Fujifilm S6000fd Review
Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd Exposure
Saturation & Hue Accuracy
Very nice overall color, with pleasing results throughout a broad range. Moderate oversaturation of strong reds, and some blues, but still good saturation overall.
Most consumer digital cameras produce color that's more highly saturated (more intense) than found in the original subjects. This is simply because most people like their color a bit brighter than life. The Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd oversaturates reds quite a bit, and some blues as well, but overall results are very nice.
Where oversaturation is most problematic is on Caucasian skin tones, as it's very easy for these "memory colors" to be seen as too bright, too pink, too yellow, etc. Here, the S6000fd did render skin tones a little on the warm, orange side in most cases, but many consumers find slightly warm skin tones pleasing.
The other important part of color rendition is hue accuracy. Hue is "what color" the color is. The S6000fd did push cyan toward blue and reds toward orange, but again, overall color is very good.
| See full set of test images
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images
Exposure and White Balance
Indoors, incandescent lighting
Nearly accurate color with the Manual white balance setting, though a hint warm. About average positive exposure compensation required.
|Auto White Balance
|Manual White Balance
Color balance indoors under incandescent lighting was warm and reddish with the Auto white balance setting, and more on the yellow side with the Incandescent option. Despite a hint of a warm cast, color looked pretty good with the Manual setting. The Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd required an average amount of positive exposure compensation at +1.0 EV. Despite the slight warmth, overall color with the Manual white balance setting is pleasing, though the blue flowers in the bouquet are quite dark and purplish. (A common occurrence with this shot.) Our test lighting for this shot is a mixture of 60 and 100 watt household incandescent bulbs, a pretty yellow light source, but a very common one in typical home settings here in the U.S.
Very high contrast under harsh outdoor lighting, though pretty good overall color.
|Auto White Balance,
|Auto White Balance,
Outdoors, the Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd tended toward a slightly warm color balance, though overall color was generally pretty good. The S6000fd produced very high contrast under harsh sunlight, with hot highlights showing limited to no detail. Shadow detail is pretty good, but those shadows are somewhat abrupt and dark. Overall, the camera typically required less positive exposure compensation than we're accustomed to seeing under these conditions.
High resolution, 1,200 ~ 1,350 lines of strong detail.
|Strong detail to
1,300~1,400 lines horizontal
|Strong detail to
1,200 lines vertical
Our laboratory resolution chart revealed sharp, distinct line patterns down to about 1,350 lines per picture height horizontally, though only to about 1,200-1,250 lines vertically. Extinction occurred beyond 2,000. Use these numbers to compare with other cameras of similar resolution, or use them to see just what higher resolution can mean in terms of potential detail. Our interpretation of this standard is somewhat conservative. We watch for artifacts and color fringing then move back to the nearest pure part of the scale. In our opinion, detail with artifacts shouldn't be considered detail. You may see other numbers quoted elsewhere, but across the site, our reviews judge this parameter by the same conservative standard.
Sharpness & Detail
Very sharp images overall, though some edge-enhancement on high-contrast subjects, and a small amount of noise suppression in the shadows.
The Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd captures sharp images overall, though with a small amount of visible edge enhancement artifacts on high-contrast subjects such as the crop above left. Edge enhancement creates the illusion of sharpness by enhancing colors and tones right at the edge of a rapid transition in color or tone.
Noise-suppression systems in digital cameras tend to flatten-out detail in areas of subtle contrast. The effects can often be seen in shots of human hair, where the individual strands are lost and an almost "watercolor" look appears. The crop above right shows this, with darker areas of Marti's hair showing slightly limited detail, though quite a few individual strands are distinct in the shadow areas. We don't see it as a problem, as it often is in other cameras.
ISO & Noise Performance
Low to moderate noise at the normal sensitivity settings, though a big jump in noise with strong blurring at the highest settings.
|ISO 100||ISO 200||ISO 400|
|ISO 800||ISO 1,600||ISO 3,200|
Noise levels are low to moderate at the Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd's lower sensitivity settings, and still fairly good results at ISO 400. At ISO 800, noise increases, but blurring isn't strong. Noise jumps at ISO 1,600, as you might expect, with a very dramatic increase at the ISO 3,200 setting.
Extremes: Sunlit and low light tests
High resolution with strong overall detail, but high contrast and limited highlight detail. Excellent low-light performance, capable of capturing bright images under average city street lighting and near darkness.
|Default Exposure||+0.3 EV||+0.7 EV|
Because digital cameras are more like slide film than negative film (in that they tend to have a more limited tonal range), we test them in the harshest situations to see how they handle scenes with bright highlights and dark shadows, as well as what kind of sensitivity they have in low light. The shot above is designed to mimic the very harsh, contrasty effect of direct noonday sunlight, a very tough challenge for most digital cameras. (You can read details of this test here.)
The Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd produced very high contrast with washed-out highlights and deep shadows under the harsh lighting of the test above. Noise suppression is slightly visible in the shadows, contributing to the loss of detail there. Though some areas look a little dark at +0.3 EV, I preferred it over the image at +0.7 EV, which had too many blown highlights for my preference. (In "real life" though, be sure to use fill flash in situations like the one shown above; it's better to shoot in the shade when possible.)
