103 of 111 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great camera for my budget
First of all, I am not a professional photographer, nor do I expect professional photos from this camera. I am an artist however. One reason in which I needed a camera is for occasional reference photos in which I will make paintings from. As I do not do photo-realism, great photos with perfect detail retention are not necessary for this purpose. The 24 mm wide angle...
Published 17 months ago by Bruce
177 of 184 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of features, decent price point, a little large and flimsy feeling
First impression - this camera seems light and flimsy. It's entirely made of plastic (except the lens), and I'm sure a drop from a few feet would wreck it. But that's true of most cameras in this price range. It also seems too large when compared to other point and shoots. But after looking at the features, it becomes obvious why it's so large - there's a pop-up flash and...
Published 15 months ago by Richard C. Drew
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177 of 184 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of features, decent price point, a little large and flimsy feeling,
This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix SL300 14 MP Digital Camera with 30x Optical Zoom (Black) (Electronics)
The 3" screen is large - the same size as many DSLR's. You can switch between the screen and viewfinder by pressing a button. The viewfinder uses less power, and honestly, has a cheesy look. The screen is much clearer and easier to use. The viewfinder is nice in bright light.
The lens can be zoomed from two places - a control on the left side of the lens, and the control the shutter release sits in. That's handy. My main complaint with the zoom is using it with video - the zoom is not smooth, and stutters. It also stops at around 3x - not the full 30x. Why?
Speaking of video, it's decent quality and saves in AVI format.
Other features include an advanced panoramic mode - shoot one image, and move left to right - when a visual guide lines up (X over X) the next photo automatically shoots. Nice. But the saved image is no larger than a single image! It can stitch three full size images - the result should be at least 2x the normal image size. But the pano quality is much better than most other pocket camera panoramic modes - although it is limited to horizontal panoramics.
When zooming into the image 100%, the pixels are decently clean. Not DSLR quality, but above average. I have nice Panasonic, Canon and Nikon pocket cameras - the pixel quality on the Fuji are superior.
The combination of the super-zoom, wide angle and macro is also a big plus.
The SL300 also has full auto mode, plus several more advanced modes (Aperture priority, automatic program, shutter priority, custom, smile detect) and full manual. The full manual is limited though - only two F stops - these vary on conditions. The maximum exposure length is 8 seconds - rare in a camera of this price range.
Focusing is in a word, hinky. Zoomed in, 25x-30x, it takes forever and often fails. Even with high-contrast subjects. The anti-vibration is not as good as some other cameras. I see more blur than I like at full zoom when hand-held. Placing the camera against a solid surface fixed this.
There are also "dummy proof" measures - you are warned when there's no memory card or the lens cap in on.
The camera does use a custom battery, but it includes an external charger - that's a great feature. The cable that us used for USB and component/RCA audio and video is a proprietary mish-mash. A small connector at one end plugs into the camera. The other end has a standard USB connector, plus two RCA fittings. Strange.
If you're looking for a beginner camera with some advanced features, I'd recommend this camera. For example, you want to experiment with panoramas, long exposures and lighting. If all you want is a point and shoot, you can find cheaper - and much smaller cameras. But for quality glass, lens zoom, this can't be beat in this price range.
So I give it three stars. Some great points (lens, zoom, image quality, hot-shoe, pop-up flash, high speed and burst modes) and some misses (focus issues, all plastic body, long processing time between images.) Would I recommend it? Yes, to someone looking for a camera to learn on, and develop their skills. For someone looking for a simple point and shoot? No.
103 of 111 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great camera for my budget,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix SL300 14 MP Digital Camera with 30x Optical Zoom (Black) (Electronics)First of all, I am not a professional photographer, nor do I expect professional photos from this camera. I am an artist however. One reason in which I needed a camera is for occasional reference photos in which I will make paintings from. As I do not do photo-realism, great photos with perfect detail retention are not necessary for this purpose. The 24 mm wide angle of the lens is nice when I need a photo of the bigger picture. And the panorama feature provides an even wider view...at an extremely easy to use method. It practically does it for you if you keep it set on auto panorama. And the 30x zoom is wonderful to bring distant objects closer. Like I said, they only are required to be used as a reference, so the quality doesn't need to be great. The "dual image stabilization" feature is a bit of a farce. "Dual" means sensor shift, coupled with high ISO, so that the shutter speed can be faster, thus less blur. So with the high ISO, it produces quite grainy pictures. It would be nicer if the camera had the option to separate the "dual" into "just sensor shift," "just high ISO," or "both," so that you wouldn't be forced to get a grainy picture. But that is not an option, so I question its effectiveness.
