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Fuji S9200 Review -- First Impressions

Preview posted: 01/06/2014

The Fuji FinePix S9200 was introduced alongside its sibling camera, the Fujifilm S9400W. While it's a nearly identical camera in practically all areas, the S9200 does not feature built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. For those who have no need or desire to have Wi-Fi connectivity, the Fujifilm S9200 provides the same level of features as the S9400W, such as the 50x optical zoom lens, new 5-Axial OIS system, Full HD video recording, slow-motion video modes, advanced filters and the built-in panorama mode, all at a more affordable price.

Like the S9400W, the S9200 features a new, versatile 50x Fujinon zoom lens and Fuji's 5-Axial Optical Image Stabilization system. With this new lens, the S9200 has 35mm-equivalent field of view range of 24mm at the wide end to a whopping 1200mm at telephoto. Like we said with last year's S8400W, to get this kind of zoom range with a full-sized SLR would not only put a major dent in your wallet, it would also be some serious weight and bulk to carry around. The Fujifilm S9200 offers this impressive optical zoom range in one single, lightweight and relatively compact package.

On other facets, this new model is not leaps and bounds different from the previous one, featuring a nearly-identical exterior design, full PASM modes, the same 1/2.3"-type CMOS backside-illuminated sensor for a maximum ISO sensitivity of 12,800 and the same variable aperture range of f/2.9 to f/6.5. However, Fujifilm has included a number of smaller features such as focus peaking, a histogram view in both shooting and playback mode, a new set of 10 advanced filters and built-in interval shooting. It also has a new "Motion Panorama" mode that allows for fluid, single-sweep panorama images up to a full 360 degrees. In addition to a 10 frames per second continuous shooting burst mode, the Fujifilm S9200 also has their "Best Frame Capture" mode, which starts pre-capturing photos in a burst via a half-press of the shutter button to help capture tricky, fast-moving subjects at just the right time.

Video recording options also get a nice upgrade over the older model, now featuring Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution at 60i frame rate. There is also 1,280 x 720 HD video at 60p frame rate, as well as SD resolution video of 640 x 480 at 30 frames per second. For slo-mo fans out there, the S9200 also has a high-speed video capture mode in a number of framerates with 120fps, 240fps and up to a blazingly fast 480fps available at reduced resolutions.

Images and movies can be framed either on a 3.0-inch LCD panel or an electronic viewfinder, a relatively rare feature these days, even among long-zoom cameras. The LCD has 460,000 dot resolution, while the EVF is a relatively modest 201,000 dots but does provides a 97% field of view coverage.

Power comes from four standard AA batteries, and Fuji rates the S9200 as good for 300 shots on a charge with a set of alkaline disposables or up to 700 shots with lithium AA batteries.

The Fuji FinePix S9200 will be available in the US market from March 2014, priced at US$330 or thereabouts.

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