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Fujifilm FinePix S3200 Digital Camera Review

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Category: Compact Cameras
Product: Fujifilm FinePix S3200
Price: £189.99
Rating: 3.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 5

Fujifilm FinePix S3200 Digital Camera Review - Joshua Waller reviews the new Fujifilm FinePix S3200 - a bridge style camera with a 24x optical zoom lens and 14 megapixel sensor.

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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

FinePix S3200

The Fujifilm FinePix S3200 is one of Fujifilm's many ultra zoom bridge cameras, and offers a wide angle 24x optical zoom lens, a 14megapixel sensor and manual controls, as well as a black design that looks a lot like an SLR style camera.

1/200 sec | f/14.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 200

Fujifilm FinePix S3200 Features


The S3200 is somewhere in the middle of Fujifilm's ultra zoom bridge camera range, which at last count, features a huge 10 different models! The S3200 offers a lot of zoom, with a 24x optical zoom lens, and a large rubberised DSLR style camera for not a lot of money, available for around £155.

With a lot of zoom, a low price, a 14 megapixel CCD sensor with anti-shake, AA batteries, a 3 inch screen, an electronic viewfinder, and a black and rubbery appearance it certainly looks like a serious camera. Manual controls, panoramic shooting, numerous scene modes, and intelligent flash are some of the other features of the S3200, and as with other Fujifilm cameras it can shoot using the "natural light and flash" mode, this shoots without flash then straight away with flash, so you can choose which photo turned out the best.


1/200 sec | f/14.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 200

Key Features

  • 14 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 24x optical zoom lens (24mm - 576mm) lens
  • 3inch screen 230k dot
  • EVF 200k dot
  • 720p video
  • CCD-shift type image stabilisation
  • HDMI out
  • ISO6400 at reduced resolution
  • Auto Scene Recognition (SR Auto)
  • Manual controls
  • AF tracking
  • Motion panorama
  • Auto rotate
  • 4 AA batteries
1/200 sec | f/14.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 200

Fujifilm FinePix S3200 Handling


Handling, ergonomics, and buttons - the camera is quite large, larger than some 30x optical zoom cameras, such as the Sony HX100v, even though it has less optical zoom, however the price difference is quite massive between the two. The S3200 uses four AA batteries adding to the weight of the camera. With a large camera, there is a large grip as well as a rubberised surround on the lens aiding steady shots. There are a good number of buttons on the outside of the camera so you shouldn't need to use the menus too much (hopefully).

1/200 sec | f/14.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 200

Menus - The Fujifilm Finepix S3200 menus are quite straightforward, giving you quick access to a few settings via the F (FinePix) button, and then for additional settings such as white balance / ISO etc you need to enter the photo menu. More advanced camera settings can be found in the setup menu. There are quite a few pages of settings in both the photo and setup menu, and it would be nice if you could access a few more settings in the F / finepix menu.

1/200 sec | f/14.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 200

Battery life - The camera's battery life is rated at 300 shots according to CIPA standards when using alkaline batteries. Using alkaline AA batteries I was able to take over 380 shots before they went flat, this is good and the ability to put widely available AA batteries in could be a bonus, although rechargeable Ni-Mh batteries are recommended, as this should give 500 shots according to CIPA testing.

Speed - We tested the Fujifilm FinePix S3200 and compared it to two other recent ultra zooms, the Olympus SZ30MR with 24x optical zoom lens, and the Nikon Coolpix L120.


Nikon L120 Fuji S3200 Olympus SZ30MR
Shutter Response* 0.05 0.05 <0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.25 0.40 0.20
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.40 0.80 0.30
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.2
4.1
1.8
Shot to Shot (without flash) 2.1 1.8 1.5
Shot to Shot with Flash 2.3 2.0 1.6
Continuous Shooting
(full resolution, shots)
1.4s
1.2fps (6 shots)
5fps (5), 20fps (70, 5mp)

Performance was quite slow with slow focusing, particularly at the telephoto end, and the switch on time was noticeably slow at 4.1 seconds. Shot to shot without flash was average matching the competition in the middle, and similarly with flash. Continuous shooting is quite slow, but reasonable for a CCD based camera.

Fujifilm FinePix S3200 Performance

We've taken a number of sample photos in a variety of settings to show you the image quality produced by this camera, you can view them full size by clicking the "High-Res" link. Additional sample photos can be seen here in the equipment database, where you can add your own review.

Fujifilm FinePix S3200 Sample Photos

Portrait, 1/60 sec | f/4.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 64

Portrait, 1/60 sec | f/4.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 64
High-Res

Super Macro | 1/10 sec | f/3.1 | 4.3 mm | ISO 400

Super Macro | 1/10 sec | f/3.1 | 4.3 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

Wide Angle | 1/170 sec | f/3.1 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64

Wide Angle | 1/170 sec | f/3.1 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64
High-Res

Roughly 9x optical zoom | 1/300 sec | f/5.0 | 38.0 mm | ISO 400

Roughly 9x optical zoom | 1/300 sec | f/5.0 | 38.0 mm | ISO 400
High-Res


There is very low amounts of red-eye in flash portraits. Colour and skin tones are pleasing, and generally when viewing web size images photos look good. Macro performance - with a super macro mode the camera lets you focus with the subject just 2cm away from the front of the lens, this gives good macro images with high levels of detail, although you are unable to use optical zoom which can mean the lens blocks the light to your subject.

