posted Monday, January 6, 2014 at 3:00 AM EST


Compact point-and-shoots might have become rare these days, but long-zoom bridge cameras still offer a compelling advantage over your smartphone camera, as do weather-sealed cameras. The Fuji S1 offers the best of both worlds, as both a bridge camera and a water / dust-resistant camera, and it has quite a bit else to recommend it, besides -- including in-camera Wi-Fi that makes it easy to get your photos on your phone (and online)!

Fujifilm is calling the 16-megapixel FinePix S1 the "world’s first weather resistant super zoom bridge camera", and while the Sony RX10 -- also a weather-sealed bridge camera, but with a less far-reaching optic -- has caused that quite lengthy list of qualifications, there's no denying that the Fuji S1 is going to excite the bridge camera fan on a budget. With list pricing of just US$500, you could pick up two Fuji S1 bodies for the price of a single RX10 and still have several hundred dollars left over. And the RX10 doesn't come close to matching the reach of the Fuji S1's powerful Fujinon 50x optical zoom lens, either.

The Fuji S1 is, as far as we can recall, the first truly affordable, weather-sealed bridge camera.

And the Fuji S1 also sports quite a few other features you'll appreciate, including 10 frames-per-second burst shooting, sensitivities as high as ISO 12,800 equivalent, a five-axis image stabilization system, both an electronic viewfinder and tilting LCD monitor, hot shoe and popup flash strobe, built-in Wi-Fi wireless networking with remote control capability, and more.

Available from March 2014, the Fuji FinePix S1 is priced at US$500, and available only in a black-bodied version.

For a whole lot more info on this interesting camera, read our Fuji S1 preview!