[Review] FujiFilm FinePix S2980 – entry level bridge camera

Needing to upgrade from my four year old digital camera, and being on a tight budget, the FinePix S2980 caught my eye but being the lowest priced entry level bridge camera I could find it was very hard to find any reviews on it. I hope to put this right in the future, but having planned to take some photographs for a review I was hampered by the weather which has been alternating between snow and rain, neither of which is really conducive to showing off what a camera can do.

The FinePix S2980 bridge camera

None the less in an effort to help others, who want a good camera but find themselves restricted by price, to decide if this fits their needs I caught a break in the rain and took some photographs so I could put together this review on my experiences so far.

For those unsure of just what a bridge camera is, it’s a digital camera that bridges the gap between compact cameras and digital SLR’s by giving you more of the features you find on a high end D-SLR but at a much more affordable price.

The FujiFilm Finepix S2980 (which for the purposes of this review I’ll simply refer to by its model number) is a fourteen mega pixel digital camera with an eighteen times optical zoom Fujinon lens and can take photographs with ISO’s ranging from 100 to 6400.

It comes with four heavy duty AA batteries, a lens cap, shoulder strap and a software cd and, as well as a shorter more basic printed manual, there is a detailed manual included on the cd in pdf format (which new users are recommended to read).

The camera looks like a D-SLR, its easy to hold (not too big or bulky but not too small either) and the zoom control is located at the  front right of the camera in a position that makes it very easy to use and easy to find (which comes in handy when you have your eye pressed up against the electronic viewfinder and want to zoom into a scene without being distracted from your subject).

Night time shot taken with the S2980 shortly after sunset on an overcast day. The pictures contrast was adjusted using the free GIMP editing software. This was taken at approximately eight times optical zoom.

It has a  decent electronic view finder, which you can use to improve battery life, but it also has a good three inch lcd display at the back of the camera for those that prefer it. It also has a dial to easily switch between shooting modes, there are a number of choices available from the dial (including a simply brilliant panorama mode) that range from point and shoot choices to more advanced ones that let the photographer control such things as shutter speed, aperture and so on.

Back to the aforementioned Panorama mode and if you enjoy panoramic shots the Fuji makes it very easy. You point, click the shutter button and a circle appears on the left of your view with a cross cut out of it and a yellow cross appears on the right side. You simply turn the camera right until the cross fits into the circle and it snaps another picture. Do this once more and you have three photographs which the camera then stitches together flawlessly to make one large panoramic shot.

My only criticism of the panorama mode is that while being so easy to use it doesn’t offer any settings such as setting the level of zoom or how many photographs to stitch together. If you want to zoom in a little, perhaps to get a better view of a distant object, and then while zoomed in to take a panoramic shot you can’t. Nor can you stitch together more than three shots.

While this makes panoramas extremely easy it also means that once you get more used to taking them you may find yourself wishing it had additional settings. But it has to be said that the camera produces excellent panoramic shots and does so effortlessly.

(Edit: having ventured into manual panorama mode it is possible to zoom in and then stay zoomed in for all three pictures. It is a little harder but even without a tripod it manages to correct for minor positioning errors very well.)

Wide angle shot on a cloudy day, the area that will be filled by the 18x optical zoom is highlighted here by the red rectangle

The camera has a number of features to help ensure your pictures turn out out well. These range from selectable anti shake, auto tracking and auto focus options to showing you over exposed areas of the picture in the view finder before you take the shot. You can also perform red eye reduction or crop photographs after a photograph has been taken if you need to as well easily adjust some camera settings between shots using the menu button.

The cameras zoom is impressive. It isn’t as powerful as some slightly dearer cameras (for example some £150 bridge cameras have a 30x zoom) but it picks out details very nicely, if you find a picture a little too dark or too bright you can change the metering method (something I did not realise when taking the example zoom shots accompanying this review) and the camera has the added benefit of recording high definition (720p) video. You can use the zoom while recording, which is very useful, but be aware that while the lens is zooming in or out the video will be out of focus and that the noise of the lens changing focus will be noticeable on the video due to the location of the cameras built in microphone.

This is the highlighted area from the previous photograph taken with the cameras 18x optical zoom. Neither image has been altered save for adding the red rectangle in the previous photograph.

As you can see from the example pictures included here the zoom is very good, picking up detail well even in dull overcast weather. Whether it is simply that I haven’t had the opportunity to film on a clear sunny day yet I don’t know but certainly in the cloudy conditions encountered so far the pictures still retain a lot of detail and are of impressive quality but I found myself on occasion using a mild unsharpen mask to bring out some finer background details although to be fair this is personal preference and on showing the unsharpened images to others some preferred the original.

