Customer Reviews: Fujifilm FinePix S8200 16.2MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Black) (OLD MODEL)
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I have been a loyal Canon shooter since the days of film SLRs over 20 years ago. In the past decade I have bought two Canon 'super zoom' cameras: the original PowerShot S1 in 2004 and the PowerShot S5 in 2008. Lately I'm itchy to get another super-zoom camera to replace the S5, because its 12x zoom no longer considered 'super' by today's standard. Naturally my first choice is another Canon PowerShot camera, either the PowerShot SX50 or the PowerShot SX500. After comparison, however, I decided to 'jump ship' and go with this Fujifilm FinePix S8200 instead. Here are my reasons why:

- The Fujifilm S8200 is powered by four AA batteries. I prefer this design because I can use a set of Sanyo eneloop Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries in it, and keep another set as backup. In case of emergency, I can even use disposable alkaline batteries to power the camera. Early models in the Canon PowerShot Pro series (S1 to S10) were all powered by AA batteries. But latest models are using proprietary lithium-ion rechargeable battery packs. That means I have to buy another battery pack as backup, and also need to bring yet another dedicated battery charger for my trips.

- The Canon SX500 (which is priced similarly) has a big disadvantage in that it is missing the EVF (electronic view finder). Using EVF on the S8200 makes it easier to shoot under bright sunlight, and it helps to hold the camera steady when shooting at super zoom.

- The Canon SX50 has an EVF and offers a longer zoom range (50X vs. 40x). But it is also priced 50% more than the Fujifilm S8200.

After playing with the S8200 for a few days, I'm very happy with my choice. For shooting under daylight, the image quality is good enough for most situations. Of course, the image quality at low-light cannot compare to that of a digital SLR camera, such as my Canon EOS Rebel T1i. This is to be expected given the tiny image sensor used in a camera this size (It's the law of physics: smaller sensor pixel area means worse signal-to-noise ratio). For low-light situation, I prefer to fix the ISO at 1600, and save in 'Small' (4MP) image size.

Some other observations:
- The zoom lens of the S8200 is physically much longer than that of the S5. See the pictures I uploaded to 'Customer Images' section for size comparison.
- The S8200's lens makes louder noise than the S5 while zooming (the latter advertises "UltraSonic" on the lens)
- The focusing is NOT maintained while zooming. This is the same problem I have with S5. In contrast, my Canon EF-S 17-85mm Image Stabilized USM SLR Lens does maintain focusing while zooming, but that lens is 2x the price of this camera.
- The image stabilization mechanism works quite well. Note that both Canon and Fujifilm cameras use optical image stabilization which works equally well across zoom range. Other cameras (such as the Olympus SP-800UZ) that use 'sensor-shift' mechanism do not work well at high zoom.