Fujifilm FinePix S3200 Lens test images

Wide | 1/250 sec | f/8.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64

Wide | 1/250 sec | f/8.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64
High-Res

Mid Zoom | 1/420 sec | f/5.2 | 18.8 mm | ISO 64

Mid Zoom | 1/420 sec | f/5.2 | 18.8 mm | ISO 64
High-Res

Full zoom | 1/350 sec | f/5.9 | 103.2 mm | ISO 400

Full zoom | 1/350 sec | f/5.9 | 103.2 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

Trees | 1/90 sec | f/3.1 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64

Trees | 1/90 sec | f/3.1 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64
High-Res


Lens: noticeable barrel distortion, noticeable pincushion distortion. The trees show very little purple fringing which is impressive and greens look good.

Fujifilm FinePix S3200 ISO test images

1/8 sec | f/5.4 | 20.4 mm | ISO 64

1/8 sec | f/5.4 | 20.4 mm | ISO 64
High-Res

1/12 sec | f/5.4 | 20.4 mm | ISO 100

1/12 sec | f/5.4 | 20.4 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

1/25 sec | f/5.4 | 20.4 mm | ISO 200

1/25 sec | f/5.4 | 20.4 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

1/50 sec | f/5.4 | 20.4 mm | ISO 400

1/50 sec | f/5.4 | 20.4 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

1/100 sec | f/5.4 | 20.4 mm | ISO 800

1/100 sec | f/5.4 | 20.4 mm | ISO 800
High-Res

1/200 sec | f/5.4 | 20.4 mm | ISO 1600

1/200 sec | f/5.4 | 20.4 mm | ISO 1600
High-Res

1/400 sec | f/5.4 | 20.4 mm | ISO 3200

1/400 sec | f/5.4 | 20.4 mm | ISO 3200
High-Res

1/120 sec | f/13.0 | 20.4 mm | ISO 6400

1/120 sec | f/13.0 | 20.4 mm | ISO 6400
High-Res


ISO noise - with a CCD sensor, the S3200 has more noise than the backlit CMOS sensor based cameras, so images are more grainy as a result, but the camera copes well with noise processing and gives relatively low noise at ISO64,100, 200, and then at ISO400 noise starts becoming more noticeable. As you continue to increase the ISO setting, you also increase noise, and detail in images is degraded, at ISO800 and particularly ISO1600 noise is very noticeable - and these modes would be best avoided unless you are planning on resizing the images for use on the internet, or making small prints. ISO3200 and ISO6400 are at reduced resolution.

Fujifilm FinePix S3200 White-balance test images

AWB Tungsten - 1/12 sec | f/4.1 | 8.4 mm | ISO 100

AWB Tungsten - 1/12 sec | f/4.1 | 8.4 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Tungsten Preset - Tungsten 1/13 sec | f/4.1 | 8.4 mm | ISO 100

Tungsten Preset - Tungsten 1/13 sec | f/4.1 | 8.4 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

AWB Fluorescent - 1/5 sec | f/4.1 | 8.4 mm | ISO 100

AWB Fluorescent - 1/5 sec | f/4.1 | 8.4 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Fluorescent Preset - 1/5 sec | f/4.1 | 8.4 mm | ISO 100

Fluorescent Preset - 1/5 sec | f/4.1 | 8.4 mm | ISO 100
High-Res


White balance performance - auto white balance produces warm images under incandescent and fluorescent light, with the fluorescent preset producing a better, more accurate colour rendition. Using the tungsten preset produced in image with a magenta cast.

1/140 sec | f/8.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64
Panoramic shot - 1/140 sec | f/8.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64

Video - 720p video sample, optical zoom is available, sound is recorded in mono. Quality is good, however, when using the full optical zoom focusing can become slow and the full zoom will amplify any camera shake.


Value for Money - Value for money is this cameras strongest feature, with a lot of zoom, large screen, and good handling, the camera is excellent value for money, available for just £155. This compares very well to other ultra zoom cameras that tend to start at around £200 or feature less optical zoom.

Fujifilm offer a huge range of ultra zoom cameras (with so many you'd think that the ultra zoom camera is Fuji's favourite kind of camera), including the smaller Fujifilm FinePix S2950, a larger version of the S3200, the S4000 features a larger 30x optical zoom lens, as does the top of the range HS20 with tilting screen and high speed CMOS sensor.

Alternatives to consider in the ultra zoom / bridge style camera range include the Sony Cybershot HX100v, Nikon Coolpix P500, Nikon Coolpix L120, Olympus SP-610, Panasonic Lumix FZ45 and FZ100, Canon Powershot SX30 IS, Kodak Easyshare Z990, and if you want a similar amount of zoom but don't want such as large camera, then have a look at the pocketable Olympus SZ30MR with 24x optical zoom lens!

