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Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd - Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd

By Cliff Smith


  • Recommended by TR
Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd


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Overall performance is also impressive, in fact deceptively so. Super-zoom cameras can be a bit slow to start up, and when you switch the S8000fd on it seems like it takes a long time to power up, but in fact it starts in just under three seconds, which isn't at all bad, and shuts down again in about two and a half seconds. In single-shot mode it has a shot-to-shot cycle time of just under three seconds, which is also pretty good, and in long-period continuous shooting mode it takes a shot every two seconds. It has a top-three burst mode which fires three shots in just under three seconds, as well as two very high speeds burst modes that can fire 14 shots in under three seconds at 4MP or about one and a half seconds at 2MP picture size. Focusing is reasonably quick, although it does slow down a bit at telephoto zoom settings. Low light focusing is also extremely good, and the very bright AF assist lamp means that it can focus fairly reliably in darkness at a range of about four metres.

I must also make special mention of the built-in flash. It uses Fuji's Intelligent Flash system to ensure accurate flash exposure at close range, and is also one of the most powerful built-in flashes I've ever seen, with a range of eight metres at wide angle and three metres at telephoto. The video mode on the other hand is really nothing special. It shoots at VGA resolution with mono sound, and the optical zoom cannot be used while filming.

Finally we come to picture quality, and here I can answer one of the questions that I have been asked by several readers: should they buy this camera or the S9600? If you want a hugely versatile super-zoom camera with all the snapshot convenience of a compact as well as a lot of advanced features, then buy the S8000fd, but if you're looking for ultimate picture quality then the S9600 is definitely a better choice. Not that the S8000fd has bad picture quality, but it does have some serious limitations. It uses a conventional CCD sensor rather than Fujifilm's more sophisticated SuperCCD system, and it is quite a small sensor too, just 1/2.35-inches, barely larger than the sensor in most pocket compacts. As a result, it lacks the outstanding high-ISO performance and superb dynamic range of some of Fuji's other models. Nonetheless, the exposure system is very good and makes the most of what it's got to work with, and colour rendition is superb. The level of fine detail is about what I'd expect from a good 8MP camera, and at low ISO settings the picture quality is very good indeed. The lens performs well, but it does produce some rather uneven spherical distortion at wide settings, and some pincushion distortion at telephoto settings. I also noticed some chromatic aberration towards the edges of the frame, especially at wider settings.


The Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd is a very sophisticated and immensely versatile camera for all types of photography, with enough features to make up for a slight lack in total image quality. It has superb handling, very good performance and excellent build quality, and while it may not have the semi-pro credentials of the S9600 is it is still a good hobbyists camera. For a price of under £200 it is a real bargain that will not disappoint.

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September 11, 2008, 5:02 am

I got one to replace an older Konica Z2 camera (4Mp 10xOptical zoom). The S8000fd is the best power zoom/compact(ish) digital camera you can buy. The quality of that big Fuji lens is briliant and even with 18x optical zoom to wind in and out the speed of the zoom is very good. The whole build quality of the camera is solid, well balanced and in the right places. I have no negatives to give on the use/ownership of the camera the zoom is good and its easy to take full zoom shots even withoout the tripod. Available for less than 𧵎 its a steal and it one of the best cameras I have used for a while. The only improvement I could see is that a hotshoe would be a great extra, but might start to tread on the toes of the S9600 (my other camera!) A camera that would be a class leader for 𧶀, much much better for under 𧵎

JoElla D. Mang

September 13, 2008, 2:49 am

I purchased this camera last November, I recently had to send it to be repaired, the mode dial simply broke off. I believe the focusing needed to be adjusted as well. As disappointed as I was for having to repair a camera that was less than one year old, their repair shop shipped my camera back to me in great shape, repaired and working within one week. I am impressed. They told me it would take 3 weeks.

The zoom may appear impressive but there is alot of movement and one must use a tripod to get a focused shot. That would be my only complaint. Other than that, I believe it is a good buy.


September 29, 2008, 2:13 pm

I recently purchased this camera and am very pleased sofar, except.... The software to go with it. It appears you cannot download the images direct, but only through a program that downloads everything it can't find on your PC. So if you move pictures around on your PC, but keep them on the camera to show friends - it will keep downloading them. UGHH!!!!

