Fujifilm Finepix S9600/S9100

An incredibly versatile camera designed for serious hobbyist and enthusiast photographers, the nine megapixel FinePix S9600 features Fujifilm’s successful Super CCD HR sensor and Real Photo Processor II, delivering IS0 1600 performance and enabling capture of crisp and clear images even in low light conditions.

Fujinon 10.7x optical zoom lens

The camera’s 10.7x (28-300mm 35mm equivalent) zoom lens incorporates aspherical elements that result in a sharper image. The aspherical elements in the lens ensure that the path of light is as precise as possible, which in turn minimises distortion and aberrations. The lens is easily controlled via a manual zoom ring to give pinpoint accuracy when composing images. Furthermore, its fixed housing ensures that users do not have to contend with specks of dust or dirt collecting on the sensor. This can compromise image quality and is a drawback often associated with conventional digital SLRs.

Improved image quality and autofocus

Image quality in the FinePix S9600 has been enhanced through improvements to its processing algorithms, which result in improved image sharpness and resolution. Composition of photographs is made easier with an increased-size two-inch tilting LCD monitor, providing even clearer, flexible shooting at awkward high or low angles. A higher resolution of 230,000-pixels gives greater screen clarity. Composition of photographs using the LCD screen further differentiates the camera from conventional digital SLRs, which rely solely on a viewfinder for composition and make use of the LCD screen for image playback only.

Fujifilm continually strives to achieve better performance in low light. In these conditions, the FinePix S9600 has an autofocus response time that is up to 40 per cent quicker than its predecessor. In addition to the camera’s 0.01 second shutter-lag and 0.8 second start-up time, this means that images can be composed and captured almost instantaneously. Combined with Fujifilm’s acclaimed high ISO performance, which combats image blur caused by subject movement as well as camera shake, the FinePix S9600’s responsiveness makes it an ideal tool for enthusiast photographers looking to photograph fast paced subjects such as those at sporting events or in the wild.

Intelligent Flash system

In another advance on its predecessor, the FinePix S9600 features Fujifilm’s Intelligent Flash system, which delivers balanced flash power output. Historically, using flash at night has resulted in unsatisfying backgrounds, be it the black, underexposed appearance of conventional flash or the blurred ‘swirl’ of slow-sync flash. By comparison, Intelligent Flash means that images captured in low light have not only a blur-free well-exposed background but also natural-looking foreground illumination, free from the stark brightness that can be a by-product of flash photography.

Software and optional accessories

Enthusiast photographers will appreciate the Hyper Utility Software HS-V2 version 3 that is bundled as standard for the first time with the FinePix S9600. This software gives full functionality in RAW file conversion, which enables the photographer to explore the control and flexibility enjoyed when working with a ‘lossless’ file format.

The FinePix S9600’s optional Wide Conversion Lens, WL-FXS6 , expands the camera’s wide-angle capability without compromising image quality. It allows the extreme angles of view normally only available with changeable lenses on an SLR camera. Also available is an optional premium leather case.

The camera comes with shoulder strap, USB and A/V cables, Lens cap and hood and, in addition to the new Hyper Utility Software, also comes with USB driver, FinePix Viewer ImageMixer VCD2 for FinePix and RAW File Converter LE.

Adrian Clarke, Fujifilm’s Director of Photo Products, said: “Digital SLRs are steadily dropping in price, which has increasingly made them an option for non-professional photographers. However, this affordability does not necessarily mean they are the best choice of camera, especially if the photographer is used to the flexibility and convenience that compact digital cameras can offer. The FinePix S9600 fills the gap between two worlds by combining the usability of a compact with performance that can challenge an entry-level digital SLR.”

FinePix S9600 features at a glance:

Super CCD HR sensor delivering nine million effective pixels
Real Photo Processor II reduces noise and delivers enhanced colour reproduction
New Fujinon 10.7x (28-300mm) fixed optical zoom lens with manual twist barrel control
Sensitivity setting of ISO 1600 at full resolution for low light photography with reduced noise
Low sensitivity of ISO 80 for ultra-high quality photography
Ultra-fast response times (0.01 second shutter lag and 0.8 second start-up)
Improved autofocus response time in low light conditions
Improved image processing algorithms resulting in increased image sharpness and resolution
Intelligent Flash system
2.0” (230,000 pixel) tilting LCD screen for easy high and low angle shooting
Hyper Utility Software HS-V2 version 3 for RAW format shooting
Real-time histogram to assist exposure settings before shooting
Highlight Warning feature for displaying highlight areas in playback
TV-quality VGA movie recording of 30 frames per second with sound
Closed unit design to eliminate dust accumulation on the CCD
Hotshoe and PC sync terminal
Both xD-Picture Card™ and Compact Flash™/Microdrive compatible
PictBridge™ compatible for direct printing without a PC
Availability & pricing

