Delivers big zoom, dSLR-like features
SLIGHTLY SMALLER and cheaper than compact digital single-lens-reflex (dSLR) cameras, the $699.95 Fujifilm FinePix S9000 looks and handles much like its interchangeable-lens competitors, and, in some cases, tops them in features. The S9000 comes with a 10.7x zoom lens and packs 9 megapixels, compared with 6 megapixels for most budget dSLRs. In addition, you get external flash connections, an electronic viewfinder, ISO-sensitivity settings up to 1,600, minimal shutter lag, and manual focus and zoom rings around the lens. Plus, the camera offers decidedly non-dSLR-like features, such as 640×480, 30-frameper-second movie capabilities.
Waking the S9000 from deep slumber took only 1.6 seconds, and we were able to snap shots every 1.7 seconds thereafter. With flash, however, between shot intervals stretched to more than 5 seconds. When shooting in RAW format, be prepared to wait 18 seconds between shots. The S9000 squeezed out only four shots per second in burst mode, but performed better than some competitors when shooting at its highest resolution, capturing slightly more than two shots per second.
Although the S9000 delivers exceptional resolution, we noted a few optical flaws with the zoom lens, including rampant chromatic aberration. The dynamic range wasn’t as wide as we’d expected, either. Also, Fujifilm’s vaunted Real Photo Technology image processing works well, but the significant noise reduction it performs introduces artifacts of its own. On the plus side, the S9000 produced saturated yet realistic colors, and its red-eye-prevention system proved effective.
10.7x zoom lens; quick wake-up
time; external flash connections
limited dynamic range
Excerpt from Computer shopper Jan. 2006