450 of 455 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2012
Style Name: S4500
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!
286 of 295 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2012
Style Name: S4500
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.
142 of 150 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2012
Style Name: S4500
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.
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2012
Style Name: S4500Verified Purchase
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.
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2012
Style Name: S4500Verified Purchase
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!
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2012
Style Name: S4500
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.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2013
Style Name: S4300Verified Purchase
It's unfortunate that some reviewers rate a camera based on spontanious first impressions. If you purchase this camera and take the time to learn to use it, you're going to love it! For this price, where are you going to find a camera with so many useful features? I recently took photos at my mother's 90th birthday party. Without a lot of experience with this camera, I was able to get some incredible shots. Of course I got some blurry shots too, but not many. These poor shots were due to my hand shake which is bad enough that with other cameras, I miss far more shots. Everyone gets a blurry shot occasionally. When loaded onto my computer, the quality of the photos was phenomenal (comparable to SLR). The more you learn, the more you will love this camera. It won't take long and it has a fully automatic mode that will give you some great shots right out of the box. Remember to push the release button down halfway and allow the camera to auto-focus before pushing the button down all the way carefully, and you'll get photos that will make you look like a pro.
The S4200 is the exact same camera with about 20% less zoom. More camera for less money, how can that be a bad thing? You will not be dissapointed in the S4300. Enjoy!
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2012
Style Name: S4500Verified Purchase
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.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2012
Style Name: S4500Verified Purchase
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+
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
I have been using a Fujifilm Finepix A-900 for years and I am used to that size and weight so to me the S-4800 is a bit cumbersome. I recently bought it for myself because of the 30X. I wanted to take some macro shots of jewelry for insurance purposes. I found the manual easy to read and understand (it comes in 3 manuals in 3 different languages)and the camera easy to set up and use.
I know the A-900 is basically obselete with cameras such as the S-4800 now on the market, but I am still partial to it. I like the size better, for me, and the pictures/videos from both are comparable. I am not a professional photographer by any stretch of the imagination, so when it gets down to the bells and whistles and all that, I am not the one to give my opinion.
It's a nice camera and it's easy to use and it can fit a small tripod if needed - not just one of the tall, professional ones.
I gave it 4 stars because I just found it awkward to use and it doesn't slip into a handbag like the A-900. I bought a carrying case separately for it.
The specifications I found appealing, because I need all the help I can get, were:
3" TFT Color LCD Monitor
1/2.3-inch CCD Sensor with Primary Color Filter
Built-in Speaker and Microphone
Digital Zoom Approximately 7.2x (up to approx. 216.0x , with 30x optical zoom)
Memory Card Compatibility: SD / SDHC / SDXC memory card
Fujinon 30x Optical Zoom Lens
Shutter speed: (Auto mode) 1/4 sec. to 1/2000 sec
Auto Red-Eye Removal
Multi-Frame Playback (with micro thumbnail)
Mini-HDMI out and USB 2.0 High-Speed for video out terminals
The box includes:
4 x AA type Alkaline batteries
USB Cable - which is VERY short!!!
Lens Cap Cord
Owner's Manual (In the box I purchased the Owner's Manual was in paper manual form)
I am getting used to it and liking it more all the time, but I'll have the A-900 in my handbag :)