Fujifilm FinePix S7000

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Fujifilm FinePix S7000

The S7000 utilizes Fujifilm's 4th Generation Super CCD HR with 6.3 million effective pixels and 12.3 million recorded pixels (4048x3040). The FinePix ...

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Review of "Fujifilm FinePix S7000"

published 22/10/2005 | GUMMO1471
Member since : 30/11/-0001
Reviews : 12
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Excellent
Pro Flexibility, Function, Features
Cons See review
very helpful
Picture Quality
Range & Quality of Features
Ease of Use
Durability
Reliability

"F.F.F............Fuji"

When Mrs GUMMO says that she doesn't want anything for Christmas it can mean only one thing; namely that what she wants is quite expensive, and that she daren't ask in case I say 'NO'.
This is exactly what happened at about this time last year, when I plucked up the courage to ask 'SHE who must be obeyed' about what she wanted. There then ensued a couple of weeks of dodging and manoeuvring by SHE, before she managed to catch me in the right disposition to drop the bombshell request.

"A New Camera".

Apparently, despite having had a 5MP digital camera bought for her not a full year previously, it wasn't 'camera-like enough'. This struck me as a very strange explanation, and it took me some time to ascertain that what SHE had meant was that she wanted an SLR-type system.
So, the hunt was on, with a few stipulations to throw the search into a wide degree of chaos. These were:

It had to look like a proper (SLR-Type) camera.
It had to take more pixels than her current camera.
It had to be able to be modified with different lenses/filters etc.

After much trawling through the assorted mail-order catalogues, and multitudinous trips around the local photographic supply shops in Doncaster, SHE finally announced that she had decided upon the Fujifilm Finepix S7000 Zoom.

It soon became obvious that a major reason for SHE's choice was the complete lack of stock in any of the normal haunts around the area. It is an inescapable law of shopping with my wife that, should she ever make a decision, the item in question will either be out of stock, discontinued or 'the last one in the shop' with 'only a little scratch'.

Finally, having travelled over two hundred miles in search of one of these particular cameras, I managed to pick up what was, at that time, seemingly the only one in the UK, somewhere near Nottingham. Admittedly, I could have probably bought a dozen online, but despite the terrifying ability of Mrs GUMMO to strike fear into the hearts of statues, SHE has quite small hands, and SLR-Type cameras tend to be a bit bulkier than the standard digital snapshot type. When I'm spending around £400 on a camera for SHE's use, I want to be certain that her dainty little talons can actually wrap themselves around the device properly, which means being able to handle the camera at some length, thus needing an offline store.

Assured that SHE could handle the machine, I bought it for her, and almost managed to get it out of the shop before SHE started to pester me to take her somewhere to try it out. Somewhat patiently, I thought, I suggested that we head home, and take the time to read the instructions, before we plunged headlong into breaking the machine. Reluctantly, SHE agreed.

And so, my journey into the world of F-stops and ISOs began.

THE KIT.
Inside the box, there are various bits of kit.
My suggestion to anyone buying this camera is to sort through these bits, identify them against the picture in the instruction book, and put aside the various parts for the shoulder strap (which is tricky to fit). I would also suggest that you attach the lens cap cover immediately, to avoid greasy finger prints or scratches on the lens.

If you have done as I suggested, you should be left with:
16 MB xD Picture card - enough to take 33 pictures at 1MP or 3 pictures at 12MP.
4 AA-size alkaline batteries - these go in the bottom of the camera, but I would advise the purchase of Ni-MH rechargeable batteries.
A/V cable - for direct connection to the TV
USB cable - for connection to a computer
CD-ROM - software for picture transfer.
Instruction manual - self explanatory
Camera.

Just to clear up the peripheral items quickly.
I have only used the A/V cable once. In short, you plug one end into the camera, and the other end (or two ends) into the TV, change the channel on the TV and look at your pictures or video. The quality of the picture naturally depends upon the resolution of the photo, the quality of the TV and the size of the screen. (Don't expect a masterpiece if the photo was shot at 1MP and you are trying to play it back on a ten-year-old 50 inch CRT screen).
The USB cable and CD-ROM, which are for use with a computer, are relatively obsolete nowadays, with the increasing number of desktop computers that have built-in card readers, and the easily accessible card reading devices for the normal laptop. I have never had cause to use these bits of kit, although I can see there value for someone out and about who does not have card slots (or adapters) on their laptop.

So, on to the camera itself.

The camera has an old-school look to it, setting it apart from the more usual silver rectangle of today's snapshot digital cameras. This means that it has a somewhat cumbersome and unwieldy appearance to it, which belies the truth of its handling comfort. It also means that it is heavier than its silver-slab rivals, although the extra weight is well distributed over the entire camera, giving a good balance in the hand.

