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Fujifilm FinePix S9600 / S9100 - Digital Camera Review
Review Date: 03/01/2007
Rating: Recommended
Author: Stephen Waller
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Introduction: Announced on the 24th August, 2006 the Fujifilm FinePix S9600 / S9100 is an SLR shaped 9 megapixel digital camera with a 10.7x optical zoom lens and a 2.0" (230,000 pixel) tilting LCD screen for easy high and low angle shooting. The camera has the ability to take photos at ISO 1600, while most ordinary digital cameras stop at ISO 400. The 10.7x manually set optical zoom lens is equivalent to 28-300mm on a 35mm camera. The Fujifilm FinePix S9600 / S9100 is available from around £300, this makes it good value for money for a digital camera with excellent image quality. The camera is enclosed in a sturdy plastic body and available in black only. The S9600 / S9100 can record video in 640 x 480 resolution at 30fps with sound with fully functional manual zoom. The body measures approx. 128.0(W) X 93.0 (H) X 129.0(D) mm , and weighs approx. 650g excluding battery and memory card. This is Fuji's replacement to the FinePix S9500 / S9000 - the S9600 / S9100 new features are: Improved auto focus response time in low light conditions, Improved image processing algorithms resulting in increased image sharpness and resolution, Intelligent Flash system, 2.0" (230,000 pixel) tilting LCD screen for easy high and low angle shooting, and Hyper Utility Software HS-V2 version 3 for RAW format shooting, improving options for photographers.

Fujifilm have this to say about the camera:

"Featuring the 1/1.6-inch Super CCD HR sensor, the FinePix S9600 boasts a remarkable 9.0 effective megapixels; ultra-high-resolution images characterized by stunning detail and rich texture. The Super CCD HR offers high sensitivity with unprecedented image quality. Thanks to effective noise suppression performed by the Fujifilm's innovative RP Processor, the S9600 produces beautiful photos without tripod or flash, retaining the natural light and atmosphere of the scene. With a high-performance zoom lens equivalent to 28-300mm on a 35mm camera, the FinePix S9600 covers the full range photographic possibilities from wide-angle landscape or architectural shots to normal focal length snapshots and telephoto portraits or sports shooting. With no need to carry additional equipment and no photo opportunities missed because of changing lenses. Because there's no need to change lenses, the sensor is protected from dust accumulation, a common problem that affects the quality of images captured with digital SLR cameras. With the dust-free, integrated lens construction of the FinePix S9600, you can always count on maximum image quality and never worry about sensor cleaning. The FinePix S9600 sports a bright and easy-to-see 2.0-inch LCD monitor that swivels vertically to let you shoot from high and low angles with ease."

You can find more information on their website.

The Camera: a visual tour: (Photos of the camera taken with the Olympus EVOLT E-400)

Front: Camera off: Silver shutter button, surrounded by off, preview & photo dial. Top centre photo assist lens/ light. Note Hot shoe at back.

Front / side view: (partial zoom) camera on: flash release button, microphone (on slope). Buttons: Info, Auto focus (surround focus mode selector), macro. Grey cover for USB, AV, power.

Full Optical zoom: Top left, command dial, which works in conjunction with the three buttons in front (continuous shooting, exposure compensation & flash mode). The big dial next to that is the mode selector.

Side Buttons in detail: Top left: Flash pop-up button, Info (displays setting info on LCD), center Auto focus, surround focus mode selector: C = Continuous AF, S= Single AF, M= Manual (using focus ring around lens), macro. Grey cover for USB, AV, power.

Back: On the extreme left and right are the shoulder strap loops. From left, Diopter adjust, Electronic view finder, Auto Exposure mode selector ring around the AE lock button, Ready LCD, EVF/LCD option button