Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd | Digital Camera Review | Adjustments
When we compare the image sensor of the Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd to that of an entry level DSLR, the first noticeable thing is that the S8000fd had to settle for a smaller size sensor. A 1/2.35 inch sensor with 8 million pixels does not offer room for more pixels unless the pixels are decreased. And we certainly don’t want that, moreover because high ISO settings suffer from noise rather quickly while the noise reduction system is trying to reduce it. As a result traces of this noise reduction are visible from ISO 200 resulting in loss of detail. I must add that there is no or hardly any quality loss up and including 400 ISO when you only use the Fujifilm S8000fd for standard postcard size prints. The advanced photographer however, will demand more and will probably want to print all sorts of ISO’s on large size prints. I must come to the conclusion that those photographers are better-off with a DSLR camera that will take these compact camera hindrances flawlessly. The large zoom range of course stands strong. The ease of capturing different objects, no matter how far away from the camera they are, is amazing. A lens construction like this will have to take and give a bit at times. The wide angle of 27mm is not completely free of distortion and some loss of sharpness in the corners is found. The telephoto range has some loss of contrast. In practice however, these lens distortions are hardly visible.
Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd - Chromatic aberration
Something that does bother me though is the presence of chromatic aberration. While testing a competing camera, the Panasonic FZ18 for that matter, the lack of chromatic aberration was remarkable. This makes it clear that a Megazoom camera manufacturer is able to control and correct chromatic aberration. The test pictures made with the Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd quite frequently showed annoying purple fringing around objects with high contrasts. I must say that in practice, only when you know this effect occurs you will notice it and it will annoy you. People unaware of any criticism on purple fringing I showed the pictures to, did not even notice the phenomenon. The effect usually blends in with the rest of the picture.
Fujifilm S8000fd - Super macro settings
If you like the world of macro photography, the Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd will take you there. Unfortunately also here we see some blur in the corners and vignetting. The super macro setting lets the camera get extremely close to a subject. The only problem that you will encounter then is the lack of sufficient light because the camera will block the environmental light. This feature might be more suitable for studio environments where you have more control over the light. Pictures taken in macro mode show a lot of detail.
Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd - Intelligent flash system
The Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd has not been equipped with a hot shoe so you can’t attach an external flash to it. Something the camera does offer is an intelligent flash system. This system has been used in a number of Fujifilm cameras and it allows high quality flash photography. The camera has absolutely no problem getting rid of red eyes and uses a pre-flash and software to correct red eyes inside the camera for a fine result. Striking is the Natural Light & Flash mode. When set to this mode the Fujifilm S8000fd will take two pictures sequentially. Both pictures will be rendered side by side and the choice for the best one is up to you. Very simple and very well thought-out and nicely carried out. I wonder when competing models will start offering this function too.
FinePix S8000fd - Automatic & Manual white balance
Colour rendition of the Fujifilm S8000fd is fine. The red and blue tones are saturated above average but not exaggerated. If you are into portrait photography you will find the skin tones very beautiful and only a slight deviation from the colour is visible. All in all a fine performance. Fujifilm also controls the white balance well apart from taking pictures in incandescent environments. Then the auto white balance has difficulties finding the correct solution and will not deliver a neutral picture. The solution for a neutral picture in these circumstances is to use manual white balance. The manual white balance is perfect.
Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd - JPEG file format
Although the Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd is a camera clearly suitable for the advanced amateur it does not offer to store pictures in the currently so very popular RAW format. The JPEG pictures straight from the camera are excellent but I can imagine the advanced photographer wanting to control the sharpness and noise reduction himself instead of depending totally on the camera. Even if it was just to control the white balance. But we have to settle for JPEG here.
Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd all-round Megazoom camera
The Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd is an all-round Megazoom camera offering a wealth of functionalities. The quality is fine but some of the competitors have a tad more control over certain issues. For example chromatic aberration. The standard size prints don’t suffer much from lens deviations but photographers that want to go one step further, will have to accept that they will encounter some boundaries with this camera which they would not find using a DSLR. Colour rendition is excellent and it offers a natural, beautifully saturated result.