Considering upgrading from Finepix S700 to F660EXR.

Started Nov 20, 2012 | Questions
gardengal4 New Member • Posts: 8
Considering upgrading from Finepix S700 to F660EXR.

I've been on this site all night long reviewing possible cameras to purchase and I'm going crazy! So many choices. So many side-by-sides.    I think I have settled on the F660EXR.

I'm a casual user.  garden shots, family shots, pet shots.

The S700 was okay, nothing great. Disappointing indoors at family parties.  I 99% use auto everything.  The pre-set scenes are nice sometimes.  It's definitely too bulky though.  Lately I end up using my phone more than bringing my S700 (which is also slightly broken).  A smaller camera may bring me back again to real camera usage.

I am ready for a smaller camera but not ultra compact.  The EXR series seems like a good size (although I have not seen it in person) and the 660 is a good pricepoint.  20x zoom would be nice, but I think I can be happy with 15x for the price.

I just don't know if it's a good camera!!?!?!   It certainly seems more advanced than what I have now.

Does the F660EXR seem like a reasonable upgrade path?  Any other brands/models worth considering that I may have missed.   The Canon Powershot SX160 was in my sights for awhile, but I dropped it for some reason.

ANSWER:
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Fujifilm FinePix F660EXR FujiFilm FinePix S5700 Zoom (Finepix S700) Nikon Coolpix S70
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Billx08 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,373
Seems like a good idea to me . . .

gardengal4 wrote:

. . .

I just don't know if it's a good camera!!?!?! It certainly seems more advanced than what I have now.

Does the F660EXR seem like a reasonable upgrade path? Any other brands/models worth considering that I may have missed. The Canon Powershot SX160 was in my sights for awhile, but I dropped it for some reason.

I have an S700 and the very similar F600EXR, among other cameras. I haven't used the S700 in 2 or 3 years other than to occasionally check it out to see if it's still working, but I use the F600 quite often, which I think produces better pictures, can do a lot more, is stabilized and is much more portable. If you get the F660, get at least one additional battery for it. They're very small and easy to fit in the smallest camera bags.

DS21 Senior Member • Posts: 2,304
Re: Considering upgrading from Finepix S700 to F660EXR.

gardengal4 wrote:

I've been on this site all night long reviewing possible cameras to purchase and I'm going crazy! So many choices. So many side-by-sides. I think I have settled on the F660EXR.

I'm a casual user. garden shots, family shots, pet shots.

The S700 was okay, nothing great. Disappointing indoors at family parties. I 99% use auto everything. The pre-set scenes are nice sometimes. It's definitely too bulky though. Lately I end up using my phone more than bringing my S700 (which is also slightly broken). A smaller camera may bring me back again to real camera usage.

I am ready for a smaller camera but not ultra compact. The EXR series seems like a good size (although I have not seen it in person) and the 660 is a good pricepoint. 20x zoom would be nice, but I think I can be happy with 15x for the price.

I just don't know if it's a good camera!!?!?! It certainly seems more advanced than what I have now.

Does the F660EXR seem like a reasonable upgrade path? Any other brands/models worth considering that I may have missed. The Canon Powershot SX160 was in my sights for awhile, but I dropped it for some reason.

The F660 is a good camera in general, but has some notable weak points which should be noted (if that matters to you). The first is weak flash (if you take party photos with flash), the second is slow lens which will require high ISO or slow shutter speeds indoor without flash (or with flash, because it is weak at anything other then close range), the third is poor auto mode (during indoor shooting, it is passable outside), but there is a way around it if the camera is set to certain settings in P mode as recommended on this forum. As far as alternatives go, I think Canon SX260 and Sony HX20V (or even better older HX10V) are better performing in auto mode and at indoor events (and have significantly better video).  Canon and Sony have slow lenses also, but the auto programming is more successful in getting pictures without blur.  On the other hand, the F660 is much superior outside and as a daylight camera.

 DS21's gear list:DS21's gear list
Pentax MX-1 Pentax K-01 Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 Fujifilm FinePix S100fs +5 more
Michael Melb AU Contributing Member • Posts: 935
Re: Considering upgrading from Finepix S700 to F660EXR.

I would not recommend EXR cameras for point-and shoot purpose. Without getting in-depth with settings and techniques you will find that you've got "worse" camera than what you had. That's it - these cameras are not for point-and-shooters. Better consider Fujifilm T350/400 or  slightly more expensive, but superior Samsung ST200F.