The other reason why I needed a camera was to take photos of my artwork. For this purpose, I set the camera to P "Programmed Auto" so I can chose the ISO, and set it to 64 or 100 ISO. I set the painting in an outdoor courtyard on a bright sunny day...in the shade. I use a tripod (this camera has a tripod mount) to get it framed just so, and use the 10 second delay to avoid shake when pushing the shutter button. One problem I had was there was sometimes a bit of pincushion distortion on a few shots. But at other times it was perfectly square with no such distortion. So I think that it depends on how much you zoom, for such distortion is apparently avoidable. I have a large format printer that prints 13 x 19 size paper, and the quality of the prints of my paintings is acceptable after photo editing (cropping etc.) and minor color correcting. It seemed that emeralds and teals were a bit cool and washed out. But that may just require me finding the proper settings for white balance and saturation, for which the camera is adjustable. But photo editing and color correcting is almost always necessary even with a much more expensive camera, so this is not a big deal. I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0 to manually color correct and crop. This program also lets you eliminate any pincushion or barrel distortion that such a camera may impart. So for such a procedure, this camera produces quite acceptable results...although I do intend to upgrade to a DSLR for this purpose in the distant future. But for now, this camera suits its intended purposes.
There is a product video on Amazon which does outright state some incorrect information. It says that this camera has manual focus...it does not. It says it has 60 X intelligent zoom...it does not. It does have a regular digital zoom however, and it is up to 201 X digital zoom...I just don't recommend using it. The video also says that the camera has a back-side illuminated EXR Cmos sensor...it does not. It is a CCD sensor. It also shows that the camera has "advanced anti-blur mode," which takes several pictures at once and merges them together. This is also not true. It also claims that you can take 360 degree panorama pictures both side to side and up and down. It can only do up and down panorama pictures if you hold the camera sideways. And either way, it is definitely not 360 degrees...maybe 180. And one huge misleading bit of information that the video shows is that the 3" LCD screen tilts. This is also not true, as it is completely fixed. As I researched for a camera for some time, I already knew that these misleading claims were not true and actually apply to the higher end Fuji models HS25EXR and HS30EXR cameras. Since I wasn't expecting these features, I wasn't fooled or disappointed. But for the price, I wasn't expecting everything, even if these features were stated to be on this camera according to the video.
So for the price, and for my needs, I believe that this camera does just fine. If I expected to sell landscape or birding photography, I would be disappointed. But that is not what I expected or required from this camera. The pictures of grass and leaves are a bit "watercolory" looking (Is that a word?) when looked at closely. But even those photos will look just fine printed on 8x10 paper. The lithium ion battery works well and really lasts a pretty long time. It would be nice if I could put on a UV filter to protect the lens, or a polarizer filter to make skies blue and to adjust reflections...but there is no filter thread. One part that bugs me is the lens cap...it jams if you turn on the camera and attempt to zoom if you forget to take it off. But I think I will learn to get used to that. I looked at other cameras that just had the LCD screen, but I like the fact that this camera can use either the 3" LCD screed or the electronic viewfinder, for there are times when the viewfinder just works better...such as in bright light. I will not comment on the video feature, as this is not something that I use or need. It also has other features that I probably will not use, such as smile and blink detection. But they are nice features to have if your camera is meant as a Facebook tool. I also do not like the fact that the full manual is on CD only. Before I received the camera, I went on the Fuji website and downloaded and printed the manual for this camera so I could read up on it...but I did kind of expect a nice printed book with the camera, but there was just the CD.
But for a capable camera at an affordable price, I give this camera four stars. High ISO pictures are pretty grainy, but low ISO pictures in good light still takes quality pictures of my artwork. So for what I use it for, and for my budget, I think I made a good choice.
