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Friday, Oct 14, 2005

Fujifilm FinePix S9000 Review - LetsGoDigital

The Fujifilm FinePix S9000 has the look of a digital single lens reflex camera and almost has the feel, but its 10.7x optical zoom lens is not detachable. This digital camera aims to bridge the gap between compact cameras with ultra-zoom lenses and the growing market of low-end digital SLRs. Indeed, the FinePix S9000 is somewhere in between. It has 9 megapixels on a 1/1.6-inch CCD, an RP image processor, and its long Fujinon lens to round out its Real Photo Technology. This Fujifilm digital camera, known as the S9500 outside the United States, has a unique 1.8-inch LCD monitor that folds outward from the camera and tilts at different angles. It does not rotate in a camcorder-like fashion, but simply tilts outward for a better viewing angle. The Fujifilm FinePix S9000 has the functionality of a low-end SLR with its manual and priority modes. The camera also has some elements from the compact end of the market: full live preview on its LCD, a VGA movie mode that shoots at 30 frames per second, and five scene modes located on its main mode dial. In some areas, the FinePix S9000 incorporates elements from both segments of the market; the camera accepts both CompactFlash and xD-Picture Cards and should be an intriguing option for consumers looking at both compact ultra-zoom models and entry level single lens reflex alternatives.

The Fujifilm S9000 started up and took its first shot in 1.22 seconds. That’s quick for compact cameras with long zooms, so the S9000 beats its close competitors. On the other hand, shoppers interested in the S9000 might also check out DSLRs, and most entry level DSLRs get ready in about half that time.

The S9000 averaged a shot every 0.58 seconds over the course of a four-shot burst—the longest burst it can manage at that rate. Users can switch to the continuous burst mode that will capture around 40 consecutive images, but will lose a substantial degree of speed, dropping to 1.1 fps. At its fastest, the S9000 does well for a compact camera, but looks slow in comparison with DSLRs; even the slow ones do better than 2 frames per second, and they maintain that rate for far longer bursts.

The S9000 imposes a 0.22-second delay between pressing the shutter and taking the picture. Though it’s faster than other compacts, it’s very slow for shooting action, and it’s slow in comparison with DSLRs. If sports or other quick-moving subjects are your priority, a DSLR would be a better choice than the S9000.

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