Editor's Note: This week on DigitalCameraReview.com, we're reviving a popular series of articles: our Users Speak Out column. In an effort to connect people researching a particular camera with the opinions of those who actually own and regularly use a model, we've culled some of (what we think are) the most useful and informative user opinions – both positive and negative – posted on this site about this month's feature camera.
We're considering bringing Users Speak Out back as a regular feature on DCR, so if you enjoy reading it or find it informative, we want to hear about it in our discussion forum.
The new year is in full swing, and although prime camera shopping season may be behind us for a few months, there are still some great deals floating around out there if you happen to be in a buying mood. Case in point is the Fujifilm FinePix S1000fd: this camera has been quietly hanging around our list of most viewed products for months now, probably because I can't think of anywhere else where you can score a moderately sized camera with manual exposure control and huge zoom range for well under $200.
That's right: pretty much anywhere you shop these days, you can round up your very own S1000fd – complete with its 12x zoom, 10 megapixel sensor, and 2.7 inch LCD – for about $180. Choosy or patient types can do even better, with the camera retailing closer to the $150 mark at some vendors when it goes on sale.
You might assume that if you can get this much power (on paper at least) for such a small cash outlay, the S1000fd must really not be very good – regardless of what the specs sheet would suggest. Admittedly, we had mixed feelings about the smallest Fuji ultrazoom in our in-house review as well, but user opinions show that a solid majority of purchasers felt good enough about their buying decision to give the S1000fd a thumbs up.
See for yourself. Here's a sample of opinions we've collected on the S1000fd:
PROS: Good picture quality and great zooming. I can take some very good snaps even in low light. In this price range, there is no alternative to this camara.
CONS: Lost sharpness by using full zoom capacity. Handling. Consistency
OVERALL SCORE: 7/10
PROS: I liked the feature set of this camera, including manual settings. It produces good results at ISO 400 and 800, and I found the flash exposure to be very good. I thought the camera felt nice in my hands and handled well. The electronic viewfinder is definitely superior to an optical tunnel viewfinder (or no viewfinder!), and the manual white balance feature works well.
CONS: Although I really liked many things about this camera, I found it a struggle to consistently get good pictures out of it. I have extensive experience with digital (and film) photography, and have never before had a digital camera that had so much trouble producing acceptable results. I found the default evaluative metering mode to be unreliable – taking photos of the same subject in the same light, some pictures were well-exposed, others were poorly exposed. The dynamic range was poor, and the excessive color saturation in yellows was a significant problem. Oh, and the LCD screen didn't accurately approximate the color and contrast of the image, making it difficult to assess whether the photo was acceptable or whether another exposure should be taken. So although I liked many things about this camera, I returned it and bought something else.
OVERALL SCORE: 6/10
PROS: I bought this camera a week and half ago and I am very pleased. There are alot of settings for various conditions of environments. Nice pics. The panoramic function is excellent. I have 4GB SDHC and gave me no problem till now.
CONS: Camera is a must for amateur photographers and has so many nice features.
OVERALL SCORE: 9/10
PROS: In general, the list of capabilities is fine with its price level.
CONS: I bought [...] a Verbatim 2GB SD card [with it]. At the very first attempts ("Auto" mode, thus 10 megapixels) I received the message "Write Error." Thus the picture got lost. This error seems to occur now and then making the camera more than unreliable. [...] This is unacceptable, when not well explained in the Users Guide, and one has to browse the net to find out that a firmware update may (or may not?) help.
OVERALL SCORE: 4/10
PROS: (My review of this camera is in comparison to SLR type cameras at this price.) Perfect for the amatuer and pro alike, stunning picture quality. However this camera is not for beginners, intermidiate photography and camera operation is a must to take advantage of what this camera is capable of.
CONS: Features and adjustments are not organized in a way that quick acess is available to all commonly used features. I would have set the menus up a little different. Image review could be faster but has an index feature that makes image navigation quick; however it is also on the slow side to initialize.
OVERALL SCORE: 8/10