So I just got a new camera

I got a Fujifilm S4000 for Father’s Day. I’ve taken it out a few times to see what it will do. I’m sure there are a lot of things I have not discovered yet about this thing, but so far it is really easy to use and if I am patient, takes good pictures. It is not something to use to capture action shots since it is slow to set up. But for landscapes and nature shots (which is what I do most), it’s just fine. I like that I can switch to movie mode at the touch of a button. The controls are easy to use, and most of them are under my shooting finger, so they are handy and easy to get to. The LCD panel is quite large and allows you to see what you have just shot without having to squint at it. Something my 54 year old eyes appreciate very much! I’ll be posting some of the scenes I have taken shortly.

This thing has a panorama mode on it too. You can stitch 3 shots together in the camera almost automatically. I tried it the other night down on Round Lake. I think it worked fairly well, but there is some touch-up work to do for the alignment. A tripod would be best for this kind of shooting.

It has a single lens, but it offers a nice zoom feature. But you have to use a tripod with maximum zoom, because it gets really unstable up high. I have had a few shaky shots with it at max zoom. The flash is easy to use, but for some reason is not automatic. You have to turn it on manually. This may be a setting that I have not discovered yet, or something that I inadvertently switched off. (Gotta break out the manual again [sigh]).

So for the price (just over $200 with shipping from Staples) it is hard to beat. I normally use a Nikon DSLR, and will continue to use it for some of my work. But the Fuji is smaller and easier to handle, and not nearly as heavy and bulky as the Nikon. So it is my go to camera for general everyday shooting.

I have to give it two thumbs up so far. One caveat though. It runs on 4 AA batteries and has quite an appetite. Make sure you bring plenty of batteries on a long shoot. I wanted to get two sets of rechargeable ones on my last trip to the store but they were out of them. These will pay for themselves in the long run, since I can charge one set while using the other.

I’ll post some more about my adventures with my new camera as I use it more.

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