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Fujifilm FinePix S2980 Digital Camera Review

fujifilm20120520ba.jpgDigital Camera Review by: Ashley Akers 

 

When a large chocolate shake at your local ice-cream shop comes to $3.69 and a small chocolate shake will lighten your purse by $2.19 you can walk away with your head held high knowing the only thing that differers is the quantity. They don’t see you coming a kilometre away with your $2.19 and grab out the cheap milk and no name ice-cream to serve you a lower quality shake just because it’s a lower price; not at all. You’re simply paying less for a quantity difference but still getting the highest quality ingredients. Fujifilm does the same with their range of digital cameras and especially the Fujifilm Finepix S2980. The $219 S2980 handles images well and boasts the same or similar quality and features as the more expensive Finepix SL300 at $369. The difference that $150 less will buy you is merely less quantity not less quality.

 

Appearance and Functionality


fujifilm20120520bb.jpgJust as a small shake has less milk the Finepix S2980 has less plastic. It resembles a tiny DSLR in shape and style and is easily portable. It’s finish feels slightly more like cheaper plastic but it has a solid build and the shape and grip make it all the more useable.   This Finepix will boot up quickly and is usable with no effort faster than the camera on your mobile phone. All the buttons you need to get use out of it are located on the right and top with key functions have dedicated buttons. A dial on top makes for easy choice of shooting mode: HD video, panorama, full manual, full auto and intelligent user settings.

Just as it’s buffer, tanned and more expensive brother the S2980 has a handy Facebook and Youtube marking feature. This allows you to take a journey through your life’s adventures via the LCD screen and choose exactly which scenes make the final cut. Your life story has never made it to the big screen faster and easier that this!

In order to reduce manufacturing costs is the only reason conceivable for the S2980 to use 4 x AA batteries. The use of rechargeable custom batteries in todays market has become so common and widely accepted that the inclusion of a power source so basic is oddly surprising. However when you’re paying barely a wink over $200 for a full functioned digital camera you’ll welcome the cheaper power option, if only to put dollars back in your pocket. 

 

Image / Lens Quality


fujifilm20120520bc.jpgThe other quantity variation compared to the SL300’s 30x optical zoom is the lesser 18x on the S2980. This zoom range and wide angle of 28mm is still very useful for everyday use: a night on the town, a family holiday, a wedding, a birthday or a sporting event. You’ll be able to get the photo you need to keep everyone happy with this camera. There appears to be a slight softness to images when at high levels of zoom but for the price of this beauty you won’t be disappointed.
If you decided to visit the zoo in an unlikely event of a solar eclipse and are still desperate for photos of the cute and cuddly, there’s no reason to fear! Combined with the useful aperture range of f3.1 - f5.6, and high ISO sensitivity the S2980 handles low light situations well and almost the same as the more expensive SL300.

Sensitivity at ISO64, ISO100, ISO200 and ISO400 show no to very slight almost unnoticeable grain. ISO800 to ISO1600 have a little more trouble with the grain however that’s not the end of the 14mp sensor’s sensitivity. Feel free to push the ISO up to ISO3200 and ISO6400 for images in very low light however image quality is diminished and they appear blurry, grainy and resolution is lowered to compensate.

Colours and skin tones appear natural and vibrant in the images. Whites are balanced well with auto white balance. The less functions such as white balance you have to tweak for each photo the easier it will be to shoot and the more time you can spend experiencing the world outside of the claustrophobic, camera frame box. 

 

LCD / Viewfinder

 
fujifilm20120520bd.jpgWhen the sun finally comes out from behind the moon and the blazing glory of brightness reflects every last thing in the world off your sleek 7.5cm LCD screen you can relax knowing you have a viewfinder ready and waiting. Just press the switch button; the LCD will turn off and the electronic viewfinder will turn on. You can now put your eye up to the viewfinder and view all previews, through the lens or access menus on the electronic screen.

Useful information is also displayed on previews including exposure information.

 

Video


Sensor shift image stabilization is a feature you can’t go without when shooting video on a digital still camera. Not only is it useful at high zooms in still mode this feature more than shines in video mode. While in still mode you can simply delete a frame that shook the subject out of view, in video mode every tremor in your hands is visible without IS. As mobile phones, of all things, contain HD videos in today’s market the major noticeable difference in video quality between that and the S2980 is the smooth, stable, cinematic perfection.

While there is no FullHD 1080p option, the 720p HD option does more than enough for the price range, consumer market category. And if it means you don’t have to go and fork out an extra $500 for a camcorder as well then 720p resolution all of a sudden seems so much greater.

