An excellent entry level bridge camera
This camera is available used on Amazon for $75, which is exactly what I paid for my copy in a pawn shop. As a new camera in 2014, it was sold for about $150, or even less, at the big box retail shops.
Fuji still lists the S8600 as a current camera in March of 2017 on their web page. It's still supported, and I downloaded and installed a firmware upgrade.
The first thing I noticed about the camera was how well built it appeared. This entry level bridge camera is hefty, substantial, has a real grip with a rubberized inserts for hand and thumb,, a matte finish, a trick pop off lens cap on a string, mini HDMI port, USB 2 data port, control dial on top, 3 inch LCD screen viewer, 36X optical zoom 25mm-900mm eqv. folding lens, flat bottom (to rest on tables without a tripod), stabilization, and glory be, it even takes three NiMH AA batteries for power. It looks, feels, and handles like a small DSLR, and there's not a whiff of anything cheap about it.
The people that buy these cameras aren't likely to be serious amateurs or pixel peepers. They want a real camera instead of their smartphone, one that can take super zoom photos, and videos of their kids and family and trips. This is the least expensive bridge camera Fuji makes, and the purchaser surely gets their money's worth, and then some.
With just the default "enhance" on Windows 10 Photo software, this camera takes some really great photographs, considering the price and the small sensor. Here's a few shots I took today before the rain.
The camera doesn't have GPS or WiFi capability, but a cheap tablet or almost any smartphone does, and couple this with a FlashAir card and Googles photos uploader on the viewing device, and it's hard to think of any less expensive way to have a good travel or general purpose camera than the Fuji S8630.
There are small sensor cameras that take better photos than this one, and there are bridge cameras with more zoom range, and even the least expensive newer MFT or APC sensor equipped cameras beat this camera for image quality and performance.
But in this old sin cussed world, there's no perfect camera, or perfect anything. For the small price these cameras cost, they are an excellent entry level bridge camera. The market for these types of cameras is declining, but there is still a demand for a nice looking, inexpensive, capable, and easy to use bridge camera.
The S8630 is an excellent entry level bridge camera, considering the price and the intended market.
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bad for good for
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