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The Fuji FinePix S1000fd is very SLR-like in appearance and the added bulk of the battery-holder/grip does give it an assured feeling in your hands. Of course, this can be a disadvantage, and if you want a camera that you can just slip in-and-out of your pocket, then maybe a slimmer compact should be considered.
The 12x optical zoom is excellent and it equates to 33-396mm in 35mm terms - and if this isn't enough, there is a 5.7x digital zoom feature too.
The menus are friendly and easy to navigate, and there are helpful explanatory prompts that appear on thew LCD screen when the mode-dial setting is changed.
There are 15 preset scenes to choose from, each setting the camera to its optimum settings for the given scenario, but on top of this, the camera can be used like an SLR in Shutter Priority or Aperture Priotity modes, giving the user much more control over the image then many compact cameras, which insist on doing everything for you.
If I have one criticism of the S100fd, it is that it seems very slow compared to other cameras I've used. Every time you press a button or change a menu setting, there is a momentary lag that started to get on my nerves after a while.
The Panorama Mode is a nice feature and there are a wide range of resolution choices, some of which are enforced by the scene mode that is selected. Video is also available - 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 with mono sound.
Image Stabilization is available via the scene selection menu but is only digital, there is no Sensor Shift system that works across the scene spectrum.
Changing and charging individual AA batteries is a little tedious and I would have liked a dedicated Li-On battery with a charger but I do like the fact that the camera can accommodate XD, SD and SDHC memory cards - the latter of which, at 16GB, can store around 3200 highest-resolution/lowest-compression images.
There are several options available for continuous shooting but be aware that some of these will restrict the resolution of your pictures.
Also, there are a number of feature that may appeal to a more professionally minded user and that you might not expect to find on a digital compact, such as a histogram and a full range of ISO options - again, only available in certain modes/scenes.
In summary, this is an excellent camera for learning the basics of photography because you can start of with everything automated and then gradually take control of different aspects yourself as your confidnce grows. Of course, you could do that with an entry-level SLR, but not for this price. It is also nice to have a camera that produces quality pictures but is small and convenient enough to take to parties or on holiday.
40x Optical Zoom(24mm-960mm)** and Powerful Optical Image Stabilization- Capable of ... more
super-macro image at ranges as close as 1cm.- Lens shift image stabilization ensures that even hand-held shots are free from blur.16M BSI-CMOS High Image Quality and Fast autofocus, Quick response.16M BSI-CMOS sensor supports for sensitivities as high as ISO 12800, the high-sensitivity sensor makes even dark scenes bright for high-quality images. With autofocus speed of 0.3 sec.***, start-up time of 1.0 sec., a 0.5 sec. interval between shots and a continuous shooting speed of 10fps at full resolution (max.10 frames).FULL HD MOVIE with Stereo sound (1080i/60fps)Movie recording is as easy as taking pictures, with a dedicated Recording button to start recording instantly. The high resolution, 1080i movie capture at 60fps and slow-motion capture at 480fps*4 is superb when played back on HD TV screens.High Performance Shooting Function- The FinePix S8200 boast electronic viewfinders, making it easier to frame subjects and check focus in bright daylight conditions.- A zoom control is placed on the side of the lens barrel, letting you adjust zoom with your left hand while the index finger of your right hand rests on the shutter button, ready to take the shot.Easy Upload and SearchingShare pictures with friends and family, tagging pictures and movies for upload to FACEBOOK and YouTube(tm) right within your camera.
This water resistant bag includes padded interior to give maximum protection to your ... more
camera & camcorder Adjustable shoulder strap with additional padding for comfort when carrying for an extended period of time Includes an internal waterproof pocket for large accessories including car chargers & SD Cards Three padded divider is included for adjusted fitting for your SLR Camera, & additional lenses. This allows for the camera to have an attached lens up to 120mm in Length as well as fit in an additional lenses up to 160mm in length.