The first thing you will notice about the camera itself is the lens (or sticky-out bit at the front), which moves in and out when the zoom button is pressed. Zoom is an important factor on a camera for most amateur photographers, and the S7000 has a 6x optical zoom with a further 3.2x digital zoom. For more professional photographers, there is the option with this camera to disable the built-in zoom facility and attach separate 55mm lenses, via an adapter ring (sold separately at about £25).

Above the lens housing, you will find the pop-up integral flash. Again, this will probably be sufficient for the average amateur, but the S7000 also has a 'hot-shoe' attachment built in, should the need for an external flash arise.

The next, obvious aspect about the camera is the LCD view-screen at the back. At 1.8 inches, there are cameras on the market with larger screens, but I have found that this size is perfectly adequate. Should you wish to go down an old-fashioned route for viewing your vista, there is also a rather good viewfinder, situated just above the screen which you can use.

So, you've identified the large parts of the camera, but just what are the buttons and dials.

Whereas it is true that the S7000 has more buttons than the Cadbury factory, the amateur photographer will probably only use a couple of them. My advice is to familiarise yourself with all the buttons, even if the intention is to not touch them.

The truth is, that with so many buttons, dials, knobs and switches, I could spend the rest of my life writing in great depth about their uses and relative merits. The fact of the matter is that, any amateur would be bored to death by the technical jargon, and the more experienced pros would be more interested in the specifications (which I am including at the end of the review). In short, I am not going to go into any great detail about these buttons. Except the MODE dial.

The S7000 is a truly adaptable, flexible camera which allows the user to vary just about everything. Thankfully, however, there is also the option to allow the camera itself (or its software) to do everything for you. This is taken care of by the MODE dial, on top of the camera.
The M setting is for manual control ie the user doing everything.
The A setting allows the user to vary the aperture, whilst the camera controls the rest.
Likewise, the S setting is for varying the shutter, leaving the rest of the parameters on automatic.
P, is the setting which allows you to select different, preset combinations of aperture and shutter speed.
Auto, is pretty much self-explanatory.
SP is for selecting the programmed settings for various conditions and types of photo, such as portraits of night scenes.
And finally, the movie option (designated by a picture of a little movie camera), which allows the user to record short bursts of video.

The only other setting on the MODE dial is the SET position, which allows access to the on-screen menu of the camera for setting things such as date and time etc.

For the normal, family photo-taker, the standard setting will always be AUTO, whereby all you need to do is point the camera and press the button. Simple.

Storage media.
The S7000 will accept both xD and Compact Flash II/Microdrive cards. The supplied 16Mb xD card will hold 33 pictures at 1MP or 3 pictures at 12MP. I would recommend buying a 1Gb (or larger) Compact Flash II card, which holds 2190 pictures at 1MP or 217 pictures at 12MP. This should be all the storage you need for a long time to come.

One word of caution, however. When I purchase a SanDisk 1GB CF II card for SHE, I found that the batteries wore down extremely quickly. This turned out to be a hardware fault with the particular batch of cameras that SHE's belonged to and was rectified, by Fuji, free of charge and very speedily.

Resolution.
This is a very confusing subject that very few amateur photographers seem to understand. The Fuji S7000 camera takes up to 12 million pixels, but compresses them into 6.3 million 'effective' pixels via software. This allows for larger pictures to be printed from the images stored on the camera. It does not mean that smaller images are going to have any better resolution.

Recently, my brother-in-law purchased an 8MP camera, and insists that it is better than the S7000. However much I tried to explain to him that a sheet of A4 paper will only take about 5MP print, he wouldn't listen.

Of course, if you only intend to print out 6x4 snapshots, then the lower settings will be perfectly adequate. In fact, you may even consider buying a cheaper, less professional camera.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS (amateurs look away now)
Effective Pixels 1/1.7-inch Super CCD HR
File Format DCF-compliant
Compressed: Exif Ver.2.2 JPEG
Uncompressed: CCD-RAW
Lens Super EBC Fujinon 6x Zoom, F2.8-F3.1
Focal Length 7.8mm-46.8mm
Focal Range Normal: 50cm to infinity
Macro: Approx 10cm to 80cm
Super Macro: Approx 1cm to 20cm
Shutter Speed 3 sec to 1/1000 sec
Aperture F2.8 to F8
Exposure Compensation -2 EV to +2 EV (13 steps)

THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL.
This booklet is, if you do decide to purchase the S7000, going to become your busom buddy. At 118 pages long, it is 'WAR and Peace' compared to other instruction books, but despite its length, it is easy to navigate your way through. Inside, it holds the secrets to many different tricks and techniques for great photograph taking, all written in simple, understandable English.
Truthfully, I would recommend that, before even picking up the camera itself, any new purchaser of the S7000 should spend at least a couple of hours reading, and trying to digest, the contents of this manual. It will be worth it.