The S2980 is an impressive camera, perfect for beginners or those used to compact cameras. It is very easy to use, with a number of “point and shoot” modes, but also offers more advanced control for those who are ready for it, meaning that this is a camera that can adjust to your needs as you gain more experience.

Unlike makers of some other bridge cameras Fuji have not tried attracting new users with the promise of 3D, to me this is a good thing as the 3D on other bridge cameras is simply a case of asking you to take two separate shots which the camera combines for you. You can easily do this yourself by taking the two shots for 3D and then using computer software to align the images rather than having the camera do it and because 3D in non stereoscopic cameras is just a case of combining two manually taken shots anyway it makes sense for Fuji to omit this “feature” and concentrate as they have on making a more user friendly but useful camera without the use of gimmicks.

This is the enhanced version of the untouched 18x optical zoom demo shot, processed using the free GIMP editing software (minor editing, specifically contrast and saturation) done to show that even an overcast and fully zoomed in image can be easily saved.

In closing here are some additional photographs taken with the S2980, please bear in mind that as yet there has been no clear weather for me to test performance in bright sunlight but nonetheless I have to say that for me the camera is a worthwhile purchase that certainly cannot be beaten by similarly priced cameras not least because there really isn’t a bridge camera in the Fuji’s league at the same sort of price.

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Taken without using a tripod and shot in panorama mode which stitches up to three images together

Taken at 18x optical zoom as the sun set this image shows the ability of the camera to pick out details even in low light conditions and at full zoom. The contrast was adjusted to darken the bottom of the mountain slightly to focus attention on the sun behind the cloud

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133 thoughts on “[Review] FujiFilm FinePix S2980 – entry level bridge camera

  1. Just wanted to say thank you for posting this! I’ve been contemplating this camera too, and like you, I found it very difficult to find any review which was by someone using it for real and which included sample images. You HAVE helped.

  2. angie morton says:

    Hi, I own the s1000, it is now obsolete, but i can tell you it was great for entry level dslr photography. Has its limitations, I amassed some reasosnably good photographs, the macro was pretty good, struggled with night time photography. I uprgade to a canon eos 550d. I think you will have soem great fun with this

    • Thanks. I’m hoping to get to Cardiff bay when weather improves and test it in better weather but so far am finding it a good value camera.

      • RENJU says:

        Actually that camera picture claritty is gud bt its charge is loosing every time.i cant take more than 10 photos.

      • That sounds like low rated batteries, try some rated around 2200 or 2300 MaH (milli amp hours) and see if you have the same problem. Also remember to check in the cameras settings that you have told it the type of battery you are using (eg NimH or Nicad).

        If the problem persists then you’ll need to take your camera back to shop because it would mean something was wrong with the camera itself and somehow causing the batteries to drain too quickly although this is unlikely to be the problem, it is most likely to be a case of low rated batteries.

  3. Denise says:

    nice article. People should read this.

  4. Rif191 says:

    Thank you… thank you…thank you. You’ve just made my mind

  5. Steve says:

    THANK YOU for the review! I too have the ancient digital camera and I am on a budget and looking for a camera for my wife. I found a bundle at a local store for $149 and was unsure because of the low price and 0 reviews. This was very helpful. one question- how is the ease of use? to put it nicely, my wife is not tech savy at all . :)

  6. Aris Riazis says:

    Thanks for the review, I think this link will enough to explain everything!
    *my face right now -> ( ^_^)

  7. liamers says:

    Cheers. My main interest is live music photography and obviously the bigger venues don’t allow you in with a DSLR unless you have a press pass (which I am nowhere near getting just yet). So I need something small enough to get in but powerful enough to get the shots I need. And your review has sold me. I find it very odd that there are so few reviews of this camera. I was just wondering if you could give any feedback on the battery life as I know it takes AA batteries. That would be my only concern.

    • On Alkalines battery life is poor but with the energizer NimH rechargables (£10 for four in Asda) they last a good three or four days with about hour or so use a day before needing a recharge. You could make them last even longer using the evf instead of the LCD display. For live music photography I’d suggest trying both night time (not tripod mode if you’re going to be moving about in a crowd) but also experimenting with making your own preset for the mode that lets you use your choice of user made settings. I’ve been able to take pictures in low light and even darkness, I have quite a few pics on http://www.flickr.com/photos/71363363@N06/ if you want to see what sort of pics it can take (but please be aware that those pics have been sharpened or colour saturation adjusted for example).

