An affordable, feature-rich, long-zoom digicam with HD movie recording and playback capabilities.Fujifilm's new FinePix S2000HD packs a lot into an affordable camera body. Equipped with a 10-megapixel CCD sensor and 15x optical zoom lens, it also provides full compatibility with high definition television (HDTV) for both still photographs and movies. There are plenty of shooting modes to choose from, including P, S and M settings - but no aperture priority option. . . [more]
Fujifilm's new FinePix S2000HD packs a lot into an affordable camera body. Equipped with a 10-megapixel CCD sensor and 15x optical zoom lens, it also provides full compatibility with high definition television (HDTV) for both still photographs and movies. There are plenty of shooting modes to choose from, including P, S and M settings - but no aperture priority option.
Design and construction quality are good for an essentially plastic camera. The four-cell battery compartment can be tricky to open and close - and the lid is less securely anchored than we'd like - but it allows the camera to have a generous grip that will be comfortable for users with larger hands. The memory card compartment is separate from the batteries and located on the side panel (as in most DSLRs), where it's simple to access.
Angled front view of the FinePix S2000HD, showing the key components.
The zoom lens extends 20 mm forward when power is switched on but little change occurs with focal length changes. A lens cap is provided but it's poorly designed and a hassle to fit and remove. No lens hood is included.
Focal lengths range from 5mm to 75mm (equivalent to 27.6 to 414mm in 35mm format) with lens aperture settings varying between f/3.5 to f/7.0 with the wide-angle setting and f/5.4 to f/10.8 at the tele end of the zoom range. Only two aperture settings are provided at each focal length and you can jump between them in S and M shooting modes by pressing the +/- button and using the up/down arrows on the arrow pad.
The top panel carries the pop-up flash (which is raised by pressing a button on the side panel), mode dial, shutter button/zoom lever assembly, power switch and buttons for the 'Intelligent Face Detection' and continuous shooting functions. It's a bit too easy to switch the power on and off because the slider switch moves in the same direction for each setting. It's also located just behind the zoom lever/ shutter button, which sits at the front of the grip. You tend to pick the camera up by the grip and can knock the power lever in the process.
The top panel of the FinePix S2000HD.
The rear panel is a conventional Fujifilm design, with the LCD screen covering most of it. To its right is an arrow pad with central Menu/OK button and quick access arrows for macro, delete, flash and instant zoom settings. Above the arrow pad lie quick review and Function menu buttons.
The rear panel with key features indicated.
Camera controls are divided between two buttons: the Menu button in the centre of the arrow pad and a F (photo mode) button above it, which accesses three settings: ISO, Quality and FinePix Colour. The ISO sub-menu has four Auto ISO settings, three of them restricting the highest setting to ISO 1600, 800 OR 400 respectively. The remaining settings range from ISO 6400 to ISO 100 in 1EV steps. These settings are only available in P and M shooting modes and setting ISO 3200 or higher reduces resolution to 5M or less.
ISO settings are located in the F-mode menu.
Nine settings are provided in the Quality sub-menu, including two levels of compression at the highest resolution, a 3:2 aspect ratio mode and two 16:9 modes (one of them 1920 x 1080 for HDTV viewing). A nice feature of this menu is the display of the available capacity of the memory card for each setting, showing you how many shots you can take or how much video you can record before you embark on a shoot.
The table below shows the range of options available, along with the number of images that can fit on a 1GB card at each setting.
Image Size Setting
Number of images
3648 x 2736
3648 x 2736
3648 x 2432
3648 x 2056
2592 x 1944
2048 x 1536
1920 c 1080
1600 x 1200
640 x 480
To record video movies you must first select the Movie mode on the mode dial and then press the F-button to select a frame size and quality. All movie clips are recorded at 30 frames/second, regardless of the Quality setting. The table below shows how much video can be recorded on a 1GB memory card at the different Quality settings.
