The long shot

Nandagopal Rajan        Print Edition: September 2012

FUJIFILM FINEPIX SL300
Specs: 14 MP CCD sensor; f=4.3mm - 129.0mm; F3.1-F5.9; 1/4sec. to 1/2000sec; ISO 6400; 1280 x 720 p video; SD / SDHC / SDXC cards.
Price: Rs 19,499

Take a guess, what would be a good zoom to have in a pointand-shoot camera? 30x, 50x? What about 200x? Well, that is how much zoom-optical and digital-the new Fujifilm FinePix SL300 packs. Yes, you heard us right.

DESIGN
The SL300 is a good mid-level point-and-shoot with the specs that you would expect in this range. It has a 2.3-inch 14 megapixel CCD sensor, 3-inch bright LCD screen, 720p HD movie capture as well as full-auto and semi-auto modes. We liked the fact that there is a separate button to shift to burst mode, of which this camera has many - top 6, final 6, long durations, 20 shots and 40 shots.

ZOOM

...THE OTHER OPTION

SAMSUNG WB 150F,
Rs 11,990
WHY: Stunning zoom for a point-and-shoot camera, and at a very affordable price
We wanted to focus, quite literally, on the zoom capabilities of this camera. It actually has a 30X optical zoom which is really good. The pictures shot in this range were clear without any noise. Beyond 30x the zoom is digital and this is where you need really steady hands to handle this camera. We suggest you use the tripod when you go to 200x, which is the equivalent of a 500mm lens. Even the wind can set you off target at this range and you would have to zoom out and see what you were shooting. At full zoom, the quality is not that great, considering the camera is just blowing up the 30x image to focus on a certain part. But step back a bit, to about 140x and the pictures will be passable.

IS IT ANY GOOD?
The 140x is good enough to take a shot of the logo on a stump from the stands during a cricket match. At 200x we also felt that most of the things we were focusing on would just not fit into the frame. The lens comes with a second zoom toggle on its lets, which is handy in certain angles. The camera also comes up with very good macro and super macro shots. However, we noticed a bit of distortion at the wide end of the zoom.

VERDICT: Excellent camera if you have use for a zoom this long.

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