  8. ronald.c.lee-harris says:

    greetings…this has been v/helpful,looked at many ,many cameras and reviews of same…do not need a professionals weapon.just one like this with some good points…thank you for taking the trouble of printing a review…am off to buy one somewhere…regards…r/c.

  9. Marcus says:

    Thanks for the review, almost decided now. However I’m after a camera mostly for taking pictures of the kids and they typically don’t stay looking in the right direction or smiling for long, how quick is the shutter from pressing the button? I miss loads of shots with the compact I’ve got at the moment. Regards marcus.

    • Most of the pics I take are landscape shots but the shutter speed is pretty good, there is always the burst mode which will let you take a lot of shots very quickly. It’s good for quick movement.

      • Marcus says:

        Thx, think I’ll get one, can always send it back if it’s too slow, SLR money for family pics seems excessive, prefer the cost of this.

  10. poorlocavore says:

    I agree that the camera itself is a treat to use, but what do you think of the software? I’m having an awful time uploading just the pictures I want, rather than all that are on the card. Any ideas?

    • I don’t use the software. I copy all pictures from the memory card onto my laptop using an SD card reader then simply delete the ones I don’t want by using Windows preview to see what they look like and hitting delete when viewing ones I don’t want to keep.

  11. Thanks very much for the review – Getting it soon haha :)

  12. Akshaye says:

    Thanks very much indeed for this review and I join other “posters” who provided besides a good note. I am a fanatic of Canon and Nikon and was a bit sceptical to buy this Camera as there is a Promo about £ 123.00 (in Mauritius, probably expensive as it’s available for $110 that is half the price on Amazon which don’t ship such kind of products to my country)

    Excellent review :)

    • Misty says:

      Not sure where you live, but Alco Stores have this camera on sale for $149.00 that is why I decided to look at some reviews.

  13. Suhanyan says:

    Hi, I need to know in which way the S2980 is better than the S2950?

    • The two appear identical as far as I can tell from Fuji’s official specifications. The only differences appear to be that the S2980 can use optical zoom when filming video whereas the S2950 cannot (the official page for S2950 says video can use zoom whereas for S2980 it specifies can use optical zoom) and the S2950 is heavier.

      The shutter speeds, lens type, modes etcetera are identical so I would think one is simply a slightly updated version (hence the weight reduction) perhaps for specific retailers (for example some models of Fuji cameras are renamed and advertised as exclusive to online retailers) but for practical purposes they appear to be identical.

      • Suhanyan says:

        Thanks mbfu. I think i’m gonna go ahead with the S2980 cos there were to many negative reviews on the s2950 thought the price is low. Thanks again.

  14. rosie says:

    thank you. this is very helpful!

  15. Caroline says:

    Great article. This camera is on sale today on Groupon for $149. Here’s the link:

    http://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-fuji-finepix-camera-bundle?utm_campaign=UserReferral&utm_medium=email&utm_source=uu4581369

  16. K.L. says:

    GREAT INFORMATION. THANK YOU. I MOST LIKELY BUY IT TODAY.

  17. K.L. says:

    I bought it today.

  18. K.L. says:

    Hi,
    Is it possible to use the Fujifilm 8 GB SDHC Class 10 Flash Memory card for the Finepix s2980? Or what is the best suitable memory card for the Finepix s2980?
    Please help me. Thank you.

  19. Lise says:

    Thank you for your review, couldn’t find much information on this camera either. I’m still in doubt to buy either this one or a compact camera, trying to find out which has the most benefits for me. I would want to bring the camera often when out on a walk, not sure whether the S2980 is easy to carry around. The EVF on it seems very useful though, most compact cameras within this budget do not have that feature. Do you use the EVF a lot?

  20. Aris Riazis says:

    Minimum class 4 for video record, so any memory card with class4 MINIMUM will do.

  21. Corie says:

    Thanks for the review, I had seen the camera deal on Groupon earlier this week went searching for reviews and found yours which made me buy it!!! :) just received it today which was pretty quick, looking forward to using it to take many pictures this weekend… kids included, I’ll let everyone know how they come out!!

    • Shaye says:

      I just saw the deal on groupon as well. Thank you for the review. Seems as if this is the only site with a legimate review available all others are product specs. I really appreciate the defined photo terminology, this camera seems like it will be a good fit for our busy toddler, low budget and need for more features.

