Following on from last year's S8000fd, the new Fujifilm FinePix S8100fd features a 10MP sensor and a few new features, as well as the 18x optical zoom seen on the previous model. To counteract camera shake, especially at the telephoto end, the camera has CCD shift image stabilisation, while a high ISO of 6400 is designed to reduce subject-based blur and facilitate low light shooting.
Like its predecessor the most striking thing about the S8100fd is its lens, offering the 35mm equivalent focal length of 27-486mm, allowing both wide angle shooting and extreme telephoto. The maximum aperture is f/2.8-4.5, while the minimum aperture is f/8. The extreme focal length is achieved in part by the small 1/2.3 inch CCD, which is a standard CCD rather than one of Fujifilm's SuperCCD varieties.
As the name suggests, the camera features face detection, with the ability to recognise and focus on up to ten faces within the frame. An automatic red-eye reduction feature can also be deployed to remove red eye during the image processing.
New to the camera is the instant zoom feature, allowing fast 1.4x or 2x digital zoom to be added quickly. Another new addition is the zoom bracketing feature, which is linked to the face detection system, and automatically zooms in on faces that it detects within the frame.
The camera offers a full compliment of exposure options. There's the standard auto mode and 13 scene modes, but also manual, aperture priority AE, shutter priority AE and Program AE. These are all closely linked to the metering system, which features 256 area evaluative metering, alongside centre weighted average metering and spot metering. A histogram can be observed in the viewfinder if you want, and exposure compensation is available over +/- 2EV for more tricky subjects.
Another feature found on the S8000 is the supermacro facility allowing a minimum focus of just 1cm, while normal macro offers focusing down to 10cm at the wide end and 1.2m at the telephoto end.
Like other recent Fujifilm cameras the S8100 has a dual shot mode which takes two pictures in quick succession, one with and one without flash, allowing you to choose the best according to the ambient lighting. It also features Fujifilm's Intelligent flash system, which detects the contrast and lighting levels in a scene and according to Fuji, adjusts the flash output accordingly. The flash is also automatically set to operate at a higher ISO so, the theory goes, less flash power is used and images appear more natural.