FujiFilm S100fs Bridge Camera Review
The FujiFilm S100fs - a snapshot review
NOTE: This review is now quite a few years old and there are several newer models out which are far in advance of this camera.
This is a quick bridge camera review only and not that technical. Its based on my experience with this awesome superzoom camera, still one of the best you can buy, and one of the earlier ones in the series, the S6500fd.
The first question people always ask me about bridge cameras is why not just go the whole hog and get a DSLR.
price - The price of a basic DSLR is approximately the same as buying this bridge camera, give or take a hundred. The lenses however, are not. The S100fs has a 28 - 400mm equivalent lens, Amazon lists a Nikon 80-400mm lens at a cool £1,095.97
size - yes, the s100fs is roughly the same size as your basic DSLR camera with a lens, but when you start factoring in the lenses needed to get the same range as the s100fs, it becomes a little less bulky.
robustness - this is an opinion but i tend to feel a little more comfortable with my s100fs than the borrowed DSLRs I've used. Detaching lenses on DSLRs mean things get into the interior of the camera, especially that sensitive mirror set-up! Also detaching lenses means you can drop them if you're butterfingered like me.
movie function - might not be high on everybodies list of priorities, but the average basic DSLR doesn't have this. The s100fs has this in spades!
At this point it must be noted that obviously the DSLR, even basic ones have a better picture quality (although the s100fs is no slouch!), upgradability, speed and to some extent usability. The DSLR you buy at the bottom and upgrade, the s100fs you buy at the top and the next step is a new camera. The main advantage to a DSLR is the speed at which you can take your picture and a (real) through the lens (TTL) view finder.
A Macro Look
Picture quality - excellent, as good as its going to get with this spec of camera. 11.1 megapixel sensor which is not just a gimmick like so many compact cameras. The s100fs has a large 2/3 inch CCD, the physical size of which can actually make use of the high mp count, unlike small compacts where the count just creates noise. I find its natural state is slightly over saturated colours, the sky is bluer and the corn yellow er - what's not to like?
Obviously one of the crowning features of a bridge camera, the s100fs features a 28 - 400mm equivalent 14.3x Fujinon manual zoom lens. Note that all important word - manual. This means you twist the barrel to extend the lens. You, and not a motor attached to a button that you waggle control the zoom. I find the control and speed of use on a manual lens so much better than motor driven ones on other bridge cameras. This has to be used to be believed! Cons on this are at the 28mm wide, there is a little distortion and a little chromatic aberration which shows up as coloured shadows around the edge of the photo. It's not too much of a problem and if you have a problematic picture, paintshopro or photoshop should do wonders. You also have manual focus should you want it. Plus you don't use the battery for the lens - what's not to like?
Pretty standard for this style of camera, a 2.5" tilting lcd 230.4k pixels screen, colour is good, image is sharp and I can still see in direct sunlight! The viewfinder is an electronic one. This means you do technically have TTL but the picture is on a screen inside the viewfinder. The type used for this camera is reputed to be very sharp. I don't have any problem with it, but DSLR viewfinders are sharper.
Iso speeds of 100 to 10000! little noise up to about 800, Fuji are really very good with iso speeds. Shutter speed of 30 seconds to 1/4000 second. lens aperture F/2.8 - 5.3 and pretty smooth too. time between photos is 0.8 seconds (pretty respectable). flash distance up to 7.2m - very good for built in flash.
RAW and jpeg modes. Image stabilisation both 'floating lens' mechanical and electronic.(Fuji came a bit late to this), face detection (Fuji invented this). SD/SDHC and xD card formats. Li-ion rechargeable battery - I do wish they'd stuck with AA s but oh well. Pop-up flash with hot-shoe and studio sync. 918g weigh less battery. Full manual control or auto and semi auto settings.
I think this camera is stupendous! The image quality is fantastic, the lens is reasonable with incredible range, the price is a bit on the steep side and higher in general than competition from canon, Panasonic, etc. but really the camera is streaks better than the competition. Its perfect for people who want a step up from compacts but don't want the hassle and expense of a DSLR. Its relatively user friendly. My best example to date is a sea lion in mid jump and an owl in mid flight (I do love the zoo!!)
You can see a few demonstration snaps from the S100fs in the hub below
- Photos from the Fuji Finepix S100fs
I love my bridge camera. It's a perfect blend between a quick snap and a DSLR. It has a phenominal lens range, most of the usability of an DSLR while being relatively compact. I wrote a quick review of it for...
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