The Best Affordable Outdoor Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S4500 Camera

I'd like to take better wide landscape shots when I'm traveling, but I'm not interested in investing in a really expensive camera.

Aug 23, 2012
Outside Magazine

Most compact digital cameras are able to make panoramas of mountaintop views. You would take several photos, then use the camera’s software to stitch them together.

But a number of affordable fixed-lens cameras now feature the wide-angle lenses that used to be reserved for expensive SLR models. These lenses give better results than stitching images together. (When shopping for a fixed-lens, wide-angle camera, look for a focal length of 24 to 35mm, that’s the equivalent of the focal length of a wide-angle lens on a standard 35mm camera.)

A great example of such a camera is the Fujifilm FinePix S4500 ($260). It has a 24mm lens, so it can pull in much wider chunk of any scenic vista you encounter on the trail. At 1 pound, 3.1 ounces, it weighs a lot more than a typical compact camera (which can weigh less than a third of that). But it also has a big optical zoom function, so it can pull in closely on distant subjects. This combination of being able to capture wide landscapes—or a huge group of friends in one shot—as well as shoot tight close-ups of birds or other animals makes the 14-megapixel FinePix a worthwhile addition to your pack.

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