Movie Size Setting
Video per 1GB card
1280 x 720
640 x 480
320 x 240
Shooting video is largely a point-and-record exercise. Aside from the three Quality settings, the only other adjustments provided are the ability to switch the Dual IS (image Stabiliser) mode on and off and select between optical and digital zoom. With the former, the sound of the lens may be recorded in the audio track but quality will be better. Digital zoom operates by cropping the frame so quality is inevitably lost.
The FinePix Colour sub-menu provides three settings F-Standard (standard contrast and saturation), F-Chrome (for vivid contrast and colour) and F-B&W for monochrome photographs. The B&W setting appears to be a simple greyscale conversion that discards colour data, producing a somewhat flat result. Examples are shown below. Unlike most other functions, settings engaged in these menus remain locked in when the camera is switched off or another shooting mode is selected. Sample images taken with the three colour modes are shown below.
Pressing the Display button toggles through five settings. The default is a full-frame display with AF indicators displayed. The second hides the indicators while the third superimposes a framing grid. The fourth option superimposes an HD format frame for shooting stills of movie clips in HD mode. The final display is a post-shot assist window, which displays thumbnails of the previous three shots on the left side of the screen with the most recent picture at the bottom.
Mode Dial Settings
Aside from the Movie mode, the mode dial carries settings for Auto, Program AE (P), Shutter-priority AE (S) and manual exposure (M) as well as Custom and Scene Position settings and settings for Zoom Bracketing, Natural Light & Flash, Natural Light (no flash) and Anti-Blur. In the Custom mode, users can set up exposure parameters for the ISO, quality and FinePix Colour settings in the F-mode menu, along with the photometry, white balance, continuous shooting, focusing, sharpness, flash, bracketing and stabilisation modes in the shooting menu.
Set-up options that can be stored include the image display, AF illuminator, digital zoom and EVF/LCD mode. Other storable settings include the flash mode, framing guides, face detection, instant zoom, macro mode, exposure compensation and post-shot assist window.
The Scene Position sub-menu contains settings for the standard Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night, Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Museum, Party and Flower modes, along with a Text mode and an Auction Mode that is used to record objects from different angles for posting images on auction website. Up to four consecutive shots can be combined into a 640 x 480 pixel single image.
Zoom Bracketing in an interesting function, which enables the camera to automatically record three pictures when he shutter is pressed: one ay 10M quality, the second zoomed in by 1.4x and recorded at 5M and the third zoomed in a 2x and cropped to 3M. Two cropping frames are displayed on the LCD screen to show what will be included as the image zooms in. If 'Intelligent Face Detection' is on, the crops will be centred on the selected face.
'Intelligent Face Detection' is usable in most shooting modes and automatically detects human faces anywhere in the frame, setting focus and exposure to provide attractive portraits. A green frame appears on the LD+CD screen around the closest face to the centre; other faces in the frame are outlined in white. Face Detection can be combined with red-eye removal for flash exposures. This processing is applied in-camera before the image is recorded in memory.
Focus & Exposure
The S2000HD's autofocusing system uses a TTL contrast-detect system, which is slower than the phase-detect systems found on DSLR cameras and the active IR systems that used to be popular on compact cameras. An automatic AF illuminator is provided for low-light situations. Only one focus frame is provided and it's located in the centre of the viewfinder or monitor screen. It glows green when focusing is successful or red if the camera is unable to focus.
Manual focusing is accessible via the Shooting menu, where you can find three focusing settings: Continuous AF, Single AF and MF. To adjust focus manually you must press the +/- button and then use the zoom lever.
Unlike more advanced cameras, the S2000HD doesn't allow users to select a metering pattern; instead all metering appears to be centre-weighted average and exposures are Programmed AE unless another mode is selected. Users can adjust exposure levels through +/- 2EV in increments of 1/3EV - but only in the P, S, C and Auction modes. Flash output levels are adjustable in the shooting menu, with 1/3EV and 2/3EV steps provided above and below the standard output level.
Exposure bracketing is also available in the shooting menu, with 1/3EV, 2/3EV and 1EV steps provided. The camera will take three shuts when the shutter is pressed: one using the metered value and the others above and below it by the selected bracketing increment. Again, this function is available only in the P, S, M and C modes.