  22. Hardono says:

    Thanks for this information, I am new in photography and have plan to buy semi slr camera with minimal budget :) After reading your review I think Fuji finepix s2980 is the best choice

  23. Anne Rubin says:

    Thank you for your detailed review. I am a novice photographer, and am really looking forward to using this camera with my kids (8 & 11) to spark their interest in photography as well. We will send you a (small) album, when we put one together, so you can see some landscapes in our area (Hudson Valley, New York State USA).

  24. Reese S. says:

    Great review! Thank you so much! This is on sale right now on Groupon for $149 plus $5 for shipping. So now I’m going to take advantage of a great sale!

  25. Dennis Burns says:

    Thank you for the great review . You helped me just decide to get this camera.

  26. Bunny says:

    Thanks for the info! I am a rank beginner, so if this is a stupid question, sorry – Can this camera be focused manually, or is it completely auto focus? Thanks!

    • It is fully autofocus but has a number of different settings that control focus, such as focussing on multiple areas, focusing on just one, tracking focus etcetera. You just hold the shutter button half way to focus.

  27. Deanna Lynn says:

    Thanks so much for your review. I’m looking at buying this on Groupon. Right now I just have a compact Kodak camera and am looking to upgrade to something that can take better pics. Your review is VERY helpful and much appreciated! Thanks!

    • I went from a ten megapixel compact Kodak to this so can say you will notice a difference, to me I found the compact produced slightly more colourful images so as a result I sometimes increase saturation on my S2980 pictures but the quality of image is a big improvement. If in doubt try using the cameras SR mode as it auto adjusts to any situation and is perfect for situations where you may want to use a number of different modes quickly. For example I used SR mode to shoot boats moving through a lock, it meant in one shot I could snap them close up and, without having to change modes or adjust anything, could also catch the large bridge further away as it was raising and was able to switch between different types of shot quickly.

  28. jean says:

    Can you change out the lens? Or is it not detachable?

  29. Paul says:

    After reading your review I am now a proud owner of a s2980. Thank you, your review was extremely helpful.

  30. Joyce says:

    I just received my order of S2980 yesterday and found out that they use 4 batteries instead of the regular rechargeable batteries. Can you help me solve this problem as I don’t want to buy batteries constantly in the future. Thanks

    • I use four energizer rechargeable AA batteries in mine and they last a good while (have never let them run out yet but typically use them for more than five or six hours of actual being on and filming before I recharge them).

      It’s good because the higher rated energizer nimh rechargeables (2650 mah) are perfect, long lasting and if you’re worried you can also keep a spare set with you in case as I do but have never needed the spares yet.

      Basically if you get some decent rechargeable batteries (preferably not the standard nicad sort as they do drain quite quickly) you shouldn’t have any problems :)

  31. Kiwi George says:

    Hi! Sounds good, thanks for info. Can you please tell us the zoom range in 35mm camera equivalent. How good is the wide angle, for house interiors? Also is it possible to shoot a bracket of exposures of one scene at once? Cheers! George

    • Zoom range in 35 mm equivalent is 28 to 504 mm. Wide angle is a little more zoomed than say a camera phone but is fine, though if you have a decent sized room you probably won’t get the whole room in one shot. I haven’t tried shooting a bracket of exposures at once, do you mean in the same way HDR cameras work by taking three different exposures then combining them? If so then no, as far as I am aware this is not possible.

  32. Happy Mama! says:

    Thank you SO much for this review. I’ve always had just the cheap ones and after talking to my friend, I found your website and my husband and I are thrilled that we can finally have a nice camera without the price. I got it on Amazon and added a 16GB card and my total was $166.96. Thank you for taking the time to do this, it really helps alot!!!

  33. yogesh says:

    hi..i have a problem with my camera fujifilm 2980..when i switch it on it says to restart it..n all the time it say the same thning..cn anyone help me..

    • I haven’t had this issue but if it’s new you should be able to return it to the place you bought it from for replacement or refund.

      The cause is that the lens cannot be zoom in or out, it is usually caused by something getting stuck inbetween the zoom mechanism like sand or grit, or by dropping the camera while the lens is extended. The only option is to have it repaired.

  34. Suhanyan says:

    Guys, does any one have the owner’s manual on a soft copy? I didnt get one with the camera. Just the users manual doesn’t give much info, and most of it says “refer owners manual”.. If any one does, please advise?

  35. Ashraf says:

    Hi, will this camera be able to do a pull focus? If so, can you post a picture of it for us?

