44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
More options than a compact... but has some limitations,
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This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix S4500 Digital Camera (14MP, 30x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD Screen (Electronics)
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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Initial post: 16 Apr 2013 15:05:02 BDT
Thanks for your clear review. It stands out as it cuts to some very useful technical details without any top 100 reviewer flannel!!
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