And Finally……….
This is an opinion, and therefore it demands a conclusion.

Writing a review of a camera is always tricky, because people, on the whole, want to know whether it will take great photographs. The answer to that question, with regard to the S7000 is a resounding YES. However, in photography, the camera is only one quarter of the whole process. Without a good photographer and scene, the shot can easily be ruined, and without a good printer, no matter how good the other three-quarters of the process are, you will never produce a great picture.

This camera has the flexibility and functionality to allow truly great photographs to be taken with it. However, in order to use all the available power of the S7000, the user has to be either a very experienced amateur or a semi-professional. To these people, I whole heartedly recommend the Fuji S7000.
For the amateur snapshotter, whose sole need for a camera is to take quick pics of 'the kids', the S7000 is very advanced and could be intimidating. There is, of course, the AUTO setting which can be used, but at over £300, this camera is a waste of money unless you intend to utilise the features it offers.

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This review was read 1891 times and was rated at
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Comments on this review

  • icatsai published 29/11/2005
    Great review of a great camera. --- Arla x
  • bwanamdevu published 06/11/2005
    Really good and helpful review. I have the 5000 and am very pleased by it. Paul.
  • thingywhatsit published 01/11/2005
    That was a first rate review, and nothing anyone could add really.
  • Did you find this review interesting? Do you have any questions? Sign into your Ciao account to leave the author a comment. Log in

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Product Information : Fujifilm FinePix S7000

Manufacturer's product description

The S7000 utilizes Fujifilm's 4th Generation Super CCD HR with 6.3 million effective pixels and 12.3 million recorded pixels (4048x3040). The FinePix S7000 has a bright F2.8 Super EBC (Electron Beam Coating) Fujinon 6X (35-210mm) optical zoom lens with a 13-step aperture and high speed focusing. Up to 800 ISO at 1, 2, or 3 MegaPixels is possible with minimal electronic noise, and digital movies with sound at full VGA resolution (30 fps) is also possible. A new 235,000 pixel electronic viewfinder greatly improves viewfinder performance over previous models. Other features include: Dual media slots for xD Picture Card and MicroDrive, a manual focus/zooming adjustment lens ring, full manual exposure and aperture or shutter priority, AE scene modes, custom white balance, hot shoe mount. The S7000 supports CCD-RAW and JPEG file formats and connects to your computer via USB 2.

Product Details

Product Description: Fujifilm FinePix S7000 - digital camera, Fujifilm FinePix S7000 Zoom - digital camera

Product Type: Digital camera - compact

Memory Card Slot: CompactFlash Card, xD-Picture Card

Sensor Resolution: 6.3 Megapixel

Interpolated Resolution: 12.3 Megapixel

Lens System: 6 x zoom lens - 7.8 - 46.8 mm - f/2.8-3.1, 6 x zoom lens - f/2.8-8.0

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 50 cm

Digital Zoom: 3.2 x

Camera Flash: Pop-up flash

Viewfinder: Electronic - 0.44" - colour, Electronic - 0.44"

Display: LCD display - 1.8"

Supported Battery: 4 x AA alkaline battery ( included ), 4 x AA alkaline battery ( included ) ¦ 4 x AA NiMH rechargeable battery

AV Interfaces: Component video, Composite video

Dimensions (WxDxH): 12.1 cm x 9.7 cm x 8.2 cm, 12.2 cm x 9.7 cm x 8.1 cm

Weight: 0.5 kg

General

MPN: N074150A, S7000, FP-S7000, P10N074150A, N077910A, 40471204, 43860800, P10N077920A, N077920A, 46008

Product Type: Digital camera - compact

Sensor Resolution: 6.3 Megapixel / 12.3 Megapixel (interpolated), 6.3 Megapixel

Optical Sensor Type: Super CCD HR

Total Pixels: 6,630,000 pixels

Effective Sensor Resolution: 6,300,000 pixels

Interpolated Image Resolution: 12,305,920 pixels

Optical Sensor Size: 1/1.7"

