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Old Sep 19, 2006, 1:48 PM   #1
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Hello all ... I'm new to this group but the Web site's given me good info in the past so I thought I'd contribute.

Two weeks ago, I was in Tokyo and the urge to buy a new camera hit me. I still have and like very much my trusty Nikon 5400 but found the write times painfully slow. In researching prosumer cameras, I spotted the S9000 as having some critical features: wide bottom end of zoom, tilting screen, good flash and some form of anti-shake and other natural light facilities, and price. By chance, I checked the Fuji Japan web site and noticed that they were promoting the new S9100. Then I noticed a unit at one of the many mega chain outlets. On the morning of the very first day that the camera was released in Japan, I purchased it at one of the larger stores in the Ginza district. The sales guy suspected that I might be the first owner in Japan ... dare I muse ... the world? I also bought the accessory .8x wide angle converter. The final price was 874,000 yen for both units. In US$, that works out to about $750. May not be a spectacular price in the US but in Canada where I live, I suspect I saved about $200.

I've run about 200 pics through the camera so far. So far I've been very pleased. Picture quality is excellent. Sharp, contrasty, good color. Noise, for this amateur eye, is well controlled even in high sensitivity pics. Ergos are pretty decent. I was able deduce everything without a manual (unfortunately the english manual had not been released yet). The 2" LCD is plenty big for me and the tilt is nice though I would definitely appreciate a tilt and rotate as well. No problems with low light focusing. The assist lamp worked fine. Other new features, I can't really comment on as I have no experience with the predecessor. Overall I'mvery happy.

The wide angle adapter also works quite nicely. I've experienced horrible aftermarket gizmos with my Nikon and there is a world of difference. A bit big but solid feel and goes on smoothly. Pics have good sharpness and contrast though noticeably softer at edges with close inspection.

Some small nit picky things:

No dedicated flash. So any type of external flash application will be a very manual process. However, the built-in flash is quite good. And their "intelli-flash" seems to indeed brighten up the background.

Already mentioned the tilt and rotate LCD. Why would you want the screen to pull out?

No way of reviewing images without having to clunk the switch to Play mode.

Anti blurr's ISO adjustment mechanism. Although I'm not entirely disappointed with this system, it just seems to bug me a bit. I rarely boost my ISO unless I absolutely have to. I find the antiblur cranking the shutter speed to 1/400 +wide openor so even at wide. It doesn't have to be that fast meaning i could have had a better image by going with a slower sensitivity or stopping down a notch or 2. To be honest I find Nikon's Best Shot Selector (BSS) system to be absolutely brilliant and elegant. I basically allows you to take a sequence of pics and then chooses the sharpest. Theory is the pics past the first will not be affected by the initial shutter push shake. I found it worked flawlessly. My my discomfort with the Fuji system is probably more psychosomatic than real.

You have to commit to an ISO in everything but auto. I'm used to having auto sensitivity for most modes. Another one of those things that I'll just get used to.

Write speed on a CF is decent but nothing to write home about. Far better than my Nikon. I'll be getting an XD H type card shortly and that should improve the write performance.

The only problem that I've had was rapid battery drain. On a couple of new sets of batteries, I only got a few shots before it died. I was freaking out and was ready to ship the camera back to Japan for repairs. Prior though, I measured all expired batteries with a voltmeter and researched NiMh battery technology (I'd never used these things before). In the end, I concluded that my battery problem was the result of a disorganized battery drawer where expired batteries were mingling with new, a cheap set of no-name batteries that I bought in a panic when I was out, and the NiMh not having been fully conditioned when new ... things are back to normal and I'm a happy owner again.

This is probably not much of a review as you all already know a lot about the S9000 and the S9100 is a modest upgrade at best. But I thought you might be interested in knowing there's one more happy Finepix S-class user.

Cheers

Tom from Waterloo, Canada
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Old Sep 20, 2006, 7:34 PM   #2
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Thankyou very much for the review. I am very interested in this camera. I downoaded a English manual at the Fujifilm Global site. I do not have a link but it should be easy to find.
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Old Sep 21, 2006, 10:00 PM   #3
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by coincidence I found it as well ... thx
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 2:59 AM   #4
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thanks alot.. can u post some picture of high iso as 400 800 1600??

i wish to see what fuji had done in the noise improvement.

thanks
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 2:59 AM   #5
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thanks alot.. can u post some picture of high iso as 400 800 1600??

i wish to see what fuji had done in the noise reduction improvement.

thanks
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 10:54 AM   #6
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Being new to this group, I'm not quite sure how I'm supposed to display images. I'm going to attach 3 pics.

I'm generally not one to pay attention to the underlying settings for a particular photo so I took a guess at what the circumstances might have been. If you wish, I could look for the info through the camera or photo software.

The 3 pics are,

- dark alley way: I had on "anti blur". With a moderate telephoto on, I suspect the anti blur would have cranked sensitivity to 800.

- frog: used macro and did one small color adjustment through software (nothing fancy, just the Windows Picture Manager). Had antiblur on and I suspect sensitivity is 400.

- streetscape: this was on standard Program mode and generally I use 100 for that.

All photos were 5M Normal jpgs.

Also, all of these pics were "brain dead ones" i.e. took absolutely no care in composition, steadying, etc. ... just put the camera on the recommended mode and let it do its thing ... i was happy with the results.

I believe I can only attach one file at a time so the pics may come in 3 separate messages.

Tom
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 10:55 AM   #7
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 10:56 AM   #8
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 3:29 PM   #9
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Post some originals if you get the chance.

Maybe even do some sampling for us...shots @ different ISOs, different ZOOMs...whatever.

I am dying for this camera to be released here in the states...why is it SO slow to get here!

Thanks so much for your posts though.
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 4:02 PM   #10
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The original images were 1.5M each so I cropped out a portion to get under the 250KB size limit for attachments. You'll be able to get a close up view of the quality. Sorry, I realized that I should have cropped the exact same amount for each but I forgot. Hopefully though these will give you a sense of the quality.

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