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 …
Purple fringing - camera killer
Was an acual camera tested for this review, or at least only used indoors? There's no mention of this model's notorious purple fringing that doesn't just put blue/purple/red edges around sharply contrasting corners, it casts a possitively purple haze over some parts of an image, such as ripply water reflecting the sun. (technically it's not actual purple fringing, it's a similar effect caused by the cheap glass causing red, green and blue light to focus at differnet points from the back of the lens, with blue being really quite blurry, red being slightly blurry and green being in focus - search the web for full details)
This would have been an absolutely wonderful camera but its lens is a complete deal breaker. Also the price was just too high when you consider how SLR prices have been tumbling. It came out costing £200 less than a Canon 450D and less than a year later it's still £400 in most high street shops while the 450D has fallen to £380 after cashback.
When you then consider that since both cameras launched, the brilliant Canon 1000D has appeared and is today available from John Lewis for £269 with an IS kit lens after cashback, what kind of a fule would buy the Fuji? If its price had fallen in proportion to the Canons, it would be half its current price by now.
I know the Fuji does more on paper, but when you consider its image quality, bulk and limitations, it's just not worth it. If you're on a budget, spend that £400 on a Nikon D40 or Canon 1000D and use the money you saved on a cheap third-party zoom. The only thing you'll be missing then is movie mode, which is reportedly heading for next year's 450D sucessor, but you can barter for a better cameraphone next time your contract is up, innit.
Re: Purple fringing - camera killer
I had assumed the review would skip on this deal-breaker too, but it's there on the last page, if somewhat understated (though opinions vary on the seriousness, in fairness):
"We also noticed some fringing on a number of frames, due to chromatic aberration"
Wow! That is one heavy camera! The weight would mean that it is not suitable for long term photography sessions where it is hanging off your neck.
I can't see how I could use the lens.
The equivalent of a 28-400mm lens on 35mm film?
That's impressive, but 400mm-equiv just doesn't seem practical.
Ah yes, the purple fringing (or chromatic aberration) issue that some reviews keep banging on about. Well, they've got to keep steering people towards 'proper' cameras haven't they, but where can you get an SLR with 28-400mm range (two lenses, at least), not to mention a tilting display and video mode, for this sort of money?
I've seen some terrific photos from the S100, and I've seen horrible purple fringing from a G-series Canon, so I think the problem may be exaggerated.
If I didn't have eight digicams already, I'd buy one of these without hesitation.
Surely the S100FS is 1Kg *with* its great big zoom lens, wheras the Nikon is 530g *without* a lens attached? It'll be the glass that contributes most of the weight.
S100FS is far too expensive though. S9600 has most of the features, but half the price - a much better value proposition.
7.1-101.5 mm focal length, equivalent to 28-400mm on a 35mm camera???
That might seem impressive, but that's one tiny sensor if it's got a FOVCF (field of view crop factor - see http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Canon-Lenses/Field-of-View-Crop-Factor.aspx) of 4x.
That's an 8.8mm sensor, vs 22.2mm on the Canon 400D and 450D.
The smaller the sensor, and the more megapixels, the more noise you'll get on your photos, and the less sensitivity there is because less light falls on each pixel.
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.
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(!)
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 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...
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