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on March 20, 2012
Sold my Nikon P500 on Ebay. It was a great camera but the 36X zoom was impossible to control without a tripod. I photograph birds in central Pennsylvania and needed a camera that was capable of taking quick shots while on the move. I had a Panasonic Lumix with an 18X zoom but wanted something a little stronger. The Fuji S4200 meets all of my requirements. I love the simplicity of the contols as well as their locations. Finally got the perfect shot of a tufted titmouse that was nearly fifty yards away. The only things I can gripe about are the location of the card slot which is inside the battery compartment and the strap holding lugs which are too small for a heavy padded camera strap. Did I mention the price which was low enough to counter the problems?
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on July 26, 2012
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on October 2, 2012
We were shopping for an upgrade to your typical digital snapshot camera and settled on this at reasonable cost. It has loads of features we wanted such as continuous shooting, easily switches between the eyepiece and rear screen, the body is large enough with enough heft to it that you know you're holding something, even with my huge hands it was comfortable to hold and controls are easily manipulated.

Anyone that is familiar with the basics of using a real film camera should find most controls and settings fairly intuitive with no need to spend a week reading the manual.

Did I mention that this camera takes really gorgeous pictures for something in its price range? A couple of examples.... we wanted to get some shots of our bull terrier ( Spud McKenzie type dog) in full stride, running with all 4 paws off of the ground, this camera nailed it! In continuous mode you can shoot I believe up to 40 pics in seconds and then go pick out your fav on your computer to portray exactly the look that you wanted. The lense captures detail that will amaze you! A simple snapshot taken of our dog from 10 ft away can be cropped and blown up on the home pc to the point where you can clearly see 1 single hair laying across the corner of his eye in the photo.

Another example... while sitting out on the patio, a squirrel ran across our back fence about 60 ft away, we grabbed 2 quick snapshots as he ran with no zooming on the lense... later that day while perusing the pics we'd shot that morning on the pc, cropped and zoomed in on the squirrel and the detail that emerged was shocking in its clarity! Where the naked eye saw a gray blob running on the fence the camera caught up close and personal details of individual markings on his face and body even down to his cheek bone structure and other fine facial details.

Other reviews have cited the fact that there is no readily available power source other than onboard battery power to download from the camera to your pc, easily solved by taking the memory card and inserting in your pc! We have literally taken hundreds of pics so far on the original set of batteries.

2 minor improvements that we'd recommend would be the addition of a hand grip carry strap to enable you to walk around with the camera poised in your hand to grab a quick pic or 2 and also add a carrying case of some sort
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on April 2, 2012
Just got this camera today, and have been running around the house taking photos in every condition that I can find. It works great and the 14mp is a great improvement from my 5mp and it works in almost any light. Now the video is not all that great the HD says you can only record a little over 9 minutes and the picture is not too steady without a tripod. I like to mount my camera on the dash of my car and take videos while I am driving, I guess for that I will have to go back to my old camcorder. The 24X zoom works great for still photos, I can read license plates from almost 1/4 mile away. For still photos, I would recommend this camera.
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on July 29, 2012
I got this camera as a birthday gift (though after much research of other cameras/brands). This is a fantastic camera, it has the look and quality of the professional cameras, but is easy to use. It does not feel cheap, and is a great size.

The 24X zoom is wonderful, and does not make a picture blurry.

You can use the LCD screen for pictures, or the view finder, which can be very helpful on sunny days.

One of my favorite shooting modes, is the natural light with flash. It takes two pictures, one without and one with flash. It takes a gorgeous photo of person/object in the foreground even with background lighting.

The panorama shooting mode is a lot of fun, and the pictures come out great, especially for landscape shots. If you take a panorama shot of something close-up the middle of the picture is a bit fish-eyed.

The burst shooting is so much fun! It took me a little while to find it (up next to the capture button), you can hold down the capture button while in this mode and take some amazing motion shots.

I am going to be in Ireland for the next four months, and I am so excited to see how this camera performs. If I had to share something I didn't like about the camera, it would be that it is not a compact pocket travel size. But to be honest, I don't see that as being a problem.

I would recommend this camera to anyone who wants a great quality camera and photos, but doesn't want to have to take a photography class to be able to use it.
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on September 29, 2012
I love this camera. I bought it for a trip to several national parks and wanted to capture all of the wildlife as well as the beautiful natural landscapes. It did that wonderfully!

The FujiFilm FinePix S4200 is substantial enough that it does not feel cheap but it is not too heavy or bulky. The texturized grip is perfect for making sure you have the camera securely in hand. And I love that is uses AA batteries because I could easily replace them at the convenience stores while in the national parks.

A previous reviewer said this camera takes blurry photos. It does - but only if you don't follow the directions. When using the telephoto lens, you have to press the button only half way down so it can focus. Then, press the button all the way down to take the picture. If you do that, the pictures are absolutely wonderful and crisp. Just take 2 minutes to read the directions and you'll be fine.

