A sign, with no zoom, approx 30ft. away
A sign, at 18x zoom and flash, approx 30ft. away
My new toy came today, a Fuji FinePix S8000fd. This model fills roughly the same niche -- at roughly the same price -- as my current camera, the S3000, which I got 4 1/2 years ago. I was looking to upgrade and asked around. Fuji cameras were at the top of my list, since I have much of the ancillary equipment (such as memory cards) and know how they operate. Ctein and local fan Michael K. raved about the S6000, which looked really good. Doing research, I found that the S6000 was the 2006 model, and the S8000 came out a year later. I went to a store and played with both (and a few others). While the S6000 has much to recommend it, the S8000 has all the things Ctein and Michael liked (fast shutter lag, good in low light) and the later model was 8meg (vs. 6) and has an 18x zoom. And the S8000's flash was rated as being viable from farther away.
The two pictures above are from a quick test in my condo's elevator lobby. The lower picture may not seem like much, but it's a flash picture from a distance of 30 feet! Both pictures are uncropped and unaltered except to reduce them from an 1.8meg jpg to 52K and 44K. You're welcome.
I'm just starting in on the camera, and will have to learn it's ins and outs. So far, the only thing I don't like about it is the case. The strap doesn't allow me to carry it, bandolier-like, around my shoulder and neck. Heck, the strap on the camera is longer. But this is a minor thing, and I may simply use the old case, though that would mean I can't wear two cameras at once. Somehow, I'll live.
In the meantime, I'm more dangerous than ever at cons and such. The first big test is likely to be the May Day Parade. That's outside, so I won't get a full test of the flash. That will wait for another day.