(Pocket-lint) - Fujifilm's 10 megapixel FinePix S1000fd offers a 12x optical zoom in a small box, but does it perform? We get snapping to find out.

The FinePix S1000fd is a compact-ish digital camera that sports comfortable to hold and solid design. Coming in black with no ascents of colour the model gives off the impression that it's all about business rather than having a bit of fun.

The main focus to this prosumer camera is the 12x optical zoom that delivers a 35mm equivalent focal range of 33mm-396mm and it dominates the design as you would imagine. However what also dominates the camera's design is that it's covered in buttons and lots of them. On the top there is the zoom and shutter buttons, which are joined by a dedicated face detection button as well as a continuous shooting button, the power switch and the jog dial for choosing presets.

On the back there are even more buttons; a dedicated EVF/LCD button, a playback button, Fujifilm's defacto F button, display options, as well as a d-pad and further buttons beyond that. Still with all these buttons the company has still managed to fit a 2.7-inch LCD display in and an electronic viewfinder as well.

Getting beyond the style and buttons, the S1000fd is powered by four AA batteries rather than a rechargeable offering and there is a memory card slot that takes both xD-Picture Card and SD memory cards. The choice of AA batteries will mean that if you run out when away from home you can simply nip into a shop to get more power, but the extra cost is something to bear in mind.

The move to support SD cards will be a popular one, and shows even further that Olympus and Fujifilm's xD-Picture Card format is losing ground to the competition.

In use and there are yet more features this camera offers: face detection, ISO support up to 3200 and a panoramic shooting mode. There is also an impressive Super Macro Mode and automatic red-eye removal.

Like other Fujifilm cameras we've tested recently the specs aren't as impressive in real-life as initially it seems on paper and both the panorama mode and shooting at ISO 3200 will see the quality of the image drop to 3 megapixels rather than the big 10 megapixels emblazoned on the top of the camera. Not great.

The face detection however does work and is easy-to-use and able to be turned on or off at the press of a button.

Likewise, the Super Macro mode is very impressive capturing plenty of detail in our test shots.

So what's the camera like in action? Well the zoom is responsive, the start up time quick, but its downhill from there. The overall image quality isn't really that impressive. Detail at times were lost, and we were only really impressed with the Super Macro Mode. Our images were taken on a sunny day, at low ISO settings, however noise levels were apparent on most of our shots, and detail lost when capturing sky or trees as the camera struggled to cope with the information presented to it.


The FinePix S1000fd might offer a 12x optical zoom and the promise of a stack of features to help you take better pictures but we struggled to feel the effect.

The image quality is average, the interface clunky and the overall camera design is button heavy. Compared to the Nikon P80, also in this long optical zoom class, we would opt for the Nikon every time.

Writing by Stuart Miles.