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Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD Digital Camera Review

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD Digital Camera Review - Every product that uses electricity now has some connection to HD. Have Fujifilm jumped on the already overloaded bandwagon or can the S2000HD offer something the others can't? Matt Grayson investigates.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
Price : £232
Rating :
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The Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD is a compact DSLR style camera with a 15x optical zoom that gives you a 35mm equivalent of 27.6-414mm.

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Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD: Specification

  • Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD Zoom: 15x optical (27.6-414mm)
  • Resolution: 10Mp
  • Image size: 3648x2736
  • Sensor size: 1/2.33in
  • Sensor type: CCD
  • File type: JPEG
  • Sensitivity: ISO100-6400
  • Storage: SD, SDHC, 55Mb internal memory
  • Focus types: Multi, area, centre, continuous, manual
  • Normal focusing: 70cm-infinity
  • Close focusing: 10cm macro (1cm super macro)
  • Exposure compensation: (requires /- steps and increments)
  • Shutter speed: 4sec-1/1000sec
  • Flash: Built in
  • Monitor: 2.7in TFT LCD 230,000dot (76,666px)
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Power: 4x AA batteries
  • Size: 111.0x78.9x75.7mm
  • Weight: 386g

Prices online suggest the Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD costs around £220 with a 15x optical zoom, 10Mp and Fuji film simulations.

The Nikon Coolpix P80 at £249 offers an 18x optical zoom, 10Mp and the famed EXPEED processor.

Alternatively, the Olympus SP-570UZ at £284 has a 20x optical zoom, 10Mp and shadow adjustment which is a basic dynamic range optimiser.

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD: Modes and features
The design of the S2000HD isn't anything new from Fuji as this type of styling goes back to the S5000 released five years ago.

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD It gives the appearance of a DSLR but without the size, weight or interchangeable lenses. What most people enjoy about this type of camera is the large grip found on the front which holds the shutter release and the zoom rocker for operating the 15x optical zoom fitted into the bulging lens barrel.

This isn't a camera for those of you who want a smaller camera so you can leave your DSLR behind. There are a number of noticeable omissions such as a hotshoe and aperture-priority which you'll lose out on if you do. It does have a built-in flash which crouches over the lens barrel in the same way as a DSLR does. Although with an electronic viewfinder it won't be to accommodate the pentaprism on the S2000HD.

A large mode dial is located on the right shoulder hanging over the back slightly to be easily manipulated by the thumb and it is. Although if you want to try it one handed, you'll find yourself gripping a lot tighter to cope with it and your index finger instinctively moves away from the shutter release.

Joining the mode dial is a button to adjust the drive and one to activate the face detection. The power switch is a spring loaded type and sits between the face detection button and the shutter release.

The usual modes on the dial such as shutter-priority, manual, program, custom, video and scenes, the S2000HD feature along with some known and unknown new-comers. The natural light and natural with flash modes have been fitted to previous models and they work by taking a shot in natural light while the mode coupled with the flash takes an additional shot using the flash. This mode can't be entered into without popping the flash up which shows some of the intelligence in the camera.

A zoom bracket mode is also available where the camera will record three photographs at varying cropped areas. Despite saying that it's a zoom feature, the camera takes a photograph at the focal length you've set then crops into the image on the two blue box outlines that it shows in the preview. The effect of this is two images with dwindling resolution on each consecutive save.

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD The back looks like any other Fujifilm compact digital camera apart from the electronic viewfinder hanging over the 2.7in screen. All the functions are placed on the right side of the unit which makes me wonder how left handed people get on.

Most modern digital cameras will have a function button to accommodate quick options for faster and more efficient shooting. It comes in a variety of names such as function, fn, Q-menu or home but they all do the same thing. Fujifilm have their own and have used it for a number of years marked by an "f" which stands for FinePix.

The mode you're in depends on what the menu will show you with the modes on your dial marked P, S, M or C allowing more access than some of the auto modes. In this area you can adjust the ISO, resolution and film style with three choices of standard, chrome and black & white.

In the natural mode, the ISO is only on auto and can't be adjusted. In zoom bracketing the ISO is still auto and the resolution can't be amended. Other modes will allow or refrain you from making adjustments and it's a simple case of using them and getting to know them.

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD One of the good features that's inherent from previous models such as the S8100fd is the frame cropping tool. It works in the same way as the zoom but without the tediousness of having to move your finger. You can preset the camera to crop into the frame so all you have to do is make sure your subject is in the box on the screen and take the picture. This doesn't crop into the image and reduce the amount of pixels though which means that the optical zoom can be magnified even further. It also helps when tracking subjects as you still see the wider view of the shot.

