Fujifilm Finepix S7000


26 Apr 2004

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Product: Digital camera
Price: €799

The S7000 is what the industry calls a ‘prosumer’ camera — a 6MP semi-professional machine catering for the serious photography enthusiast rather than the casual snapper. This is reflected in its looks: its 35mm-210mm 6x optical zoom, matt-black finish, tough plastic casing and solid feel are reminiscent of a conventional SLR cameras. Only the generous (1.8-inch high) LCD screen at the back betrays its true digital nature.

In handling terms, too, the S7000 is modelled on conventional pre-digital prototypes. The curved hand grip on the right side of the camera would be familiar to any current SLR model owner and the dials on top are well positioned and easy to use. The on/off and shutter button is positioned at the front of the grip within easy reach of the forefinger.

The Mode button, just above and to the right of the viewfinder, allows you to flick between a number of automatic, semi-automatic, manual and movie settings. To the right of this, the Command scroller dial allows you to specify settings such as aperture and shutter speed, as well as control exposure, flash and continuous shooting operations.

A nice touch is the FinePix button to the right of the LCD screen that acts as a short-cut key for setting image size, ISO (light) sensitivity and colour format — colour, black and white or chrome.

The camera runs on four AA batteries whereas most other cameras at this price range use Lithium-Ion rechargeables. Battery usage is moderate at best and a recharger plus eight rechargeable batteries should be the first optional extra that you buy. The second should be a bigger memory card — the 16MB xD picture card that is included will hold 33 1MP images, which won’t get you very far.

There is also a second card slot that supports Compact Flash Type I and II cards and IBM Microdrive 340MB/1GB cards.

Image quality is a key selling point for this machine. Although it is technically a 6MP machine, the S7000 benefits from Fujifilm’s Super CCD technology that effectively doubles the highest resolution to 12MP.

The camera supports USB 2.0, allowing you to rapidly download images to computer. There is also a AV outlet for image display via TV or projector.

All in all, the S7000 has much to commend it, from its nice solid feel and intuitive layout to its extensive feature set, the mastering of which would pose a challenge even to the most dedicated hobbyist. This camera may not be cheap but you do get a lot of camera for your money.

By Brian Skelly