Top positive review
1,291 people found this helpful
Expert or point and press, this suits all
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.