357 of 375 people found the following review helpful
A review from the heart not the text book,,
This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix S4500 Digital Camera - Red (14MP, 30x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD Screen (Electronics)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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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Nov 2012 16:55:51 GMT
Last edited by the author on 1 Nov 2012 16:56:22 GMT
That's a heck of a lot of zoom! I spent many years getting used to my 3x zoom and recently bought myself a Nikon 14x zoom and was impressed with that. I can't imagine how much more powerful a 30x zoom is!
One thing I have discovered is that my new camera (Nikon COOLPIX S8200) takes, not AA's, but an Li-on battery which, on a full charge lasts many hundreds of your earth years. Ok I'm exaggerating, but I charged it when I got the camera, did several outings and got snap-happy with the camera and the charge remaining indicator doesn't seem to have shifted. Either it's broken or I've discovered the electronic equivalent of a perpetual motion machine. I don't think I'd go back to an AA powered camera for love nor money.
In reply to an earlier post on 1 Nov 2012 17:03:16 GMT
Thanks Crookedmouth, I wonder if I could use the same in this one? It is a pain recycling batteries, seems such a waste of resources so I shall look up Li-on immediately.
I have been trying out the zoom and got an egret sitting in a tree right across the creek. It flew off before I set up the shot though!
In reply to an earlier post on 1 Nov 2012 17:16:56 GMT
Fraid not, Katharine. The Li-on battery I'm using isn't a AA at all - it's a special design which is probably why it lasts so well. You could swap to recargeable AA's but check your camera's instructions - some cameras are picky about what sort of AA they use, I think.
In reply to an earlier post on 3 Dec 2012 00:19:10 GMT
A. J. Bywaters says:
As a former HS20 owner, I recommend that you try the Sanyo Eneloop AA batteries & slow charger. The fuji cameras LOVE these batteries. I could get 600 shots with my HS20, and always had one spare set with me.
In reply to an earlier post on 3 Dec 2012 08:35:43 GMT
Thank you very much indeed for the good advice, I am off to order them now! Sanyo Eneloop Charger Inc 4 AA Batteries
Posted on 4 Dec 2012 13:46:14 GMT
Miss. R Eaton says:
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Dec 2012 14:27:37 GMT
None taken. There are other shorter reviews to read. Weeks later I am still enjoying my camera, learning more each time I use. the picture quality is as good as I can imagine possible for me. Hope you too make a great choice!
Posted on 11 Dec 2012 19:16:59 GMT
How rude Miss R Eaton - No one forced you to read this review!!
I wanted to thank Katherine for a fabulous down to earth, highly descriptive, very useful, user friendly review. Thanks to her and the first reviewer I have put this camera on my wish list and will probably buy one as soon as I can rustle up the funds. Thanks again.
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Dec 2012 19:53:29 GMT
Thanks for springing to my defense Joannem. When you get your camera you will be very pleased indeed I hope. It feels more workmanlike and serious to use than a party camera or a phone, somehow making the result more satisfactory and long lasting. I do my editing on the computer rather than on the camera so don't make use of all of its great capability.
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2012 05:34:02 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Dec 2012 05:37:43 GMT
M. Healey says:
Joannem,I second everything you say!
I also own an S4500 & enjoy useing it as much as possible.Mrs. Katharine Kirby, you sound like a very nice person. Happy 'shooting'.