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The FinePix SL300, announced in January 2012, is a bridge camera from Fujifilm, with a massive 30x optical zoom lens. It also has a 14 megapixel sensor, 300 shot battery and it is available now, in black, for £234.
As well as auto mode, there is custom, manual, aperture priority, shutter priority and Program modes, as well as 6 Scene Recognition Auto, which chooses from Portrait, Landscape, Night, Macro, Night Portrait and Backlit Portrait. Other scene modes can be chosen, which includes Natural Light, Portrait, Baby Mode, Smile & Shoot, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night (Tripod), Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Party, Flower, Text. When shooting portraits there is Face Detection, Red-eye Removal, Blink Detection, Smile & Shoot Mode and Face Recognition. Motion Panorama automatically stitches together three shots in-camera. Other modes include Natural Light and with Flash, Tracking Auto Focus, Instant Zoom and Zoom Bracketing Mode.
You can prepare you images for sharing on Facebook and YouTube by tagging them. When you next connect the camera to your computer, images and videos will be uploaded automatically. You can also rank images between 0 and 5 stars so you can quickly search for your favourite pictures.
Movies can be recorded in 720p HD, if your're short on space on your memory card you can also record in 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 pixel resolution.
- 14 megapixel sensor
- 30x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 24-720mm)
- CCD-shift image stabilisation
- 3 inch LCD screen
- Scene Recognition AUTO
- 720p HD video recording
- ISO 64-6400
- 2cm minimum focusing distance
- Electronic viewfinder
- 300 shot Li-ion battery
There isn't a dedicated movie record button, video can be found on the mode dial and requires a press of the shutter button to commence recording. Other buttons include instant zoom, burst mode, function as well as other buttons which are typically found on most digital cameras. The SL300 has an easy to navigate menu systems.
The 3 inch LCD screen has a resolution of 460,000 dots, it is bright a clear and is easy to view, with a viewing angle of 160 degrees. If you prefer, there is also an electronic viewfinder, which is activated by the press of a button and is also extremely bright and clear.
The battery has a CIPA rating of 300 shots, we managed just over 350 during testing. We tested the camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average, so that consistent results were produced.
|Shutter Response||0.1 secs|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.9 secs|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||2.75 secs|
|Shot to Shot (without flash)||3.0 secs|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||3.7 secs|
|Continuous Shooting M
|Continuous Shooting H
Continuous shooting records at full 14 megapixel resolution, with Continuous shooting M restricted to 7 megapixels and Continuous shooting H to 3 megapixels. Fujifilm claim the camera is ready to shoot in 1.8 seconds of switching on, the quickest time we managed was 2.75 seconds.
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Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Sample Photos
Landscape | 1/140 sec | f/8.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64
HDR | 1/58 sec | f/8.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64
Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/5.1 | 17.6 mm | ISO 200
Fujifilm Finepix Sl300 Pet | 1/320 sec | f/5.8 | 77.2 mm | ISO 200
Sample Photos - Despite it being a fairly sunny day, landscape mode hasn't done a particularly good job with the blues and greens. The SL300 can take pictures at three different exposures, the example above has been combined to create a HDR image. Portraits have decent skin tones, but the flash is strong enough to reflect on your subject. Colour reproduction is OK, but not as good many of cameras we have reviewed recently and we did find images are quite often slightly underexposed. When shooting close-up, there is clearly some barrel distortion, which can be seen in the ISO tests shows below.
Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Lens test images
Wide Angle | 1/170 sec | f/8.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64
Some Optical Zoom | 1/320 sec | f/5.6 | 24.2 mm | ISO 64
Full Optical Zoom | 1/250 sec | f/5.9 | 129.0 mm | ISO 64
Macro | 1/9 sec | f/3.1 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64
Lens Performance - Images have a decent amount of detail, although they are softer in the corners, which is visible in the wide-angle shot above. When shooting with the full zoom, chromatic aberration and purple fringing are present in contrasting areas of the image. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 2cm which allows the camera to get close enough to take an impressive macro shot.
