Oct 1, 2005

Fujifilm FinePix S9000 Digital Camera Review

The Fuji FinePix S9000 digital camera boasts 9.0 effective MegaPixels that capture up to 3,488 x 2,616 recorded pixels (9.12 million) - the highest resolution of any consumer-grade camera on the market.

A hallmark of Fujifilm's Real Photo Technology is its ability to reduce the amount of graininess or "noise" in digital pictures. This noise is often apparent in high-resolution photos, particularly those shot at high ISO-equivalent sensitivities. With Real Photo Technology, the FinePix S9000 can take pictures at ISO 1600 -- at full resolution. Other benefits of Real Photo Technology include speed of operation (the FinePix S9000 has a high-speed start-up time of only 0.8 second with shutter lag down to 1/100 second) and longer battery life.

In addition to offering low noise processing, the new FinePix S9000 is equipped with a Fujinon 10.7x wide-angle optical zoom lens that is the equivalent of having a 28-300mm zoom on a 35mm camera. This zoom range is ideal for a wide variety of shooting situations and thus makes the purchase of additional lenses unnecessary.

DigitalCameraInfo.com have just posted their Fujifilm FinePix S9000 Digital Camera Review and write-
"The concept of SLR shaped digital cameras that cost almost as much as DSLRs doesn’t really make much sense unless consumers really want video capture, live previews, and a stabilized lens at an affordable price. Unfortunately, the S9000 lens is not stabilized. Still, accessorizing is one of the Fujifilm FinePix S9000’s best traits. It does, after all, have a hot shoe and a threaded lens. Although, again the S9000 falls short with only a single pin connection for the applied accessory flash. The S9000 aims to please with its manual, priority, automatic, scene and movie modes. It borrows elements from compact cameras like its VGA movie mode that shoots 30 frames per second and its color modes and in-camera image parameters. The S9000 also has that SLR look with its large handgrip and 10.7x optical zoom lens with focus and zoom rings – although the lens isn’t detachable. The camera’s body is bulky and heavy, even though it is constructed from molded plastic parts. There is a folding 1.8-inch LCD monitor that adds interest, but the actual screen is grainy and has a very narrow field of view, thus solarizing easily.

The Fujifilm FinePix has rich colors and does well in low light, so it certainly produces nice looking photographs. Getting those gorgeous photos could be an issue though, as this camera is anything but easy to use. A few read-throughs of the user manual and several shooting sessions are required to learn the non-intuitive nuances of the S9000. Another major obstacle for this model is its dependence on four AA batteries to power it. Users could go through forty bucks of batteries just trying to learn how to change the aperture. For a retail price of $699, there are certainly easier models to use that take great pictures. And there is always the option to upgrade. Consumers can now purchase DSLRs online for around $700."

Is the prosumer category of digicams dead? There certainly is pressure on this category of digital cameras from the ever attractive, entry-level DSLRs such as the Canon Rebel XT and the Nikon D50. It's getting harder to compete in this area for sure.