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Thread: Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

  1. #1
    rawill's Avatar
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    Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

    I saw an advert for the above camera, it is for sale from a retailer for NZ$299.00

    I wondered if it would be a good replacement for my Richo Capilo R5.
    Certainly it is bigger, I am thinking of overseas travel and not wanting a big camera, but one that has some manual settings rather than being a completely auto P/S.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

    Hi Robin,

    I don't know either camera, so I had a quick look online at the specs.

    After my Auto P&S 'phase', I progressed to a Fuji S6500, which seems to be a predecessor of the S4500, despite the number being higher.
    Things I liked about the Fuji I had;
    RAW shooting - S4500 doesn't
    AA batteries - ditto S4500 - I used Ni-MH Rechargeables*
    Manual zoom - S4500 is electric (uses battery power every time you zoom, or switch off/on)

    I don't regret buying my Fuji at all, it was passed on to my daughter, then son, and I believe it's still working 7 years later. UPDATE: my son brought home today - it stopped working yesterday!!!

    I used my S6500 for 18 months before image quality and shutter delay of EVF/LCD eventually drove me to spend 10x what the Fuji cost on a DSLR and lens of equivalent range (28 - 300mm FFE in my case), but I feel that was only possible because my Fuji shot RAW and allowed better PP (post processing). Now I may be mistaken, or that may not be something you want anyway.

    Advantages of a camera like this over a DSLR;
    DoF for close up work
    You don't attract so much attention using one in public
    Reduced weight and cost for telephoto lens reach (720mm in S4500)

    The later took me back to buying a similar bridge camera recently, I bought a Nikon P510, for the 1000mm reach, but I do miss the manual zoom and RAW I had with the S6500. I am not as happy with the P510 (as the S6500), but I have been spoiled by DSLR performance. If I were buying again, I'd consider the Panasonic FZ200 for the constant f/2.8 lens to 600mm FFE, but that's a lot more money than a S4500.

    * Battery management:
    I used two sets of Ni-MH 2,500mA/h Rechargeables
    Kept them as separate groups, always charged the four together
    I used a "normal" charger (i.e. not a "rapid" or "fast" one)
    Keep a spare set of real Duracell Alkalines for emergencies, but if you're in a place with a shop, they'll likely sell AA batteries (I did do this a couple of times)
    Be advised; Alkalines won't last as long as the Ni-MH rechargeables


    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 19th January 2013 at 09:22 PM.

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    Re: Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

    My Daughter In Law and Son has this and I was able to play around with it some. What I found out is it needs a lot of light to get good photos and videos. Without enough light, the camera will boost the ISO to keep shutter speeds fast enough to freeze movement (and this camera's lens needs a lot of light). However, increasing the ISO also increases noise and noise reduction that, in turn, softens details. Once the S4500 hits ISO 800, though, it will start to use slower shutter speeds to get the correct exposure. Depending on how slow it gets, if you're not on a tripod and your subject isn't still, you'll end up with soft, blurry photos. This is common with this class of camera, not just the S4500. What is specific to the S4500 is the photo quality at ISO 800, which is OK for Web use at small sizes if you don't mind softness and visible noise. Now at ISO 1600 something goes horribly wrong the color and subjects are just too soft, so I would avoid using this or the higher ISO settings available at reduced resolutions. On the upside, Fujifilm doesn't use this setting when shooting in Auto; it will drop the shutter speed instead. The other two things I found out about and this maybe just me but there no diopter adjustment for the EVF, when I look through the VF things look a bit fuzzy, can't understand how Fujifilm could forget this but they did. The last is there no dedicated video recording button, camera has to be put into movie mode to record. Over all this is a good camera to start out with but remember it don't like low lights, as long as you have enough light I think you will be happy with it.

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    rawill's Avatar
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    Re: Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

    Now that is very interesting Paul.

    I think on that basis I might give it a miss.
    What you are saying is that it might not be any better than what I already have in the P/S range.

