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Old Dec 22, 2005, 12:00 AM   #9
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036

DCRP does fairly good ISO tests. The S9000 crammed too many pixels into a small sensor and doesn't have very good high ISO capabilities. Take a look at the high ISO shots from the S9000:

And of the same tests on the F10, which has really good high ISO capability:

In his F10 test he even has some photos comparing the F10 with a DSLR at ISO 1600 and it didn't come out badly. The F10 developed a reputation for good high ISO for Fuji, but it doesn't carry over to the higher density sensor.

Unfortunately Fuji didn't put that great sensor in a camera with a long zoom range.

A camera worth considering might be the Panasonic FZ20. It maintains f2.8 out to full zoom. Since the S9000 goes to f4.9 at full zoom you would be shooting at ISO 100 on the FZ20 where you would need over ISO 200 on the S9000. Or ISO 200 on the FZ20 where you would get very poor shots at over ISO 400 on the S9000.

The FZ20 isn't bad for noise. I think the ISO 400 shots look about as good as ISO 400 on the S9000, and you would be shooting at ISO 800 or more in the same conditions with over an f-stop lower light input at zoom.

There isn't a really good solution other than a DSLR, but I think the FZ20 might be worth considering in a non-DSLR. Or you might wait for some good reviews of the Fuji 5200.

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