Well at last, the new camera is here. And how very please am I with it? Immensely so.
I've the past couple of hours just playing around with it. There were certain features I wanted to try out and they've lived up to my expectations totally. It's easy and quick to to use and the picture quality is more than I hoped for.
Okay, so it's Fujifilm Finepix S2950HD Bridge Camera - hereinafter referred to as "The Fuji" :-) It's wide angle lens is also an 18x zoom, the 35mm SLR equivalent being 28-504mm, which for the type of photography I enjoy, it's perfect.
It's 14 megaspixels means it can capture ultra-high resolution photographs and video (!!!), which is perfect for enlarged prints and big screen display and the 3" LCD backscreen makes composition an absolute doddle - another useful feature is the Electronic View Finder, for those situations where using the backscreen may not be so practical.
It has loads of automatic features for recognising different scenes, lighting conditions and facial recognition, but it was the manual side that interested me more. The manual controls are closest to using a DSLR I can get at the moment, but the Fuji has an awful going for it on that level. Aperture and exposure control, variable ISO selection, manual focusing and adjustable white balance are the things I needed most and the Fuji delivers. And another point where the Fuji has got me is it's auto exposure bracketing facility - I didn't realise it had this and for the type of processing I like to do (HDR), this is such a huge bonus. Auto exposure bracketing is simply the camera taking a picture with the right settings, then taking another picture that is under-exposed (darker) and another that is over-exposed (lighter), all with one click of the shutter button (most, if not all, modern DSLR's have this feature as standard). I can then download these three images from the camera and straight into the HDR software for editing. Brilliant!!!
Another feature it has, which I have never used before, is the panoramic mode. This function lets you take three pictures and the camera then "stitches" the three images together - all with one press of the shutter button. This feature is already making me think about how I can adjust my approach and style when out on an explore.
Away from the fab features and the Urban Exploration, this little powerhouse of a camera is great for ordinary "snaps", it's flash is intelligent (so many gags in there!!!) so it doesn't wash out the picture, it's light-weight means you don't have a brick around your neck and it's immediacy of use means that you can really capture those "special moments".
So, as you can see, I'm happy with my Fuji. I'm hoping that this little camera will take my photography to a new level with it's features (which I have to say I am getting quite close to mastering already!!!), high-resolution pictures and quality build.
Looking forward to getting out with it next week and introducing it to my world :-)