Saturday, 26 April 2008

Fuji S6500FD digicam

My fun with the Canon 5D continues, and I am still enjoying full-frame digital photography and all that it entails.

I've slowly figured out how to set up the 5D for my shooting style, and now I just have to get off my butt and get out there a bit more. Took a 2.5 hr drive to Okarito last week to catch the sunset, but it was pretty disappointing. I think it's more of a sunrise destination so I'll have to try again soon.

Of more note recently is my new digicam purchase. A friend came for advice on his next digicam upgrade, so that got me looking (and drooling) at all the new models.

I've had a Canon A710 IS point & shoot compact for 'snap shots' for a couple of years now, but to be honest I very rarely used it. Image quality was ok, but the slim, compact style digitals just really aren't me. I much prefer a truer SLR style experience, and have always liked the look of the Fuji line of 'bridge' cameras (not quite SLR, not quite point-and-shoot).

I decided to sell my Canon compact, giving me enough money to get myself a Fuji Finepix S6500FD (called the S6000FD in America). It's a 6.3MP camera, but with the use of Fuji's 'Super CCD' technology most reviewers believe it performs more like a 10 megapixel equivalent. Noise is also kept under control in this 6th generation CCD sensor, going up to 3200 (although only really useable at 1600). Still, that's pretty impressive when many other brands peak at 800 and are only really useable at 400 or lower. Shooting RAW should elicit even better performance, so I'm excited about the potential this camera could give me for a light, go anywhere, high quality digicam option - especially for travel images.

A couple other features of note in relation to the S6500FD - it has a manual zoom lens that goes from true wide angle 28mm to a very respectable 300mm at the telephoto end. The fact that it is a manual zoom lens, and not the electronic style, is also a huge selling point for me - I dislike the 'rocker switch' style zooms as they tend to be fairly imprecise.

The big selling point with this particular model, however, is the FD (Face Detection) hardware built into the camera. Hit the detection button and in 0.05 seconds the camera detects up to 10 faces in the viewfinder, locks on, focuses, and exposes for perfect portraiture. Combine this with 'natural' balanced flash which boosts the ISO to give more exposure to the ambient light in the background and you have a fairly impressive wedding and events camera. Not that I'm doing weddings mind you.

Should be arriving any day now. I'll talk more about my impressions of the camera after I've used it for a couple of weeks. See you then (if not before). BFN.

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