos with the flash. Indoors, without a flash, without appropriate light, the camera images show some pretty noticeable noise. For portraits of people indoors however, auto mode with a flash is fine.
Outdoors, whether it is people, nature, buildings, houses, etc. is where this camera shines. Macro images look awesome! I am taking shots of plants and flowers, without a tripod, using the super macro mode that look like they came out of a nature magazine. O.k. so that might be over-doing it but they look pretty darn good considering my lack of shooting experience.
I like this camera because you can really learn to use the manual settings on it in yes, as cnet says, a somewhat clunky or slow way. But for a person just learning how to dabble with manual settings, would find themselves pretty comfortable. Yes, I have played around with several of the Nikon D series cameras and to an amateur such as myself, I find them a bit daunting and a bit much to heft around for simple family shots or the occasional landscape shot. Yeah, I know that the D40 and D50 are out there, and they are considerably smaller than the D70 and D80, but they are way out of my budget.
I don't mind the menus this camera has as I play around with each of the shooting modes and I guess that I would rather have a menu to read then a small button and symbol to decipher on the back of my camera for each setting on the camera I want to change, as you would see on a full-size DSLR
I see the S700 design as being an excellent model to train on before stepping up to the DSLR. Also, the price was pretty enticing although the S5600 and S6000fd will be dropping down to the price of the S700 as time goes on.
In terms of actual usage, if you are willing to learn to use the scene modes and pre-programmed modes, and not be afraid to venture away from the "auto" setting once in a while, this camera produces some pretty spectacular shots, not to mention the handiness of the zoom lens. I know that most DSLR's right out of the box will take great shots while using "auto" mode but the fact that the S700 offers full manual control, a pretty simple interface and a price around $300 to $400 less than a DSLR makes this camera an enticing option. I see this camera as one I can grow with as I learn to take better pictures as I eventually move on to a DSLR.
Pros Great skin tone, usable high ISO
Cons User interface, slow focus and response times
Summary Photometry is what exposure systems are called. Panasonic Lumix? You've got to be kidding. Sure, it looks good on paper, but as soon as you take a few photos you realize how awful the noise and distortion are, even at low ISO. Since the reviewer is obviously not a photographer she doesn't understand the concept of higher shutter speeds and higher lense opening numbers are used to decrease the exposure (hence the DOWN arrow!). The focus limiting range feature is similar to those found on expensive Nikon and Canon professional lenses to reduce the "hunting" range. It is not a gimmick.
Yes, the S700 is slow and the slow shutter respone times especially in low light are definite drawbacks. When compared to the competition, though, the lens quality, the low image noise all the way up to ISO 800 and beyond and the fantastic skin tone are amazing. Sony and Panasonic could learn a great deal from Fuji about color and image processing. And it's time that cNet reviewers actually have some expertise in the products they review or just admit that they are reviewing.