Aside from bracketing, four continuous shooting modes are supported: top three, top 33 H, top 33 M and long period. In the top three mode the camera takes up to three shots while the shutter button is pressed. In the two top 33 modes, the camera can record up to 33 frames at a time but with the H setting, image size is reduced to 3M, while with the M setting it is locked at 5M. For both these modes, ISO is set to 800 or higher. Neither mode is available for the Natural light, Zoom Bracketing and Auction modes.
When the long period continuous mode is selected, the camera records images shile the shutter button is held down. The number of images is determined by the image quality setting and available memory.
Most playback options are pretty standard and include erase, protect, copy, and rotate settings. Images can be displayed as slideshows with some interesting variations, including a 'Scrapbook' setting that progressively overlays images in various sizes and a Multi-Image mode that displays two images side-by-side then changes to three, four, five and more images with each displayed image becoming smaller.
Scrapbook playback overlaps pictures at varying sizes, using all shots on the memory card in an endless repetition.
Multi-image playback starts by displaying two images side-by-side then adds more, each image displayed becoming progressively smaller as more images are added.
Face detection can be engaged in playback mode and images can be tagged for printing using DPOF tagging. Pressing the +/- button displays a large thumbnail image with shooting data plus a small brightness histogram and flashing highlight alert.
Playback with shooting data, histogram and highlight alert.
Red-eye removal and trimming of stills and movie clips are also provided in the playback menu. The former requires the image to be shot with 'Intelligent Face Detection'. It creates a separate copy of the image, which is tagged with an eye icon for easy identification. You can also copy images between the internal memory and memory card - and vice versa.
As well as movie clips, the S2000HD can also tag still images with brief voice memos by selecting the Voice Memo icon in playback mode. These clips are recorded as PCM-format WAV files with a maximum size of around 480KB. They can be played back on the camera - but there's no guarantee of playback on other devices.
DPOF tagging options for automated printing.
Subjective assessment of images shot with the review camera showed them to have higher than average saturation levels - even with the F-Standard setting. Image contrast was also relatively high and we found visible edge softening in many shots. All these factors were confirmed with Imatest testing.
Test shots taken in bright conditions had a wider-than-average dynamic range, although some colour noise was detected in deep shadows. However, highlight detail was retained beyond the limits of most digicams. Compression artefacts were found when high-resolution JPEGs were enlarged to 200%. The image stabilisation system worked well for both stills and video and provided between one and two EV of shutter speed advantage.
Video quality was good - but not brilliant and some noise and occasional glitches were observed in footage shot with the 1280 HD setting. The autofocusing system also had a few troubles keeping up with moving subjects, particularly in indoor lighting and with low light levels. Audio quality was average for monaural recordings.
Imatest showed the S2000HD to be capable of above-average resolution for its specifications. However there was quite a large discrepancy between centre and edge resolution at the shorter focal lengths. This declined progressively as focal length increased. The graph below shows the results of our tests.
Another progressive decline in resolution occurred when ISO settings were increased. We only tested up to ISO 1600 because at higher settings, the camera cannot record at full resolution. The graph below shows the results of our tests.
Imatest also showed colour accuracy to be relatively low, with significant shifts in skin hues and most shades of green and boosted saturation in reds, oranges, pinks and purple-blues. The mean saturation level was 126.4%, which is high for a present-day digicam. Lateral chromatic aberration was high toward the edges of test shots but low-to-moderate in the centre. Coloured fringing was noticeable near the edges when shots taken in bright conditions were enlarged to 200%. Examples are shown below.
The red circles indicate coloured fringes.
The original image.
White balance performance was average. The auto setting produced neutral colours fluorescent lighting but failed to correct the orange cast of incandescent lights. The manual pre-sets tended to over-correct slightly but custom measurement produced close-to-neutral colours. Digital zoom performance was very good, with few artefacts visible at the maximum optical and digital zoom setting.
