Fujifilm Finepix S3500
(Fujifilm Finepix S3100 in the USA)
Review Date: March 15th 2005
(out of 5 stars)
The Fujifilm FinePix S3500 is a definite improvement on the older S3000 model that it replaces, offering the same stylish, well-built exterior that is very easy to understand and use, but crucially improving on the image quality and extending the range of ISO speeds.
The maximum ISO speed is still only 250, however, which is fine in bright or slightly overcast conditions, but not so good in the typical gloom of a UK winter or indoors. The FinePix S3500 does struggle in low-light conditions, failing to autofocus properly on a regular basis. Along with a lack of continuous shooting and focusing modes, this camera is not well suited to, for example, taking pictures of your children indoors. In addition to those negatives, the Electronic Viewfinder on the Fujifilm FinePix S3500 just isn't very good in today's market, being grainy, offering poor scene coverage and taking its time to refresh.
On the plus side, the 6x zoom lens is unusual at this price point and does open up a lot of shooting opportunities that other digicams with shorter focal lengths won't be able to offer you. That zoom range also differentiates it from the competition and ensures that the FinePix S3500 is still well worth considering, despite the rapid progress of digital camera development. The FinePix S3500 is a very easy to use camera that is accessible to its target market, the new digital camera owner, and is solidly made. As with most cameras, though, it certainly isn't perfect and isn't a great all-rounder in terms of the subjects that it can capture successfully. You will need to decide where your priorities as a photographer lie when evaluating the Fujifilm FinePix S3500.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Fuji Finepix S3500 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.