PAUL TILL
PAUL TILL Veteran Member • Posts: 9,286
Re: Considering upgrading from Finepix S700 to F660EXR.

Grab the F70EXR, they're two a penny now and it has a good lens unlike the new models.

There's a reason it is still What digital cameras highest rated compact camera with 93%.

Paul.

OP gardengal4 New Member • Posts: 8
Re: Considering upgrading from Finepix S700 to F660EXR.

Thanks so much for all your inputs.  Very good inputs. I knew I was at the right place

Some of the alternatives mentioned are not 15x or 20x.  I definitely want to upgrade the x's this time to at least 15x.

I like the features of the Canon SX260IS, but it is about 40% higher priced (and even more in a color... I am so tired of black). It tracks more with the Finepix F750EXR than the F660EXR.   The SX160IS is more the apples-to-apples camera with the F660EXR -- at least on price.

One of the features of the F660 that caught my eye in the side-by-side was that it says it produced video in MP4 format (or H.264).  However, when I look deeper on the Fuji and Amazon specs, that is not the case.  So that small advantage for Fuji goes away.

I liked that the F660 did *NOT* have GPS, but I suppose I can shut that off in the Canon.

I like the Canon brand, but one nit is that all the pictures are named IMG_nnnn and will be redundant with all my files from my old Powershot.  I mostly file pictures in specific category folders (family, Joe, Fido, Roses) rather than rename them.

I have a technical question from the side-by-side on Min/Max shutter speeds.  Are the Canon specs preferred over the Fuji in this example? :

I don't really understand the workings of shutters, altho I know it's a super big deal.  Under what circumstances do min and max come into play?

Also, I noticed on this picture that the Finepix's have a better hand grip than the Canon's.  That was appealing too for the Finepix.

This is going to be really hard!!!   Appreciate any further input.

DS21 Senior Member • Posts: 2,304
Re: Considering upgrading from Finepix S700 to F660EXR.

gardengal4 wrote:

Thanks so much for all your inputs. Very good inputs. I knew I was at the right place

Some of the alternatives mentioned are not 15x or 20x. I definitely want to upgrade the x's this time to at least 15x.

I like the features of the Canon SX260IS, but it is about 40% higher priced (and even more in a color... I am so tired of black). It tracks more with the Finepix F750EXR than the F660EXR. The SX160IS is more the apples-to-apples camera with the F660EXR -- at least on price.

One of the features of the F660 that caught my eye in the side-by-side was that it says it produced video in MP4 format (or H.264). However, when I look deeper on the Fuji and Amazon specs, that is not the case. So that small advantage for Fuji goes away.

I liked that the F660 did *NOT* have GPS, but I suppose I can shut that off in the Canon.

I like the Canon brand, but one nit is that all the pictures are named IMG_nnnn and will be redundant with all my files from my old Powershot. I mostly file pictures in specific category folders (family, Joe, Fido, Roses) rather than rename them.

I have a technical question from the side-by-side on Min/Max shutter speeds. Are the Canon specs preferred over the Fuji in this example? :

I don't really understand the workings of shutters, altho I know it's a super big deal. Under what circumstances do min and max come into play?

Also, I noticed on this picture that the Finepix's have a better hand grip than the Canon's. That was appealing too for the Finepix.

This is going to be really hard!!! Appreciate any further input.

The minimum shutter speed corresponds to tripod mounted shooting in low light. Note that Canon locks ISO to 100 for long exposures, limiting the usefulness of the feature. Max shutter speed is the ability of camera to take fast action pictures, to freeze the motion. On P&S cameras with slow lenses, it will be very rarely needed, if ever. If the price is a limiting factor, and you don't want to buy used or less then 15x zoom, the F660 is pretty much the only decent choice. Canon SX160 is a bargain basement model, much bigger and clunkier in size, and has noisy sensor in low light shooting, but it is a competent camera otherwise.

 DS21's gear list:DS21's gear list
Pentax MX-1 Pentax K-01 Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 Fujifilm FinePix S100fs +5 more
OP gardengal4 New Member • Posts: 8
Re: Considering upgrading from Finepix S700 to F660EXR.

DS21 wrote:

. Max shutter speed is the ability of camera to take fast action pictures, to freeze the motion. On P&S cameras with slow lenses, it will be very rarely needed, if ever.

Which spec is better 1/3200 or 1/2000?  the smaller?  Sometimes I try to take pics of backyard birds and the darn things decide to fly off before I snap, so fast action might be useful.

