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Fujifilm Finepix S700 7MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom
Review by Daniel P. Dern
Date: 08 June 2007 List Price $249.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: MFR. Website / Show Official Info /

We happen to know Daniel Dern is on his way to Japan later this summer, and he'll be needing a new camera to take along. With it's long zoom lens and AA power supply, we're sure the S700 would meet his needs nicely.

For $250, the Fujifilm FinePix S700 packs a lot of digital photographic power: a 10X optical zoom, 7MP, and a good handheld shape with intuitively placed buttons. It runs on AA batteries, has media slots for both SD/MMC and xD-Picture cards.

Like other cameras in this size/price class, the FinePix S700 is too big for a pocket, but in return, offers more zoom and more vroom -- a good display in back, more picture-shooting modes and sundry flash settings.

If that's what you're looking for, the FinePix S700 is a fabulous deal. Its limits are those of cameras of this type -- you won't always get the picture of the instant you wanted, you can't take multiple shots as fast as with a film SLR, and the camera will periodically be doing something you weren't away off that may change the contrast or color rendition.

A Lot Of Features Per Dollar

The Stabilization feature on the FinePix S700 is simple -- it's one position on the mode dial on the top left. It seems to give clearer picture, but of course, you're trading off depth of field or ISO.

The 10x zoom is inarguably sweet, adding double or better the optical zoom range over the 3-4x common on smaller and lower-range digital cameras. Intriguingly and impressively, Fuji manages to do this without Pinocchio-ing the lens out of the short lens barrel.

The controls are well laid out, with power, zoom/shutter, and settings all resting under the fingers (of the right hand -- not sure how lefties do with cameras). The lens cap comes with an eye and strap, so you can let it dangle rather than lose it in a pocket.

For power, the S700 uses four AA batteries -- making it easy and cheap to "re-charge" from any drug store (and easy to tote around a spare set). The two media slots also make this camera more flexible For an MSRP of $249, there's a lot of power here -- if this isn't what you want, you need to either step down into a less-featured (but not necessarily less expensive) pocket camera, or up into the DSLR region.

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