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD: Build and handling
The AA batteries certainly help to give the camera some weight and despite them being located in the right side of the camera, it doesn't weigh over to that side. This is more likely because of all the technology being on the right side of the camera.

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
The pop up flash is quite high yet portraits suffer from red-eye.

The buttons and dials have the build quality you'd expect from a large manufacturer meaning that they're sturdy enough for what you'll use them for. I'm disappointed to see a plastic tripod bush and I feel that the battery bay could stop shaking about so much.

One major change that Fuji have made to this camera is the change in format choice. After years of promoting xD picture cards which they developed with Olympus back in 2002, they've dropped it. Out of this camera at least. My only thought is regarding the maximum 2Gb memory capacity of the xD cards whereas SDHC has a theoretical maximum size of 2Tb (2048Gb) but has been capped at 32Gb by the SD Card Association.

All Fujifilm cameras are easy to use and the S2000HD is no different. It has nice bright icons and lettering with small descriptions next to the options to give you an idea what they're for. What I'm unimpressed with is the lack of responsiveness when in playback mode. If you've taken a few test shots and just want to scroll through deleting them, you have to wait for all the screen info to come up before it does anything else. My irritability is stimulated further on discovery that there isn't a selective erase mode on the S2000HD.

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD: Performance
Shutter lag performance is good on the S2000HD at 0.04sec. This is around half of the typical reaction time of cameras in this class so if you like your candid or action shots, you're more likely to get the one you want.

If you enjoy shooting fast moving objects then the S2000HD has five continuous modes for you to choose from. Top3 shooting records the first three shots at full resolution and runs at around 1fps (frames per second) which is relatively slow. The bracketing mode runs at the same speed and will also take three images but at different exposures. This is useful for learning the technique of HDR as the images are taken in relatively fast succession. This means that little will move while you take the images and aligning won't be too difficult.

Moving up the list to the continuous shooting mode and this is differentiated by the fact that it'll keep taking pictures while the shutter is held down. Unfortunately, the processor isn't upto scratch as the camera shoots at slower than half a frame a second. This gives a ten second result of four shots. Not very worthwhile.

The final two continuous modes drop the the resolution down to get a faster fps rate. The Top33 5Mp mode takes 33 images in five seconds and knocks the resolution down to 5Mp so the processor can cope with the added speed. Similarly the Top33 3Mp will take the same amount of photos at 3Mp. Because of the lower resolution, the shots can be taken in 2.5sec. However, much to my dismay downloading those photographs to the card takes a further 25sec.

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
Warm colours look quite pale but the skin tone and mono tones are balanced.

I can't help but notice that on the colour chart the warmer colours look quite pale. I don't think that the processor is handling them right yet it's done a sterling job on the primary blue. The mono tones are nicely balanced and the skin tone looks good too. The earthy colours are falling foul of the same problem as red, orange and yellow looking paler than normally seen from a camera.

I took the Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD on a recent shoot and shot a couple of testers while I was there. The skin tones have come out nicely balanced and despite being under cover, I'm happy with the exposure. There's a slight yellow cast on the stonework but I'm not putting that to the camera as it's too random to be attributed to white balance.

Using flash I think it's given the shot a nice twist. The skin looks fresher and no areas are blown out too much. My disappointment is the slightest amount of red-eye. The flash pops up quite far so it really shouldn't be a problem. If Fujifilm thought it would be, maybe they could've added a red-eye removal software program?

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
The exposure is well balanced and sharp considering the lack of light.
Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
The flash has given the shot a more fashion look with a harder edge. Red-eye is evident, sadly.
Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
The Fujifilm S2000HD has coped well with the contrast in the image with the bright background and dark foreground.

The landscape shot was late afternoon around 3pm causing heavy shadows. Despite such a contrast in exposure, the Fuji hasn't managed too badly. The shadowed area is a little dark with the camera compensating for the bright area in the background but detail is still present in the foreground.

Fringing would normally be present on the leaves that have the sky directly behind them and I'm really impressed with the result of the S2000HD as only a slight amount of purple is visible on the leaves.

One thing that the S2000HD suffers from is lens flare. I got it on the image shown here and I've put a red box around the offending area. Granted, it appeared when I was shooting directly at the sun but it was behind the skateboard quarter pipe that the model is stood under so wasn't visible by the camera.