I am reading lots of good things about the SX260.  Best Buy has the black one on sale for 199 on black friday.  Maybe I can buy online.  I hate shopping that day.

DS21 Senior Member • Posts: 2,304
Re: Considering upgrading from Finepix S700 to F660EXR.

gardengal4 wrote:

DS21 wrote:

. Max shutter speed is the ability of camera to take fast action pictures, to freeze the motion. On P&S cameras with slow lenses, it will be very rarely needed, if ever.

Which spec is better 1/3200 or 1/2000? the smaller? Sometimes I try to take pics of backyard birds and the darn things decide to fly off before I snap, so fast action might be useful.

I am reading lots of good things about the SX260. Best Buy has the black one on sale for 199 on black friday. Maybe I can buy online. I hate shopping that day.

1/3200 is a better spec, but it has nothing to do with catching a bird before it flies away, you are looking at the focusing speed and shutter lag performance. Check this specs in reviews (I don't know off-hand which camera is faster, they are all generally too slow for that type of shooting, you need DSLR for that), for AF speed (focus and shoot in one press), and pre-focus shutter lag (camera focused already with half-press of the shutter button, how much time to actually shoot after you press it fully). SX260 for $199 is a good deal for what you get.

 DS21's gear list:DS21's gear list
Pentax MX-1 Pentax K-01 Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 Fujifilm FinePix S100fs +5 more
OP gardengal4 New Member • Posts: 8
Re: Considering upgrading from Finepix S700 to F660EXR.

Okay I took the plunge. SX260IS it is!  I could research this to death if I kept at it!    I didn't even go examine the red or green color in person.  It looks a little fuschia and teal on the computer.  Oh well.  I even sprung for 1-day shipping.  I've been procrastinating about this for 6 months when my original camera broke (but not disabled), but now I have to have it tomorrow.   Jeez... the shopping mania has begun!!!

I also got a spare battery and a new 16GB extreme card...and another 100 bucks or so in other odds and ends I needed (but in a separate not 1-day order!)   Yup, the spending season is here...

Billx08 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,373
More comps.

DS21 wrote:

gardengal4 wrote:

DS21 wrote:

. Max shutter speed is the ability of camera to take fast action pictures, to freeze the motion. On P&S cameras with slow lenses, it will be very rarely needed, if ever.

Which spec is better 1/3200 or 1/2000? the smaller? Sometimes I try to take pics of backyard birds and the darn things decide to fly off before I snap, so fast action might be useful.

I am reading lots of good things about the SX260. Best Buy has the black one on sale for 199 on black friday. Maybe I can buy online. I hate shopping that day.

1/3200 is a better spec, but it has nothing to do with catching a bird before it flies away, you are looking at the focusing speed and shutter lag performance. Check this specs in reviews (I don't know off-hand which camera is faster, they are all generally too slow for that type of shooting, you need DSLR for that), for AF speed (focus and shoot in one press), and pre-focus shutter lag (camera focused already with half-press of the shutter button, how much time to actually shoot after you press it fully). SX260 for $199 is a good deal for what you get.

I got out the old S700 to compare with the F600EXR and it demonstrated what you previously said about the older S700 having the more powerful flash. In fairly dim indoor lighting the F600 needed to use one to two stops higher ISO to get the same exposure. Image quality was about the same though, due to the older camera's smaller sensor and poorer high ISO performance. The F600 had two advantages though. It's larger LCD was impressively sharper, helping to boost confidence that the camera's focus was accurate, and it focused very quickly, with the entire scene in relatively good focus while it focused. Even when the S700 focused properly, it was hard to tell looking at the result on its poorer LCD, and it focused much more slowly, with lots of hunting while the scene went so far in and out focus that at times the scene was a total blur.  This morning I tried it with outdoor scenes and the S700's focusing improved tremendously, but it was still noticeably slower than the F600. The detail in the S700's 7mp photos was pretty good, only very slightly less than what the F600 produced, but the F600 was set to shoot using its 8mp M size resolution. All things considered, shooting with the F600 is a much more pleasant experience, and the S700 really suffers at long focal lengths due to its lack of stabilization, but all of the other cameras being considered should also have stabilization.

I don't have any experience with Canon's newer SX2xx cameras but I have an old SX230 SX so I tested that one too. I was amazed that it's images were significantly worse than the F600's, particularly in its lack of detail. This went completely against what I remembered so I checked the EXIF and found that even though it was using Auto ISO which should have selected a low ISO for shooting in daylight, it inexplicably chose ISO 800. I took a few more shots using ISO 100 and this time the SX230 totally thrashed the EXR camera with detail that the F600 can't hope to approach, even using its 16mp L size, so sanity returns to the universe.

