9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A `tweener camera for fence-sitting amateurs,
This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix SL300 14 MP Digital Camera with 30x Optical Zoom (Black) (OLD MODEL) (Electronics)
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Allow me to start with a disclaimer: I have studied photography in a formal setting, and have used professional or near-professional grade cameras, lenses, and equipment (yes, even film) for the better part of 25 years. I'm not a beginner. So, right away, I noticed this camera did not, and could not, perform anywhere near professional level. That said, I think this is still a fairly decent, easy to use camera at a very reasonable price point.
This camera comes with far fewer manual settings than most cameras. Also, the zoom feature is controlled by a motor from a switch on the side of the lens. It is slow to respond and difficult to control, but assuming that most people will only ever go all the way in or all the way out (for the most part), it's not much of a drawback. The lens cap is also a little funky, with the grip levers in the middle, presumably to reduce the chance of putting a fingerprint or garbage on the lens when removing it. To take photos, you have the all or nothing option of viewing through the viewfinder or looking at the screen on the back. The viewfinder is not a true viewfinder, but actually a mini display screen inside the view finder. It looked funky and unnatural. As for taking pictures, this operated quite intuitively, and I was able to take acceptable photographs of objects and scenery and pets, always in good lighting with little or no movement. In low lighting, it was not able to compensate (without using the flash) for the light levels, and most low light shots ended up being blurry. For someone who has never had a professional camera and has always used a point-and-shoot or pocket model, its performance will be noticeably better than those.
This camera talks a lot. It has all kinds of beeps, and dings, and whoops, and the photo snapping sound is the weirdest of all. Again, if you are used to something better, this may be an issue, but if this is your first digital SLR, you will probably learn the meaning of all the little noises and be quite comfortable operating the camera in no time.
The strap is solid and handy, but the slots are poorly designed with some sticky-out portions that make threading the strap the hardest thing about this camera. If you're replacing a point and shoot and don't need a strap, that would be lucky.
I didn't use the panorama feature, which combines multiple shots into a long, scaled photograph, but the missus was excited about it. She said that it did sort of okay, but that the stitching was inadequate, so again, another feature somewhere in the middle - maybe useful for some people, probably not very useful for others.
All in all, this is an above average camera for a low to low-mid-scale market. If you aren't publishing your pictures and taking a bajillion of them, this is a good choice to save some money and get decent results. If you really need to take high-quality, high-definition pictures under different conditions, or are planning a trip of a lifetime or something like that, you might want to consider adding a couple hundred bucks to your camera budget and spring for a Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm IS II Lens and EOS HD Movie Mode (Black) or something along those lines instead. Otherwise, this Fuji will work.