March 5, 2014
Netanyahu's inaction to Obama's provocations sends powerful message
Kerry, after apparent criticism by Schumer, seeks to allay skepticism on diplomacy
How to ruin a perfectly good kid in 10 simple steps
2014 Oscars played it safe, but was faith lost in the shuffle?
Apple joins Hobby Lobby in touting corporate values beyond profit
March 3, 2014
Alina Dain Sharon: In the Hebrew calendar, a leap year has extra month, not day
Latest Obama appointment to prove Prez set on emasculating so-called Israel Lobby
Jewish World Review
Nov. 16, 2007
/ 6 Kislev 5768
Fujifilm Finepix s8000fd a clear winner
AQABA, Jordan It was somewhere in Wadi Rum, a Jordanian national
park inhabited by Bedouins, that I figured out the incredible worth of
the recently arrived Fujifilm FinePix (STET) S8000FD (STET) camera.
List priced at just under $500, and selling at Amazon.com for $325,
it's an excellent value. For the money, you get an 8-megapixel digital
camera that delivers stunning images, more-than-adequate video
recording, and not a lot to worry about.
You travel through Wadi Rum not on a paved highway, as in Shenandoah
National Park's Skyline Drive in Virginia, but rather over the desert
sands, in a Toyota pickup modified to carry tourists. The ride is
bumpy, and going down a sand dune only adds to the excitement.
Getting pictures of the landscape - large, mountainous rocks of
varying hues, some with ancient "graffiti" carved into them - can be a
challenge. But the camera's "anti-shake" feature allowed me to
(carefully) lean out of the vehicle and grab some wonderful shots.
But the FinePix S8000fd isn't only for still pictures. It'll shoot
short, QuickTime-compatible movies; up to 8 minutes or so on a
512Mbyte flash memory card. This came in handy at Wadi Rum, where I
shot some "B roll" footage to use in a possible presentation, as well
as at the Hippodrome in Jerash, where I captured 30 seconds of
Jordanian bagpipers playing "Scotland the Brave."
The S8000fd is notable for several things, not the least being that it
is a fixed-lens digital camera, but one that thinks it's a single-lens
reflex model, with interchangeable lenses. I say that because you can
go from a 27mm wide-angle to 486mm super telephoto lens setting with
the press of a lever. That level of versatility is quite stunning, and
allowed me to get several shots I might have otherwise missed. Walking
around the ancient Jordanian city of Petra before visiting Wadi Rum, I
got several close-ups with the S8000fd I might have missed had I been
fumbling in a camera bag for another SLR lens.
There are of course several modes in which the camera may be used, but
I found myself happy with the automatic picture setting most of the
time. A pop-up flash is a nice compliment; perhaps a drawback might be
seen in the lack of a "hot shoe" to attach a different flash if
desired. Fujifilm claims an autoflash range of up to 28.9 feet for
wide angle and 18.4 feet for telephoto shots, however.
On the plus side, I do like the S8000fd's 2.5-inch LCD display, which
can serve as a viewfinder and a nifty playback screen. A couple of
buttons, easily discerned, handle these functions. In playback mode,
you can zoom into a part of a photo and move around the image, again
using various, easy-to-learn buttons and the telephoto toggle.
Mention of grasping brings up the fact that the camera itself, loaded
with batteries and a media card, weighs just around one pound, meaning
that it packs a lot of power into a relatively small and lightweight
package. This is not a camera that'll slip into your pocket, but for
its size and capabilities, it packs a lot of punch.
Both video and photos flowed into the Apple MacBook I'm using on this
trip, thanks to the Mac's excellent IPhoto '08 software. Fujifilm also
includes its own image handling software for PCs and Macs, if that's
your preference. Four "AA" batteries lasted half of my trip, or about
600 photos and some video. Image quality is great.
Yes, I'm really impressed with this. It's not a camera for the pros at
The Washington Times' photo department, but for the rest of us, it's
an outstanding value. Details are at www.fujifilmusa.com.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.
© 2007, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com