    Thank you :D

  36. Ruben says:

    i bought this camera and after taking about 12 pictures i am getting a comment “Turn off the camera and turn on again” I did that but of no use. Could any one help ????????

    • It means the camera lens has a problem, usually that something is caught inside the barrel and you will need to replace it by telling the shop it is faulty.

      Unfortunately it happens with cameras sometimes, if you want to try fixing the issue before taking it back to the shop you purchased it from there is one way which won’t invalidate the warranty and this is to buy a small can of compressed air and spray it into the inside of the barrel.

  37. G. Nool says:

    Thanks for the review. Definitly steered my way into taking up Photography for my next holiday. Now lets hope I get to shoot some decent scenery. Greetings from a Dutch bloke

  38. Volacious says:

    Great review.. still confused about this and Nikon Coolpix L310 or Fujifilm FinePix S3300.

    What do you recommend?

  39. Rosemary says:

    I bought this camera recently (just over a week ago) i love what i have done with it and after reading this article i am going to have even more fun by the looks of it. taken some great shots already and looking to have heaps more fun – wonderful article keep us posted on more of the same :O)

  40. Andree says:

    I have purchased the Fuji Finepix this week – and I am having difficulty getting the flash to work (everything else is working fine). Is there some secret or when you hit the right arrow it should beep like the others do, and I should be able to take a photo with the flash!
    Please help….

    • There is a small button on the left side of the camera next to the flash lamp which you need to push in to make the flash pop up ready for use.

      If you have pressed that and the flash lamp has popped up then you should have no problem using flash, some modes don’t allow you to use it (in which case it will warn you that flash is suppressed).

  41. Deanna says:

    I missed out on buying this camera when I had a Groupon deal. Anyone know where the best deal to get it is at right now (Aug. 9, 2012)??? Thanks!

  42. debabrata says:

    i want to buy a decent digital camera and i am confused between fuji finepix s2980 and nikon l 310..i want to know which one clicks better pics irrespective of weather..also plz specify whch one produces better quality photo printouts…plz help..

    • I don’t have a Nikon to help you compare the two but check out Nikon review like the one at http://www.ephotozine.com/article/nikon-coolpix-l310-digital-camera-review-19389 and see what you think.

      If you are planning to take night time shots the Nikon is the poorer choice due to high iso noise, a known problem with the 310, if you want the best colour consider the Nikon.

    • Partho Banerjee says:

      Debabrata, for two long weeks I had the same dilemma. I was hanging between this Fuji (and S4200), Nikon L310 and Olympus SP UZ610.

      Olympus images looked too soft to me, build quality seemed a little odd and cheap. Nikon was a better model but had no EVF and had lesser features and controls compared to Fuji.

      Also, I respect Fuji brand for not taking away quality from cheaper models . They take away features but lens quality is usually better at same price point as compared with other brands)

      Canon/Nikon are top brands but I will not buy a sub $300 or (Rs. 15 k) camera from them. Thats where I respect Fuji.. they give you better lens at any given price range in bridge cameras.

  43. ayyappan says:

    Thanks bro, I have narrowed with a decision to go for it!!! Useful review . Thanks alot.

  44. Arif Tahir says:

    Hi, I need to take photos with blurry backgrounds and focused subject (hope you get the picture) can I do that on Fujifilm FinePix S2980. if so how?

    • You can try setting focus of the camera to focus on a particular point, and keep the subject at the same point, that should have the same or similar effect.

      But I get the same effect by manually blurring parts of images using free photo editing software, this way I can not only control exactly where I want blurred but also the intensity which for me is a better way of doing it.

  45. Laura Brown says:

    Hey there,
    I just purchased the S2995 Finepix which I have read is the same as the S2980 – do you know if is this true?
    Also, before I found this review I was considering taking my camera back (I’ve had it for two days and haven’t opened it yet as I just can’t make up my mind!) and getting the compact Samsung WB750…. I make jewellery and love taking photos of landscapes and wildlife so need good macro capability and also zoom.
    It would be great to let me know what you think!
    Thanks :)
    Laura

    • It seems the same but I can’t confirm that unfortunately. For macro shots the S2995 should be better as it has a better macro depth of 2 cm compared to the Samsungs 5 cm, meaning you can get a closer view of what you want to view.

      If you check http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/samsung_wb750_review/image_quality/ you can see pictures taken with the WB750, if you take notice of the shots of peoples faces and the eyes for example you’ll see that they look a little lacking in sharpness. The S2980 does the same, or perhaps I just like overly sharp pictures, so quality wise the two are similar.