Test shots taken with the flash were very well balanced and the Natural Light + Flash setting produced some interesting results. There is a delay of approximately one second between the two shots, which accounts for the differences in pose seen below
Natural Light + with Flash.
The flash was also capable of illuminating an average-sized room at ISO settings of 400 and above. However, images were slightly soft and quite blotchy from ISO 1600 on and noise was visible at ISO 800 and above. Low-light shooting is limited by the camera's shutter speed range, which only provides its longest exposures (four seconds) in Night mode. All of our test shots showed reduced colour accuracy, although up to ISO 3200 they were less noise-affected than average for digicam photographs.
Photo Review measured an average capture lag of 0.5 seconds, which reduced to 0.1 seconds with pre-focusing. It took 2.8 seconds to process and store each image. With the Top 3 burst setting, the camera recorded three 10M F JPEG images at 0.9 second intervals. These were processed and stored in 6.7 seconds.
In the Long Period continuous shooting mode, the camera processed images as they were recorded. High-resolution shot with an average size of 4.4MB were recorded at intervals that ranged from 0.9 seconds to 2.1 seconds, with capture rates slowing progressively.
In the Top 33 M mode we recorded 11 shots with an average size of 960KB at 0.3 second intervals. It took 7.9 seconds to process and store this burst. In the Top 33 H mode, 13 shots with an average size of 680KB were captured in 1.1 seconds. It took 7.1 seconds to process and store this burst.
Lateral chromatic aberration near the centre of the lens field.
Lateral chromatic aberration towards the edge of the lens field.
Auto white balance with incandescent lighting.
Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.
Long exposure: 1.3 seconds at f/3.8; ISO 6400.
Long exposure in Night mode: 4 seconds at f/3.8; ISO 1600.
Frame grab from 1280 HD video clip.
Image sensor: 6.13 x 4.6 mm Bayer CCD with 10 megapixels effective
Lens: Fujinon 5-75mm f/3.5-5.4 zoom lens (28-414mm in 35mm format)
Zoom ratio: 15x optical, approx 5.7x digital for stills, 3x digital for HD movies
Image formats: Stills – JPEG (Exif 2.2); Movies – MPEG-4/ WAV
Image Sizes: Stills – 3648 x 2736, 3648 x 2056, 2592 x 1844, 2048 x 1536, 1920 x 1080, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480; Movies – 1280 x 720, 640 x 480. 320 x 240 at 30 fps
Shutter speed range: 4 to 1/1000 second
Image Stabilisation: Stills: optical; Movies: digital
Exposure Compensation: +/- 2EV in increments of 1/3EV (P, S, M and Auction modes only)
Focus system/range: Contrast-detect TTL AF with AF-assist illuminator; range: 70 cm to infinity; macro to 10 cm; super macro 1-30cm.
Exposure metering/control: Programmed AE plus the following modes: Auto, P, S. M, C, Movie, Zoom Bracketing, Natural Light & with Flash, Without Flash, Picture Stabilisation plus 15 pre-set Scene modes
ISO range: Auto, ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600; ISO 3200 and 6400 at 5M or smaller
White balance: TTL auto plus manual presets for direct sunlight, shade, daylight fluorescent, warm white fluorescent, cool white fluorescent, incandescent and custom setting.
Flash modes/range (ISO auto): Auto, fill flash, flash off, slow synch; red-eye reduction available
Sequence shooting: First/last 3: up to 1.1 fps; Continuous: up to 0.5 fps; High-speed: up to 13.5 fps (max. 33 frames)
Storage Media: Approx. 55MB internal memory plus SD/SDHC card slot
Viewfinder: 0.2-inch 200-dot colour LCD (approx 97% coverage for shooting, 100% for playback)
LCD monitor: 2.7-inch, low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with 230,000 dots
Power supply: 4x AA alkaline batteries (supplied); CIPA rated for approx. 300 frames (lithium or NiMH batteries are usable with 650 or 400 frame capacities, respectively)
Dimensions (wxhxd): 111.0 x 78.9 x 75.7 mm
Weight: Approx. 390 grams (without batteries)
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