Customer Reviews: Fujifilm FinePix SL300 14 MP Digital Camera with 30x Optical Zoom (Black) (OLD MODEL)
Oct16 Amazon Fashion nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Electronics Holiday Gift Guide Starting at $39.99 New Professional Skin Care Cozy Knits Book 2 or More Hours of House Cleaning on Amazon bajillions bajillions bajillions  All-New Echo Dot Starting at $89.99 All-New Kindle for Kids Edition Elvis Presley Shop Cycling on Amazon

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Color: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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 a hot-shoe for an external flash. The lens is also quite a bit larger than your run of the mill point and shoot - both in volume of glass and length.

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.
review image review image review image
11 comment| 185 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 9, 2012
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 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 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 does not. It says it has 60 X intelligent 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 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 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.
11 comment| 108 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Color: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I received this camera as part of the Amazon Vine reviewer program.

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!
review image review image review image review image review image
22 comments| 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 30, 2012
I just bought this camera couple months ago and I was surprised to it that the features is awesome.It is easy to use and users friendly. It has 14 MP, EVF, 30x zoom, 3.0 " lcd screen to view your pictures which is very bright I believed in my opinion.In addition to that, you can upload pictures/videos directly to YouTube and Facebook. Also, It records 720p HD videos so you can use it as a camcorder as well. Mostly I liked in this camera it has a Lithium ion rechargeable battery, so you don't need to buy the battery anymore. The battery charging time is about an hour to be fully charge. The shutter speed is fine but not as fast like the some other DSLR cameras. But we know this is a bridge camera so it should be ok. The camera supports SD Card. The picture format is JPEG. The PANORAMA feature is also a plus. Overall, so far I haven't seen any problem with it and I am very happy i choose this camera. Definitely I will suggest it to all who wants to spend less for a camera and save some couple of dollars with a good quality. Give it a try and you will not regret.
0Comment| 70 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Color: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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
review image review image review image review image review image review image review image review image review image review image review image
44 comments| 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon August 21, 2012
Color: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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).
11 comment| 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 27, 2012
I bought this camera for the times when I hike or travel and don't want to carry my expensive/heavy duty camera equipment & lenses for fear of damaging them or don't want to carry the extra weight of them while backpacking/birdwatching.
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! :)
0Comment| 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 15, 2013
My review is from the POV of someone who is a complete beginner to photography. I didn't buy this camera because I enjoy photography, I bought it because I wanted something to catalog memories with a picture but also wanted to have a camera that could zoom in more than my Sony Cybershot. If you're interest are similar, this camera is definitely for you!

The price is great, I bought it new (open box) so there are no defects that I'm aware of. The picture quality is above average when you're shooting a picture under the right setting. After a couple weeks of familiarizing myself with the settings I think I'll have it down better. I bought the red model and I love the way it looks! Here are a few pros and cons:

Great outdoor/indoor picture quality (better outdoors though)
Lightweight but sturdy
Easy to use
Under priced

Inconsistent picture results
Hard to photograph a moving target
review image
11 comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 18, 2013
This camera takes beautiful photos very simply. As an amateur photographer and not having the time or funds to explore the fancy cameras, I find this camera to be perfect for my needs. I can quickly and easily photograph my daughter or scenery on vacation. This is the best money can buy if your price range is $150-200.

The only thing I dislike about this camera is that it is a tad too automatic. I wish that on the rare day I have the time to customize the settings that I would have more options. But for the price, it is a wonderful camera.


I was able to use this camera over the weekend in D.C. (Two moths after purchase.) This is the first trip I've taken it on and the first time I've had the opportunity to really see what it can do.

I set it on automatic and took several pictures as we walked. If I didn't stop completely, the photos turned out blurry. I did get some beautiful photos of the Washington and Lincoln Memorial at sunset. The color wasn't as vivid in the photos, but that is an easy editing fix.

When we were at Ford's Theatre, I had the most difficult time trying to get a decent photo in low lighting. I ended up snapping a few with my iPhone - which much to my surprise turned out quite crisp and clear.

I still must say, for the price, I am quite pleased with this purchase.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 12, 2012
Learned the hard way that Fuji camera movable lens are not sealed from dust and grit and Fuji does do not cover a camera that stops working due to dust or grit under warranty. Sent a camera under warranty to them due to the lens not moving in or out. Warranty was declined, claiming the warranty does not cover failure due to dust or grit getting into the lens mechanism. They offered to repair it for almost as much as the camera cost. I have never had that problem with other brands. I am back to using two older cameras.
44 comments| 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.
See all 38 answered questions

Need customer service? Click here