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Fujifilm Finepix S8100fd - Fujifilm Finepix S8100fd
Fujifilm has added 58MB of internal memory, and there's a single card slot that accepts either xD or the more universal SD and SDHC cards. Power is supplied by four AA batteries.
It's quite a lightweight camera but has pleasant ergonomics with a nice rounded thumb rest and rubber coated right hand grip which also contains the batteries.
Button placement is reasonable, with a top plated mode dial, alongside quick access face detection and antishake buttons. The position of the shutter release button and zoom ring are also comfortably within reach.
The back of the camera houses the 2.5inch LCD, along with a four way D-pad that offers image and menu scrolling along with quick access to flash functions, drive modes, macro modes and the instant zoom feature at each compass point.
As well as the standard menu button, the camera has Fujifilm F button, or Finepix button to allow quick change of the ISO, image size and quality and the three Fuji film modes. I'd like to see White Balance and metering modes added to this, as they're options that many people want to get at quite quickly.
As well as the obligatory playback button, there's a button to swap between electronic viewfinder and LCD monitor. I find EVFs to be quite annoying, especially when changing settings or wanting to check images on the LCD as you have to keep checking between the two, turning each on and off as you switch.
The display button is used to add a grid and shooting information. A final screen option splits the screen into four, a large composition window and three windows displaying each of three images as you take them, useful when bracketing but quite disorienting to use.
Pressing the exposure compensation button brings up an exposure compensation slider and histogram, and is also used to change aperture and shutter in aperture priority AE, shutter priority AE and manual modes. Changes are made via the four way controller, and to be honest is pretty fiddly, especially when the camera is held to the eye.
On the eye front, let's discuss that EVF a little more. It's not too high resolution, so doesn't offer the best view. The contrast is low and it has an annoying habit of appearing too bright, making exposure assessment nigh on impossible. While there's an LCD brightness adjuster in the set-up menu, there's not for the EVF. I also find the colour saturation of the EVF to be low, with images looking cold and drab.
At one point during the test, the EVF just locked in over exposed mode, like the aperture had not shut down, while a cubist-like grid faintly overlapped the screen. This cleared after turning the camera off. This may be a one-off fault, or a glitch in the firmware, that an upgrade may fix.