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inexpensive, versatile DSLR-like camera that takes great photos and good video,
This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix SL300 14 MP Digital Camera with 30x Optical Zoom (Black) (Electronics)
I have been using a similar camera: Olympus SP-800UZ 14MP Digital Camera with 30x Wide Angle Dual Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0 inch LCD for over a year now. After being disappointed in the Olympus' fuzzy pictures, slow focus, and poor shot quality in low light conditions, the FinePix restored my faith in sub-$300 DSLR-like cameras with its responsiveness, clear shots, and multiple mode options. Both have video taking capabilities and work 'OK' in my opinion. (Get a SDHC Class '10' card or better to get the most from video with either camera.)
What I like about the Fujifilm FinePix SL300...
+ For its size; which is not 'compact', it's very lightweight.
+ Shooting, playback and setup options are clearly explained in back of Basic Manual.
+ The rubberized texture on much of the camera helps a lot!
+ Lithium battery charges quickly; about 1-1.5 hours from dead to full charge.
+ Wonderful 'macro'; down to 2cm!
+ Panoramic function; putting together 3 shots, works well and produces beautiful results.
+ Blink detection works well.
+ Colors produced are true.
+ Zoom toggle is both on the right top and on the left side of the barrel.
+ You have the option to shut off the LCD and use the viewfinder. (Most of the lower end cameras are going to just the LCD.)
+ SRAuto mode works well, automatically detecting scenes and adjusting for it. Modes include: Portrait, Landscape, Night, Macro, Night Portrait, Backlit Portrait and 'Auto' if none of the others are detected.
+ You can refine your 'scene' mode with a bunch of options by using the 'SP' mode on the top of the camera. Scenes available include: Natural (shoots 2 photos; one with flash and one without), Natural Light, Portrait, Baby Mode (portraits of infants; light skin tones), Smile & Shoot(auto shutter release when subject smiles), Landscape, Sport (for any moving subjects), Night, Night Tripod, Fireworks (you can adjust shutter speed), Sunset, Snow, Beach, Party (indoor with background lighting in low light), Flower (vivid closeups), and Text (text or print drawings).
+ Zoom indicator is easily visible.
+ You can change from color to Black/White photos.
+ Camera is quick to go from taking pictures to viewing them, and then back again.
+ Automatic facial recognition of up to 8 people in the pictures is ultra cool!
+ Menu and buttons are easy to use for novice through advanced users.
+ Deleting pictures or 'Frames' is quick and easy.
+ Movies are easy to take with fairly good results.
+ Zoom bracketing allows you to take 3 shots in a row, and then the camera fuses them into one great shot. Works well with subjects that are not moving very fast.
+ You can shoot with either Aperture Priority or Manual mode.
+ Custom mode is available for those who want DSLR refinements.
What I didn't like so much about the FinePix...
- Lens cover is a 'pinch' to insert in the inside rim of the lens housing, versus over the outside of the rim. Fits, but if you forget to take it off it jams the lens movement, and over time that may break something. Try and remember to remove before you turn on the camera!
- AC adapter is strange; you actually slide the plug adapter on the back of the charger. Why 2 pieces?!
- Battery and memory housing door seems flimsy by comparison to the rest of the camera. Be careful.
- The 'Basic Manual' is very basic, but you get it in English, Spanish and French. Diagrams are very small.
- Focusing the camera by depressing the shutter button halfway prior to pressing it all the way down is standard with most digital cameras, but I still find it frustrating. Practice, practice, practice!
- It's movie output is good, but not great. Focus changes take longer than with photos and the lag is noticeable.
- Zoom is great on the camera, but if you are shooting at something through trees for example, the camera isn't sure what to focus on and will sometimes focus on the foreground versus infinity. (Not a huge issue and may be my inexperience and impatience more than the camera.)
Overall, I really like this camera and would recommend it to anyone who wants to get creative and get great results.
I will update this review after I use it in more varied situations, but already it beats the Olympus in responsiveness and output.
I recommend getting a Transcend 16 GB SDHC Class 10 Flash Memory Card TS16GSDHC10E and you'll be all set to enjoy this versatile, inexpensive digital camera!