I have no problems migrating from my old Canon S5 to the new Fujifilm S8200. Most of the controls are either identical, or very simple to figure out. Basically I just pick up the new camera, set it to 'P' (programmed auto) and started shooting. On the other hand, there are still a lot of new features on the S8200 that I have yet to take advantage of. For examples:
- Rapid shot of 10 frames in one second
- Automatically capture 360-degree panorama
- Shoot video in high-speed to playback in slow-motion, and so on.
So maybe one of these days, I'll actually get around to reading the user manual...
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on May 10, 2013
This is my third Fuji camera, and I love the brand. This particular camera is loaded with lots of features, from special filters to a 40xzoom. And as always, Fuji cameras are user friendly. I especially love the double zoom switch, one on top of the camera and a rocker style switch on the lens barrel, so you can use it right or left handed. The picture quality is awesome, and the menu is easy to navigate. I'm an advanced amatuer photographer, having over 40 years of experience with film and digital, and I have to say this is one of my favorite cameras.
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on August 7, 2013
July 31, 2013
I am trying out a Fuji 8200 and a Nikon p520 -- the Nikon's nearest competitor would be the Canon SX50 and both of these cameras are twice the money of the Fuji S8200 -- And guess what? I think the Fuji S8200 can compete right along of them. I am not a pro, far from it, but I am a consumer, sometime beach visitor, family reunion, grandpa, etc. kind of guy using a camera for the occasional sunset and kids running around -- yeah, close up facials too. Anyway, in the hands of a novice like me the Fuji is the big winner. I know, I know, the true camera buffs will be throwing fruit at me, but it is the real world I live in and I do not have the fancy equipment to test these thing, only my own physical attributes, as weak as they are, help me make the choices I make. Look at it like this - how many times have you research, and research then bought the recommended product with Consumers Report's stamp of approval only to have the very same 5 star product fail you? Never? Then you are not a true consumer. The rest of you know of what I speak. Okay, so here are my reasons and my findings, minus the expert opinion - and often it is just an opinion.
The Bad (cons) first:
The Video Zoom can be tricky. The image will break up as it tries to keep up with you moving (me) the camera wildly around form one subject or animal to another. Stable shooting, leaning on top of a post, or car hood (how has time to set up a clunky tripod? The images once stable are great. Also, the zoom motor is recorded - definitely do not like that, it is noisy and hard to ignore. Solution - do your zooming before you record. I know it is fun to zoom in and out, but save your batteries. Guess what? The Nikon zoom is a wonder. It is quiet as can be and will not appear on the sound track of your videos. It also seems to handle the fast movements and focusing better.
My next biggest gripe for the Fuji is the tiny viewfinder, not as big a dime, and the image is so hard to frame and you feel like you are guessing a lot, but the pics once upload look great - update, after 3 days: Later this announce dissipated as I became more accustomed to the viewing images through it and framing the shot I wanted, still, couldn't it be a little bigger? The Nikon P520 and the Canon SX50 the same is true -- tiny viewfinders and I found the Nikon the most irritating for some reason and it made the Fuji seem better, but I have no reason why, they seem to be the same size. Images coming out of the Nikon were crisp (sharp) but the colors seemed washed out a bit, the greens not so green and dry grasses (shooting some Elk in a Field) nearly invisible or faded out. The Fuji seemed to burst with color, you could see the individual strands of grass and the various shades of green just popped off the screen of my Laptop. I tried different settings but a pro would have to explain this to me, I could not see the reason why the much more expensive Nikon appeared to be weaker in this area - after all, it is the pictures we are after, right. Perhaps, on some kind of photo analyzer the Nikon would prove to be the more accurate photo but when you put the two, same shots, together, under the exact same conditions of the exact same Elk - well, what can I say, the Fuji S8200 creamed the Nikon in my eyes. The Fuji seemed easier to navigate the outer buttons and menu control, being slightly larger on the Fuji, except for the record button -- the placement is fine on the Fuji and I have gotten used to it, but I found myself searching for it in my mad panic to get something on video -- the Nikon, however, has the record button is in a sweet spot and easy on easy off in such a natural position you have to love it. The Fuji is a bit bigger than the Nikon and this would explain the somewhat larger control buttons. The sx50 Cannon falls somewhere in between, for size. I have never used the canon, only played with it at the display table.
The on-off switch of the Fuji is a simple pull (slide) button, easy to find and use. The Nikon has a sunken push button that might give you problems is you are wearing gloves, but it has a neat feature, when it is on and LED light that lights up around the button so you can see if it is on or off.
In the beginning I honestly tried to keep talking myself into the Nikon because of all the positives the pro photo picture takers give it. After all, more money means better, tight? Plus, I do like the compact, smaller feeling of the Nikon. But in practical, side by side use, by a grandpa novice the Fuji wins and I find myself grabbing for the Fuji first.
From What I can See:
Fuji S8200 - faster start up, really quick compared to the Nikon\Zoom seem faster
Shoots just as good in low light --
Shoot HDR - for improved picture definition --
Shoots 3D pictures -
The camera bag with the Nikon is practically useless - maybe just for storing the camera
The camera bag that comes with the Fuji is practical and useful - the camera can be carried in a ready to retrieve and shoot, it has a good cover flap with Velcro fastener for quick closure and retrieval, also enough storage for extra batteries and SD cards. I guess the Nikon, in being smaller, they were thinking smaller?
I found the design excellent and after a couple of days of shooting on the beach and off the pier at New, Port Oregon, I am falling in love with this camera - Fuji S8200, that is. It has the coolest Panoramic feature that I have never seen before. First the Panoramic setting is right on top of the camera on the selector wheel, just click and shoot. Set the selector on Panoramic and press the snap button and release and begin panning around in a circle - it does it automatically. You can do a 120 degree shot or a 180, or 360, very nice.
Pricing: Either the Nikon and Canon are way over priced or there is something terribly wrong with the Fuji and I just have not found it yet -- maybe the lens will fall out after a 1000 pictures? Maybe, however, it is the Fuji that is fairly priced and it is Nikon and Canon that are trying to --- make money? Fine, I'm not against making money, but one camera is $230 and the other two are $400 plus?
Battery Powered: The Fuji uses AA batteries as its power source and if you spend $9 at Bi-Mart, or Wal-Mart you can get a charger and four Nimh batteries that the manual says will shoot 500 pics -- every bit as good as the Nikon Lithium-ion battery pack -- but if you spent the extra dough and get a charge with the Lithium recharge batters the manual says it jumps to 700 pics which beats both the Nikon and the Canon in power savings. UPDATE: I bought a RayOvac NiMh recharge kit, came with four batteries too, for the $9 I had mentioned before. After trying them out, well, the low battery light keeps coming on after a few shots, but I have ignored this for the past couple of days shooting. It seems the after a few shots and some video the batter low signal comes on. I shut the camera off and a few minutes later it seems to recover and I continue shooting. Two days not and I am on the same batteries, and I have shot at least 200 pictures and 6 or more videos and zoom, zoom, zoom - the low battery light still comes on after a few shot but keeps recovering. I think it may be due to the capacity of these cheap batteries may be lower than what is actually required. But, they are working. I am scouting out Amazon and have found some Lithium Batteries and Charger I will order with at least 2800 mh - Amazon, here I come again, no shipping charges, you have to love it. I think the NiMh I have may only be 1,100 or 1,400 mh and look as I might I cannot find anywhere on these RayoVacs the mh levels - some kind of trade secret, I guess, or they are just embarrassed to say - but, after two days of low battery warnings I am still taking pictures.
The Manual: The manual that come with this Fuji is excellent. The Starter mini manual is definitely a Quick Starter - the real manual is on the disk and is about 130 pages. It is loaded with info about this camera and its features. Funny thing, about the Software, another reviewer said they did not like the fact you had to use their software to access you images? This was coming from someone passing themselves off as semi-pro photographer, too? This is not true at all, and I think most of us having used or not used the manufactures software know this. The Images can be load straight from the SD card to your PC or Laptop and you can use any photo software you want. You are not restricted as the other review suggested. I have owned 6 digital cameras and have not like the photo software that came with any of them. In fact I hardly ever use any of the photo software at all. Film correcting, for me, takes place on the spot, retouching is old hat and most cameras, like this Fuji will do on the spot editing, even cropping and red eye. If you want more then go for the DSLR type of camera. I hear the Nikons are really good - I did try out the Nikon P3000, but I wanted more lens ($200+) and a macro lens, and a bag of filters and --- well, you get the idea. I have all of this in the Fuji as does the Nikon and Canon SX50.
After several days of use:
The Fuji S8200 has a neat feature - located on top of the camera is a round, selector dial, and on this dial is something called the SRAuto, also where the Panoramic selection is on the same dial. The SRauto setting selects the shooting situation for you - do not confuse this with Auto, which is good for us novices, too, but this setting goes a step further and actually moves to the setting for the condition you are shooting automatically. For example, a bee lands on a flower and you hustle to get set up in Macro for a close up - bee flies off - with a DSLR you have to crack out another lens - with the Nikon and Canon you have to find the Macro setting - with the Fuji you just zoom in or move in and take the picture. With the SRAuto set, you are automatically set into the macro mode just by going for the shot, incredible - not absolutely perfect, but close and more often than not. Does it work? You bet it works. How do they do it? Beats me, but it does work. You are taking pictures of flowers and you look up and realize how beautiful the mountains are, you point the camera at the mountains and it automatically reset to the settings for shooting distant mountains.
This camera also has a "Features select" call the Adv setting on the selector wheel, and from this setting you can go crazy. Super Low Light shooting, 3D pictures and a whole range of other types of shots.
I have only begun to explore what this camera will do. If, however, you want to be the total master over your domain (God's creation, really), and you thirst for full creative license, then go buy a Nikon 7000, for over a $1,200 (on Sale), or maybe a Nikon 5100, then buy some expensive lenses to switch in and out for the particular purpose you are looking for. I would advise the pro photographer to get one of these cameras to shoot pictures with while their assistant is setting up their Pro camera for that once in a life time shot. Oh, look, a butterfly, look at that bird and those clouds, and that lizard on a rock - hey, assistant, have you finished setting me up yet?
As for me, grandpa shooting snotty nosed little grand kids, the occasional sunset, and playing like the pro photographer and getting some really great shots, this camera might be the one for you it is turning out fine for me. I have set the Nikon aside and will return it, as per the return policy Cost Co offers, with no hard feeling - I bought the Fuji at Cost Co also and see the price at Amazon to be compatible with them. If, however, you want the Nikon then by all means, buy from Amazon and save nearly $80.
I promise to update this review if the Lens falls out, or some other event, proving you pay for what you get. So far this Fuji S8200 is proving to be a reliable and well built camera with fantastic features and abilities beyond the norm. Love it. Okay, Fuji, where is my check? Only kidding, I really am a retired retail clerk and grandpa with real world experience.

