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Fujifilm FinePix S7000

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Fujifilm FinePix S7000 Bridge Camera

    TechHive Rating

Fujifilm FinePix S7000
Photograph: Rick Rizner

The $700 FinePix S7000 feels solidly constructed, with a nice rubber right-hand grip, making it easy to hold. Its 6.3-megapixel CCD and hefty 6X optical zoom are fairly unusual among cameras in its price range.

Buttons and dials are easy to access--for instance, when you hold the camera with your right hand, your thumb can easily reach dials for rotating through menus or modes. A unique, useful touch: The S7000 has a dedicated dial for changing f-stops and shutter speeds. It also includes a cable-release socket, which is ideal for taking macro shots on a tripod.

When we looked through the eye-level viewfinder while moving the camera, images looked sharp, without any blurring or smearing, as we've seen on some other cameras. Rotating through menus is relatively easy: Menu choices run along the bottom of the LCD, and pop-up choices allow you to make selections simply. You can use the menus to access white-balance calibration, the self-timer, and other adjustments, but you can also press the <Shift> button, located on the side of the lens, plus an additional key, and then rotate a dial--all at the same time. However, the latter method seems pointless--using the menus is much easier.

The S7000's maximum shutter speed of 1/10,000 second is more than twice as fast as that of many other cameras on our chart. That speed might be useful for taking really fast action shots, but you'll need a great deal of ambient light or the flash to be able to use it. The unit offers two fast-action modes: A top-five-shots mode and a last-five-shots mode. The former shoots five shots in rapid succession, while the latter keeps capturing as long you keep pressing the shutter release. The last-five mode is good to use if you're uncertain when the best shot is going to happen in a series.

Fujifilm rates the S7000's flash range at 28 feet, which is double what most cameras on our chart claim. The camera's 6X zoom is part of the reason for the long throw, but even the 10X zoom on the Olympus C-750 (a camera we tested previously) comes paired with a 14.8-foot flash range. However, the S7000 lacks a low-light illuminator, and it has difficulty focusing in dim settings.

A few small downsides: The FinePix S7000 ships with four disposable AA batteries rather than rechargeables, which is fairly unusual for an advanced camera. The camera took 304 shots before the batteries petered out, but in our tests, cameras that use lithium-ion batteries have proven to last much longer. Also, the camera would benefit from a larger LCD--other advanced cameras have started to use 1.8-inch or larger panels.

The S7000 conveniently supports two media formats (XD-Picture Card, and CompactFlash I and II). But if you want to jog between the two media types, you have to use the menus to make a change. A dedicated button would make the camera more flexible.

The FinePix delivered fine image quality in our tests. However, our still life shot looked a little gray--colors lacked some of the vibrancy that we saw on some other test shots this month. In the highly magnified photo we use to evaluate resolution, the 6.3-megapixel S7000 scored a little higher than the 5-megapixel Minolta DiMage A1, also tested this month.

Despite a few small nitpicks, the FinePix S7000 would make a fine choice for a user who needs a good selection of advanced controls.

Kalpana Ettenson

This story, "Fujifilm FinePix S7000" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Fujifilm FinePix S7000 Bridge Camera

    TechHive Rating
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