Fujifilm FinePix S700: Entry-level long-zoom?

Priced at a low $249, the Fujifilm FinePix S700 heads near budget territory on pricing, but in features comes close to other newly announced long-zoom models. The 7.1-megapixel camera has a 10x optical zoom with image stabilization and one of the finest LCDs we saw on the PMA floor (it was trumped only by the 3.5-inch beauty on the Sony G1, which we’ll have full video of posted soon).

As you can see, the design is very similar to all the other long-zoom models we’ve seen at PMA and in the past. The Panasonic Lumix FZ8 is a little more compact, though. And truthfully, we’d probably opt for the Lumix TZ3, which has similar specs in a smaller form factor.

Again, the screen, and the electronic viewfinder for the matter, are really sharp. The picture doesn’t do it justice. We’d be interested to see how it performed in full sunlight. We’re betting it handles sun better than most.

Right off, we weren’t thrilled with how close the setting buttons are to each other. If you’re all thumbs you better go test this in a store before you buy. Other than quibbles, those in the market to get a good number of features and controls and a longer-than-average zoom in a more affordable package, should check out the S700.