UPDATE - 09/10/2013: After taking many hundreds of wedding pictures -- we traveled to Bend Oregon to attend two weddings. This camera preformed as expected -- great. Still, while the view finder was a life saver in the bright, high desert sun, if you know Bend in the summer, the view finder was a real pain. Really small and hard to see through. I felt like I was guessing a lot but it did help get me on the shot I wanted but I could not tell if it was going to be a great shot, a clear shot, until I could review it later. This has become such and issue with me, because I wear glasses, that I coughed real hard and upgraded to a Canon Rebel T3i, which I love -- then I better love it at twice the price of the Fuji. The Zoom of the Fuji was so great I had to then buy another lens for the Canon so I could enjoy the same kind of power. It helped that I found this Canon marked down, for some reason. Wal-Mart apparently did not want to carry this camera anymore and marked it down to $450, which is strange, as my home store Wal-Mart still sells this camera for $699. This Canon came with the 18-55mm lens and works great and is about equal to a 3-4x zoom. I went on line and found the 75-300mm canon lens for $100 and just got it the other day, and love it. I have nothing bad to say about the Canon Rebel T3i -- the view finder is marvelous (think Billy Crystal), just marvelous my dear. What a nice camera, pretty easy to use and under stand. Still, the Fuji was only $240, and believe me, it is a lot of camera for the money and the pictures? Well, I have everyone from the weddings requesting copies and I see some of them showing up online -- everyone was taking pictures, mostly with phone cams. I only wish I had had this Canon then. Peace, Dan
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on September 11, 2013
I bought the Nikon COOLPIX L820 16mp but wasn't happy that it didn't have a view finder. So, I purchased the Fujifilm Finepix S8200 and did side by side (picture/picture and video by video) comparisons.