The FinePix S6000fd captured bright images down to the darkest light level we test at (about 1/16 as bright as average city street lighting at night), at most of its ISO settings. At ISOs 100 and 200, images are a little dark at this lowest level, though you could arguably use them. Overall color looks good with the Auto white balance, and the camera's autofocus system performed quite well, able to focus in just about total darkness unassisted. Do keep in mind, though, that the very long shutter times necessary here absolutely demand the use of a tripod or other camera support to get sharp photos. (A useful trick is to just prop the camera on a convenient surface, and use its self-timer to release the shutter. This avoids any jiggling from your finger pressing the shutter button, and can work quite well when you don't have a tripod handy.)
NOTE: This low light test is conducted with a stationary subject, and the camera mounted on a sturdy tripod. Most digital cameras will fail miserably when faced with a moving subject in dim lighting. (For example, a child's ballet recital or a holiday pageant in a gymnasium.) For such applications, you may have better luck with a digital SLR camera, but even there, you'll likely need to set the focus manually. For information and reviews on digital SLRs, refer to our SLR review index page.
Coverage and Range
Slightly dim exposures at the default exposure setting, though the camera required less than average exposure compensation for flash exposures. Good flash range, considering the long zoom.
|28mm equivalent||300mm equivalent|
|Normal Flash +0.3 EV||Slow-Sync Flash +0.7 EV|
Flash coverage was slightly uneven at wide angle, and the flash was out of range for our viewfinder accuracy/flash coverage target at telephoto (thanks to the long 10.7x optical zoom range). Indoors, under incandescent background lighting, the FinePix S6000fd's flash underexposed our subject somewhat at its default setting, requiring a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment to get brighter results. The camera's Slow-Sync flash mode required a little more positive compensation at +0.7 EV, though the exposure is still not quite sufficient. Overall coverage is more even with the longer exposure, though with a stronger orange cast.
The FinePix S6000fd's flash was bright and powerful, with excellent intensity all the way to 16 feet at ISO 100 for the wide angle setting, though only to about 7 or 8 feet at telephoto.
|Manufacturer-Specified Flash Range|
Our standard test method for flash range uses a fixed setting of ISO 100, to provide a fair basis of comparison between cameras. We've now also begun shooting two shots using the manufacturer-specified camera settings, at the range the company claims for the camera, to assess the validity of the specific claims. In the shots above, the Fujifilm S6000fd seems to perform exactly as Fujifilm says it will, producing good exposures at the rated distances with its ISO set to Auto. Of course, the camera has to boost the ISO to 800 and 1,600 respectively, so it's a mixed blessing. Use the figures from our real-world, low ISO 100 tests above for a better reference.
Great print quality, great color, excellent 13x19 inch prints! ISO 800 images are soft but usable at 11x14, ISO 1,600 and 3,200 shots are usable at 5x7, good at 4x6.
Testing hundreds of digital cameras, we've found that you can only tell just so much about a camera's image quality by viewing its images on-screen. Ultimately, there's no substitute for printing a lot of images and examining them closely. For this reason, we now routinely print sample images from the cameras we test on our Canon i9900 studio printer, and on the Canon iP5200 here in the office. (See the Canon i9900 review for details on that model.)
The Fujifilm S6000fd blew us away with its ability to make excellent 13x19 inch prints from its six megapixel images. High ISO images were useable at 11x14 up to ISO 800, an impressive performance. ISO 1,600 and 3,200 images were quite a bit softer, but both could produce decent 5x7 inch images. Overall, the S6000fd sets the high water mark for image excellence from a digicam under $400.
Colors were also terriffic across the board, even as ISO ramped up. At ISO 3,200, odd yellow blotches became visible on our indoor incandescent shot, however, so we recommend sticking to ISO 1,600 for most photography.
The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd Photo Gallery.
Recommended Software: Rescue your Photos!
Just as important as an extra memory card is a tool to rescue your images when one of your cards fails at some point in the future. We get a lot of email from readers who've lost photos due to a corrupted memory card. Memory card corruption can happen with any card type and any camera manufacturer, nobody's immune. A lot of "lost" images can be recovered with an inexpensive, easy to use piece of software though. Given the amount of email I've gotten on the topic, I now include this paragraph in all my digital camera reviews. The program you need is called PhotoRescue, by DataRescue SA. Read our review of it if you'd like, but download the program now, so you'll have it. It doesn't cost a penny until you need it, and even then it's only $29, with a money back guarantee. So download PhotoRescue for Windows or PhotoRescue for Mac while you're thinking of it. (While you're at it, download the PDF manual and quickstart guide as well.) Stash the file in a safe place and it'll be there when you need it. Trust me, needing this is not a matter of if, but when... PhotoRescue is about the best and easiest tool for recovering digital photos I've seen. (Disclosure: IR gets a small commission from sales of the product, but I'd highly recommend the program even if we didn't.) OK, now back to our regularly scheduled review...
Not sure which camera to buy? Let your eyes be the ultimate judge! Visit our Comparometer(tm) to compare images from the Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd with those from other cameras you may be considering. The proof is in the pictures, so let your own eyes decide which you like best!
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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.