OP gardengal4 New Member • Posts: 8
Re: More comps.

appreciate the extra info.

I think the take-away here is that the results will vary greatly depending on subject and operator!

Maybe this time I will take the time to actually learn and improve upon what the camera can do in different situations.

btw, one of the turnoffs about the Sony DSC HVxx -- when I added those into the mix -- was FOUR different "auto" variants.  Holy Cow.   That could be a learning curve just to figure out which AUTO to use.  Time to learn the real camera.  And 40x digital zoom is probably too much.  may be misleading.

ANyhow, the analyis-paralysis is over and I will just make the best of what I get -- even if its too red or too fuschia

I also stocked up on photo paper and ink so I can actually print stuff too, although if I delve too deeply there, I might end up buying a new printer... ha ha ha... maybe I will try some shutterfly printing experiments.

Billx08 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,373
Re: More comps.

gardengal4 wrote:

appreciate the extra info.

I think the take-away here is that the results will vary greatly depending on subject and operator!

Maybe this time I will take the time to actually learn and improve upon what the camera can do in different situations.

That's a good idea, and it will almost certainly bring your photographs to a higher level. Most people (and I'm a little guilty of this too) spend their way into improving their photography by buying newer cameras, more lenses, etc., but spending a little more on things like books about composition (even those aimed at painters instead of photographers) and photo workshops will usually do a lot more to produce better photos.

`

btw, one of the turnoffs about the Sony DSC HVxx -- when I added those into the mix -- was FOUR different "auto" variants. Holy Cow. That could be a learning curve just to figure out which AUTO to use. Time to learn the real camera. And 40x digital zoom is probably too much. may be misleading.

I try to avoid using anything 'Auto', except fro Auto White Balance. But that may change as cameras get 'smarter'. The Auto ISO that I don't care for very much has been improved with some of the newer cameras, so the ISO that it selects isn't just based on scene brightness. Now the focal length is considered, so if the camera zooms way in to capture really distant subjects, where camera movement becomes a bigger problem, the selected ISO will be higher than when shorter focal lengths are used.

`

ANyhow, the analyis-paralysis is over and I will just make the best of what I get -- even if its too red or too fuschia

I also stocked up on photo paper and ink so I can actually print stuff too, although if I delve too deeply there, I might end up buying a new printer... ha ha ha... maybe I will try some shutterfly printing experiments.

Congratulations on breaking through the analysis paralysis. I think that you'll really like the better photos that your new camera will produce, but maybe it'll be better for you if its prints aren't too good, otherwise you might start thinking about getting a muchbetter printer, starting a new round of analysis paralysis.

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 12,643
How hard can EXR be?

I recommend the F770 if you want to shoot RAW or care about GPS coordinates, or the F750 otherwise. The first is about $260 on Amazon, the latter about $230.

Very long zoom, but the lens is surprisingly good at wide angle, 25mm crop equivalent.

Just put the sucker on P mode, set M (medium) size, DR 400%, Auto ISO, and you will probably get lots of keepers. I do.

DS21 Senior Member • Posts: 2,304
Re: More comps.

Billx08 wrote:

DS21 wrote:

gardengal4 wrote:

DS21 wrote:

. Max shutter speed is the ability of camera to take fast action pictures, to freeze the motion. On P&S cameras with slow lenses, it will be very rarely needed, if ever.

Which spec is better 1/3200 or 1/2000? the smaller? Sometimes I try to take pics of backyard birds and the darn things decide to fly off before I snap, so fast action might be useful.

I am reading lots of good things about the SX260. Best Buy has the black one on sale for 199 on black friday. Maybe I can buy online. I hate shopping that day.

1/3200 is a better spec, but it has nothing to do with catching a bird before it flies away, you are looking at the focusing speed and shutter lag performance. Check this specs in reviews (I don't know off-hand which camera is faster, they are all generally too slow for that type of shooting, you need DSLR for that), for AF speed (focus and shoot in one press), and pre-focus shutter lag (camera focused already with half-press of the shutter button, how much time to actually shoot after you press it fully). SX260 for $199 is a good deal for what you get.