Optical Zoom: 6 x

Digital Zoom: 3.2 x

Auto Focus: TTL contrast detection

Digital Video Format: AVI, AVI, MJPEG

Image Recording Format: JPEG, RAW

AV Interfaces: Component video, Composite video

Exposure & White Balance

Light Sensitivity: ISO 800, ISO 400, ISO 200, ISO 160, ISO 600

Exposure Metering: Evaluative, multi-segment, spot

Exposure Metering Zones: 64

Exposure Modes: Programme, bulb, automatic, manual, aperture-priority, shutter-priority

Shooting Programs: Landscape, portrait mode, night mode, sports mode

Special Effects: Black & White, chrome

White Balance: Custom, automatic, presets

White Balance Presets: Fine, incandescent, shade, fluorescent light (cool white), fluorescent light (daylight), fluorescent light (warm white)

Max Shutter Speed: 1/10000 sec

Min Shutter Speed: 15 sec

Exposure Compensation: ±2 EV range, in 1/3 EV steps

Auto Exposure Bracketing: 3 steps in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1 EV steps

Lens System

Type: 6 x zoom lens - 7.8 - 46.8 mm - f/2.8-3.1, 6 x zoom lens - f/2.8-8.0

Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera: 35 - 210mm

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 50 cm

Macro Focus Range: 1-80cm, 1-20cm

Zoom Adjustment: Motorised drive, manual

Features: Aspherical lens

Camera Flash

Camera Flash: Pop-up flash

Flash Modes: Fill-in mode, slow synchro, auto mode, flash OFF mode

Features: Flash +/- compensation

Effective Flash Range: 0.3 m - 8.5 m, 0.3 m - 8 m

Additional Features

Continuous Shooting Speed: 2 frames per second, 1 frame per second, 3.3 frames per second

Self Timer Delay: 10 sec, 2sec

Flash Terminal: Hot shoe

Additional Features: Audio recording, auto power save, date/time stamp, DPOF support, PictBridge support

Viewfinder

Viewfinder Type: Electronic

Viewfinder Colour Support: Colour

Viewfinder Diagonal Size: 0.44"

Viewfinder Resolution: 235,000 pixels

Field Coverage: 100%

Display

Type: 1.8" LCD display

Resolution: 118,000 pixels

Display Features: Built-in

Microphone

Microphone Operation Mode: Mono

Connections

Connector Type: 1 x USB ¦ 1 x composite video/audio output ¦ 1 x DC power input

Memory Card Slot: CompactFlash Card, xD-Picture Card

Software

Software: Drivers & Utilities, Apple QuickTime 5, ImageMixer VCD

Miscellaneous

Included Accessories: Lens cap, shoulder strap, USB cable, audio / video cable

Battery

Battery Type: AA

Details: 4 x AA alkaline battery ( included ), 4 x AA alkaline battery ( included ) ¦ 4 x AA NiMH rechargeable battery

Memory / Storage

Memory Card Slot: CompactFlash Card, xD-Picture Card

Supported Memory Cards: CompactFlash, xD-Picture Card

Included Memory Card: 16 MB xD

Image Storage: RAW 4048 x 3040 : 1 - with 16MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 4048 x 3040 : 3 - with 16MB card ¦ Normal JPEG 4048 x 3040 : 6 - with 16MB card ¦ JPEG 2848 x 2136 : 10 - with 16MB card ¦ Normal JPEG 2016 x 1512 : 20 - with 16MB card ¦ JPEG 1600 x 1200 : 25 - with 16MB card ¦ JPEG 1280 x 960 : 33 - with 16MB card

Video Capture: AVI - 640 x 480 - 30 fps - 13 sec - with 16MB card ¦ AVI - 320 x 240 - 30 fps - 26 sec - with 16MB card

Dimensions & Weight

Width: 12.1 cm, 12.2 cm

Depth: 9.7 cm

Height: 8.2 cm, 8.1 cm

Weight: 0.5 kg

Environmental Parameters

Min Operating Temperature: 0 °C

Max Operating Temperature: 40 °C

System Requirements for PC Connection

Operating System Support: MS Windows XP, MS Windows 2000, MS Windows ME, MS Windows 98, MS Windows 98 SE, Apple Mac OS 9.0 - 9.2, Apple Mac OS X 10.1.5 - 10.2.6

Peripheral Devices: USB port, SVGA monitor, CD-ROM Drive

System Requirements Details: Windows 98/98SE/2000/ME - Pentium - 200 MHz - 64 MB - 450 MB ¦ Windows XP - Pentium III - 800 MHz - 128 MB - 450 MB ¦ MacOS 9.0 - 9.2 - PowerPC G3 - 64 MB - 400 MB ¦ MacOS X 10.x - PowerPC G3 - 192 MB - 200 MB

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