on October 10, 2012
Why I need to share.... I have been a photographer for decades and have had dozens of digital cameras of all price ranges so may be helpful to some looking for this type of camera. Long lens at under $200. Not a mini pocket camera but about perfect in the hand.
Had both 4200 and 4500 cameras for several weeks now and used both enough to think I know something about this camera as they only differ in the lenses. The negative remarks on Amazon had me comparing my experiences but I am very impressed with what I found. Two things seem near top of importance to me, quality of pictures and feel using the camera. I liked the 25mm 4200 so much I purchased the 30mm 4500 too.
- Time between shots is effected by the speed of the memory card as class 10 gives about 1/2 second recovery for next shot, which seems much the same as most cameras performance today.
- Case design is great. It has some plastic textured surface everywhere your fingers may want to grip and a rubber grip on the lens barrel. Also feels substantial and balanced with 4 batteries installed. Flash pop-up button release handy to hit left of flash unit.
- Picture quality is similar to other better consumer cameras. But the big lens delivers better quality than any camera this price range I know of, with color details surprising. I use local mountain scenes for outside test comparisons and this camera has created detailed quality even out to 25mm and 30mm full zoom shots better than any more expensive cameras I have owned.
- Battery life is great too.
- Auto focus seems fast to lock on.
- Price is a deal!
Only somewhat negative thing I found is the battery door has stiff spring contacts that take a little care to close, needing one hand to release the lock button while pressing down on the lid and the second to press down too while sliding lid closed. (Works for me..)
There are many technical things camera reviewers cover but what is important that I want this camera with me at all times. It has been a blast going around finding anything to "test" the camera because it takes great pictures. Is that not enough!
on March 10, 2012
I was in the market for a new camera, started to make photography a side hobby, and need an inexpensive camera with a good zoom, options, features, and quality pictures within a reasonable budget of course. Looked around, read reviews, walked the counters of countless electronic stores until faith found me in the form of a costco flyer. $50 off the Fujifilm S4500, I read the online reviews and was somewhat impressed. Costco has a no hassle return policy so I figured I had nothing to lose but $5 in gas money. Purchased the Fujifilm S4500 and I must say that I have no regrets in using up $5 in gas because it is a fantastic camera. Living in California, I took the opportunity to test it out on the beach for a beautiful sunset. The sunset feature was amazing, the pictures I was able to take was beyond my expectations. The colors were perfect, the contrast between the setting sun and objects in front was excellent. The images that were taken at home on "auto" when I first received it were also great. The picture quality of the camera is perfect when used properly!!!! And "used properly" is the key word. I read the manual before using the camera, and not the printed one. They included a CD with the complete manual on it, which is approx. 120+ pages. It explains how to use the focus correctly and all other features. I've read reviews that people complained that they couldn't focus when zooming, but I was able to take crystal clear images of random items in my living at 30X zoom from five feet away and a beautiful sun setting at 30X zoom. Is the camera the greatest camera ever made...no...is it a great camera for the price if you take the time to read the manual...absolutely! If you're looking for a camera that has all the bells and whistles and will correct user error then enter a price range of $500-$1000 instead of $100-$200.
on March 12, 2012
As with the other reviewer, I bought mine yesterday at Costco for $179. The costco bundle includes a 4 gig class 6 sd card and a carry case.
I have only had a couple of hours with it but I think it is a good value. Depends on what you want it for of course.
I changed my old Kodak 850, a similar priced/featured camera because it was giving some issues and the newer cameras offer some terrific technology upgrades. (And I am a Kodak retiree......when I was working Fuji was the enemy!)
I specifically wanted a better zoom, with image stabilization. (I have an old man's tremor.) We spend some time in Hawaii during whale season. You really need high zoom if a lot of your whale watching is from shore. We also want Bald Eagle pictures when they land is some trees 200 yds from our house.
Another "nice" feature for my usage is the option of iso 6400. Also handy is the 1/2000 fastest shutter speed.
Several relatives have dslr's but I wanted the zoom without the bulk, and without the expense.