Finally, the ability to take both panaramic views and HD movies is fabulous. I have hundreds of awesome pictures from my trip and can't wait to use the FinePix S4200 for other events.
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on June 16, 2012
Great camera! Takes great pictures. I dropped it onto the asphalt and it still works fine. Very impressed with reliability and durability. Fujifilm fan for life now.
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on June 23, 2012
Note: Please take this review with a grain (or tablespoon) of salt. I am a complete novice to photography, both in technique and in hardware. With that said, let's begin.

Prior to purchasing this camera, I tried to do my due diligence in researching it, as well as its competitors. My target was a feature-packed bridge/"superzoom" camera with a few advanced/manual options, and built-in flash. The desired price point was $200 or less. When all was said and done, it appeared to be a great choice.

The Good:
This camera offered a laundry list of features and shooting modes, built-in. Panorama, backlit portrait, night portrait, etc; a lot of nice presets for someone not particularly knowledgeable or skilled in photography. Add in a popup flash, 24x zoom, image stabilization, and other goodies, and you have the makings of a very nice device.

The Bad:
Even though it boasted a 16 megapixel resolution, the images produced were very grainy. This was true at different zoom distances, lighting conditions, and image capture stability situations (free hand, tripod, standing, kneeling, etc). Of course with the sensor being CCD (as opposed to CMOS), low light performance was tragic, at best. Even fiddling with settings (white balance, ISO, fstop, etc) made virtually no difference when it came to capturing a crisp, clear image.

The Ugly, and Unforgivable:
There was no flash, period. The built-in flash on this unit was the popup kind. Unlike most cameras, however, opening the flash was manual, rather than automatic (i.e. when the shutter button is pressed). Oddly enough, the flash would never fire, even in modes where it could be used. I discovered via the internet and the extended user's manual (read: not the little mini-manual that comes in the box) that not all shooting modes employ the flash. With the flash option set to auto, it would not fire (no matter how dark the area was where I shot. Furthermore, even with the flash mode set to fire on every shot, it would never do so. The last straw was, even where you set the camera so it had no choice but to use the flash, it seemed to disable the shutter! In short: flash on, shutter doesn't work; flash off, shutter works fine. After doing some more research after encountering this issue, I discovered that a number of others had the exact same experience. Wish I had known that sooner...

Again, please take this review with a grain of salt. I am fully aware that there exists a possibility that my difficulties with this camera could have been purely the result of my own ineptitude. However, shortly after returning this item, I picked up another camera of a different brand (which I will not name here, as I'm not reviewing that device or trying to steer buyers toward it). I unboxed it, popped in some batteries and a memory card, and took some pictures. Cleaner pictures, less grain and image noise, and the kicker: the flash just plain worked! That said, I'm inclined to believe that it was the product that couldn't cut the mustard. However, for the possibility that my potential misuse may have resulted in poor performance, I gave it two stars instead of one.
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on September 20, 2012
This has been bugging me for some time. This camera has a flash! I've read so many user reviews (and even a CNET review on another similar camera) that chastised it or a lack of flash. This camera has a pop-up flash that is so bright it takes clear pictures in near total darkness (of course at the point you don't know what you are seeing through lcd viewfinder...but still, lets put the flash debate to bed.

EDIT: Have since played with the camera more and found that certain modes do not employ flash, and you can't force it to (limited but not included to baby mode (flash isn't great for babies) and panoramic mode where a flash would produce inconsistencies with lighting within the separate frames). The manual suggests you use "SR Auto" mode. I don't like that mode because it determines which preset (sport, sunset, night, fireworks, etc...) to use based on surroundings. I just go traditional auto mode. Flash fires without fail.

Overall this is a great camera for the money. Remember though, it is a point and shoot. It looks like a fancy SLR camera but is not, so it shouldn't be knocked for quality compared to higher tiered cameras.

The only cons I can think of are more nuisances than anything: 1) if you turn the camera on with the lens cap still on, you have to remove the cap and then turn camera off and then back on and 2) forgetting to open the flash, realizing after you've taken the picture that you needed it.

This camera is fine for family photos and casual use. For that, it's amazing really. Don't expect to get by with it as your main camera for professional use. Enough with f/stops and everything, it takes great pictures for a point and shoot. With that being said, it may be useful to play around with the manual settings. A task I have yet to undertake.
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on May 14, 2012
The camera is not an entry-level DSLR, but contains enough features that it will give you that feeling. It has more advanced features than a standard point and shoot. I like the fact that I can make manual adjustments for more complex shots. The focus takes some getting used to but for $200, it was a good purchase. I use it for fashion shoots and I get very good stills, but have not tried the video since I already use a High Definition camcorder for our video work. Since I have had it a very short time, will give better review when I have had time to play with it. BTW, very sturdy built like the more expensive SLR cameras that are out there.
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