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 want to.
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.