      The Samsung also requires a camera specific battery so should it run out while shooting you won’t be able to just pop in a set of AA’s, this means you may want to get a spare battery just in case. I haven’t done a lot of macro shots though I did snap a quick close up while out in the rain of a fly on a flower ( ) and a nighttime shot with flash of an odd coloured snail ( ) if they help give you an idea of macro but I wasn’t as close as I could be, the camera could have gone quite a bit closer.

      Landscape wise the panorama mode of the Fuji is excellent, much better than Ive seen on some other cameras, the Samsung costs quite a bit more than the Fuji so there’s that to consider but really without having tried both I can only say the Fuji probably has the edge due to better macro, more megapixels and the ability to use standard AA batteries.

      • Laura Brown says:

        Thanks very much… I think part of the reason I was a bit worried was thought of my batteries running down quickly and ending up having to buy more…but I guess it has its advantages too. Thanks for the reply and for doing a bit of research – I thought it looked the same but it is hard to tell. Think I will keep it, maybe even open the packaging! :)

      • I have to admit having spare batteries could be handy but of course you could simply buy a second battery for the more expensive battery if you go for that.

        I thought the energiser rechargeables I use would run out after a few hours but over a few weeks I managed to take two full 2 gb cards of photographs and videos (so at least three hundred pictures) and still haven’t had to recharge them which has surprised me.

        If you do stick with the S2995 then a decent set of rechargeable batteries should last you quite a while, but standard nicad batteries even branded ones like Duracell will get used up relatively quickly in comparison to NimH or lithium.

        The ones I use are Energisers “recharge extreme” 2300 MaH nimh which, if you are in UK are ten pounds at Asda ( http://direct.asda.com/Energizer-Extreme-Rechargeable-AA-Batteries—4-Pack/001134650,default,pd.html?utm_source=bazaar&utm_medium=review&utm_term=0&utm_content=0&utm_campaign=internal&cm_mmc=internal-review-_-bazaar-_-0-_-0) but they also now do 2400 MaH batteries which should last even longer.

        If you use the Fuji remember to tell it which type of battery (nicad or nimh) you are using in it’s settings as it improves performance.

  46. Volacious says:

    Check out photos taken with this camera

    http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/showcase/finepix-s2980

    I went ahead with the camera after i saw the photos people have been taking with this camera.

    • There are some nice ones there, I like the Sunset one.

      They all seem not quite sharp enough, even some of my own do until sharpened, I used to think that was due to the camera but having seen many cameras (some much more expensive) do exactly the same thing I think I just like images to be a little sharper which isn’t the cameras fault of course.

      The camera is surprisingly good and for people on a budget it is definitely a very capable camera, only issue I’ve had is when I was photographing some ship wrecks in the rain and the lcd viewer somehow gets water under the screen so you can see it fine but you see what looks like condensation on it but after a few minutes out of the rain that goes away.

  47. Laura Brown says:

    Hey – you are right. Just gotta (wo)man up about it and make a decision. Great to finally confirm that that they are the same. Its been so useful to have a space to sound it out in too. Will let ya know! :)

    • Laura Brown says:

      After much, much procrastination, opted to keep the S2995… So far I think I am glad with my choice. Batteries have lasted for ages so far. And you’re right there isn’t much between them I think. So thanks for all your help! Now must read the manual!…

  48. Sankar says:

    What is better?
    This or the Canon SX150 IS?

    • I don’t know enough about the Canon to say either way but check some reviews of it out and see which you prefer.

    • Volacious says:

      In my opinion, Fujifilm Finepix S2980 is the winner here.

    • Partho Banerjee says:

      Go for Fuji buddy.. My friend has IS 150 not bad but Fuji is far more versatile, has far more zoom and fives you tremendous control. You also get Rs. 1300 Benetton travel bag free alongwith a solid camera bag (offcourse with 4gb memory card too) on flipkart in India. For odd 1.5k bucks, don’t compromise so much.

  49. NZ says:

    Just a follow-up to my previous comments. I finally got a S2980 to test, While it has some interesting features, the shutter lag on the camera pretty much rules it out for anything but shooting landscapes or static subjects.

  50. Partho Banerjee says:

    Got the camera few days ago. Excellent build quality, cool auto and manual controls. I love the live histogram graph during shooting in manual mode (it’s very useful if you know what it shows).

