written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Shawn S. Lealos•updated: 5/31/2011
Fujifilm is known for their budget cameras, and the FinePix S1500 falls into this category. But, this camera offers more than your traditional budget camera. It's easy to use and offers good image quality despite it's $200 price tag.
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Secondhand Camera as Primary Camera
The Fujifilm FinePix S1500 is an older digital SLR camera. Fujifilm no longer manufactures this camera, but you can still purchase it from third-party sellers. The camera usually sells for around $150 to $200 in 2011.
For someone looking to snag a secondhand camera, this FinePix S1500 may be on your radar. But, before you purchase one, you may want to check out this Fuji digital camera S1500 review, which goes over the pros and cons of this camera.
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The Fujifilm FinePix S1500 digital camera is a 10 megapixel camera with an almost retro look. The casing is completely black with white accents. It has a large grip on the right side, which is quite comfortable in the hand. It comes with an impressive 12x zoom for such a budget camera.
The camera comes with built-in 23 megabytes of internal memory. It has a memory expansion slot that supports both SD and SDHC memory cards. The camera is pretty compact at 4.1 inches wide by 2.9 inches high by 2.7 inches deep, and it only weighs 11.4 ounces. This makes it easier to throw into a travel bag when you go on a hike.
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The S1500 replaced the FinePix S1000fd, and it added one key improvement in the upgrade: sensor-shift image stabilization technology. This technology ensures that your images still look sharp when you zoom out even if you aren’t carrying a tripod.
The battery compartment sits on the bottom of the camera. It uses four AA alkaline batteries. These types of batteries usually don’t provide as much power as lithium batteries. So, carry extra or bring your battery charger everywhere that you go.
Besides this technology, the camera comes with a number of features that work extremely well. One of those is the panorama mode. This mode allows you take three different images. The camera then pulls the images together to create one panoramic image. The only downside to this feature is that you have to sacrifice a few megapixels for it. It only works with three 3 megapixel images.
Other features include face detection and a tracking autofocus system. This latter feature tries to keep a moving subject in focus for as long as possible. The tracking autofocus system works impressively well. The S1500 camera also comes standard with automatic red-eyed reduction.
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The camera has different shooting modes, including the following:
A mode that you will definitely have fun with is the scene recognition mode. The camera automatically picks from six different scene modes. This selection is directly based on what you are taking photographs of.
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This FinePix camera does pretty well in different types of lighting, including low light and portrait lighting. The auto focus works very well, except at the most extreme zoom. It just takes longer for the camera to figure out what to focus on. This is more of annoyance than a real pitfall. Just give it a few seconds, or switch to manual focus for those types of shots.
There was, however, a bit of distortion when shooting at the widest angle. But, the pictures are still pretty sharp. Images still look great when increasing the ISO to 800. After this setting, noise does increase quite a bit.
The S1500 is pretty fast. You can take photographs about once every three seconds. It only takes about two seconds to start up and about one second to shut down.
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Bang for Buck
Despite a few minor quibbles, the Fujifilm FinePix S1500 digital camera is a great travel camera, especially for the budget consumer. It’s fairly lightweight, and it’s extremely easy to use. Your image quality does suffer a bit when increasing ISO, but overly so. You can take good photographs in nearly any type of lighting.
Overall, this is a perfect camera for amateurs that want a reliable camera. You almost can’t beat the price. The camera itself isn’t too bad on the eyes either.