The Fujifilm FinePix S8400W was announced in March 2013 and is a bridge camera that has 44x optical zoom and built-in Wi-Fi allowing for easy image sharing to computers, tablets and smartphones. The S8400W is exclusively available from Currys and is currently priced at £239.99.
Fujifilm FinePix S8400W Features
The Fujifilm FinePix S8400W has a 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and 44x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 24-1056mm, with optical image stabilisation to help keep images as sharp as possible. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm, great for macro photography, and there is also an electronic viewfinder to help keep the camera steady when shooting.
A feature which makes the camera stand out from other bridge models is the built-in Wi-Fi so you can transfer images quickly to your PC, smartphone or tablet. You can also set up the Autosave mode, which works when your PC is on and the camera is connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
When shooting there is the scene recognition auto mode which automatically adjusts the camera settings, selecting from portrait, landscape, night, macro, night portrait and backlit portrait. Those with more photographic knowledge can capture shots using full PSAM manual controls. There are also 6 special filters (toy camera, miniature, pop colour, soft focus, cross screen and partial colour), 360° panoramas and a HDR mode which combines three shots at different exposures. For capturing fast moving subjects the S8400W can capture at 10fps, for a maximum of 10 frames.
Videos can be recorded in Full HD with stereo sound (1080i / 60 fps) as well as slow-motion videos at 480 fps (320 x 120 pixels). The S8400W can be connected to a HD TV via a HDMI cable for playback.
16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor
44x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 24-1056mm)
Optical image stabilisation
3.0 inch 460k dot LCD screen
Full manual controls
1080p HD video recording
1cm minimum focusing distance
10 fps continuous shooting
Motion panorama 360 mode
Fujifilm FinePix S8400W Handling
The Fujifilm FinePix S8400W has the look and feel of a small DSLR, it has a lens cap and a rubberised hand grip. There is a rubberised patch for your thumb on the rear and the lens barrel is also rubberised. It has a pop-up flash which is activated by a button on the side. The zoom can be controlled in two ways - there is the usual zoom rocker but there is also a zoom lever on the side of the lens barrel.
The camera has a mode dial on top offering access to the wide range of modes available. Also on the top is the on / off slide, zoom rocker, shutter release, exposure compensation of continuous shooting. Just below the mode dial is a button which switches between the LCD screen and electronic viewfinder (EVF). On the rear are movie record, playback and display / back buttons as well as a rotating wheel which also acts as a d-pad. The d-pad gives access to macro mode, flash, self-timer and function. The function button can be set to ISO, image size, image quality, white balance and more.
The LCD screen is a good size and has a decent 460k dot resolution. The EVF is very bright and makes shooting easier in low light, in bright light when outdoors and when using the zoom. The menu system is well laid out and easy to navigate.
To use the Wi-Fi on your mobile device you need the Fujfilm Camera app available on Android and iOS. You can send images, view the images on your camera and geotag. The connection process is simple, as is using the app.
Battery life is rated at 300 shots according to CIPA test results, extensive use of the Wi-Fi will reduce this though. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting - SH1
Continuous Shooting - SH2
Continuous Shooting - L
Continuous Shooting - M
Continuous Shooting - H
The continuous shooting L, M & H modes all shoot at full resolution, with SH1 limited to 1280 x 960 pixels and SH2 limited to 640 x 480 pixels.
Fujifilm FinePix S8400W Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Fujifilm FinePix S8400W Sample Photos
Sample Photos - Images are well exposed and have good colour reproduction. Portraits are free of red-eye but skin tones aren't particularly good. There is a HDR mode, some people might like the images created but they aren't as good manually created HDR images using Photoshop.
Fujifilm FinePix S8400W Lens test images
Lens Performance - Image detail is decent at both ends of the lens, they're a little softer in the corners and there is some purple fringing, although it's generally not too bad. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1cm, this allows for good macro shots to be taken.
Fujifilm FinePix S8400W ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 100, 200 and 400, but images become softer at ISO 800. Images are even softer at ISO 1600. Significant detail is lost at ISO 3200 which leads to poor image quality. At ISO 6400 and 12800 image quality is dreadful, these two settings are best avoided.
Fujifilm FinePix S8400W White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights the Auto White Balance (AWB) really struggles, taking an image with a strong colour cast. The incandescent preset takes a better picture. The AWB fares better under the fluorescent lights. There are three fluorescent presets available, 1 and 3 both have colour casts, but preset 2 performs well.
360 Panorama | 1/170 sec | f/8.4 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
Panorama mode - Panoramas have a decent amount of detail and are reasonably well stitched together.
Fujifilm FinePix S8400W Digital filters
Digital Filters - The S8400W has a few colour modes which can be applied while shooting. There is also the Advanced Filter mode - we've included a number of examples above.
Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD. Quality is good, you can use the optical zoom during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page. Focusing is good, but to ensure videos are as steady as possible, a tripod is recommended when zooming.
Cameras with Wi-Fi tend to be significantly more expensive than those with similar specs and no Wi-Fi, given the Fujifilm FinePix S8400W has a 44x optical zoom lens, the £239.99 price tag looks extremely fair. There are loads of other features for the aspiring photographer to enjoy, it's ideal for someone who wants to step up their photography but doesn't want the burden of an expensive DSLR and a kit bag of lenses. As we usually find with these feature packed and low priced bridge cameras image quality isn't the best, but it's not bad, particularly if you tend to share on the web.
The Fujifilm FinePix is featured packed with Wi-Fi and plenty of optical zoom, all for a decent price.
Fujifilm FinePix S8400W Pros
Lots of optical zoom
Good value for money
Full manual controls
10 fps continuous shooting
Decent value for money
1cm minimum focusing distance
Good battery life
Fujifilm FinePix S8400W Cons
HDR mode doesn't take particularly good pictures
Portraits aren't overly impressive
Terrible image quality at the higher ISO settings
AWB struggles under our studio lighting
The Panasonic Lumix TZ70 offers a 30x optical zoom lens, built-in Wi-Fi, a high-resolution electronic viewfinder as well as a lower resolution 12.1 megapixel sensor. Say what? Yes, a lower resolution sensor.
3 Mar 2015 8:44AM