While I understand that shooting directly towards the sun can cause these issues, it's not something I've had a problem with on other cameras and wonder whether the lens is not coated correctly.

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
Lens flare is evident in this shot shown in the red box. I was shooting directly into the light but had no problems with other cameras I used in the same place.
Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
Super macro can close in to 1cm away. Beware of loss of light and lack of zoom capability in this mode. Standard macro has a zoom but is capped at 10cm.

The Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD has two close focusing modes of macro and super macro. Normal macro crops into a modestly laughable 10cm while the super macro goes into 1cm. The camera then zooms out to the optimal focal length and allows you to focus really close in at the expense of the zoom. What really gets my goat is that the programmers made the camera set itself up for you which is a great touch but then if you come out of super macro, it doesn't go back to the previous settings. This means you have to zoom it back in after you've finished which is a minor thing but looks to me like sloppy programming.

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD: Focus and metering
To free up every mode on the S2000HD, you have to put it in C mode on the dial. To access metering modes, you have to press the menu button and choose the most obvious option that describes metering: Photometry.

You're blessed with three options in the menu of multi metering, spot and centre-weighted. Multi metering will take a reading from certain areas of the image and give a reading that best suits the results of the analysis. Spot metering takes a reading from the exact centre of the frame, usually between 2-3% in total. Centre-weighted, or Average as Fuji call it, takes a general reading from the entire area and meters from that. It can get fooled by bright areas in the frame such as the suns reflection on a window or an open door if you're inside. This problem can then underexpose your subject.

Three focusing modes await you in the form of continuous focusing, single and manual. Continuous will focus on your subject constantly which is good for tracking moving subjects while single locks onto your subject and if it moves, you'll have to refocus. Manual focus does what it says and asks you to focus yourself by holding down the exposure compensation button and using the zoom button to focus.

I've never come across a more obscure way of focusing manually before and to add insult to injury, there's no zoomed in area to check focusing or even a bar showing where your focus distance is currently at.

You can also choose focusing areas such as centre, multi and area. The centre mode works in the same way as spot metering where it will only use the exact centre of the frame. Multi will use a certain area of the image to find the best suited subject to lock on to while area will allow you to move a small cross-hair box to the area you'd like to focus on.

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD: Noise test
I'm a little disappointed in the noise images. When I've blown them up to full size, noise is visible on the low key area and chromatic aberration punches out from the black and grey square edges.

Thankfully there doesn't seem to be any decrease in quality until ISO800 when the image seems to soften. I guess this is the noise reduction kicking in which I wish it would've done at ISO100. All detail in the flower petals is lost at ISO1600 and the two higher settings are when the resolution is knocked down in an attempt to control noise. Some detail has returned to the petals but coloured areas are still visible in the grey and black squares.

Colour noise is starting to violate the whole image at ISO6400 and I'm glad they capped it there. Even knocking the resolution down to 5Mp hasn't helped all that well.

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
The ISO100 test.
Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
The ISO200 test.
Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
The ISO400 test.
Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
The ISO800 test.
Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
The ISO1600 test.
Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
The ISO3200 test.
Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
The ISO6400 test.
 

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD: Verdict
I'm surprised at quite how basic some of the features are on this camera. With its flamboyant showing off of HD technology and exterior boasts of manual controls it lacks in certain key areas that I always expect to get excellent results in.

Unfortunately, it seems that adding a new HD feature has put all other functions to a back burner with even the film simulations at the minimum amount. I'm disappointed in the noise results and the red-eye from the flash. The latter is something which people shouldn't have to worry about these days yet here it is.

I think it's a standard camera and the only reason I think you may wish to buy it is for the HD quality video, if you're going to use it. Even that isn't full HD as it runs at 1280x720 although they've at least fitted a HD output to support the extra information.

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD: Plus points
Proven design
Good build
Super macro to 1cm
Zoom frame
Easy menu system

Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD: Minus points
Bad noise performance
Red-eye visible
Suffers easily from lens flare

FEATURES

HANDLING

PERFORMANCE

OVERALL

 

The Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD costs around £232 and is available from Warehouse Express here.

 

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Photographs taken using the Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD

Ian Bellweed climerJurrasic IslandMushroom on CoastCoughton ChimneyRoundhouse on the HillThe oaksCamel fairWightwick Manor MeadowThe Beautiful GoslingBeach HousingCastle greenMonastreyCottages by the seahome land
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