I think you should know I wanted the Fujifilm to win, it's just so much more fun to has a programmable mode dial, fast picture shooting is a little quicker than the Nikon's, easier to do 360 images, view finder (although a little cheap) is a nice plus, 40x zoom, feels better in your hand etc..

Image, Video- The Nikon was the clear winner for image and video quality no matter what the ISO/light, by leaps, pictures are clear, video quality and frame rate are excellent and on par with a dedicated video cam. In both comparisons the Fujifilm had more noise and colors were either washed out or too dark (I tried adjusting the settings and the gains were minimal).

Audio - Nikon wins. The audio from the Nikon is clear and audio capture/output is on par with a video cam.

Low light (no flash) - In low light there was no comparison, the Nikon's ability to brighten and color with significantly less noise than the Fujifilm is borderline amazing. I took a photo of my dog at the entrance of our apartment at night with only ambient light behind me, the Nikon produced detail I couldn't see with the naked eye and Fujifilm could even render the my dog.

Low Light (w flash) - The Nikon wins. Pictures are quick to take, the Flash is accurate, colors are rich. The Fujifilm does a good job but when compared to the Nikon, the images look washed out and grainy.

Image Stabilization - Nikon wins. Both set to 30x zoom and the Nikon made taking photos a breeze while the Fujifilm required significantly more concentration for a steady hand.