 

 

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Conclusion


If you’re at your local store looking for a budget digital camera that won’t compromise on quality, you can rest assured knowing that Fujifilm's line of cameras deliver. The lower model Fujifilm Finepix S2980 has similar quality and features of the more expensive SL300; the major difference between the two is that of dimensions and quantity. However the 18x zoom, HD video, 14mp sensor and image stabilization are still impressive features within themselves and Fujifilm controls them all the more impressively.

 

Accessories Used During Testing:

SanDisk Extreme 30MB/s SD Card 

Tamrac Aero 25 / 3325 Camera Bag 

 

Recommended Retailer:

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View / Buy The Fujifilm S2980 

 

 

 
Appearance rating 3.5 stars
Functionality rating 3 stars
Image quality
3 stars
Video quality
3 stars
Lens quality
3 stars
LCD screen 3.5 stars
Value for money 4 star
Street Price $199.95
SPACER.GIF  
Effective Pixels 14.0 million pixels
Sensor Type
1/2.3-inch CCD with primary colour filter
Image Sizes 3 Sizes / 3 ratios
Lens Type: Fujinon 18x optical zoom lens
Focal length: f=5.0 - 90.0 mm, equivalent to 28 - 504mm on a 35 mm camera
Full-aperture: F3.1(Wide) - F5.6 (Telephoto)
Constitution: 11 groups 14 lenses
Lens Mount
-
Resolution Settings: Stills L : (4:3) 4288 x 3216
L : (3:2) 4288 x 2864
L : (16:9) 4288 x 2416
M : (4:3) 3072 x 2304
M : (3:2) 3072 x 2048
M : (16:9) 3072 x 1728
S : (4:3) 2048 x 1536
S : (3:2) 2048 x 1360
S : (16:9) 1920 x 1080
Resolution Settings: Video 1280 x 720 pixels
640 x 480 pixels
320 x 240 pixels
30 frames / sec. with monaural sound.
* Zoom function can be used. 
Face Detection Yes
Manual Focus Yes
Auto Focus Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Shutter Speeds (Auto mode) 1/4 sec. to 1/2000 sec. , (All other modes) 8 sec. to 1/2000 sec. with mechanical shutter
Shutter Priority Yes
ISO Auto,Equivalent to ISO 64 / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200* / 6400* (Standard Output Sensitivity)
* ISO3200/6400 is effective in S mode.
LCD Monitor 3.0-inch, approx. 230,000 dots, TFT color LCD monitor, approx. 97% coverage
Viewfinder 0.2-inch., approx. 200,000 dots, color LCD viewfinder approx. 97% coverage
Flash Auto flash (i-flash)
Effective range: (ISO AUTO)
Normal
Wide: Approx. 40 cm - 7.0 m / 1.3 ft. - 22.9 ft.,
Telephoto: Approx. 2.5 m - 3.6 m / 8.2 ft. - 11.8 ft.
Macro
Wide: Approx. 30 cm - 3.0 m / 1 ft. - 9.8 ft.,
Telephoto: Approx.2.0 m - 3.0 m / 6.5 ft. - 9.8 ft. 
Hot Shoe No
White Balance Automatic scene recognition
Preset: Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White), Fluorescent light (Cool White), Incandescent light, Custom 
Self Timer Approx. 10 sec. / 2 sec. Delay
Stills Format/s
JPEG (Exif Ver 2.3 )
(Design rule for Camera File system compliant / DPOF-compatible)
Video Format/s AVI (Motion JPEG ) / WAVE format, Monaural sound
Video Recording Time/s -
Storage Type - External SD / SDHC memory card
Storage Type - Internal
-
Connectivity Video output: NTSC / PAL selectable with monaural sound
Digital interface: USB 2.0 High-Speed
HD output: HDMI Mini connector
Power Source -
Battery Options 4xAA type alkaline batteries (included) / 4xAA type Ni-MH rechargeable batteries (sold separately) / 4xAA type lithium batteries (sold separately)
Battery Life Alkaline batteries: Approx. 300frames
Ni-MH rechargeable batteries : Approx 500 frames
Lithium batteries : Approx. 700 frames
Dimensions 118.0 mm (W) x 80.9mm (H) x 99.8mm (D)
Weight Approx. 445g (exc. accessories, batteries & memory card)
Approx. 540g (inc. accessories, batteries & memory card)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

About Fujifilm

 

FUJIFILM brings continuous innovation and leading-edge products to a broad spectrum of industries, including electronic imaging, photofinishing equipment, medical systems, life sciences, graphic arts, flat panel display materials, and office products, based on a vast portfolio of digital, optical, fine chemical and thin film coating technologies. The company was ranked number 15 for U.S. patents granted in 2006. Fujifilm is committed to environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship.

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