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    Re: Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

    My feeling from occasions when I have suggested things to people based on my Panasonic cameras was that Fuji doesn't have the useful features of the Pany FZ series .... could let you have my 'No.2' FZ50 which I bought for NZ$225 awhile back before I changed to M4/3 ... seems in good condition with seemingly less than 10,000 shots taken. As you can see I am quite close to you and I took my 'No.1' FZ50 to the States and my FZ20 and FZ30 on previous trips. The lens doesn't loose that much light when zooming like other cameras ... you might note that Pany have brought back the constant f/2.8 lens with their latest FZ200 like the original FZ10 and FZ20's. I like the FZ30, FZ50 becuase the lens doesn't trombone but ready and eager 7/24
    Their weight is similar to an SLR or small DSLR so that might be a problem to you ... but they all seem about 'right' to me.

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    Re: Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

    Quote Originally Posted by rawill View Post
    Now that is very interesting Paul.

    I think on that basis I might give it a miss.
    What you are saying is that it might not be any better than what I already have in the P/S range.
    Robin I don't know anything about the Richo Capilo R5 so I can't compare it with the Fujifilm. For the money it's not a bad deal and dose have some nice points like the sensor shift image stabilization which helps to keeps images crisp or the SR auto shooting mode which is accurate and easy in most situations also has a nice, bright 3.0-inch LCD and had excellent battery life. At the lower ISO settings, the images are beautiful showing very high levels of detail. At ISO 400, some of the finer details start to disappear, and anything after ISO 800 you will want to stay away from if at all possible. So if mosty what your going to do is shoot outdoor and you can keep the ISO low you will be very happy with your shots

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    rawill's Avatar
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    Re: Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

    Thank you all, I have been thinking over what I will take on our next trip to Europe, either later this year or next.
    So when I saw the advert for the Fuji I thought, I wonder, would it be the thing to do.


    The Capilo is a good little p/s but now,

    While I want a small unobtrusive camera, I now also want something that will take better photos.
    I havae come to the place which is, "Why spend the money on a trip and come back with poor quality photos".
    But I do not want to take a DSLR.

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    Re: Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

    Robin the problem is what you have to spend on one, like anything else you get what you pay for. If your willing to step up to the plate and spend a little more there are some nice p/s units out there with a super zoom like the very popular Canon PowerShot SX50 but best price on that is $450. Keep looking and or maybe saving
    Last edited by Melkus; 20th January 2013 at 01:10 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

    Yes Paul

    Dave mentioned this camera, it certainly looks good on paper.
    I just might go and have look at one in a shop.

    Thank you

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

    While I want a small unobtrusive camera, I now also want something that will take better photos.
    I have come to the place which is, "Why spend the money on a trip and come back with poor quality photos".
    But I do not want to take a DSLR.
    There are basically three factors which make (most) P&S pictures worse quality (photographer aside) than DSLR ones;

    Control; The camera not having the semi-auto and manual controls of a DSLR, so (most) often, the exposure is wrong, or focus

    Jpg only; I know I keep harping on about this, but I would recommend a RAW capture capable camera, assuming the photographer has the desire to get the best quality which means investing time in developing PP skills. Having RAW capture should enable recording of a greater dynamic range than is possible with jpg

    Sensor size; which in turn affects all sorts things;
    Small sensor = greater MP/surface area = worse noise and dynamic range
    Small sensor = crop factor multiplier of focal length = longer effective focal lengths more easy to achieve - good for distant wildlife
    Small sensor = crop factor multiplier of DoF for a numeric aperture value = DoF of f/2 on a P&S or bridge camera equivalent to between f/8 or f/11 on DSLR - good for close up/'macro', but not much help for anything else (too much DoF gives sharp backgrounds where blurred would usually be better)
    Small sensor = smaller lens = smaller, cheaper camera - what you're after, but cheaper cuts both ways; they clearly won't put as good lens correction or flare coatings into the lens design

    All this is why there's now a plethora of formats between M4/3 (crop factor 2) and Bridge and P&S (crop factor 4.6 or 5.5) cameras - but they're all a similar price to a DSLR system and have a limited lens range available.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 21st January 2013 at 12:41 PM.

  11. #11
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    Re: Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

    Mmm, good comments to get the brain working.

    However, it seems I want the impossible, if the said camera has to fit in my pocket~!

    But it does make my old Dimage Z3 not such a bad camera,
    It has, MASP settings, even though they are a bit limited, and it has 12x optical zoom.

    I used it at the motorsport the other day and was a bit surprised at its performance, especially given it is an old P/S.

    A settings F2.8 to F8
    S 15s to 1/1000.
    ISO 50-400
    Last edited by rawill; 21st January 2013 at 05:36 PM.

