Fujifilm FinePix S100 FS digital camera
A bridge camera that offers bags of DSLR features
Review Who wants a bridge camera these days? After all, you can always opt for a super-zoom compact or an entry-level digital SLR. Well, according to Fujifilm, the FinePix S100 FS “provides the manual controls and functionality of a DSLR without the bulk, hassle and expense of additional lenses”.
At first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the FinePix S100 FS was a DSLR. It certainly has the size, shape and style you’d associate with a DSLR, but scratch a little deeper and you notice things like the lack of a switchable lens, mirror system or optical viewfinder. Another thing you notice is the sheer size of this beast – it measures 133.4 x 93.6 x 150.4mm and weighs almost a kilogram (968g) when loaded with a battery and memory card.
Fujifilm's FinePix S100 FS: not a DSLR
It makes a DSLR like Nikon’s D40 - which weighs around 530g when loaded - seem positively lightweight. Let’s put it this way, hanging the FinePix S100 FS around your neck is a bit like putting a python over your shoulder – you can’t ignore it. Then again, there’s a lot to be said for a camera that feels solid and robust, and which provides plenty to grip.
To say that the S100 FS is festooned with buttons is rather like saying Lewis Hamilton isn’t half a bad driver. There are loads of them dotted all over the camera’s body, and you know what? We think it’s a great idea.
There’s nothing worse than having to navigate a menu system when you want to, say, adjust the ISO, switch off the image stabilisation or alter the drive mode. The S100 FS has buttons for all of these and more. A brief tour of the camera reveals a massive F2.8-5.3 14.3x optical zoom at the front, with a 7.1-101.5 mm focal length, equivalent to 28-400mm on a 35mm camera. That’s one versatile lens spec.
I said "two lenses, at least", which I must now accept as untrue, since the Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD lens (28-407mm 35mm equiv.) became available for DSLR's. Mind you, it costs more than the whole Fuji camera, but of course that won't stop the pundits from comparing the price of the Fuji with that of a base SLR...
No thanks... Almost as heavy as my D700 with none of the advantages
This is only 27 g less than the body of my D700, though it misses the full frame sensor, lenses beyond their lens' range in both focal length and speed, specialty lenses and more. If you want something akin to this with less weight, I'd suggest you go for a four-thirds camera or even a micro four-thirds (if you can wait a few months to have a choice better than the Lumix G1... I'd hope Olympus has one or two out by the summer).
I used to think that too, having used some longish lenses in the good old 35mm film days, but the modern image stabilisation systems are really rather good and make what sounds like a ridiculous lens practical.
I have a Panasonic Lumix FZ-18 which tops out at somewhere around 500mm equivalent. It's quite easy to get pin-sharp pics on full zoom using it handheld. You only realise just how good the system is when you switch it off and find that it's nigh-on impossible to do it yourself(!)
Surely a proper DSLR would be better?
I still have my trusty EOD350 it might not have the MP but I have the flexibility of having proper (nice russian) lenses . It seems far too expensive for the price.
No mention of shake compensations either. My backup minolta is exceptional with the canon being average on the shake front.
I bought a cheap fuji from asda (£70, 10x zoom 7mp etc) and it was good enough for the holiday on the beach but I wouldnt trust it for much else, chromatic aberration ahoy and no anti shake (then again what do you expect for £70?) however how MUCH better is this £400 behemoth? It seems that most of the features are gimmicks.
FOVC only applies to DSLR's that are designed to take the lenses from film SLR's (which many photographers have invested heavily in over the years) and which are therefore operating in a different mode when fitted to a camera whose sensor is smaller than the film the lens was designed for. The S100 lens was designed for the camera and would be huge if it was for 35mm! The S100 has a smaller sensor than DSLR's, but it is still larger than most other digicams, and appears to work very well. Fuji's have done a lot of work on reducing noise, and it shows.