Testing / Performance
The Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd underwent the same color test we perform on every digital camera that comes through our office. We tested the camera by photographing a GretagMacbeth color chart and uploading the images into Imatest Imaging Software. The software analyzed the pictures taken by the S6000fd and compared them with the original chart, which is made up of 24 different color tiles. Below is a modified GretagMacbeth chart that shows the original colors in the vertical rectangles of each tile. The outer square shows the colors produced by the Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd, and the inner square is the exposure-corrected ideal.
The 24 colors on the chart are plotted on a graph below to show just how accurate each color is. The squares are the ideal colors of the GretagMacbeth chart. The circles represent the colors produced by the S6000fd. The cameras that produce gorgeous, accurate colors show only circles. Cameras that aren't quite so accurate show lines between the two shapes.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of lines tethering almost all of the colored shapes. This is a very different result than the Fujifilm FinePix S5200, which produced nearly spot-on colors and came out with an impressive 10.34 overall score. The new S6000fd didn't fare nearly as well: it under-saturated colors by about 7 percent and had a mean color error of 8.92. This works out to a disappointing 6.73 overall color score.
Still Life Scene
Click on the shot above to view the full resolution file.
Equipped with a 1/1.7-inch 6th generation Super CCD-HR and 2nd generation RP Processor, Fujifilm advertises 6.3 megapixels on its FinePix S6000fd. We tested the sharpness of the lens and optical system by capturing a series of images of an industry standard resolution chart. After trying several focal lengths and aperture settings, we found the lens’ "sweet spot" to be at 19mm and f/4. Below is the sharpest picture we could get, taken using these settings.
The full-resolution file is linked, and if readers open and view it they will find a very clean image. Even many of the thinnest lines are distinguishable, and there isn't any major distortion to speak of. Imatest analyzed the sharpest shot better than our naked eye can, so let's let the quantitative results speak. The software program output results in units of line widths per picture height (lw/ph), which measures how many thin black and white lines could theoretically fit across the frame in both directions and also determines the amount of in-camera sharpening imposed on the images.
In the horizontal direction, the camera can resolve 2335 lw/ph – although it does so with a massive amount of in-camera sharpening. The S6000fd over-sharpens by 20.5 percent horizontally and 15.7 percent vertically. In the vertical direction, this FinePix reads 2222 lw/ph. This is very similar to the FinePix F10's results of 2337 lw/ph horizontally and 2019 lw/ph vertically. Both Fujifilm digital cameras have 6.3 megapixels, although the CCD sizes are slightly different. The Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd produced excellent resolution and sharp shots, so it earned an impressive 6.01 overall resolution score. However, these shots are heavily processed within the camera and wont hold up to much sharpening post-capture. Fortunately, there’s enough detail present that most users will be content with the resulting JPEGS.
Noise – Auto ISO(4.48)
The Fujifilm S-series cameras continue to improve in this area. The S5100 received an overall score of 1.61 in this test. The S5200 got a 3.55 result. And now the S6000fd produced a 4.48 mark. The Fuji S6000fd metered the scene well and produced the same amount of noise that is found at the manual ISO 100 setting. That amount of noise, however, was perhaps more than it should have been. The noise reduction system doesn't really kick in until the higher sensitivities are reached, so the ISO 100 noise level is relatively unimpressive.
Noise – Manual ISO (9.03)
Most current Fujifilm FinePix digital cameras offer more sensitivity options than the majority of competing manufacturers. That is certainly true with the S6000fd, which has manual settings from 100-3200 at full resolution. We tested the noise level at each of these settings and plotted it on the chart below. It shows the settings on the horizontal axis and the noise on the vertical axis.
There is about the same amount of noise at the ISO 100 setting on both the S5200 and S6000fd digital cameras. This level is more than what we'd prefer to see, but is still decent. From there, the S6000fd outperforms its S5200 sibling. The new camera has a second generation RP processor that is better fitted to noise suppression; its new technology seems to work, as the camera's ISO 1600 setting produces significantly less noise than the S5200 did. The S6000fd's 1600 setting is impressive, and the inclusion of a 3200 ISO setting is a feat in itself. The noise reduction system sure works hard at the higher settings, and it is visible in the pictures. Images tend to be highly contrasty with a loss of detail at the upper end of the ISO range. For its fine performance, the Fuji FinePix S6000fd received a 9.03 overall manual ISO noise score.
This digital camera is fitted with all the right components to shoot in low light. It has an extensive manual ISO range, a heavy noise reduction system, and manual shutter control. We tested the S6000fd by photographing the color chart in dim lighting conditions of 60, 30, 15, and 5 lux. The 60 lux test is similar to the lighting in a softly lit living room after dusk. The 30 lux test is about the amount of light from a 40-watt bulb. And the last two tests are quite dark and will hardly be situations for photographing in. The charts are pictured below.
The manual and shutter priority modes make low light shooting simple. An exposure scale appears at the bottom of the display; it turns color when the correct exposure is hit. The only problem with this scale is that there are no numbers; it's just a blank horizontal line.
Low light shots taken with the S6000fd are nicely exposed and colors aren't too terrible. Sure, color accuracy wanes and saturation grows as the shutter speed is increased – but it's really not too bad at all. As is usual, noise levels increase as the shutter is left open longer too. Below is a chart showing just how much noise creeps into images with longer exposures; the horizontal axis displays the exposure time and the vertical axis shows the noise.
The noise creeps steadily upwards, but this climb isn't nearly as steep as many cameras and there is certainly much less noise than in the Fuji S5200's pictures. Low light images are nearly flawless with the ISO 800 setting, and are still decent when using ISO 1600, although, at the top ISO 3200 setting, low light images look pretty awful. Low light shots can look great, though, if photographers keep the ISO below 1600 and manually control the white balance too.
Startup to First Shot (7.74)
The Fujifilm S6000fd took 2.25 seconds to start up and take a shot in our tests. That's a significant delay, long enough to make a difference between getting shots and missing them. Comparable cameras clock in at about the same speed – the Canon S3 IS turned in a 2.4-second time. Still, it's important to turn on the S6000fd ahead of time to get candid shots.
Shot to Shot (8.75)
The Fujifilm S6000fd offers three burst modes: Top 3, Last 3 and Long Period. Top 3 and Last 3 each shoot at 3.3 frames a second, which is quick for a compact camera, and faster than many entry-level DSLRs. The problem is that they only save 3 images at a burst, which compares poorly with competing cameras, and limits the usefulness of a burst mode in the first place – a 3-frame sequence won't tell the story of a sports play, or a bouquet toss, et cetera. The Long Period burst mode takes images at a rate of 1 frame every 2 seconds, but it will take them until the memory card is full.
It seems as though the 3 modes cover the bases, but they don't, really. When it's fast, the S6000fd doesn't have a long enough burst to be useful, and when it has a long burst, it's not fast enough to be called a burst.
Shutter to shot (8.28)
The Fujifilm S6000fd takes 0.36 seconds to record a shot after the shutter release is pressed, which is a long lag. It's too long for much sports or wildlife photography, and will be a disadvantage in candid shooting as well. Pre-focusing will speed up performance, but that's not always possible. With moving subjects, particularly at the telephoto end of the zoom range, a subject can move out of focus in the time it takes the S6000fd to shoot.