Well it had to happen sooner or later…and now it has…I’ve been sent something to review that I have a real problem with…
It’s not the Fuji S20’s size which, for a camera with this level of functionality, is petite. Nor is it the S20’s handling, as it sits in the hand almost as nicely as a cream cheese bagel and it’s certainly not its “6.2” million SR CCD which combines 3.35 million high sensitivity pixels with 3.35 million lower sensitivity pixels to give pictures with much greater latitude than your average digital.
So what’s my beef (cue kosher meat joke)? Shutter lag, which on this camera is appalling. Of course, if you’re taking pictures of things that don’t move much, like buildings…or my uncle Chaimy…it’s not a major problem, but if you want to snap action pix with this camera, forget it…by the time the S20 gets around to recording whatever you were originally pointing it at, your subject will be long gone…as will your career as a photojournalist.
Of course the case for the defence is that that lots of cheap compact digital cameras suffer from this problem, which is true enough, but not to the extent that this camera does…and anyway the S20 is not a cheapo digital compact…check out its spec…6x f2.8-3.1 Fujinon lens (equivalent to a 35-210mm lens on a 35mm camera), apertures of f2.8- f11 adjustable in 1/3 EV increments, shutter speeds 1/1000 sec – 30 seconds (in bulb mode), an ISO equivalent range of 160-1600 (albeit with 1600 in lower rez), 64 zone TTL metering with a choice of multi, spot and average and a choice of program AE, shutter priority AE, aperture priority AE and manual exposure modes.
I don’t like the viewfinder either…or the fact that in auto mode the flash doesn’t pop up of its own accord when needed… and I particularly don’t like the fact that no rechargeable battery is supplied or that only a tiny 16 meg xD card…which at full resolution is capable of holding a whole 2 images…is…that’s just downright stingy… but I could forgive, or at least live with, these complaints if it weren’t for the shutter lag.
It’s almost criminal really, because, ironically, the quality of images produced are excellent, with good latitude and realistic yet vibrant colours. In fact, in most respects, if I were looking for a compact digital to take anywhere and everywhere, this would be close to ideal…if it weren’t for the shutter lag!
© 2005 – 2010, The Technofile. All rights reserved. Moral Rights Asserted.