Fujifilm FinePix S3000 Zoom
Review Date: 26th April 2004
(out of 5 stars)
The Fujifilm FinePix S3000 Zoom is a camera of two halves (bear with me as I use this football analogy...). In the first half, it impresses you with its stylish, well-built exterior that is very easy to understand and use. In the second half, the game changes completely as it leaves you slightly disappointed with lacklustre images and only a single ISO speed. As any self-respecting football commentator would say, "It was a game of 2 halves" (right, the analogy has now ended!).
The single ISO speed severely hampers the Fujifilm FinePix S3000 Zoom. It's fine in the bright, sunny conditions when I shot the sample images for this review, but in the typical gloom of a UK winter or indoors it will undoubtedly struggle to provide you with razor-sharp images, due to that limiting ISO 100 speed. The built-in flash isn't powerful enough to help you out either, as it only has a maximum range of 3.5m. I'm not sure why Fujifilm chose to limit this camera to just one ISO speed (and a slow one at that). Adding ISO 200 and 400 would have made it much more adaptable.
The slightly muted images are less of a problem, even though they can't be improved by changing camera settings. At least you can alter them afterwards on your computer in an image-editing application, although people who want punchy, saturated images straight out of the camera may need to look elsewhere.
So despite being a joy to use and a veritable bargain at under £200, the Fujifilm FinePix S3000 Zoom scores a couple of own goals and ends up as just a Recommended camera that you should try before you buy. If the image quality was better out of the camera and those all-important higher ISO settings were present, I would be awarding this camera a much higher rating. Let's hope that Fujifilm adds them to the next model!