I have done some experiments with the 30x zoom. I found I could take sharp daylight pictures at 30x zoom (the equivalent of 500mm focal length) by using the 6400 setting and 1/2000 shutter speed, using shutter priority. I handheld the camera for these. I judged sharpness subjectively on my computer, from the pictures of bare twigs high in trees.
The only problem I experienced is that at such high zoom even the slightest movement can take you off your intended subject, same as with a telescope. So in the future I think I will use my walking stick, which has an optional male screw mount and the stick can become a unipod. And of course one can always use a tripod.
There is a "digital" and "optical[default]" zoom selection in the menu. I tried both and the sound seemed similar. I was assuming the digital zoom would lose sharpness in telephoto. It did not seem to do so, as viewed on my computer screen.
A feature I like is the fuji-unique "f" button. Without going into the menu you can change iso and several other settings, in many of the shooting modes.
Some caveats: The largest lens aperture is f3.1 in wide angle and f5.6 in telephoto mode. If you want to take really neat blurred background photos portraits this may not be large enough (to reduce the focus range).
another caveat; file size. With my old Kodak I was happy with the 2.1mp (mega pixel)setting. That setting resulted in file sizes in the 3/4 MB range. I have gotten good enlargements up to and sometimes including 8x10 with that mp setting, and that is all I need, so why take up more memory? With the 4500, you only get to choose Large, Medium, and Small for mp settings. On the small settings I am getting file sizes in same 3/4 MB range, maybe slightly larger but certainly under 1 MB.
Another caveat: Zoom motor noise in video mode. I like to take a lot of video, editing them into dvds after major family get-togethers. There is some zoom motor noise with the 4500. the good news is that the experiment I did had no voice narration other than my comments. The verbal narrative seems to be much higher level than the motor noise so I do not think this is going to be a significant drawback.
on August 20, 2012
FUJI FINEPIX S4500 - 14 mp, 30X zoom, 3" LCD screen, 4 AA bateries, camera strap, lens cover with hanging loop and cables to hook to the TV in the box. It weighs almost a pound, but with the strap - it's fine. Our new Fuji is an awesome, well-priced higher-end camera with lost of features. Only had it a week, but it has point & shoot features for those who are fairly new to digital, plus many high-end features for someone who is really an advanced photographer. I LOVE this camera!! Our Nikon 8 mg, 12x Zoom point & shoot is ok, takes really good pix, BUT - the refresh rate between pix is SO SLOW (5-6 seconds). Even with new Lithium batteries, we've always missed the 'next shot' when we're waiting for the red light to stop blinking. So we looked for a well-priced camera (similar to 'SLR' camera style.) We looked at Kodak, Sony, Canon & Fuji. We bought the Finepix 4500, as it has the most power in that series! It's only 1.8 seconds or less between clicks, and there's a continuous button near the shutter button that can take a number of pix just by holding the shutter button down. It has scene modes, close-up AND macro close-up; pause so you can get in the picture, face recognition where you can name up to 8 different people, and every time you take a picture, if one of those people are in it, you'd be able to find all the pix with that person by using the menus. Haven't gotten into the details yet, but we took a video w/audio and at 30 fps, it's smooth with very good audio. You can also take a picture within the video and not ruin the original. ONE THING I like to do is zoom in on a picture and take a picture of that zoomed in part, which is usually just pressing the OK button, but we had to look for it in the Fuji. It has it - you just have to choose the picture you want to zoom in on first, then click menu/crop and then you can zoom anywhere in the picture and it will ask if you want to record it. Click OK - the zoomed picture is taken (it won't take a zoomed picture from a zoomed picture, though.) The panorama pix are great, as you only press the shutter button once, and follow the screen - when you are lined up for the 2nd part of the pic, the camera shows a + that turns into a circle, then it takes the picture without you having to move at all then the same for the 3rd! There's still so much to learn. It has blink mode, so it will take 2 pix in a row to make sure the blink doesn't ruin the pic, it can remove red eye automatically, and do some basic editing like turning a picture, resizing, making a photo book, slideshow, etc. etc. **Don't be confused with the line: Fuji S4200, 43000, 4400 and 4500 - if you go to Fuji.com and search for the Finepix series, they all come up and you can compare them - the only difference is the digital ZOOM (24, 26, 28 & 30). The 14 mp is the same & so is the 3" LCD screen. You can even push a button and look thru the camera like the old 35 mm with the little window if the sun is too bright.
