In-depth review posted for Fujifilm FinePix S9000|
(Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 21:36 EST)
As time goes on, the falling prices of digital SLRs make it harder and harder for high-end all-in-one cameras to find a place in the market.
That said though, the Fujifilm FinePix S9000 makes a pretty compelling case for itself, offering an excellent 10.7x zoom lens (that extends to a very useful wide angle equivalent focal length of 28mm) and loads of resolution at a price a hundred dollars or more less than the least expensive d-SLR equipped with only a modest 3x zoom. It doesn't quite approach the quickness or low light/high ISO prowess of most d-SLRs, but certainly does well enough in these areas to suit the needs of most amateur photographers.
A flash hot-shoe permits the use of powerful external strobes, and it even offers a threaded cable-release socket on its shutter button. (Why more digital camera makers don't offer this is beyond us, it can't cost more than a few pennies to add to a camera, and is very useful for all sorts of situations where you don't want to jostle the camera by pressing the shutter button.)
Control-wise, the Fujifilm S9000 offers a full range of exposure modes from fully automatic to fully manual, with program, aperture-priority and shutter-priority in between, as well as a good handful of useful scene modes. This is a camera that a pure novice can start with and grow into as their skills mature.
No camera is perfect, and the Fujifilm S9000 has its own set of foibles, but on balance, it's a great choice for enthusiast photographers on a budget. A Dave's Pick for its good build, smooth operation, rich feature set, and affordable price. (Oh yeah -- it takes great pictures too!) Read our in-depth Fujifilm S9000 review for all the details!