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on 7 August 2012
Being an expert in photography, (University level), I differ in my outlook as regards photography. I wanted a camera that was both flexible and good quality and I have used Fujifilm cameras before without problems. I must have checked the specs of several hundreds of cameras over a month. It had to be possible to use the camera as both quick 'point and shoot' or for a more considered outdoor or studio approach. Used properly and to it's full capacity the Fujifilm S4500 does the job for me.

There are 7 types of auto focus, so all pictures should be focused sharply and in use this turned out to be the case. With controllable priority of shutter, aperture or custom I have all the exposure control that I need, plus 16 shooting modes, which can be selected if I wish or switched between automatically.

Sun or lights shining over my shoulder and washing out the digital screen, no problem, a button push changes to viewfinder mode and everything I need is there, you can't have both screen and viewfinder on at the same time, but do you need that? People have complained that this camera uses 4 AA batteries. This is a real gift, try walking into a village shop and asking for a fully charged NP-50 Battery Pack as yours has become flat.... A pack of 4 AA alkalines? expensive though, but you keep on taking photos! I use Ni-MH rechargeables and carry a couple of fully charged sets in my camera case anyway, plus a set of alkalines in the car and I never need to worry. Studio work, plug in the mains adapter and keep going as long as I need. Note: It is necessary to set the camera to the correct type of battery or it will not work properly. (Alkaline, Ni-MH or Lithium)

Now for the interesting bit, the Fujinon zoom lens. This is equivalent to 24 - 720mm on a 35 mm camera, wide angle to long telephoto at the push of a control, no carrying/changing different lenses and possibly missing a shot. Normal 'point-zoom-press', I set it to SP Auto and the camera does all the working out for me, my camera has to work for a living. However, using the telephoto anywhere around full can create camera shake, simply holding it properly could eliminate most of those problems. Hold the camera in your right hand using the shaped grip, put your left thumb under the camera body and support the camera with your fingers resting gently over the top of the flash, (the flash down and not in use obviously), arms pulled in to your sides, take a breath and hold it. Press the shutter button, not snatching, but pressing half-way until it focuses, you get an on screen indication and a bleep to tell you it's ready, only then continue pressing the shutter button until it bleeps again and there you are. If possible, leaning against a solid object such as a wall or tree will help to steady the shot and the dual anti-shake will assist anyway. Nothing handy to lean against?, go down on one knee and rest an elbow on the other, that usually works for me. Fully out with the zoom, you do need a solid support such as a tripod, plus using the self timer.

If you want good photos without adjusting settings, leave it set to SP Auto and 'point-zoom-press'. The camera comes without an SD memory card and you WILL need one, order at the same time if possible, a 2Gb SD saves about 500 shots. Bigger, if possible. Lastly, if you want good photos take time to read the manual with the camera in your hand, it will always put you several steps ahead of the guessers; and make your photography so much better and easier for you.
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on 2 September 2012
I have been surprised and delighted with this camera. Incredible zoom and focus range makes it superb for macro photography as well as the usual family and scenic stuff. It has even more features that I realised, even some not found on more expensive digital SLRs. One feature which came as a surprise particularly pleased me: the choice of format. You can now continue to take photos in the 3:2 ratio (6 x 4) instead of the ridiculous standard digital format that fits no known photo frames!

I cannot print anything bigger than A4, but those have been crisply sharp.

Having for years lugged a heavy camera bag with 3 or 4 lenses plus the SLR camera body, the freedom this brilliantly designed and easy to use 'bridge camera' is a revelation!
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on 22 February 2013
I have had this s4500 for one day and am really impressed so far. I liked the reveiws i read and ordered one. I had to get it from Amazon France as AM UK don't send abroad, but no problem, as although it was more costly, there was no postage. The results so far are excellent. I am really impressed with the 30x zoo m. No loss of definition at all at full chat!
I will update when I have had more playing. The high battery usage is easily cured with Duracel 2000mah staycharged batteries.
I am still impressed. Not done any serious work but am snapping away to find out what it will do. And it does a lot. I think that atmy age I will never use all the features, but I can have fun! I fitted Duracell stay charged batteries, straight from the pack, and they are still going.
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I am not especially technically minded, just a lady with a senior railcard, several lively, photogenic grandchildren, also lucky enough to live in a beautiful, coastal, place where the light and the view change by the minute. Plus, I need to take interior shots of our holiday house for its web pages, hopefully making a good job of capturing lovely rooms with the peaceful river view showing through the windows. Daily, my camera is always nearby; I get enormous pleasure from photography as well as using it as a business tool. That said I confess that, despite having attended an excellent day course on using my bridge camera I am more than likely to have it set to auto. So please take my review from that simple standpoint.

