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The Fujifilm Finepix S2000HD one is a big surprise, with many attractive features — not least being the reasonable asking price of $399.
Basically, it’s a mini DSLR look-alike, nearly pocketable, with a 15x zoom lens, imaging to a CCD capable of acquiring 10.0 million pixels. In stills shooting, the camera uses an optical stabiliser; when shooting movies, a less desirable digital stabiliser is used.
Ten megapixels gives you access to a maximum image size of 3648×2736 pixels as well as 1920×1080 pixels for an HD ratio image; print sizes at these resolutions are, respectively, 41×31 cm and 22×12 cm at 225 dpi.
Then it gets really interesting, because this is the first Fujifilm camera with 16:9 HD video capability. Note: the video image is 1280×720 pixels at 30 fps, so it’s not Full High Def, but it’s still pretty impressive all the same to shoot big stills and HD video with the same stills camera. The only flaw in the picture is that the camera’s HD terminal is a proprietary one, so you have to buy an optional camera to component video cable to connect the TV set’s input.
The S2000HD has a continuous speed of up to 13.3 fps for a maximum run of 33 shots but only at the 2048×1536 pixel size; if you want 3648×2736 pictures, the burst rate falls to 1.1 fps for three images.
Like every camera on the market, or so it seems, the FinePix has a face detection mode which can detect up to 10 faces in the frame, adjusting focus and exposure, regardless of the background. The automatic red-eye removal feature then checks each detected face for red-eye and routinely corrects it.
There’s a new mode called zoom framing that should make the framing of a shot less of a nerve-racked challenge for the digital newbies. Tap the four way rocker and you’re presented with a series of cropping shapes; choose one and, when you fire the shot, the zoom automatically frames tighter. Just great!
Then there’s zoom bracketing: each time you hit the shutter the camera fires three shots at three differing image sizes. Should save you some image editing later.
And then the FinePix goes even further: it shoots two images in rapid succession — one with flash and one without — then saves both.
Surprisingly for such a camera in this price range, it shoots auto, Program AE, shutter priority as well as manual. There are also 13 scene modes, ranging from sport to fireworks to snow/beach.
In four seconds after power-up I was shooting my first shot, then follow-up shots were taken at about a second apart.
There was noticeable barrel distortion at the wide end of the zoom but minimal pincushion distortion at the tele end. An excellent performance for a camera at this price level.
The camera takes SD or SDHC cards … is Fujifilm’s support for the xD-Picture card faltering?
Quality: I felt the camera recorded colours quite naturally and with an appreciable lack of noise.
In so many respects this is a phenomenal camera — image size, lens power and HD video capability.
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