Fujifilm's FinePix S9500 Zoom is a 9 Megapixel all-in-one 'bridge'
camera with a long 10.7x optical zoom lens and SLR-like styling. With its
design and features, Fujifilm is clearly targeting buyers of budget digital
SLRs, quoting LCD-based composition, a tilting monitor, movie mode and no
concerns over dust getting on the sensor as key advantages. It's also comfortably
cheaper than most budget digital SLRs.
Of course if you can't remove the lens you'll want some decent
glass up-front, and the S9500 certainly delivers the goods in terms of focal
range at least. Where most compacts and all-in-ones start at a modest wide
angle equivalent to around 35mm, the S9500 boasts a considerably more useful
28mm. It then optically zooms right into a powerful telephoto equivalent to
300mm and even offers a ridiculously close Super Macro mode of just 1cm. Try
doing all of that with the bundled 3x zoom you get with a digital SLR.
Combine this with the tilting screen, movie mode and respectably
high sensitivity of 1600 ISO for an all-in-one and you've got quite a compelling
package. Of course in their favour, digital SLRs should deliver lower noise
levels, superior manual focusing and the ability to swap lenses should you
Can the S9500 really compete with a budget digital SLR, or will
it end up appealing to a different market? Read our full review and check
our results to find out. One final note on regional variations: we've used
Fujifilm Europe's product naming convention in this review. The S9500 is known
as the S9000 in the US, but it's exactly the same camera as reviewed here.