This FUJIFILM FINEPIX S4500 was bought to replace a similar six-year or so old FUJIFILMFINEPIX S5700 that was a great companion until the flash stubbornly refused to pop up (at a christening to boot) and was eventually declared uneconomical to repair. I was sorry when this happened and tried hard to get it fixed. In the end I saw that at the price shown it was better to buy a new one and to enjoy the extra refinements that come with a more up to date model. In particular, a manual flash pop up function with forced flash, the powerful 30x zoom. I remember when 5 mega pixels seemed vast so 14 must be as pin sharp as I'll ever need. The `in hand' feel is much the same, not too heavy but weighty enough to ensure stability and full consciousness that a photo is being taken, a reassuring feeling of quality and seriousness. On this occasion I made my purchase from my local camera shop, pleased to support it, grateful for the advice given and happier to have the chance to play with the camera before deciding. For me it was worth the extra at the time. However I confidently recommend this deal offered by amazon as a great one compared to other prices.

I am attracted to red, feeling cheered to see something that isn't black or silver, more me somehow; a personal liking. The body of the Finepix S is matt smooth on top and ruggedly rippled where it is held so additional grip is ensured. There is a moulded rubber finger- shaped grip on the side, which fits comfortably.

Out of the box I attached the lens cap and its safety cord; inserted the 4 AA batteries supplied (non rechargeable, but could be if you have the kit) and the 32gb card I'd chosen, which I felt would give me plenty of storage should I be away for a while. I ignored the neck strap, which looks a bit nerdy even for me. Immediately it sparked into life and we set off. The screen is generously large, 6.5 cm x 5cm. There is an eye peephole for those of us used to last century's cameras, which shows a small, recorded image, ideal for use on sunny days when the screen is hard to see.

I then went on line and filled in the warranty application, all very easy and friendly. The response was immediate and support advertised as helpful should you need it. There are some features they offer for FUJI owners, the chance, through `MyFinePix' to:

* Create your life in pictures with your own Photoblog
* Chat with other MyFinePix photographers from all over the world
* Share ideas, tips and experiences
* Upload your best photos to the gallery - and see what others think of them!
* Read the latest news and be the first to hear about cool new products
* Update your personal MyFinePix profile

I liked all that. But probably won't get around to it.

I also loaded up the cd manual, 128 pages, although the paper Basic Manual, 23 pages was pretty good. Neither actually told me how to reset the time and date though which I needed to do straightaway as I'd moved on too fast though that procedure, missing the finer details after entering the year. I looked at the fuller manual on the disc and it only told me how to do it the first time, a search just sent back to the early page, but of course, silly me, I soon found that by working through the menu and clicking up down and around the selector button I did it myself. Warm feeling of achievement! This taught me that there is no problem with fiddling around, you can't break it; just keep on learning and remembering as you go. A silent option for the popping sound it makes seemed an excellent idea, when trying to be discreet anyway.

The camera took the same USB lead as my previous one still in place from the back of my Mac OSX version 10.6.6. It would also accommodate a larger size. There are leads that come with the camera that look as though they would also go into the tv (reminder - this is not a technical review!).

Turning the wheel on top for the different settings feels positive and purposeful; it is substantial and clicks firmly at each turn. Manually raising the flash is good to do, I use the force flash for crisp, warm, bright interior shots. However much of what is on offer in camera can be more comfortably dealt with later on the computer with an application such as iphoto. For me, the bells and whistles are not quite so important, it is capturing the moment that matters, fleeting shots that could last for generations when edited, adjusted and carefully cropped.

