Yes CG, but the reason I like it in preference to an upgrade from my Olympus to the latest model (also x30) is the manual zoom and focus rings.
My Olympus has a stated battery life of several hundred shots, but that theoretical number is only relevant if you take a continuous series of shots at constant settings.
In practice, the real drain is the zoom and focus servo motors, and they run the battery down in no time.
You get the ludicrous situation where switching the camera off to conserve the battery runs it down more than taking another 50 shots because it motors the lens in, and then has to motor it out again when you switch on (and the boot-up time generally means you've missed the moment anyway).
At an air-show last year, I ran all three of my rechargable Lithium batteries flat and missed some of the late action because of it, and that's about £75 worth of batteries, so keeping enough spares to last long enough for all eventualities would be a pretty expensive option.
The Fuji uses a pack of AAs and programmable software that accepts Alkaline or NiMh and Lithium rechargables, and with the manual controls, they should last a whole day without problems.
I also prefer manual focus. My pre-digital Pentax had a Tamron 80-205 zoom which was a push-pull/twist zoom/focus, and I could take great candid tele-portraits in a heartbeat, far faster than any motorized system could manage, plus the fact that I decide what's in focus, not some software guessing for me.
Have you considered a DSLR, Terry? I mean, if you used to have an SLR Pentax, it just sorta makes sense.
I got myself a D90 (Santa wouldn't get me one ) 2 years back, completely in love with the manual focus and zoom rings, interchangeable lenses, and the rest.
The Canon Rebel XS is a hundred dollars more than the fujifilm and comes with a kit lens, and you could then purchase new lens at your leisure.. Amazon.com: Digital SLRs
I mean, so long as you're getting a bulky camera (not one of the cheap P&S that flaunt 20MP in huge handwriting preying on people that fall for the numbers... yet they're decent if you want something you can actually stick in your pocket)...
I loved my Pentax(s) (the first was stolen in a burglary), but I was always aware of carrying round a gigantic bag of tricks. Whilst I had two wonderful Tamron SP zooms 24-48 and 70-210 (I just went and checked, the 80-205 must have been the one that was stolen), it was always an annoyance, especially at action events, to have to switch lenses. The Olympus I'm currrently using takes good photos and has a 38-380 zoom in a very compact and light package, but the battery performance really bugs me.
I've looked at every option and the 24-720 zoom range and the manual control, all in one ever-ready package just about fits every need now.
How many lenses would you need to carry to cover that range ?
Yeah, that's always the biggest problem. I actually don't swap lens too often, I only use the kit lens (18-108) and a fixed "nifty-fifty" 50mm prime (which is my fav lens ever, and the one I use almost always for the incredible low-light performance with the f/1.8 aperture).
What kind of shooting do you do that you need the 720mm zoom?! I've never needed to go past the 100mm mark except for nature shooting.
Mostly that. 380 doesn't quite get close enough to capture the birds on my feeders in high-def. 10Mp and 720 with image stabilization should get me some good detail compared to the current 4Mp 380 unstabilized image.
I'm actually wondering about the fate of the fox.... I know in the USA any attack by wild animals or even domesticated ones against humans requires that they be put down ASAP, except in special cases where it's an endangered species or something.
On my trip to Chicago last week, I took a 6 hour drive to Cleveland for a friend's wedding. I stopped at a Tim Hortons in Toledo (basically in the middle of nowhere), and while there a 20-year-old in a mink fur coat stopped by for a coffee...
No clue if it was real (probably not), but he/it looked so out of place and made so many people turn their heads. A mink coat at what was, more or less, a truckers stop!