Fujifilm FinePix SL300 ISO test images
ISO64 | 1/12 sec | f/4.0 | 7.8 mm | ISO 64
ISO100 | 1/18 sec | f/4.0 | 7.8 mm | ISO 100
ISO200 | 1/34 sec | f/4.0 | 7.8 mm | ISO 200
ISO400 | 1/75 sec | f/4.0 | 7.8 mm | ISO 400
ISO800 | 1/150 sec | f/4.0 | 7.8 mm | ISO 800
ISO1600 | 1/320 sec | f/4.0 | 7.8 mm | ISO 1600
ISO3200 | 1/100 sec | f/10.0 | 7.8 mm | ISO 3200
ISO6400 | 1/200 sec | f/10.0 | 7.8 mm | ISO 6400
ISO Noise Performance - ISO 64 and 100 produces images which are free of noise, with only a very little appearing at ISO 200. Noise at ISO 400 becomes significant enough to cause the images to become slightly softer, with even softer images at ISO 800 that have lost quite a bit of detail. Images at ISO 1600 are full of noise and should only be used when completely necessary. The SL300 also has ISO 3200 and 6400, although the resolution is restricted to 3 megapixels.
Fujifilm FinePix SL300 White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent preset | 1/15 sec | f/3.9 | 6.8 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/17 sec | f/3.9 | 6.8 mm | ISO 100
AWB fluorescent - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/3.9 | 6.8 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset 1 - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/3.9 | 6.8 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset 2 - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/3.9 | 6.8 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset 3 - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/3.9 | 6.8 mm | ISO 100
White Balance Performance - When using the AWB preset under the incandescent lights, there is a very slight magenta cast, with the incandescent preset performing slightly better. Under the fluorescent lights the AWB preset out performs all three of the fluorescent presets, with casts appearing in each of the three pictures.
Panorama | 1/150 sec | f/8.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64
Panorama mode - Panoramas are good, although they aren't stitched perfectly, with the example above showing a slight mis-match in a couple of areas.
Wide Aperture | 1/220 sec | f/4.8 | 13.2 mm | ISO 100
Fast Shutter Speed | 1/1000 sec | f/5.0 | 15.3 mm | ISO 640
Trees | 1/105 sec | f/3.1 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64
Text | 1/110 sec | f/4.5 | 11.3 mm | ISO 64
Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Digital filters
Colour Standard | 1/4 sec | f/4.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 64
Colour Chrome | 1/4 sec | f/4.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 64
Colour Black And White | 1/4 sec | f/4.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 64
Digital Filters - When shooting you can choose between three colour modes; standard, chrome and black and white.
Video - Below is a video shot at 720p HD. You can use the optical zoom when shooting videos, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube Page.
Value For MoneyThe Fujifilm FinePix SL300 is priced at £234.00. Other cameras with a similar amount of zoom include the Olympus SP-810 UZ at £189.00, Nikon Coolpix P510 at £309.00, Fujifilm FinePix HS30 EXR at £329.00, Canon PowerShot SX40 HS at £329.00 and Sony Cybershot DSC-HX200V at £379.00.
You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.
Fujifilm FinePix SL300 ProsGood battery life
Decent value for money
2cm minimum focusing distance allows for good macro shots
Versatile zoom range
Comes with a strap and lens cap
Rubber on grip and lens makes it easy to hold
Fujifilm FinePix SL300 ConsOnly 720p HD
Barrel distortion when shooting close-up objects
Poor image quality at ISO 1600 and above
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/3.1 - f/5.9|
|35mm equivalent||24mm - 720mm|
|CCD pixels||14Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||6.16mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||4.62mm|
|Screen resolution||460,000 dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/2000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||8sec|
|ISO sensitivity||64 - 6400|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||Li-ion battery NP-85|
|Box Contents||Li-ion battery NP-85, Battery charger BC-85, Plug adapter , Shoulder strap, USB-A/V cable, Lens cap and Lens cap cord, CD-ROM, Owner's manual|