  12. #12

    Re: Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

    Hi,

    My name is Kurt Barbara and I a new to this forum.

    Recently I bought the low spec Fujifilm Finepix s4500 camera and I need some assistance on how can I improve the quality of movie recordings. Mainly I use the camera to take photos of fireworks and also videos of the fireworks.

    Last year I have taken this video but I am not really satisfied about the quality of such video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLRkTND1_3M

    I know that such camera is limited but could someone tell me the best settings for taking videos of fireworks please. I am planning to buy another camera in the near future but for now I am out of budget.

    Thanks alot for your help.

  13. #13

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    Re: Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

    Kurt .... I suspect that your short clip is a series of shots[?] and just below on U-tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEMhDiUpgSQ there is an example which perhaps demonstrates what you are after [ certainly I would be ] though I am not sure how it can be obtained on video.
    Firstly the fireworks themselves are better exposed by manually selecting a low ISO and an appropriate aperture which doesn't burn out the results as in your example which are mainly short blobs of burnt out white.
    In my example [ not shot by me of course] we have the progression of fireworks as they climb into the sky and burst, but with numerous fireworks superimposed on each other. I suspect this may well have been the display organiser's work but if not then it is an editing job but my knowledge of video editing is limited as to what is available for home use.

    If you can solve that problem fine but otherwise I suggest using the camera as a still camera but with long exposures covering the climb and burst and then when you have a number of them combining them with an editor ... you will need one with layers so that each burst can be on its own layer and moved to make a good composition with other bursts on other layers ...Paint dot Net is a free download and should be able to do this for you. If you can allocate some cash for a better editor then there are last years versions of Paint Shop Pro at reasonable prices on Amazon which would be much better [ what I use ]

    Your existing S4500 has the manual features to follow my suggestions but not being into into video I am not aware if there is a 'home use' editor which will combine shots for you.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 26th May 2014 at 09:49 AM.

  14. #14
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

    Hi Kurt,

    Shooting fireworks is a challenging subject, I am no movie expert, but here's what I came up with.

    First issue; if you want sound on the movie, and the camera has a feature called a "wind filter", use it, if not, mute it (during the edit/upload) - just don't ask me how, because I never do it.

    Second issue; I don't think the camera is in focus, so if your camera can be manually focused, set it on something at the correct distance and switch to manual so it doesn't attempt to change focus

    Third issue; on the bright ones, the sensor is becoming VERY overloaded, as can be seen by the vertical banding, which is seen for a few frames.

    If you can, set manual exposure (a bit of trial and error will be involved), it may help with the third issue.

    Also do make sure that you are recording at the highest frame rate and resolution (you may need a bigger memory card) for such fast moving action, especially for recording, but also on YouTube, this is displaying at only 240px tall - and most people's screens these days are HD; 1080px (tall), so it looks bad.

    I'll leave further comment to someone that actually shoots video

    Screen grabs showing lack of focus and sensor overload stripe

    Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

    One more thought; set the WB (White Balance) to manual too, probably the cloudy setting is good. If you don't do this, you'll risk the camera's automatics trying to make single colour bursts white, which will make the colours less vivid.

    Hope that helps - if you cannot do some of these things, be sure the next camera you buy can.

    Welcome to the CiC forums from, Dave
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 26th May 2014 at 10:17 AM.

  15. #15

    Re: Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

    Thank you for your help.

    Surely I will try to set such settings and see if it will improve the quality of such videos.

    If I am not mistaken I was focusing during auto mode instead of manual mode.

    I use the highest resolution possible which is 1280 x 720 (HD) and a 32 GB SDHC memory card.

  16. #16
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    Re: Fujifilm Finepix S4500 - what do you think

    Quote Originally Posted by rawill View Post
    I saw an advert for the above camera, it is for sale from a retailer for NZ$299.00

    I wondered if it would be a good replacement for my Richo Capilo R5.
    Certainly it is bigger, I am thinking of overseas travel and not wanting a big camera, but one that has some manual settings rather than being a completely auto P/S.
    Hi Robin,

    That price is about twice as much as new s4500s in the UK. For the same money ye could get a mint, used Fuji X10. Only 28-110mm. zoom but an excellent travel camera. Of all Fuji's bridge cameras, the s4500 is one of the poorest. Ah'd avoid it.

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