Fuji Finepix S3000 Review

General
The Fuji Finepix S3000 is a 3.2 megapixel digital camera with a 6x optical zoom lens. It is styled more like a traditional SLR camera than a typical compact digital camera although it still feels light in the hand. All in all the Fuji Finepix S3000 is a well designed camera that is straightforward and easy to use. It also comes with some useful manual features that will give you the chance to explore your creative side. As you get to know the manual features they will also help you to get around tricky photographic situations and get the best out of the camera.

Getting started is easy and you can start taking pictures as soon as you have loaded the batteries, memory card and switched it on. There is a clear electronic viewfinder and you can either choose to compose your photographs using this or the 1.8 inch LCD screen.

It weighs 295g with dimensions of 99.7 x 77.3 x 69.3 mm. If you are looking for a ultra small digital camera to slip into your pocket then the Fuji Finepix S3000 is not that camera, but if you are looking for a camera that fits your hands well then this fits the bill nicely. The location of the controls is well thought out and everything is seems to be in the right place.

Getting Started
When you first turn on the Fuji Finepix S3000 it will be in Automatic Mode. In this mode the camera itself takes all the decisions regarding focusing and exposure. In most lighting conditions this will give you clear, sharp images. To help you with the composition of your picture you can also display framing guidelines on the LCD screen to help you. This won't magically turn you into a great photographer, but it's a nice touch.

The Fuji Finepix S3000 has a pop up flash. Press a button on the side of the camera and the flash pops up. There are a number of different settings that you can use to get the right level of flash for the photograph that you are taking. For example you can override the automatic flash setting when taking indoor portraits to reduce the level of red eye.

Pre Programmed Scene Modes
Although Automatic Mode makes it easy for you to get started it's not always going to get everything 100% right. The Fuji Finepix S3000 does have a number of manual controls, but it also has a useful halfway house in the form of four pre programmed modes to help you get the best possible pictures. The four modes are Portrait, Scene (daytime shots of scenery and buildings), Sport and Night. There is also a continuous shooting mode that allows you to take two shot one after the other.

When you want to be part of the picture yourself there is a ten second self timer. This is set on through one of the menus.

The Menu System
You control a number of the camera's key functions through the menu system. To get into the menu system make sure the LCD screen is turned on and then press the Menu/O.K. button. All the menus are colour coded which just makes it easier to find the one you are looking for. The menus are used for functions such as setting the date and time, changing the picture resolution, setting the self timer, erasing images and controlling the camera's manual functions.

Movie Mode
You can take short movies with the camera. There are two resolution settings. In low resolution you can shoot a movie for around three minutes. In high resolution you can shoot for a minute. To place the camera in movie mode all you need to do is turn one of the dials on the top of the camera.

Macro Mode
For close up work putting the Fuji Finepix S3000 into macro mode is simple. You just press a button on the back of the camera and you are ready to go. Press the button again and macro mode is turned off.

Manual Mode
Using the Fuji Finepix S3000 in Automatic Mode will give you excellent pictures in normal conditions. There are times though when you need to be able control key settings to get the perfect shot or indeed if you want to create different effects. Through the menus there are a number of settings that you can control. These include White Balance, Exposure Compensation, Aperture Priority and Picture Sharpness. You can also adjust the brightness of the flash. All of these controls are easy to change with each one having a dedicated menu. The Fuji Finepix S3000 is a very good camera for anyone who is looking to take the first steps into experimenting with the workings of a camera.

Displaying Your Images
Once you have taken a picture you can display it on the LCD screen, on a television or upload the images to a computer. To upload pictures to a computer the camera comes supplied with a USB cable and a CD containing all the software you need. I found loading the software straightforward and uploading the images was surprisingly quick. If you prefer, you can upload your images using a card reader. Again I uploaded images using one and everything was problem free.

Conclusion

I really enjoyed my time working with the Fuji Finepix S3000. It's without doubt a step up from a basic digital camera, but is very easy to use for someone who is looking for the first step up to a camera with manual controls. The most important thing for any camera is the picture quality. The picture quality of the Fuji Finepix S3000 will keep everyone happy. You can pick up this camera for under £200. To be honest it's a bit of a bargain.



Fuji Finepix S3000 Review

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