30x Zoom v 40x Zoom - This is deceptive because one would think at full zoom you would see more detail from the Fujifilm, not the case. When both cameras were set to 30x zoom, the Nikon was the clear winner, it's shots are significantly clearer with better colors. I did a 40x and 30x zoom comparison whereby I increased the Nikon's captured image to match the scale of the Fujifilm's captured image at 40x. Results: Fujifilm's 40x could not better Nikon's 30x for detail...big surprise.

SD write speed - Both are fast in good light. In low light the Fuji is a little quicker but the image capture is not the same quality.

Battery Life - Both have excellent battery life. For the Nikon, I finally ran out of juice after 400 or so images and 12 mins of video.

Bottom line Nikon Coolpix L820 - The Nikon is just a very good camera in all respects and excellent value.
Bottom Line Fujifilm FP S8200 - The Fujifilm S8200 is OK. It came close to matching the Nikon's image quality when outdoors in bright conditions. Ultimately, you get a little more than what you pay for.

I'm glad I compared the two and now totally OK with not having a view finder. ; )
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on April 30, 2013
This camera replaces an old finePix s5100 I've had and enjoyed for years. I am very happy with this new camera. It feels good and appears to be as well built as my s5100 which had a 10x zoom.

A bit disappointed in the 46X zoom, which was a main reason for the purchase. Zooms are pretty cool up to about 10 or 15X but then the image only seems to 'enlarge' a small amount for all that extra zoom. But is nice is the other end, without the zoom (equals a 24mm lens) which is sort of wide angle. I like that!

There are 10 shooting modes with different options in each. The most simple is a easy point and shoot mode.
There are 2 zoom buttons. You can set one to work faster or slower than the primary zoom. It is nice to slowly zoom in.
What help convince to buy another finepix camera is that they use 4 AA batteries - easy and cheap to find and buy and carry a spare set. No need to recharge some funny battery that probably will not recharge in a few years - or might not even be available. Also I like looking through a view finder rather than a screen. Maybe I'm just old, or my vision isn't that good, but having both options is a must have.

For me the $300 cost was a lot of money, but I see similar cameras selling for $600 or $800 and I don;t really see what all that extra money buys - maybe just a classic camera brand name.

After setting all my personal options etc. I found pictures turn out to be about 7.5 megs and that my 32g memory card can take about 2000-2500 pictures. Great numbers, especially since I use most of the pictures on a web site where I reduce the picture size to about 100 meg.

good camera!
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on September 7, 2013
I travel to Europe on occasion and I have always wanted a camera that has a wide aperture for low light conditions and shallow depth of field, a long lens to eliminate the changing of lenses for those objects that one can't readily get close to and a F2.9 28mm wide angle lens for those interior or close image opportunities. This camera offers all of that with the longest telephoto that I have ever encountered on a PS. In addition - the zoom feature is extremely fast and quiet. When combined with a 16.2 meg processor that provides tremendous resolution - I could not ask for more for the price. There are many more features to the camera, however, just about all camera manufactures are offering similar within the same price range.
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on October 2, 2013
I was in the mode of replacing a $350 Nikon camera which had been dropped on a very hard surface. Several weeks were taken researching different camera brands on line and with users. During the process the sight was found relating to the marketing of the Fujifilm FinePix S8200 16.2 Digital Camera. With further research, several different price ranges were found. I read all reviews I could find relating to this camera. Then I visited with one of my son-in-laws who is a real Professional Photographer. All specifications were discussed. Knowing my camera skills and future usage, he provided a positive word relating to this camera. When I share the favored price found, he assured me that it was a very good price for a camera of that quality. Having used this camera for about a month, all the negatives listed in the reviews have not surfaced. I am very pleased at its flash-less low light results. I was very pleased finding the power zoom 40X. With the absents of fingers from my left hand, the locations of camera controls and design of the main cabinet frame enables a comfortable one hand operation. The neck strap provides camera drop security for a hand handicapped individual. I am looking forward to many years of enjoyable service with this camera.
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on March 18, 2013
This review is an initial impression from a long-time Kodak EasyShare user. Every camera I have owned had its strengths, its weaknesses, and its places that improve with a learning curve. The FinePix S8200 is no exception.