What a WONDERFUL upgrade from the 8 mg we had!! And, after the last few years, we actually paid less for this Fuji than our old digital.
My one suggestion would be for Fuji to make a slightly thicker rubber or plastic 'frame' around the LCD so the screen doesn't get scratched if you happen to lay it down on that side.
http://www.amazon.com/ and search for Fuji Finepix S4500.
on June 21, 2012
Was looking for a camera in this class type. Amazon has the best price. I've seen lower end models of the same series go for more at local retailers.
This camera is great if you want high quality photos. It has 30x zoom and an "easy" mode. If you are feeling confident you can adjust a lot of settings manually to get a more professional picture. Great for a family where 1 person knows what to adjust and 1 doesn't.
This has all the latest technologies, like auto scene recognition, red eye reduction, face detection, in camera framing, panorama, and photo tagging. The Panorama mode lets you choose auto or manual. With auto you line up a crosshair after each picture. With manual it shows you about 20% of the last picture you took so you can line up the next picture yourself. You can do continuous shot mode where the camera will quickly take photos. To make the best use of the camera's speed be sure to get a class 10 SD memory card.
The camera has 14 megapixels, but that is worthless. The average user doesn't need more than 8. Unless you are a professional photographer or photo editor and are going to zoom in to edit the photos or print poster sized pictures then you can turn the megapixels down to get more photos on your memory card.
The camera has a great textured body to help reduce losing your grip. It runs off 4AA batteries which we wanted. This way when you are traveling you don't have to worry about charging a battery, you can buy AA's anywhere.
The electronic view finder is also great. If it is too sunny outside you can turn the LCD off and look through the viewfinder (just a small, about 1/2 inch LCD) to see just fine. Overall great camera!
on October 5, 2012
There are far better written reviews by more knowledgeable people. I am not even an amateur, I just wanted a good quality camera with a great zoom without breaking the bank. So after reading other on line reviews I decided to order it from Costco. I just want to explain on what some low rated reviews mention:
1st.- Flash does NOT pop up automatically, it is true, but it is NOT a malfunction. You need to prop it open to work, it's in the manual.
2nd. Batteries. The camera DOES take rechargeables. You just need to specify in the menu the type of battery (Alkaline, Lithium or Ni-Mh) you are inserting. Again, it's in the manual.
Any complains I might have would be resolved if I bought a more expensive camera, so unless it suddenly exploded in my hand I'm very happy with my purchase.
Will update in a few months to report how it's been working by then.
on October 17, 2012
I read every review on every website and all the complaints about this camera. I did my research and then found a great price from a dealer on Amazon. With any camera the user is as key to the product as the manufacturer. If you can not take a photo first of all then the camera is not going to help you get better.
This camera is one of the best that I have ever owned. The photo quality is excellent and comparable to a more expensive camera or an SLR. Fujifilm as always delivers a outstanding product with this camera. The batteries last a longer time than I expected and if you want to get better performance and longer lasting the NI-MH batteries are better for that and rechargable as well.
The HD movie feature and sound is excellent for a non movie camera. The panorama feature is great and the smile detection, facial recognition, and blink detection are wonderful feature. The 30X zoom is great a long distance and really lets you get into a subject when you can not walk over there.
One of the best features is the 3" LCD screen and the digital eye piece. I love the button that alows you to switch between the two features to use a either. The multiple features (Beach, snow, landscape, text, baby, flower, sports, indoor, multiple shot, portrait) just to mention a few. These are well explained in the CD manual that comes with the camera and allows you to print those pages for quick reference later.
