Fujifilm FinePix S4000 Review

3.5
June 6, 2011 | Matt Grayson |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 14 megapixe Finel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

We can only describe the image quality on the S4000 as a bit weird. From a normal viewing distance, the pictures look great. The look sharp and rich in colour. However, cropping into them and the pictures look overly sharpened to the degree that they look painted. At ISO64, the pictures show no digital noise at all.  In fact we're really impressed with the low end ISO settings. Being overly critical, the ISO200 setting does show extremely minor signs of noise poking through. Image quality is still very good, though and it's not until ISO800 that quality takes a nosedive.

So it looks as though the S4000 has a very good noise reduction system but at ISO800 it either can't cope or it gives up the ghost. Discolouration occurs at ISO1600 and any dark areas change colour completely. We continuously got casts when shooting at high ISO but we're still impressed with edge definition even at this high setting. In a bid to reduce the amount of noise interfering with the picture, at ISO3200, the camera knocks down the resolution. The idea being that because the pixels are spaced out so don't apply heat to neighbouring pixels which can generate a type of noise.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Fujifilm FinePix S4000. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

ISO 64 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

Focal Range

The Fujifilm FinePix S4000's 30x zoom lens offers an incredibly versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples:

24mm

720mm

Sharpening

Despite being sharp straight out of the camera, the pictures do improve slightly from a standard sharpening in an editing suite such as Adobe Photoshop. Below are samples of images both sharpened and unsharpened.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

File Quality

The Fujifilm FinePix S4000 has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options.

High

Normal

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberration occurs when the lens can't focus all colours onto the sensor. It generally appears as a purple line along high contrast edges such as black lettering on white paper or branches against a sky. It occurred rarely on the S4000 but when it does appear, it's a hard edged line of colour.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

There are two macro modes on the Fujifilm FinePix S4000. The normal macro mode can close in to around 7cm while the super macro can get in as close as 2cm. Using the normal macro mode will allow you to still zoom in whereas switching to super macro disables the zoom function.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

Because of the design of the FinePix S4000, the flash is a flip up variety that has to be opened manually by pressing the small button on the left side of the flash. Red-eye reduction is done using the main menu. It's just a simple red-eye on/red-eye off option. We found that there's no trace of red-eye in the pictures anyway and this is down to the height of the flash hen it's in operation. Because of the angle of light, it bounces the reflection that causes red-eye at an oblique angle to the lens. We found in our test that the camera gives very similar light spread with the flash that it does without the flash. At wide-angle there's a degree of vignetting in the corners which does peter out towards the telephoto end.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (24mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Wide Angle (720mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (720mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. The Auto setting caused a small amount of red-eye which was removed by the Red-eye reduction mode.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red Eye Reduction

Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

For the main night test we used a manual control to get settings that we wanted to use. In aperture priority, we chose a low ISO rating to reduce noise and f/8 to close down the aperture and use a longer shutter speed. We found that the noise performance was very good on the camera because long exposures can sometimes cause noise.

One point that we came across on most pictures, especially ones at low ISO was that they had a kind of painted effect to them. It's really unusual and actually spoils an otherwise great performance from the camera.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, 720p, hdmi, super-zoom, 14 megapixel, fujifilm, super zoom, finepix, 30x, s4000, finepix s4000, Fujifilm FinePix S4000 Review, fujifilm s4000

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