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Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
Fujifilm has always been a prolific purveyor of super-zoom or "bridge" cameras. You can trace the lineage of this new FinePix S2000HD all the way back to the FinePix 4900 Zoom, launched in the summer of 2000. However camera design has come a long way in eight years. The 4900 Zoom was a 2.4 megapixel camera with a 6x zoom lens. The S2000HD is a 10.0 megapixel camera with a 15x zoom lens, sensor-shift image stabilisation and HD video recording. Prices have changed somewhat too. When it was launched the 4900 Zoom would have cost you about £700, but today you can buy an S2000HD for just over £170.
At that kind of price the S2000HD doesn't have a lot of direct competition. Cameras such as the Panasonic FZ28, the Olympus SP-570 UZ, the Nikon P80 and indeed Fujifilm's own FinePix S8100fd offer longer zoom ranges, but at a higher price, and lack the HD video capability. The new Canon PowerShot SX1 IS has a 20x wide-angle zoom and HD movie mode, but at around £400 it's not really in the same league as the Fuji.
Despite its relatively low price it seems that very few corners have been cut in the design of the S2000HD. Some previous Fuji super-zoom models have been a little short in the build quality department, but the S2000HD feels very solidly made. It has a plastic body, but feels surprisingly heavy for its size, thanks mostly to the amount of glass in the lens, although this is balanced by the weight of four AA batteries inside the handgrip.
Fujifilm has a lot of experience with SLR-style super-zoom cameras, so it's no surprise that the S2000HD is superbly comfortable and easy to hold. The large handgrip has a soft high-friction rubber coating, and a textured grip area extends to the sculpted thumbgrip on the back. The controls are large, sensibly laid out and clearly labelled, and all operate smoothly.
The LCD monitor is 2.7 inches and 230k dots, and has an exceptionally fast refresh rate, making iut very quick and responsive. The electronic viewfinder is not quite as good, with a 200k dot resolution and 97 percent frame coverage. It's bright and clear enough, but not really quite sharp enough for accurate manual focusing.
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