And it takes an enormous age to do it. Bit of a let down Fuji.

Steven Coyle

October 29, 2008, 11:14 pm

Recently upgraded from a compact camera, wanted more control over what the camera was doing. Very impressed, you get a fantastic piece of kit for the proce tag, Ive seen it about for less than 𧴺!! all settings such as appeture control,shutter speed, fully manual mode and for the novice, pre set programs to suit the subject (sunset, snow and many many others)too much to list. Many images have been blown up to A4 size giving fantastic results without any computer editing. There are a few reports of the control dial falling off, cant comment on this as mine seems solid. very clever piece of kit! I dont use the software provided as I already had an editing program. best of all, takes AA batteries, so if you run out, just buy some more no running back to charge it up, you can however buy NIKAM bateries and charge through the camera. 4 AA batteries (2500) gave me just under 400 photos... which is great!

Lee Hammond

November 6, 2008, 7:34 pm

I bought this camera around 3 weeks ago to replace a Canon Powershot A460, I paid 𧴬 for it via the Fujifilm UK refurb online shop. I have to say I have been massively impressed with the camera so far, the amount of control the device gives you is amazing, and even if you don't feel adventurous the Auto modes give pretty great results too.

The build quality is very high for the price with little evidence that this camera is in fact really quite cheap, like above I can't see how the control dial could fall off as it seems quite nailed down to me, my only concern is the flash but even if I did break it, the fault would be more mine than the cameras, seeing as you push it into a safe spot when it isn't in use.

As for picture quality, it is a camera that helps you along to start with, but it rewards you for taking risks and taking more "creative control" over your photography. I started on my way to this by playing with the Apeture modes, before going on to Program shift, and I am starting to use full Manual mode for some shooting, aside from getting some great photos out of the camera, the feeling of accomplishment is much higher and the camera is very rewarding in this regard.

My favourite mode of this camera has to be its Super Macro mode, I think there isn't a shrubbery in the industrial estate where I work that hasn't been violated by my Fujinon lens, flower pictures especially come out pin sharp, with fantastic focus priority, bringing the detail out on the subject while blurring the backgrounds brilliantly, leaving no doubt as to where your eyes should be looking at!

It's not all positives though, barrel distotion is quite the issue, and it is most noticable in any pictures involving roads, I konw our councils are renowned for shoddy roadworks, but wavy roads? that's pushing it a bit too far. Also colourful fringing is noticeable in 100% crops in high contrast areas, but nothing that cannot be corrected by a decent imaging suite. Oh and 4 seconds as the slowest shutter is not enough Fujifilm, and is bettered by nearly every model below and above, I wish a clever guy could change the firmware to allow longer, because the camera would be that much better in low light with it.

The focus system is pretty good, with the option for continuous focus, which, while it probably uses lots of battery power, helps for moving targets, it also allows for choosing where you want to choose where to focus its metering system as well as letting it think for you. Also, the face detection system works pre and post shooting, giving the system 2 chances to find them, it is so sensitive it finds faces on a flat HDTV screen, which, I think is quite impressive.

As for miscellaneous notes, battery life is excellent, with a set of Energizer 2500mAh rechargables lasting over 400 shots before losing the power to drive the camera, although it does slow down a bit when it gets through the batteries, and leaves little time between warning that the batteries are low and dying completely. The flash is great, in fact, TOO great for some indoor shots at default when playing with the manual shooting modes, thankfully that can be adjusted too.

All in all, I think this camera is well worth the money, and is a perfect bridge camera, it offers most of the mdoes of an SLR as well the auto modes of a point and shoot, but with the entry price of as low as 𧴿 new or 𧴬 refurbished, it is a cheap way of more enthusiastic novice camera users of seeing if they want to get into photography seriously before making the financial commitment needed for an SLR.

In my opinion, you cannot get a better camera for the money, simple.

Oh, one last note, the inbuilt software sucks, and does crasha bit on Vista, as well as not allowing much for image manipulation, especially with pictures taken in manual modes, buy a card reader and use paint.net or the Gimp if you don't want to pay anything, or plump for paint shop pro if you do.