69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SL300 Bridge Camera must have,
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Bridge/Intermediate Camera (5- stars),
In this video, I give a brief tour of the construction and features of the Fujifilm SL300. At the end, I provide a brief slide show of photographs that tested the limits of the camera through use of either macro/super macro or 30x zoom. Because the video format may degrade the quality of the photos, I've also added photos to the customer photo gallery.
The short, non-video version:
Pros: excellent optics for a non-DSLR; great 30x optical zoom and even better macro; built-in flash plus hot shoe for an external flash; manual and automatic settings; option to select LCD screen or traditional viewfinder; ability to tweak shutters speed, aperture (see cons); good image stabilization with 30x zoom; good set of controls and scene options; ability to shoot panoramas (two methods, one without a tripod); two different ways to zoom; easy to grip and steady camera.
Cons: only two aperture settings available at a given time; continuous shots take too long to write to memory, making it easy to miss the next action sequence; lens cap is a pain; video quality is so-so.
Neutrals: SDHC/SDXC memory card sold separately; uses rechargeable lithium battery (buy a second one!); software not compatible with Mac OS X Lion and Mountain Lion (but I use iPhoto anyway); setting to allow digital zoom but I recommend zooming and cropping in your photo program to get the same result with more control.
-- Debbie Lee Wesselmann
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!,
A bridge camera is midway between a point-and-shoot and a DSLR. Simply speaking, it's better than a compact point-and-shoot because it has more functions (allowing you more control) and a better lens. It is however more bulky and usually more expensive (but definitely not in this case).
Versus a DSLR, a bridge camera does not have as many functions, as good an image sensor or access to high quality interchangeable lenses. (And of course it does not have the mirror that flips up or the optical viewfinder.)
Pros, what I like about this camera:
I like this camera a lot. It has a decent lens with a zoom that is the equivalent of 24-720mm on a regular 35mm camera. A 24mm is a pretty wide angle and a 720mm lens is the equivalent to one those huge lenses you see photographers carry at sports events.
Modes: Multiple modes including the general auto, scene recognition auto, panorama and custom. Scene recognition has a ton of modes: portrait, landscape, fireworks, night, snow, etc. More importantly it has aperture priority, shutter priority and manual modes.
Viewfinders: It has the usual LED panel in the back and an EVF (electronic view finder). The EVF is the digital version of the optical viewfinder. When you look at either, it's WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). There is a little lag with the EVF but I'm very glad they included one because after 4-5 digital cameras I still don't like looking at the LED panel. With the EVF you can look through it like you're aiming it.
Software: All the usual stuff is there, you can zoom, crop, delete, etc. It's true plug and play. I just connect the camera to my Windows 7 and I was able to download the pics without installing any software.
Picture quality: Two resolutions (fine and normal), sizes L, M and S and each with screen ratios of 4:3 to 16:9. For my 4GB card I can take 500+ pictures at the highest quality to 6000+ at the lowest quality. At the higher resolutions a regular 4 X 6 print looks great. Only when you stretch the capacity of this camera, say the highest of zooms at the low resolution, does the picture quality look blurry, but for regular usage it's fine.
Video: Like all digital cameras nowadays it has video capacity but I'm only using this as a camera so I have not reviewed it.
Lens: Very good for this type of lens. Zooms, especially those with a big range will not have the best performance. Expect less than ideal performance at 30x zoom under less than perfect conditions, this is normal. I took some long distance pics at 30x zoom, but I took them with a tripod and the 2 second delay (minimize user shake) and they turned out great. You can actually zoom up to 200x digitally, but at that magnification, you must use a tripod and the 2s delay.
Cons: Really, I have no complaint. I list a couple here offhand which can be rectified by buying one camera up, for example the Fuji HS30EXR.
1) Max f stop at 3.1
2) No RAW format (though I doubt most people using this camera will care).
