The Fujifilm FinePix S1000fd is a stylish, budget-priced, extended-zoom digicam that looks a lot like a scaled down DSLR. The long-zoom digicam class has ballooned from just a couple of models in 2000 to the bloated list of entries currently available, and that means that each new model is obliged to provide a few more bells and whistles than the model before in order to garner any notice. Fuji claims the S1000fd (which replaces the S700) is the world’s smallest 10 megapixel digital camera with a 12x optical zoom.
The S1000fd features a 12X (33-396mm equivalent) Fujinon optical zoom, but strangely no optical or mechanical image stabilization. The S1000fd provides users with Fuji’s version of Face Detection (with automatic red-eye removal) – which works by triangulating the eyes and mouth and then optimizing all exposure parameters (AF, white balance, sensitivity, etc.) for up to six faces.
In addition the S1000fd features a 2.7-inch LCD screen, a 30 fps VGA movie mode, sensitivity that extends to ISO 3200 (at reduced resolution), macro shooting as close as five inches, and a new panoramic mode.
My initial impressions after some quality time spent shooting with the S1000fd under a variety of conditions suggest that the control layout is somewhat counter-intuitive, which makes the camera harder to use than it should be.
Shooting anything other than static subjects can be pretty frustrating because the S1000fd’s auto focus system is bit slower than average and shutter lag is noticeably longer than average.
On the control side, with most digicams you push the OK button on the compass switch to confirm menu choices and select camera functions, but not with the S10000fd: somewhat confusingly, you must remember to halfway press the shutter button to confirm/select.
In the full review I’ll address image quality, noise levels, optical performance, battery life, and general usability in more detail, but overall the S1000fd looks to come in near the middle of the pack.