Fujifilm FinePix S3200 Verdict

The Fujifilm FinePix S3200 packs a huge amount of camera, into quite a large package, but makes up for this with an excellent entry level price. Whilst it may not be as fast as backlit-CMOS sensor based cameras, and noise levels suffer as a result, the S3200 with built in anti-shake makes an appealing camera if price is a concern. The biggest drawback is the camera's image quality with images showing high levels of barrel distortion (at wide angle), and pincushion (at telephoto), as well as overly sharpened images, this gives white edges around objects where there shouldn't be white edges. Video is decent, although focusing at the telephoto end can be an issue. Macro performance is reasonably good, although using super macro locks the camera at the wide-angle position. Handling is very good with rubberised grips for both hands. While the camera may offer a great package that looks the part, unfortunately it doesn't deliver image quality to match, and I suspect other budget ultra zooms such as the Nikon Coolpix L120 or Olympus SP-610 will give better results.

Fujifilm FinePix S3200 Pros
Good handling, rubber grips
Lots of zoom
Good value for money
Good macro
Good video
Low purple fringing

Fujifilm FinePix S3200 Cons
Menu structure could be better
Large camera
Noise at ISO800 and ISO1600 is high
Over-processed images (sharpening artefacts)
Barrel and Pincushion distortion
Telephoto focus slow, hunts in video
Small electronic viewfinder with no diopter correction

FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE
OVERALL

Fujifilm FinePix S3200 Specifications

ManufacturerFujifilm
Lens
Max Aperture f/3.1 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent 24mm - 576mm
Optical Zoom 24x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels 14Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W) 4288
Pixels (H) 3216
Sensor Type CCD
Sensor Size 1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width) 6.16mm
Sensor Size (height) 4.62mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor 3in
Screen resolution 230k
Touch Screen No Data
Focusing
Min Focus 2cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest 8sec
Shutter speeds longest 1/2000sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity 64 - 6400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp +/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting 1.2fps
Video
Movie mode Yes
Video Resolution
  • 1280x720 720p
Video FPS 30
Stereo Sound No
Optical Zoom with Video Yes
Other Features
Image Stabilisation Yes
Interface
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2
Wi-Fi No
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery Type 4x AA
CIPA Rating No Data
Box Contents
Box Contents 4xAA type alkaline batteries, Shoulder strap, USB-A / V cable, Lens cap and Lens cap cord, CD-ROM Owner's manual
Dimensions
Weight 445g
Width 118mm
Height 80.9mm
Depth 99.8mm

View Full Product Details




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Lexar memory was used in this review.

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Comments

bent
bent  2
17 Oct 2011 - 9:38 PM

Hi future buyers.
I would just like to add my opinion on this camera as there are not many comments on this specific one.

The S3200 is plain awesome, for entihuasts and beginners it's a perfect bridegcamera.
I'm no pro and it's wrong of people who been into photographing and use the best of the best to even leave a comment on here, it's not justified. I got friends who use Nikon and Canon EOS and D whatever the names are on those cameras.. and they are impressed with my camera, for real.

The zoom, all the features, easy to use and so on.

For me, i fell in love right away, i read every review i could find on this modell, and they all were a bit "meh", but i still wanted it.. and belive me i'm not dissatisfied.

I take B&W, cool lightpictures with low iso and high shutter from freeways, moving objects etc and get a REALLY good quality (got it on L 14mp and Fine). I'm really proud to own this camera and when the real photagrephers try it and actually like it.. it's a big plus.

I dident buy it for the zoom though, mainly for a easy to use camera but with the added features of a SLR. But the zoom is incredible and the pictures look really good at 24x zoom. I don't know about the reviewers on this site and what settings they used, but with a little help from my friends (the pros) we get nothing but VERY good pictures from this camera, it's all about ISO, shutter speed and aperture.. and ofcourse, a good camerastand.

Buy it.. you wont regret it (unless your a snobb who thinks that anything below a $800 pricetag is ****).

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6 Dec 2011 - 5:50 AM

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swa
swa  2
6 Dec 2011 - 5:50 AM

It's fair to say this and similar Fuji superzoom/bridge cameras will greatly satisfy people who rarely or never have big enlargements made of their images. Smaller prints and typical image viewing sizes on a computer monitor look good. Big blowups look less good. Maximum enlargements disappoint.

I have a Fuji S4000 and enjoy it for what it is and does well, mindful of its limitations. I think others who approach these cameras in that way can get good use and value for money.

mahdi_mahdi
20 Apr 2013 - 11:17 AM

من که از داشتن این دوربین خیلی راضی هستم
با این قیمت (580000 تومان ) البته در ایران (اواخر سال 91) وبا این امکانات اگر میخواسید از برند های دیگه استفاده کنید حداقل 2 برابر این مبلغ رو باید پرداخت کنید

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