The FinePix S9600 will be available from UK retailers in October 2006. Pricing and stockists will be announced nearer to the date of retail launch.*

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See also: Digital Camera | Fujifilm





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5 Comments »

Comment by RussB Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-06 22:40:12

I just bought (Aug 2007) the Fuji S9100 and I have to say that I am completely satisfied with my decision to purchase. I have been humming and hawing about this camera since its annoucement a year ago. I think the feature set in this camera for the dollar is amazing. I didnt want to go to a DSLR and lug around lenses again. So this camera was a natural choice. I looked at the new Canon S5 as well but i prefered the Fuji. Plus Fuji (in Canada) offers a 3 Year warranty!!! How can you beat that.
The lack of image stabilization is such a minor issue for me. People become too reliant on the technology and forget how to take ‘proper’ pictures. I never had it in my 35mm camera so I wont miss it here. Beside, that is just one more thing to break ;) or go wrong. I’ll use a tripod or monopod.
I love the manual zoom ring (wtg Fuji!!!!). Image quality thus far has been great and with the additon of a polarizing filter for outdoor shooting, the colours have become slightly richer. If I had to complain about something about this camera it would have to be that I would love to have a protection (scratch protection) cover for the LCD screen on the back.
I give the Fuji S9100 two thumbs up!! Excellent value camera with lots of extra features for the more experienced photographer.

Comment by Padro
2007-09-06 23:01:35

Hi RussB, thank you for your review..

Did you get any chance to compare the shutter lag from this camera and a SLR camera? How bad is it?
I’m still trying to decide whether to get a SLR-like or a SLR camera since I’ve got energetic 3 years old boy who just can not stay still :p

Comment by RussB Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-10 12:04:44

Padro:

The shutter lag is very very acceptable. There is a small amount of lag but not like what most point and shoot digitals have (i do consider this still a point and shoot camera). Having come from the analog slr world to the digital world (psuedo slr) world (I have been using a Sony digital camera for 5 years now), I expect some short comings with any digital camera. I didnt want to go throught he expense of buying a dslr and all the lenses (not worth it for every day shooting). The 9100 is a fantastic compromise plus the added benefit of having all the extra features. Many people complain about how the camera is a bit complicated with all the menus etc and having to ‘read’ the manual….. well all i have to say about those comments is.. what do you expect for a camera of this caliber. I think any of the higher end P&S (prosumer) cameras will have the same learning curve. If you want to know the cameras short comings or positive points one has to read the manual and get a working knowledge of the camera. I feela dslr would have the same if not more, learning curve. So far I love this camera. With an energetic child, i probably wouldnt hesistate to buy this camera over a true dslr. Everything you do with a dslr is doable with the 9100. I suggest manually setting the ISO to 100 possibly 200 tops. Like an slr camera … if you push the ISO you will increase the grain/noise. If everyday shooting was being done originally with 100 ISO film, then why not with digital as well ;) The Auto setting for shutter and apeture is pretty good. I would also suggest experimenting with Auto and Apeture Priority… only because the metering system on ANY digial camera is easily fooled by high contrasting foreground and backgrounds.

Hope that helps a bit :)

Russ

Comment by Harilal K
2007-12-12 23:25:46

Thank You Russ for your nice comment. I was looking at Fuji s9600,Canon S5is and Panasonic FZ50 with a little bit inclination towards the Fuji even though it lacked IS and SD memory. I finally concluded my findings in favor of Fuji because of Super CCD,28mm low end range,low noise level,AA batteries,very good in low light without flash etc. Your comments also helped me reach the conclusion faster.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
 
 
 
 
Comment by D300 Nikon Exposed
2011-07-22 06:02:29

Wow, what an incredible and amazingly practical overview! Particularly the type of info essential to generate a very good conclusion about which camera to order. Thanks!

 

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