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The FinePix S2950 was added to Fujifilm's range of S-Series long-zoom range of bridge cameras in January 2011. If you are looking for a camera with a large amount of optical zoom, Fujifilm have plenty to offer. The new HS20 replaces the HS10 and has 30x optical zoom, and 16Mp EXR CMOS sensor. In the S range there is the S4000 with 30x optical zoom, the S3200 with 24x, the S1950, S1850, S1800 and S2800HD with 18x and lastly the S1730 and S1700 with 15x. Available in black, the S2950 is available to order now for £169.00.
When using the lens at its longest or in the dark the camera helps to produce sharp images with a mechanically stabilised sensor, high ISO sensitivity and Dual Image Stabilisation technology. To take panoramic images the camera takes three consecutive shots, releasing the shutter automatically and stitches them together.
The S2950 is HD enabled and can playback HD pictures and videos on a HDTV via a HDMI cable, although this is not supplied with the camera.
Other features include Smile and Shoot mode, easy web uploading and the ability to select images in-camera to add to a photobook. Smile and Shoot mode release the shutter automatically when your subject smiles and the Blink Detection function will let you know if your subject has blinked so you can retake the photo. Pictures and videos can be tagged for uploading to FaceBook and YouTube via a PC and My FinePix Studio.
- 14 Megapixel CCD sensor
- Fujinon 18x optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 28-504mm)
- 3.0in LCD screen, 230K dot resolution
- EVF, 200K dot resolution
- Easy web upload to Facebook and YouTube
- HD stills (Full HD) and 720p HD movie capture (30fps)
- HDMI mini port
- Up to ISO6400 (at reduced resolution)
- Face Detection with Blink Detection and Smile and Shoot mode
- SR Auto (Scene Recognition Auto)
- Full Manual Controls
- AF Tracking
- Motion Panorama mode
- Powered by 4x AA batteries
The EVF is bright, clear and will appeal to those who like the traditional way of shooting rather than using the screen on the rear. The cameras menus are really easy to navigate and shouldn't prove a challenge for those who are used to compact cameras.
The camera is ready to take pictures within a couple of seconds of switching on and can zoom from one end of the lens to another in around three seconds. There are various methods of continuous shooting on the S2950. Top 3 takes up to three pictures when the shutter is pressed, final three takes up to 40 pictures but only the last three are recorded, long period takes as many as possible until the memoney is full. Top 10 takes 10 pictures when the shutter is pressed, top 20 takes 20 and AE BKT takes three shots each time the shutter is pressed. One shot is taken using the metered value for exposure, one under exposed and one over exposed by the amount set in the shooting menu.
Using the AA batteries provided the S2950 is capable of shooting approximately 300 images but if you require your batteries to last longer then Ni-MH batteries are capable of approximately 500 images and Lithium batteries are capable of approximately 700 shots.
The S2950 panoramic mode is excellent at stitching together the pictures taken and it is impossible to see where they have been joined. The whole process is made extremely easy with fantastic results.
|Panoramic mode, ISO64, 1/137, f/6.4, 5mm (35mm equiv: 28mm)|
Noise is not noticeable at ISO64 and ISO100 but it is starting to creep in at ISO200. Noise isn't too bad at ISO400 but some detail is starting to get lost. At ISO800 noise is very clear, with it getting worse at ISO1600 but images remain quite sharp. As expected at ISO3200 and ISO6400, noise is pretty bad, the image size is limited to 3Mb, with images produced here best used on the web.
Here are some sample pictures taken with the S2950.
|Portrait with flash, ISO100, 1/64, f/4.4, 15mm (35mm equiv: 84mm)||Sun in shot, ISO64, 1/446, f/6.4, 5mm (35mm equiv: 28mm)|
|Pet portrait, ISO64, 1/181, f/8, 12mm (35mm equiv: 67mm)||Beach mode, ISO64, 1/150, f/8, 12mm (35mm equiv: 67mm)|
Auto white-balance does a good job and under our lighting setups in the studio, both fluorescent and incandescent the respective presets don't improve on the AWB setting.
Video ModeThe S2950 can shoot HD videos at 1280 x 720 pixels, as well as 640 x 480 pixels and 320 x240 pixels VGAs, all at 30fps. Digital zoom can be used during recording, shooting at 3x the zoom the camera is set at before recording, for example, if the camera is at 9.6x and the shutter button is pressed, the zoom can reach up to 28.8x. Sadly it's not optical zoom and it skips from each stage rather than being smooth. For a test video using the zoom please visit the ePHOTOzine YouTube page.
Value For MoneyThe S2950 is currently priced at £169. Fujifilm has released other cameras with 18x optical zoom such as the S2800HD at £164.00 and S1800 at £136.99, with 14Mp and 12Mp sensors respectively. The 2800HD is very similar in many ways, the S2950 is smaller and has a higher resolution LCD screen. The Nikon Coolpix S9100 is priced at £244.99 with 18x optical zoom but is a much slimmer design. If you fancy even more optical zoom, the Olympus SP-610UZ has 22x and is priced at £159.00.
Fujifilm FinePix S2950: ProsLots of zoom
Good value for money
Lots of features
HDMI connection to HD TV
Fujifilm FinePix S2950: ConsNoise performance from ISO800 upwards isn't great
No optical zoom on videos
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
|Optical zoom||18x optical zoom, 5 - 90mm (28 - 504mm in 35mm equiv.), f/3.1 - 6.4|
|Max image size||4288 x 3216|
|Focusing system||Single AF / Continuous AF (SR AUTO, Movie)|
|Focus points||Centre, Multi, Area, Tracking|
|Focus type||TTL contrast AF, AF assist illuminator available|
|Focus distance||Super macro: 2cm|
|ISO sensitivity||ISO100 - 6400|
|Metering system||TTL 256-zones metering; Spot, Multi, Average|
|Metering types||Programmed AE, Shutter Priority AE, Aperture Priority AE, Manual exposure|
|Exposure compensation||1/3 EV step, +/-2 EV|
|Shutter speed range||8 - 1/2000 sec|
|Frames-per-second||L : TOP-3 1.2 fps
M :TOP-10 3.3fps
S : TOP-10 3.3fps, TOP-20 8fps
|Image stabilisation||CCD-shift type|
|Electronic Viewfinder||0.2in Colour LCD, approx. 200,000 dots|
|Movie mode||1280 x 720 pixels （30fps）
640 x 480 pixels （30fps）
320 x240 pixels (30fps)
|Monitor||3.0in TFT Colour LCD approx. 230,000 dots|
|Media type||SD / SDHC|
|Interface||USB 2.0 High-Speed
HDMI Mini connector
|Power||4x AA batteries|
|Box Contents||4x AA type alkaline batteries
Lens cap and Lens cap cord
|Size||110.2 × 73.4 × 81.4mm|
|Weight||Approx. 437g with Battery and SD Memory Card|