Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My new Fujifilm S8200 40x superzoom is one cool tool

It has taken me three months to find a replacement camera for my Fujifilm S2700 superzoom that I liked. Fitting the bill is the Fujifilm S8200. If this camera dies in a canoe accident (like the last one) then I will be in tears.

What's so great about the camera? How about a 40x superzoom that goes to a 24 mm wide-angle at the flick of a switch? You want macro? Flip the lever and you can go to 1 cm. It's amazing. I took a shot of the tablecloth and the camera picked up the fibers.

The Fujifilm S8200 is just a wicked little 16 megapixel camera. It has a BSI-CMOS sensor and a good array of digital filters. I like that it has an LED screen and also an electronic view finder. Fujifilm calls the S8200 a bridge camera. This means that it can be used as a point-and-shoot but also has the aperture, priority, shutter and full manual controls.

Something to know about all superzoom cameras is
that you must use a tripod to get the 40x shots that you want. The stabilization is excellent but nothing is perfect when the lens is extended beyond about the 26x point.

If you want to hand hold the camera, be sure to prop against something sturdy. Otherwise, if you're shooting with the telephoto extended, then you'll need a tripod. Even high-end pros use a tripod in these conditions.

That being said, this is an amazing little piece of equipment. I bought to for print work and to create quality online photos. So far, I've used it in a wide variety of conditions and the Fujifilm S8200 hasn't let me down. The digital filters added zing to the waters at Fontana Dam. Shooting modes for text, bright sun etc. are all good.

I wasn't thrilled with the sport setting but that is partially my fault for not reading the manual. When set on sport or burst, the camera photographs at a lower resolution. The up-shot is that you get the photo. The downside is that the resolution isn't as sharp.

How you will use the camera depends on which setting you need. Sport isn't needed for a pretty landscape or dam photo but for action photography.

See the attached photo with the deer? I used the sport mode. Using anything else wasn't an option and I only just barely captured the image.

In the other photo, people are walking through a field while a coyote stalked a deer. The people were  photographed with the wide angle. The deer was photographed with the telephoto extended about 3/4 of the way. As for the coyote, he was photographed with the full 40x.

So far, I've been very happy. Amazon.com has the technical specs and details (see Fujifilm FinePix S8200). I could wax eloquently for days about image quality and ease of use.

The panoramic mode is easy enough that a five-year-old could do it. Video quality is good and the camera even has stereo sound! There are enough feature and modes to keep the regular user/ serious amateur occupied.

I paid just over $250 for it and would do so again. Hopefully though, I won't need to for a long time. This camera isn't going anywhere near a canoe - and maybe not very close to the water! If it ever stops raining, I'll go out and take more photos with the Fujifilm S8200. The next set should give you a better idea of the difference made with the superzoom. I hope to get those posted in a few days.

Here is an article for the Fujifilm 18x superzoom that I used to have. There are comparison shots of my daughter. Each one was taken while we both stood in the same positions.

I'm glad the new superzoom has a 40x optical zoom. There was no way that I was going into the field. Would you?

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