This is my third Fujifilm camera, and I swear by them. This one replaces my aging S1500, which I have used to take thousands of photos. I wanted to upgrade to more zoom, and more megapixels.
This is not your average point-and-shoot. Yes, you can use it as one, but you aren't even scratching the surface of what it can do. The auto-focus may be a tad slow, but as someone who started out focusing manually with a SLR 35mm, it's faster than I ever was. The flash is MUCH improved over my old camera. Just as a test, I took a shot of my living room...white walls, undecorated Christmas tree, and the usual stuff on the floor waiting to go on the tree. Some natural light coming in. I can't even tell I used the flash! No washout, like most digital cameras produce.
The zoom is outstanding, but you WILL need a tripod (as you would with any camera). With a rickety old one, I was able to take a photo of the full moon, and craters were visible. Over the weekend, I went to an open house at a glass blower's shop. I was able to take brilliant shots of the glasswork IN THE KILN.
To me, this is a $500 camera being sold for much, much less. It's a great stepping stone for anyone who wants to move up from point-and-shoot, and be creative. That's the joy of digital photography. Didn't turn out like you planned? Delete it and try again! Have fun with it.
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