Support Cameralabs by shopping at our partner stores or donating via Paypal
 






Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
 
  Latest camera reviews

Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Nikon COOLPIX A
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
 
 
   
 
  Best Buys: our top models
   
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories
   
 



Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
   
 
  DSLR Tips



 
Free Shipping on ALL Products
Fujifilm FinePix S9500 Zoom / FinePix S9000 Zoom review Gordon Laing, January 2006


 



 




On paper the Fujifilm S9500 promises a great deal: it features higher resolution than current budget digital SLRs and a much longer optical zoom than their typical 3x bundles. Fujifilm's marketing material additionally lists the many reasons why you'd want the S9500 over a digital SLR, including composition with a live, tiltable screen and a movie mode. The big question then is whether it's really a viable alternative to an SLR.

Fujfifilm FinePix S9500 Zoom / FinePix S9000 Zoom front view Starting with resolution, the S9500's sensor and lens combination certainly out-resolved the current crop of budget 6 and 8 megapixel digital SLRs in our studio tests, although in real life you'd be hard pushed to spot much difference between it and the Canon 350D / Digital Rebel XT or Panasonic's DMC-FZ30. That's still a good result though.

As far as the lens is concerned, there's softness in the corners at wide angle, but no more than you'd get with most 3x lenses bundled with digital SLRs. In terms of geometry and vignetting the S9500's lens, like the Panasonic FZ30 and Sony R1, out-performs most digital SLR bundles.

As you'd expect, the S9500's long optical range and macro facility was also far more flexible than the bundled lenses of digital SLRs, and while it didn't zoom-in as far as, say, Panasonic's FZ30, we ultimately preferred it's wider angle option. Shame it didn't have the Panasonic's image stabilisation though.

Of course Fujifilm's answer to image stabilisation is high sensitivity, and this was one area where we expected to find compromised noise levels. In practice though noise levels on the S9500 were surprisingly low, delivering good results up to 400 ISO and respectable performance at 800 ISO. At 1600 ISO, artefacts had become clearly visible - see last image on Gallery page - but all-in-all it's a useful facility to have and an impressive result for a camera with a physically small sensor and high resolution.

In terms of actual handling the S9500 certainly feels quite responsive, but was not as quick as most budget digital SLRs for startup or continuous shooting. Manual focusing also remains easier with a proper SLR, although there are of course compositional benefits to a tilting screen with a live view, not to mention having a movie mode. It's a pity the S9500's screen wasn't fully-twistable like several of its rivals though.

Ultimately there are several key things you have to weigh-up when choosing between an all-in-one like the S9500 and a budget digital SLR. A good budget digital SLR should deliver lower noise at high sensitivities, easy manual focusing, superior continuous shooting and of course the ability to swap lenses.

In contrast the S9500 offers a much broader zoom range as standard, a tilting screen with live composition, a movie mode and no concerns of dust getting on the sensor. Only you can personally decide if these outweigh the benefits of a true SLR.

Compared to other all-in-ones the S9500 holds its own, delivering similar quality in real-life conditions to Panasonic's DMC-FZ30 and Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-R1. While there are differences in their designs and overall feature-sets, the choice between the three ultimately boils down to which optical zoom range best suits your requirements - see Features page.

One thing's for certain though: should you decide an all-in-on 'bridge' camera is better suited to your personal preferences and style of photography than a digital SLR, the Fujifilm S9500 Zoom is an excellent choice. It delivers great quality images with a highly versatile lens range at a decent price, and as such comes Highly Recommended.



Good points
Good quality lens with wide and long telephoto
High resolution sensor
High ISO sensitivity for an all-in-one
Great value

Bad points
No image stabilisation (relies on high ISO)
Harder to manually focus than D-SLRs
Relatively small 1.8in screen
Smearing of detail at high ISO settings


Scores
(relative to long-zoom all-in-ones)

Build quality:
Image quality:
Handling:
Specification:
Value:

Overall:

17 / 20
17 / 20
16 / 20
17 / 20
18 / 20

85%
 

Support this site by checking prices or buying from the stores below

USA readers

Fujifilm FinePix S9000 from Amazon USA
Fujifilm FinePix S9000 from Adorama

 
UK readers

Fujifilm S9500 from Amazon UK

Fujifilm FinePix S9500 from Jessops




All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs