Fujifilm FinePix S3000 Z review
Overall, I am very happy with this camera. The pictures are sharp, with bright natural colors, and excellent contrast. I've taken over a thousand pictures since I got the camera. Here is what I've found:
SCENERY & SKYLINES
Daytime photos are excellent. The 6x optical zoom is very nice. All my photos are in focus with no blurring. I don't remember any photos being out of focus. Of course, you must understand how auto-focus cameras work. You must point the camera at the subject you want in focus, and press the shutter half way to lock the focus and exposure.
Fantastic night shots. But you must use a tripod.
INDOOR and NIGHT FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY
The flash is very good. All my flash photos are sharp and in focus. Haven't had any problems with flash photos. Some people complain that you have to manually pop up the flash, but I see this as a feature. It allows me to turn the flash on and off very easily, and I can see when the flash is on.
SPORTS and ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY
I don't do any of this type of photography. If you are serious about photographing scenes with a lot of action, this may not be the camera for you. The camera seems sensitive to movement in low light. This becomes especially obvious when you zoom in on something. The more you zoom in, the more likely you are to blur the photo. To minimze blurring, I suggest you avoid zooming in on your subject in low light situations. Learn to hold the camera very steady, and squeeze the shutter button, don't press it.
VIEW FINDER and LCD SCREEN
The LCD screen is adequate. The electronic view finder is great. I love being able to take pictures in bright sunlight and see the electronic image without putting on my reading glasses!
Yes, lag time is a definitely a problem. Very often, what you see is not what you get. This can be minimized by centering your subject, pressing the shutter half way to lock the focus and exposure, and then move the camera to compose the shot. Once the focus and exposure are locked in, the lag time is reduced. But there will still be some lag time. I've gotten used to it, and it doesn't bother me that much. All digital camera's have a lag time.
The camera has only one level of compression, but I don't see that as a problem. The pictures are very clear.
The auto focus works great outdoors and with the flash on. In fact, I don't think I ever saw a flash photo that was out of focus.
AVAILABLE LIGHT or LOW LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY
This is where the camera is weakest. I haven't had much trouble with auto focus as other people seem to have, but blurring due to camera movement is definitely a problem. It is also difficult to see the subject in the view finder or LCD when the light is very low. But in most situations, if I turn on the flash, the photos come out great. I don't know how the camera is focusing in the dark, but when the flash is on, it works great, even in almost complete darkness.
If you want a lot of manual control, and you are a very serious photographer, this is not the camera for you. But if you travel like I do, and want great travel pictures and the ability to zoom in close to your subjects, simple operation, great portraits, and a good flash, this camera is perfect for you.
The camera has other features which I didn't comment on, but that's because I don't use them.
Would I buy this camera again if given the chance-- yes.
It's a bit bulky to carry around, but it looks very nice.
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