    Image quality at outdoors is very good (usually never a serious challenge for any average camera these days). Indoor image quality is good too, with or without flash. Macro looks nice too. Yet to try panorama though.

    I am happy with everything except the volume in video recording which I find quite low and I didn’t find any way to increase it. Any ideas ?

    • Partho Banerjee says:

      As a follow up to this comment of mine, the volume during video playback on camera itself can be increased in menu settings. However, volume during playback on computer/laptop was my computer issue which I have resolved now. It was not a camera issue at the first place. This camera rocks.

      Y’day I took some pictures of a religious place with this camera (S2980). Here is the link to that album in Picasa (click on thumbnails to see the images) :

      https://picasaweb.google.com/113101300505704866929/Temple

  51. [...] reviews: Buy-N-Shoot – Gold Award. There is also a two part review at Big Fat Universe, with Part II here, where they [...]

  52. Marie says:

    Being an animal lover with lots of pets, I want to take professional looking pictures of them. How is the quality/sharpness of the S2980 for this sort of thing? I have been using a compact Kodak camera that I got a few years ago that is not bad at taking portraits, but the zoom is terrible and megapixels aren’t that great.
    I now very much want a better camera that Is not loads of money.

    I have also been looking at the Nikon coolpix L310 and I am not sure what would be more suited to what I want to do with it.

    • Picture quality is good but I usually sharpen my photographs although people seem to like the unsharpened versions just as much.

      Zoom is very good but as for comparison with the Nikon you would need to see sample images from both and compare the two to see which you prefer as both are good cameras.

      I went for the Fuji over the Nikon due to the Fuji’s superior handling of night time images but aside from iso noise in the Nikon it looks a nice camera.

  53. Josh says:

    thinking about purchasing the 2980 but before i did just checked out this review..impressed with the response. just wondering if you know if the camera has after-market lenses? it seems to look like a quality cheap camera and always interested in a fish-eye lense. cheers

  54. Manuel says:

    I just got the S2980 based on its favorable review. I’ve tried it for 2 days and so far I’m satisfied. I just have one question. How come I can’t see any battery level indicator on the LCD screen? I’m using NiMH batteries. Thanks.

  55. Douglas says:

    Hello,

    Fascinating, comprehensive and insightful review. Very helpful.

    It has persuaded me to contemplate purchase of a S2980.

    I currently have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7 (6 megapixels, 12x zoom (36-432 equivalent)), which I only use as an adjunct to my more pocket-able Nikon Coolpix.

    A couple of questions:

    I have always used a lens filter with all my cameras so as to protect the lens – do you, and if so what one would you recommend. Currently I use a Hoya HMC 52mm UV(N) on my Lumix.

    Thanking you in anticipation.

    Cheers,

    Douglas (UK)

  56. Douglas says:

    Hello again,

    Forgot my other question – didn’t I?

    It was basically about the size of the camera – could you use it as your standard camera for “point and shoot”, instead of having another more convenient one for when you are out just strolling about? At the moment I find that I have to have TWO cameras, as the Lumix is not so convenient to have around your neck when out hiking – a bit cumbersome – needs to be put in knapsack.

    Since posting my enquiry about filters for the S2980, I have seen a comment on the web that you might have to purchase TWO filters – it appears to be a problem. Is it?

    Thanking you.

    Cheers,

    Douglas (UK)

  57. Dave Brown says:

    Thanks so very much for your detailed information and sample shots, You have helped me decide to buy the Fuji S2980 over a Nikon L120. The electronic view finder and the manual mode had me more interested in this model but your brilliant article helped me more so. Thanks again and all the best. Dave

  58. Spring says:

    Hi, thanks for your review. Was so helpful. I m thinking whether get the s2980 or s4500. Have any idea? Thanks

  59. aisha says:

    I just got this camera ..can u tell me how to enable burst mode or take continuous shots cuz I need to make a stop motion film and the pictures come wierd ….

  60. aisha says:

    I just got this camera ..can you tell me how to enable burst mode or take good continuous shots cuz I have to make a stop motion video but the pictures in continuous shots come grainy and wierd

    • You activate continous mode with the button that is on the far right and that has an icon that looks like a collection of sheets of paper. As long as you are in the right mode (eg landscape for a landscape setting) the pictures should come out fine.

  61. Natalie says:

    I just bought this camera and after removing the memory card to dump my first lot of photos onto my mac, I re-inserted the memory card and now I have a message ‘SD Memory Full’ which won’t go away! I can’t find anything in the full manual and Fuji’s support line is shut for the weekend. Can anyone advise??