The fast menu displays and easily pushed navigation are sure to be assets once I figure out the basic layout of my new camera. But for now, I am lost. I cannot read and understand what is going on before the screen changes. Here are my other pros and cons:

* I got some nice shots with good color and detail!
* The bigger size is not as awkward / heavy as I was afraid it would be.
* You can leave the lens-cap on when you are not taking pictures. (to review / set the menus)
* No bright/blinding autofocus light. With my previous cameras, a bright autofocus light made it hard to sneak pictures of kids and pets just being themselves. And family members with sensitive eyes would complain, even if I turned off the flash.

* Lighting - Pictures taken in low light come out much darker than I expected. Pictures taken in bright light are more washed out than expected. And the sunset picture I took ... I have no idea how the sky showed so dark!
* Focus - Pictures taken indoors with auto and party setting did not come out as clear as I expected. Hopefully this will get better as I learn to work with the camera.
* Colors - Regular shots do not have as much contrast as I am used to. The pop color doesn't look right. And the partial color under advanced filters is buggy. I took a picture set to show red of my daughter holding a large red heart. EVERYTHING showed up gray. Took another picture of some pink liquid (still set on red) and about half of it showed as pink/red. Took another (yellow) of my daughter in karate class. Her yellow hair tie and yellow belt were highlighted, but so was a portion of her brown hair.
* Doesn't have all the fun/easily accessible features as I am used to.
* I don't like the 1080 interlaced video. I prefer 1080p for crisper views when I click pause. Works fine at 720p.

Overall, I still give this camera a 4-star rating. I think it will be excellent when used in the right conditions. I just have to figure out what those conditions are.
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on July 14, 2013
Great camera, amazing zoom, fair video capture (the high speed capture is useless since it records at 240p). And the auto focus is ok, but is to fast when taking videos. The auto mode is quite good as-well. I did not buy the camera from amazon, since amazon was $50 more then my local camera store. This camera is great if you are taking pictures outside or in medium to high light.

The camera lacks good quality low light abilities. The camera fails at low light tests. The pictures have so much noise in them that even using professional programs in Photoshop (like noise ninja) don't help that much. The ISO needed to be turned down to 100 to even get a fair picture inside (the camera should only have to be set to 800-1600 to take a good low light picture). And if you turn the ISO down to 100 then your going to need a tripod to stay sill for 1.5 sec or your picture will become blurry. It is impossible to hold the camera still for that long with out a tripod. I have a $100 Sony point to shoot that takes better pictures inside then this camera. This camera looks like someone took the picture with a smartphone when in low light..... The build quality is great and the viewfinder is not 1/2 bad. The screen is also not that bad, but you should really only use the view finder so that you can save some battery.

I would recommend this camera as still the best Bridge SLR out there for under $300. But if you can save up some cash, I would recommend the SONY DSC-HX200VB, or another high end Bridge SLR.

Update 8/12/13

I gave the camera one more star (4/5)

After using it some more, I compared the pictures to other bridge SLRs in this price range and found that it was one of the best IN ITS PRICE RANGE. I would still recommend getting a higher end Bridge SLR or even a normal SLR if you can afford it. But if you don't want to spend more then $300 then this is the camera for you. If you are wondering, there is no underwater housing for this camera :( Anyway I uploaded a total of 30 pics to amazon but they don't seem to be uploading all at once, I think they just need some time to get approved. Here is what I mean by the bad low light ability.

Here is a pic from the S8200 in low light, notice the noise.

and here is the sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX9 ($100 point to shoot)
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on August 4, 2013
I am always looking for GREAT pictures whether it be wildlife or rainbows-Quick on the spot AND absolutely love the 3" LCD and option to change it to the viewfinder because of glare at times AND the viewfinder helps steady your ZOOM focusing- Lots of features to choose from! I have had two comparable Nikon SLR cameras and the quality of this Fujifilm S8200 is just as good BUT the price is even better-40X zoom is unbelievable. Takes a steady hand or tripod with the 40X ZOOM=quality shots/quick and easy to use-I love the AA battery feature-You can always find a fresh-new AA battery, I purchased the Fujifilm FinePix S8200 Digital Camera Battery Charger Replacement of 4 AA NiMH 2800mAh Rechargeable Batteries, with Charger from at the same time and it has already saved me even more $$ and works SUPER GREAT. I am thrilled with my purchase.
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