Hope this review is helpful and enjoy the camera.
on April 30, 2013
I have had this camera for about a month now, and am now confident in giving the most honest review. Shipping was fast--I believe there's an Amazon Distribution center somewhere in my vicinity, and may affect that.
*Note--The Fujifilm s4000 series are all the same camera, with different zooms. Keep that in mind when you see different views.
My Verdict, is that this is a genuine Bridge Camera--and as such, some people will hate it, and some will love it.
The kind of people who will love this camera:
-Myself. I'm a 22 Year old, self proclaimed Girl-With-Camera. I have had perhaps one college course on Photography, and I know the very bottom line of the technical (shutter, ISO, Aperture, Focal Range) and...quite frankly, I don't really care to worry about these things when I see something I want to shoot. I also know, about composition, lighting, and the more artistic value. Disappointed with a faithful, but still-too-slow Samsung point and Shoot, and a broken Film SLR, I decided, if the price was right, a Bridge Camera would be for me.
-Nature Photographers--This Camera performs extremely well in this element. I've gotten pictures in Amish Country of Animals barely distinguishable to the naked eye. (More on this, later.)
-A person with some Photography experience, but not a SLR snob.
With that said, Some Pros and Cons:
-This Camera is insanely faster than the few PAS I have gone through. I have fond memories of the "Oh I gotta get this picture" then waiting ten seconds for the "welcome" screen to clear. You switch on, its on. It can focus and shoot in as little as under a second. On the Contrary, it still isn't always fast, and that can be an issue from time to time. I've seen it struggle through "thinking" for well over 3-4 seconds, only for me to lose the shot.
-Its ability to Focus, is still much higher than a typical Point and Shoot. Once it figures out it's "subject," you will find some of the finest details and they are naturally accentuated in the photos. While I'm still working on the "science," it also buzzes out the background, much like an SLR. The issue, is that since focus is automatic (which, is not surprising on any camera under $400), it seems to do whatever it feels like from time to time. I've taken pictures of my nephew in my living room and he is completely "highlighted" in some, and blends in the background in others.
-Does the thinking for you. No matter what, focus is automatic, and, crucial to your pictures. Let me explain: I have a hard time calling this a point and shoot, because you can't tecnically do that, and expect good pictures. Why? Because the camera, at any given moment, is out of focus. It gives you a "preview" screen, but as far as what kind of light exposure, speed, and focus--it does all of this, with a half depress of the shutter (like SLRs). It takes this time to process the scene, find the subject(s), and adjust itself (you will even hear it, and see the screen "clearing up"). On a Film SLR, it probably does take about the same amount of time to adjust, and I can't say for sure with a DSLR (I've seen the worst kind of doofuses fire randomly and the pictures turn out half decent).
Let me reiterate--your pictures can and WILL turn out blurry, odd, and just outright bad if you do not give the camera time to automatically adjust. If the camera indicates it did not focus properly, it will also likely turn our weird. Imagine someone yells to you "who is the president" and you yell "obama." Yes, that's correct, but a more detailed and thoughtful answer is "Barack Hussein Obama."
-features, features, and more features. Again, this is a pro and con. For me, I am thrilled that there are 60 different settings toggled ten different ways. Macro in Black and White with flash? Super Macro in Chrome? HD video? What? On top of the Scenes you can select, the no less than three seperate Auto modes, a manual mode, panorama mode, a video mode and all sorts of little nuances I'm still finding--there's also Macro and Super macro. Honestly, I think its awesome--most days. But, when I actually want to be a tad artsy farsty, I have to spend a solid amount of time setting up this, setting up that, putting on macro, opening the flash, closing the flash, going into settings, turning a dial, etc.
On a similar note, I would get this camera PURELY because of Macro and Super Macro. I cant exactly get into the logistics. But, what I do understand, is that Both settings, are using the focal strength of the camera in a very small space (so, very close, or very full on the screen.) It leaves a very stylish affect of NOT focusing on anything else aside from fine details of it's target. Macro, you can zoom--I find this to be slightly less detailed as Super, but also very great for shots of one object that may not be right at my nose. It does, however do a good job of focusing on one subject (say, a goose in the water.)
