Fujifilm Finepix S8100fd digital camera - Review

Fujifilm Finepix S8100fd digital camera - Review

Fujifilm Finepix S8100fd digital camera - ReviewA powerful 18x optical zoom housed in a conveniently compact body

Pros: Powerful zoom lens; image stabilisation; build quality; image quality; excellent low-light performance

Cons: Low-resolution viewfinder; fiddly controls; no zoom during movie recording

Bottomline: A pricey but impressive camera capable of turning difficult subjects into stunning photographs

Manufacturer: Fujifilm

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An update to the Finepix S8000fd has an SLR-style design but a remarkably compact body, complete with an LCD eye-level viewfinder and 27-486mm lens.

The sensor has been upped form eight to 10 megapixels while a selection of new features have been added. These include Instant Zoom, which automatically delivers three versions of your shot at different digital zoom depths – if face recognition is activated, the camera automatically keeps the faces in shot.

While the S8000fd certainly won’t fit comfortably into a trouser pocket, it’s much smaller than a similarly-specified SLR. You can take it with you to places where the bulk of a full-size SLR together with a set of lenses able to cover such a vast range would be cumbersome.

Whatever the subject matter, the Finepix S8100fd is able to produce arresting photographs. It’s packed with automatic features to help beginners, but also offers many manual control for those who like to get creative.

Camera shake is typically exacerbated by large zoom lenses, but thanks to its built-in optical image stabilisation and excellent performance at higher ISO settings the S8100fd is capable of taking steady hand-held shots at full zoom.

Most cameras lose image quality at higher sensitivity settings, but the S8100fd performs well here. When there isn't enough light, the Finepix S8100fd’s Intelligent Flash feature uses the right brightness of flash to illuminate the subject while preserving natural-looking colours.

With high-speed shooting up to 13.5fps for 33 frames at three megapixels or 6.8fps at five megapixels, this is also a very fast camera which can capture action shots with ease.

We’re used to super-zoom cameras making many compromises, but the Finepix S8100fd is thoroughly impressive and one of the most versatile cameras we’ve seen.