I got out the old S700 to compare with the F600EXR and it demonstrated what you previously said about the older S700 having the more powerful flash. In fairly dim indoor lighting the F600 needed to use one to two stops higher ISO to get the same exposure. Image quality was about the same though, due to the older camera's smaller sensor and poorer high ISO performance. The F600 had two advantages though. It's larger LCD was impressively sharper, helping to boost confidence that the camera's focus was accurate, and it focused very quickly, with the entire scene in relatively good focus while it focused. Even when the S700 focused properly, it was hard to tell looking at the result on its poorer LCD, and it focused much more slowly, with lots of hunting while the scene went so far in and out focus that at times the scene was a total blur. This morning I tried it with outdoor scenes and the S700's focusing improved tremendously, but it was still noticeably slower than the F600. The detail in the S700's 7mp photos was pretty good, only very slightly less than what the F600 produced, but the F600 was set to shoot using its 8mp M size resolution. All things considered, shooting with the F600 is a much more pleasant experience, and the S700 really suffers at long focal lengths due to its lack of stabilization, but all of the other cameras being considered should also have stabilization.

I don't have any experience with Canon's newer SX2xx cameras but I have an old SX230 SX so I tested that one too. I was amazed that it's images were significantly worse than the F600's, particularly in its lack of detail. This went completely against what I remembered so I checked the EXIF and found that even though it was using Auto ISO which should have selected a low ISO for shooting in daylight, it inexplicably chose ISO 800. I took a few more shots using ISO 100 and this time the SX230 totally thrashed the EXR camera with detail that the F600 can't hope to approach, even using its 16mp L size, so sanity returns to the universe.

I am generally disappointed in all current compact super-zooms, none have the all-around ability to be like the one camera you have with you all the time. Sony smears detail too much, it's complicated, slow and too many MP. Fuji F600 has flare problems which make me cringe to use it after dark in the city (or around any bright lights), and not so great IS performance when zoomed. Also, WB is much worse then F70 indoors (but is very good in daylight). Low light video awful. Canon SX230 has great IS and good video, but strange color casts in many occasions, the color seems off compared to Fuji. Lens is not the greatest at wide angle either, lots of CA and has low contrast at full zoom. Also flares easily, but not so bad as Fuji. I played with the Nikon offerings, mostly bad too, color in daylight even worse. Panasonic - weird WB in most cases, noisy sensors, don't like the interface. Compared to them all, I am more fond of the old F70, not worth it to upgrade from it in my opinion. F600 would be the best of the rest, but the flares, weak flash and poor indoor AWB make it a strictly daylight camera for me.

 DS21's gear list:DS21's gear list
Pentax MX-1 Pentax K-01 Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 Fujifilm FinePix S100fs +5 more
DS21 Senior Member • Posts: 2,304
Re: How hard can EXR be?

CAcreeks wrote:

I recommend the F770 if you want to shoot RAW or care about GPS coordinates, or the F750 otherwise. The first is about $260 on Amazon, the latter about $230.

Very long zoom, but the lens is surprisingly good at wide angle, 25mm crop equivalent.

Just put the sucker on P mode, set M (medium) size, DR 400%, Auto ISO, and you will probably get lots of keepers. I do.

There won't be a lot of keepers in indoor social events type of thing, outside of EXR Auto mode (to detect motion) the new F series is keeping shutter speeds very low (even at high auto ISO setting), making motion blur very likely. Flash exposures are also on the slow side, and the flash is weak. It would be great to be able to tell people to just use EXR Auto in that case, but that mode overexposes by about +0.67 in indoor setting (overexposes almost always in fact), negating the benefits of all the fancy auto detection modes happening in EXR Auto. For still subjects, your settings are great.

 DS21's gear list:DS21's gear list
Pentax MX-1 Pentax K-01 Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 Fujifilm FinePix S100fs +5 more
CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 12,643
Re: More comps.

DS21 wrote:

I am generally disappointed in all current compact super-zooms, none have the all-around ability to be like the one camera you have with you all the time. Sony smears detail too much, it's complicated, slow and too many MP. Fuji F600 has flare problems which make me cringe to use it after dark in the city (or around any bright lights), and not so great IS performance when zoomed.

The F600 has the same lens that was on the F550.

The F750 and F770 have either an improved lens, or better processing, which is less prone to veiling glare type of flare. It is far better at wide angle (25mm not 24 equivalent). Still the same kaleidoscope effect shooting into the sun, however. I would not recommend this camera for night shooting - get an F70EXR for that.

The IS performance at the long end is surprisingly good. We are talking 600mm (equivalent) here!

Have to agree that other compact super-zooms are disappointing. As might be the F770 depending on your criteria.

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