-Performs WAY better in certain situations than typical PAS. My Boyfriend has a Canon Powershot which is probably a few months old. I recall, asking him to take a picture of me, and without further details, we will just say the room was dimly lit. They were, atrocious. I mean, like it was mostly digital grain. I thought, okay, it has a hard time in the dark. He took pictures of me during the day...and they were mediocre. blurry if you moved too much, grainy without flash, and flashy with the flash. The "night time" pictures pretty much scream "Hey this was taken with a reaaallllllyyy slow shutter speed, and the person holding the camera is not a tripod."
I still have issues with motion shots--they look like I'm whirring by, my nephew will have three heads, and...its just gets weird. Also, maximum zoom is VERY unforgiving of a shaky hand. Otherwise, I am very thrilled at how well it handles odd, poor, and good light situations. You can, without a doubt, take some pictures with your own lighting and forget about the flash.
In conclusion, I think this camera might just be too confusing/complex for the "snap pictures of the kids at the park" types, and too simple for the "pros." However, if you want a decent priced bridge camera with endless possibilities--from the portrait to the natural--I absolutely recommend this camera.
on August 2, 2012
I will do the downsides of this camera first: The on/off switch is too easy to hit while trying to pick up the camera and if the lens cover is on, one could damage the motor; the battery cover can be a real pain when I try to close it, sometimes easy-other times it just doesn't want to close; No real manual, I tried to use the CD that came with it, but it is loaded with too much junk, so I went on line and downloaded it from there, lots of pages; if you buy the adapter kits (you need both), the plug for the wall outlet doesn't stay all the way in and the connector for both the units is too loose, plus you have to remove the batteries and put the adapter in their place. This should be one complete unit and it should plug into the camera; the biggest complaint that I have is the fact that we can't use a filter to protect the lens (also we can't use optional lenses) which is not good if you are using this camera at the ocean or during a wind storm as they get out there in Texas, etc.. The camera is very easy to use and except for when I tried to take a picture of a rainbow, all of the pictures are coming out great even in low-light conditions. I only used the flash for a picture in a poorly lit Church to compare it with the other pictures, no difference. The movie mode is very good also. I shut off the sounds which makes for a very nice quiet picture taking experience. The other evening before the sun went down, we had a full moon not lit up yet and I got some very exciting pictures, craters and all, even without using a tripod. Taking pictures in panorama is very easy and fun to watch but, you can't use the telephoto lens, so you might need to get as close as possible to whatever you are trying to capture. I have had many SLRs in the past, but for this price range, you can't go wrong. I put a hand strap on mine as I didn't like the neck strap and it makes it a little easier for me to pick up and use. This camera will not fit into your pocket and it does have some weight to it, for me, no problem as I am use to this size and also the larger ones. If you enjoy picture taking, here is a good camera for you as it can do all of the work itself or you can go into manual mode. +JMJ+
on November 10, 2012
The Fujifilm Finepix S4500 is a great camera. Previously, I owned a Fujifilm Finepix s2000HD and it took a fall from which it didn't recover (although it did recover from many other falls).. I bought this one simply to replace the old model. Well, this has twice the zoom and 4MP more resolution! The zoom is incredible. The pictures are great.. stunning at times! There happens to be one difference with this model which I'm not happy with. There seems to be much more of a lag between the time you press the shutter release and when the picture is taken.. I am used to taking shots sometimes from a moving car.. or shots that just happen and I need to capture them.. Some settings are more responsive than others.. Perhaps the scene detection setting is the worst about this because it is probably making up it's mind what kind of settings to use.. I think I can adjust to this, and with a little more tinkering I can probably discover a setting that will work for me the way I'm used to on the other camera.. But still, all in all, this camera is easy to use, has great features, and bottom line.. takes great pictures! For the money, I don't see how you can beat it.. I got an especially good price at Amazon, which turns out to be where I shop for most things that I buy.