April 18, 2009, 4:47 am

I purchased this camera about a year ago replacing my reliable 3.2mp Canon Compact camera. I wanted a higher megapixel camera, mainly for cropping pictures on my PC whilst maintaining some level of sharpness in the process. I opted for this Fuji camera on the strength of their reputation and numerous awards achieved for their cameras. I was also influenced by the neat modern design, powerful zoom, solid feel, and comfortable grip of this camera. I was expecting good things, but got off to a poor start. After just a week the control dial just snapped off (common problem from what I see). I returned it for repair and had it back two weeks later. Touch wood - it's still intact!

My impression of this camera, to date, is a 'mixed bag'. Let's just say - I was expecting more from an 8 megapixel camera at the time. My first ever digital camera was a simple basic 3 megapixel camera from Samsung, and I have to say the pictures produced by that camera, for some reason, look better zoomed in, than those taken by my 'new higher pixel' Fuji camera. I put that down to the physical size of the sensor, regardless of pixel count. From what I can see the sensors are getting smaller as the pixels go higher. In camera processing appears to degrade overall picture clarity, resulting in a 'mushy' mess, which is quite visible when zoomed in close. A good example of this is grass. At times I wish I still had that 'cheap' Samsung camera, but all I have is the pictures from same.

Getting back to the Fuji S8000fd, it is still a decent camera considering its price, provided you don't zoom in too close when editing, and print standard sized prints. Colours and exposure are both good, and this shows on 6x4 and 7x5 sized prints. Flash power and coverage, when used indoors, is good. Pictures taken indoors/outdoors within a distance of about six feet are reasonably sharp. On the other hand, I have noticed that distant outdoor wideangle scenic shots, in good light, and using the lowest ISO, still appear over processed and 'smudged' when viewed on my PC. My first such scenic shots were quite dissapointing. It is nice to have full manual control, and lots of features similar to that of a DSLR, but all that is of little or no use if the end result is a poorer than expected picture, and no amount of in-camera adjustment, or post editing can rectify something that hasn't been clearly captured in the first place. All in all I am somewhat dissapointed with the results achieved so far with this camera, and am looking forward to upgrading in the near future. The new Sony HX1 with CMOS sensor looks promising!

John Rich

April 20, 2009, 6:17 pm

Hello, I've had this camera now for over a year, but still find it interesting that it seems to be a good seller. Every comment here is right, as you can get massively different results depending on what you let the camera do. For example, I will now only follow it into AUTO mode if flash is not practical, and light is limited, otherwise I will only keep it at ISO 64. I know TR has stated that it's not bad unto ISO 400, but that's not my experience, although I do do a bit of pixel peeking.

The camera is reasonably quick to operate, has all the features you can expect at this price, especially now as the price has fallen a lot. I was shocked to find reviews of the new canon sx1 and sx110 super zooms were not particularly favourable, and they are hugely expensive,(DSLR money) therefore I consider the Fuji the best value super zoom at the moment.

The upgraded 8100 may offer a higher pixel count, but I can only imagine that the high ISO results will suffer for the sensor size fitted.

Shame this camera does not have a hot shoe, however let's not forget the price, if you shop at this level do not expect miracles.

I'm pleased with most of my pictures, (quality wise, artistically it's a different story) and the zoom gets you to where you can't get. Overall a very acceptable, and rewarding compromise, but if you can spend more, and live without an all in one lens then go to DSLR.


Brenda Carter

July 15, 2009, 2:02 pm

Both my husband and I liked the look of this camera and each bought one just over a year ago. We were delighted with everything about this camera until a few months ago the mode dial broke off on one of them. We sent this for repair at a cost of nearly £90. Then whilst on holiday a week ago the mode dial broke off my camera. I am now trying to decide whether to send this for repair or to purchase a different camera. For the price it is a superb camera and on looking at reviews of other cameras for the same price I cannot yet find one to equal it. I notice one reviewer has had the same experience, has anyone else?


October 18, 2011, 4:09 pm

Love this camera!

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