Landscape pictures came out clear as day, a trip to the beach with the dog tested out the progress I was making. Altogether I am thrilled with this reasonably priced camera, it is very good value and promises to reward me with plenty of fabulous photos throughout its hopefully long and useful life.
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on 25 March 2014
Having decided to change our digital camera for something a little bit better, we scoured the internet for the right camera at the right price. Eventually we whittled a selection of cameras down to the S4500 and were swayed by the many good reviews it seemed to get from users.
Amazon delivered in a flash (as usual) and before we knew it we were up and running. The instructions are fine and I would recommend they are read from cover to cover for the best use to be made of the cornucopia of choices the camera has to offer both the avid and novice photographer alike.
Both my wife and I have found that we do not use the manual selections as the results from the auto and SP settings have been far beyond our expectations. The clarity of shot and ability to zoom into a subject and still take a clear, sharp picture is excellent. It is, without a doubt, the best camera we have ever had and for the price, that for us is a double whammy.
The fact that the batteries are AA's was a bonus and it proved to be to our advantage as we forgot to recharge the batteries we had and so popped into the shop and bought replacements until we were able to recharge the ones we had. But, as said before, when changing batteries around, just make sure you select, on the camera, the type of batteries you are going to use, it does make a difference to the amount of usage you get from the batteries.
So, if you are reading this and are unsure which camera to choose, I would, without a doubt, suggest the Fufifilm FinePix S4500 for ease of use and selection of choices which range from fully automatic point and shoot to manual selection for truly bespoke shots. There is something for everyone, the novice and the pro.
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on 21 April 2012
This camera is simplicity in itself to set up and use. The instructions actually make sense and it takes great pictures. I would recommend this to anyone wanting an entry level camera.
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on 4 March 2013
I've had this camera for a few weeks now and I'm very pleased with it. I wanted something that was not too bulky to fit in my rucksack and unfortunately the mid range compact cameras don't have a proper viewfinder which I really wanted so that I could feel like I was on the outside looking in. SLRs are expensive, too bulky and you need an array of lenses. This camera does the lot.
The camera body is superbly made and does not feel cheap and nasty. It feels positive in the hand and has a nice weight which give lots of confidence.The viewfinder image is pretty good and so is the LCD screen however the actual image when downloaded onto the computer is fantastic. The colours are vivid and vibrant and the image is crisp and clear.
The super zoom is excellent giving super wide angled shots and zooms in on distant objects with ease so there is no need for lots of lenses. I am particularly impressed by the Panorama mode which is dead easy to use and gives superb results. The controls are simple once you have got your head around it but that is no different to any gadget. I have not used the manual or semi manual modes as yet and probably won't but the auto modes do a lovely job.
I have seen other reviews that comment on very poor battery life however there are no problems here! I still have the same set of batteries in 4 weeks and hundreds of shots later. They are rechargeable but have never been out for a recharge. I mean what do you want from a camera that costs £120!
If you want a quality bridge camera with a viewfinder then buy one!
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on 16 August 2012
Have lost previous camera (same make, older model), with which I was very happy. Decided to go for same make, newer model. First impression is that camera is less solid than older model. Batteries provided were flat (not rechargeable ones), put new ones in and took about 10 test pictures. Extremely satisfied. Did not touch camera for 10 days. Trip out to the seaside yesterday 15th Aug and camera did not switch itself on. Batteries flat! Strange, but put new set in. After about 20-25 pics (no flashlight used) batteries are flat again! Bought more batteries and they were soon flat again. 4 sets of batteries (of 3 different makes, not cheap ones) for half a day use! There must be something wrong causing the batteries to go flat that quick! I'm regrettably returning the item today and would like to get exactly the same one again, but have some doubts.
Quality of pics is very good and I found the panoramic option a lot better than the one in previous model. So, still a good camera, just unfortunate that mine has a problem, I guess. Very disappointed as I'm taking few short trips this summer and won't be able to take decent pics until I get a new one.
P.s. 3 stars because of possible fault otherwise would have given 5.
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VINE VOICEon 29 November 2012
First off, if you're looking to get into photography, and are looking for a cheap camera that let's you fiddle about with lots of settings such as F numbers etc as you learn the ropes, then this is as good a camera to learn with as any. However be aware that while this may look like a Digital SLR or a Bridge camera it's really a compact camera packaged in a chunky DSLR-style case with a pretty good 30x zoom lens attached - images are saved as JPEGs, not in RAW format.

If you're looking to mess about with F numbers, ISO numbers and shutter timings - which if you're serious about getting into photography then you probably will - then this camera is as good a place to start as any, and won't break the bank.

If however you're planning to keep the camera in automatic mode i.e. point and click and let the camera make all the technical decisions for you, then unless you really, really need the zoom lens to take pictures of distant squirrels up trees then you'll be just as well off with a compact camera, which will be just as capable as this S4500 but also much smaller, lighter, probably cheaper (and won't need heavy AA batteries). By the way, some people on here are moaning about short battery life, but so far battery life is pretty good.

If you are planning to mess about with camera settings then you'll get more out of this camera. Shutter timings you can mess about with to your heart's content.

F numbers are a little more problematical: you CAN mess about with them, but your options are somewhat limited. For instance at the default zoom setting you can choose between F3.1 or F8, but that's it - you only ever have a choice of two F numbers. The F numbers you can choose from alter when you zoom in or out, so at the next zoom setting you can choose between F3.8 or F10, and so on as you alter the zoom. But be aware that you only ever have a choice of two F numbers.

ISO numbers you can fiddle about with a lot, BUT after I bought this camera I came across a highly detailed expert review in a magazine that found a lot of technical faults with the ISO settings on this camera. ISO's 100 and 200 are perfectly fine (FORTUNATELY these are the numbers you'll use the most). At 400, things start to go a bit iffy. 800 is only good enough for pics that will be displayed on websites, and anything above 800... forget it.

In short, this thing will take decent photos and you can fiddle about with a lot of the settings, but don't be fooled by it's chunky casing - it may look like a more expensive Bridge camera or an even more expensive DSLR, but it isn't. That said, if you want to get into photography and start messing about with the settings then this is a fun and capable (and cheap) starter camera. As long as you're aware of it's limitations, for the price I'd still recommend it as a decent camera to start with before you move on to bigger and more expensive things.
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on 18 October 2012
delighted with this camera,my wife and i are complete amateurs with photography, but we have found this camera perfect for us, easy to use, we love the panorama mode, obviouly still loads to learn, recommended plus great price.
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