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Customer Review

112 of 121 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice but slow indoors, April 10, 2011
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This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix S4000 14 MP Digital Camera with Fujinon 30x Super Wide Angle Optical Zoom Lens and 3-Inch LCD (Camera)
My critique is based on comparing the Fujifilm S400A to the Fujifilm HS10. All comparisons are also based on setting both cameras to Automatic mode. First let me say that both cameras take great outdoor pictures. Indoors is another matter. The S4000 is a lot slower then the HS10 in focusing and exposure settings. I also do not like the indoor auto white balance on the S4000, even with forced flash. The S4000 indoor pictures look yellowish. With the HS10, the flash is dominant and the pictures are more vibrant in my opinion. The resolution on both cameras is good (when the pictures are in focus). The HS10 has much better and faster focusing. The S4000 is not nearly as good. With the S4000 you have to take it slow when taking indoor pictures in order to get a focused picture. The motorized zoom on the S4000 is better then the HS10's lens for shooting video. The manual zoom on the HS10 will shake the camera when zooming so your video will look jerky. The S4000 zoom motor noise will be heard in the video unfortunately, but only slightly. The amazing plus for both cameras is when zooming in to the max and being able to hand hold the camera and get a perfect shake free picture. I took the HS10 to Hawaii and shot a light house at full zoom while sanding on a small boat. I got a great detailed picture. I have also shot full zoomed in pictures with the S4000 and got great results. I am disappointed that the S4000 does not have a hot shoe or threads on the lens for a filter, whereas the HS10 has both. Physically the S4000 smaller and much lighter then the HS10. For Video, the S4000 has a better video format, Motion Jpeg which is more compatible with editing software. The the HS10 has the terrible MOV format that I hate. I am sure I have not covered everything, I am a Nikon camera fan. I bought these cameras for situations where I couldn't carry around my case of Nikon equipment. I find myself wanting to carry both the HS10 and the S4000, perhaps I'll need another case for Fujifilm equipment. My Nikon camera, (D80) doesn't have a 30x zoom lens or does video, so that is another reason for using the Fujifilm cameras.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 5, 2011 8:39:30 PM PDT
Thank you. I have an HS10 as well and was deciding between this and the HS20, your review settled it for me.

Posted on Jul 17, 2011 6:55:54 AM PDT
Testing a camera in Auto mode is like testing a Ferrari only in First gear! No camera tells you how well pix are taken in Auto mode - they all lack in Auto. How about Manual mode???? These cameras have great functions that allow you to fine tune the picture quality, so why not use them? This review rally does not help.

I have the HS20 and the S2950 - sitting side by side, I can tell you that there is no yellowish color when shooting in manual for either camera, and both SUCK in auto or EXR. This is just the nature of cameras these days using auto mode - no accurate color or exposure. Additionally, one thing Fuji does right is exposure and color while in manual mode and given all the fine adjustments, you can achieve great color and exposure for both cameras. But they are hard to focus and implementing the adjustments consistently from PASM sucks. Then again, so do others. Cameras just are not menu friendly right now.

Anyway, next time you test a camera, test it for real - GET IT OUT OF AUTO MODE! It will help you a lot in getting real picture quality. That's why these cameras are designed with so many functions - so you can use them!


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2011 4:28:50 AM PDT
Thanks G.M! Your reply really help me.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2011 4:56:38 AM PST
Stacey12345 says:
Does this take good clear pics at a concert where it is dark?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2011 6:05:39 AM PST
Razz says:
That is tough for any camera. For a concert, typically you need fast focusing, high shutter speeds and a big lens if your shooting action like dancing. You also need a high ISO setting like 800 or higher depending on the stage light. Be aware that the higher the ISO the more noisy (grainy as in film) the picture will be. Using the Fuji camera I critiqued, I think you will be able to take somewhat OK pictures, but don't expect a low light real high quality picture that will enable good 8x10 enlargements. A lot depends on the stage lighting and how much zooming you have use. The camera should be used in manual mode and you should take many pictures to fine tune the settings. With varying stage lighting, you have to be quick to make your setting decisions in the dark. I assume you can't use the flash. With any camera, you have to practice and know the camera's controls and limitations before you go to the concert. Lastly, there is always Photoshop to modify the colors, brightness, and contrast to a degree. Photoshop can't fix very dark, very light, out of focus or shaky pictures.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2012 11:22:34 AM PDT
Can you recommend a camera? I want to stay under $250 and have manual controls. I am sick of my tiny little point and shoot. I miss using my hundred dollar film slr! but i can't afford a digital slr. have kids and so many pictures i take turn out blurry or completely burned out from the flash

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 8:58:29 AM PDT
Tom says:
Bargain Hunter, I just sold my Sony P&S for a Fuji F505. It's a $300 camera(now $150 on Amazon!) and will outperform the S4000 across the board except for long zoom. It has the manual controls and wonderful while balance performance(natural color rendition). Intelligent flash(doesn't overpower the scene). New larger CMOS sensor. It is about one F stop slower than comparable cameras that don't have a mega zoom because larger zooms will have a smaller maximum aperture. It's a trade off. Smaller form factor than S4000. The S4000 IMO tries to be too ambitious for the $200 price point. If it had the image quality the pro reviewers were looking for, then it would be the best bargain in digital cameras. Fuji seems different than Nikon, Canon and Sony. They take more risks in designing their cameras and sometimes it pays off. But because they are not as "popular" as the big 3, sharp shoppers who do research can often find bargains.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 9:48:46 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 23, 2012 9:50:15 AM PDT
Tom says:
S. Pittman, Cameras keep getting better in terms of low light performance. But low light photography continues to be the bane of many photographers. Perhaps in the next decade we'll see good low light performance from the typical p&s, but for today, the smaller sensors of p&s are not sensitive enough to solve the problems we encounter "without compromises". The current solution is to migrate to a camera with a larger sensor but this always increases cost. The S4000 has a 1/2.3" sensor. Compared to old 35mm this is tiny. Even my high end X100's APS-C sensor is small compared to 35mm, but it is still much better in low light because it's still much larger than 1/2.3". Large CMOS sensors are state of the art now but the larger you go the more $$ you spend. Also keep in mind that the longer the zoom the slower it will be. Slow in photography means worse in low light and is bad. Fast is better in low light and is good. Slow also means you are less likely to be able to use a fast shutter speed to freeze the action. Ideal would be: large sensor, the larger the better, and large aperture, the larger the better. So the less money we spend unfortunately means the more compromises we must make. A good starting point is knowing how we will use the camera because each camera has it's own set of strengths and weaknesses. A small sensor camera will need to be pushed to a very high iso if shooting in low light and will look unsharp and grainy. And whether or not you can even get the shutter speed you need is dependent on light levels. Concerts probably vary in light levels, so your results will depend on the particular light setup of each venue.
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