    • Mine does that now and then because I sometimes use a sixteen gigabyte micro sd card in an adapter, try just taking it out and then reinserting it as that is what seems to work when it happens to me.

  62. Jonthan says:

    great review, but i read it a bit late, ive already bought this S2980, its my first decent camera, honestly the best prior was my HTC one X mobile phone’s camera, which is good for a phone.

    but is it just me or do the pictures come out a bit blurry? im reading up, changing settings but cant quite get rid of all that blur and get the picture in good focus across the vie,,

    any pointers guys?

    • I usually sharpen mine so I would have said yes they seem slightly less sharp but then I compared them to a friends Samsung which has 16 megapixels and is newer and surprisingly their pictures were the same so it could just be that some of us prefer sharper images than others.

  63. Helgs Here says:

    Thank-you for the great review. Really helpful!

  64. suzenyeoh says:

    i just bought it recently..i wanted to ask..why there is different in the colour of pic when i view it on the camera itself compare to laptop?in the camera,the colour is sharp and colourful which i love it so much..but when i plug it on my laptop,the pic become darker and its not that sharp as compare to camera itself.can i know what is the solution?
    and this is the first time im using this camera,i duno how exactly its function,like what is the symbol of P,A…how to adjust it?

    • It is probably that the camera screen shows the picture on a much smaller scale and so things will look different, plus it could have a higher contrast or sharper screen than on the laptop which would also make a difference.

      The different modes can be learnt about using the manual on the cd included with the camera or, if you don’t have the cd the manual can be downloaded via a link in one of the earlier comments.

  65. Sly says:

    Finally, an review. I stumbled upon this camera while looking for speaker system in an electronic shop that I have passed for a decade but never entered until now. And I have just struggled switching between a cheap camera with a bad battery (after two shots, it ran out)and a phone camera to capture 2 days of a year end school event. The results were between luckily decent shots and expectedly horrible ones.

    I’ve always wanted a camera of this shape and size since I find the cheap digital ones are a bit too simplistic and girly while the expensive ones are…too expensive. I’ve seen friends offering to sale their expensive cameras and I don’t want to end up that way. When I saw the price for this one, it immediately entered my wanted list. It has the right feel and right price range for what I’m looking for. I’m sure I can find one at a much lower price not that I know what I want. Not to mention Christmas sale is not far now. But it was a pain to find a review for this camera but thankfully I found yours.

  66. Abi says:

    Hi, I was wondering how the video/movie function works? How is the sound? So glad I came across this review. Thanks!

  67. Laddy says:

    Hey mate How r u doin? i loved this review but i wanted to ask that the batteries which are included in the box like for how long does the camera functions and one more thing that can rechargable batteries be used or no?

    • The included cameras are Panasonic and are good but not as long lasting as some, though they do the job. And yes rechargeable batteries can be used, I only use rechargeables myself so can confirm they work just fine.

  68. timetochill says:

    thanks for the review! i’ve been thinking about what good cameras i can upgrade to from the point and shoot. do you think this camera will be good for food photography as well? and is there a manual mode to adjust the settings individually like a dslr? i would like to hear your advice on this. :)

    • It should be fine for food photography but what manual settings the camera has are for things such as iso, shutter speed, etcetera though focussing is automated so you won’t be able to focus manually.

  69. Babouch says:

    Hi,
    I had the s5000 a few years ago, it was a wonderful camero, every picture in automatic mode were beautiful, with great contrast and beautiful colors. I loved it.
    Then we bought the finepix f70 exr and i don’t like it at all. Not only because it is compact and not confortable to hold to take pictures, but especialy, the colors are bad, without life!
    How is the quality of the s2980 comparing to s5000?

  70. Nashwa says:

    like every commont, thank you for taking the time not only to put this review but to answer every question/ reply.

    i want to ask, after almost a year do you stil recomend the camera?, i am thinking to but nikon l810 or fuji s4300 (i love the white colour) but decided to go for less price and after reading i think fuji s2980 is not a bad buy, my main use will be talking photo for my jewllery pieces to sell.

    thanks alote

  71. arnold says:

    hi there, i’m from philippines,
    i’ve been using the lower model fujifilm s1500,10megapixel 12x optical zoom and a little bit smaller,but i have no problem with it,it takes nice picture.i used enelope rechargeable batteries and it takes almost 350 pictures with zooming in and out.unfortunately it was stolen.now i’ll try to buy this model,hope it will give me more value as my old fujifilm s1500.

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