Summary: This camera is for those who want a better lens and more functions/control than a point-and-shoot. It's also for those who are not ready for the next step or expense of a DSLR or a MILC. It has a decent lens with an amazing 30x (24-720mm) zoom and functions galore. You can look at it as a cheap DSLR without the SLR or the interchangeable lens. It's a true bridge camera and at the current price (same as many compacts) you just can't lose.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW great photos!,
I thought the camera would be pretty good, but I never expected it to take such AWESOME pics! The pics turn out very professional. I haven't tried all the features yet, but the macro/super macro is fantastic, as is the telephoto zoom and panoramic feature! the picture quality is just as good as my expensive Canon's and Nikon's pics! I've even taken pictures through the car window as the car was moving and I was amazed to find that the photos weren't blurry and were clear & sharp. Another great feature is that there's two buttons for the telephoto zoom, one on each side of the camera to make it easy and comfortable for zooming in on anything in any position. My only two complaints are--- that you need to remember to take the lens cap off before turning the camera on, or the lens cap will get jammed and you have to turn the camera off again to release it, and the on/off switch sticks sometimes if you don't hit it dead center. Those things are easily fixed with practice, the more you use it, the less of a problem they are.
Excellent camera! All in a small lightweight package.
If you love photography, get it, you'll love it! :)
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! Best Camera ever from a mom's point of view. I love this camera!,
I have always wanted to do panoramic pics and this makes it so easy. You set the dial and choose to pan left to right or right to left. Then all you do is take the first photo, and move camera to the other 2 positions. There is a white circle with empty plus in middle on screen. You move the camera until you see a yellow plus sign. When you match up the plus sign to the empty circle this camera automatically takes the 2nd and 3rd photos. There is no way to make a mistake on the panoramic photo.
The video recorder is awesome. I was impressed, that I was able to video tape my new grandson (I was next to him) in a resturant and it picked up his ahs and coos. I purchased to get the most out of my camera. SanDisk Extreme 32 GB SDHC Class 10 UHS-1 Flash Memory Card 45MB/s (SDSDX-032G-X46)
The 3 inch screen on the back is nice and clear and since digital you can review and delete as wanted.
The lithium ion rechargeable battery is specialized, you can recharge it.
Love that it comes with a strap to attache the lense cap to the camera (no more lost lense caps).
Comfortable shoulder / neck strap has a texture on the underside to keep it from sliping around.
Push the top button on your left looking out to make the flash pop up ( so easy).
You can change the photo to be black and white (many more functions to discover).
Box includes instructions, Camera, battery, a compact wall charger, cables to hook up to computer (for downloard), lense cap, short lense strap to attach, and shoulder strap.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very decent inexpensive still and 720P video camera,
The video shows stills (including macro shot), panorama, and sample videos. It shows tests on auto-focus response on videos as well as handheld full 30x zoom. To see the full resolution video, search for "Fuji SL300 stills and video samples" online.
This is a nice budget camera that can do a lot of things. It can shoot great stills, 720P videos, panorama, it can detect smiles and shoot automatically without pressing the shutter, manual and custom settings and you can shoot either via the large 3" LCD screen or the viewfinder. By the way, the LCD screen do not tilts.
By default the camera is set to digital zoom. When you are shooting videos, the digital zoom stutters and uncontrollably fast, which is almost useless. There is no way to slow it down no matter how gentle you are with the zoom controls. The trick is to go to the LCD menu and change it to optical zoom. Now you have nice and smooth zooming all the way to 30X for videos. The only problem with the optical zoom is that you will hear the motor while shooting a movie.
- For the money, you get a lot of camera.
- 30X optical zoom
- Shoots stunning macros
- Stabilization. I am amazed how good it works handheld while panning.
- Panorama is sweet. It is very easy to do by overlapping the plus signs on the screen and the camera automatically shoots for you (3 frames only). Only one direction though, from left to right.
- There are two ways to activate zoom. Around the shutter button and on the left side of the lens barrel.
- The smile detection feature works without the need to press the shutter.
- supplied with a lithium-ion battery and wall charger
- The video is mediocre on low light / foggy situation.
- On shooting videos, focus struggles once you pass 12x zoom and up.
- Focus also gets confused easily when shooting moving subjects.
- No external mic
What's not in the box:
- You need to provide your own SD card.
- Also missing is the micro HDMI cable
Overall, this is a very good camera at this price point (around 240$ at the time of the review).
30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware,
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