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Old Mar 10, 2007, 11:16 AM   #1
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I've decided it's time to replace the Kodak P880 and friends have suggested three cameras, two of which are Fujifilm.

Which of the two cameras (S9500 - S9600) would you say is the better option? From what I've read, everything is pointing to the S9600 as the better camera, although there seems to be some price confusion with many suppliers and the S9500 is still more expensive in some stores!

Also, how would you rate these cameras next to the P880. Personally, I'm not a fan of Fujifilm and don't like the menu system, but I've been assured by two people who know their cameras that these models are both excellent.

Thanks.
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Old Mar 10, 2007, 12:26 PM   #2
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The 9500 and the 9600 are both excellent cameras. But I don't understand why you are comparing them. The 9600 is simply the newer version of the 9500. There are claims that the 9600 has better image quality, lower noise (especially at high ISO), and a few other improvements. But basically they are the same camera. Either one will produce excellent images. I have the older 9000, which is the U.S. equivalent of the 9500. From the reading I have done, everyone becomes an expert in digital photography based on the experience they have with their own camera, coupled with what they read in discussion forums on the Internet. Those who don't have a 9000 or a 9500 will tell you what a terrible camera it is, that the pictures are noisy, and the list just goes on. But they really don't know because they don't have the camera and they are reading comments from others who don't have the camera. The fact is the 9000/9500 is an excellent camera, as is the 9100/9600.

If you are not a fan of Fuji cameras, I would suggest that you think very seriously before you purchase. It's very likely that you will be disappointed. Not that the pictures will be inferior, but that your expectations might be higher and you will probably be disappointed when you discover that the pictures are not any better than from any other digital camera. That isn't a flaw of the Fuji cameras. The fact is that cameras from every manufacturer will produce very good digital images. And you will probably start scrutinizing images at 100 percent magnification or higher and start worrying that you don't think the images are as good as you get from something else. This kind of activity is a total waste of time. If you cannot purchase a camera and just enjoy the pictures you get from it, then I think you should purchase something else.
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Old Mar 10, 2007, 12:52 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply there. Much appreciated.

The only confusion was in the price really, where I can get a new S9600 for £252, whilst the S9500 is £265

I bought the S5600 last year simply out of interest. The photo quality was fantastic and the zoom was also superb, but I really didn't like the menu controls.

So... can anybody compare the S9600 to the Kodak P880 for me? I'm really looking for personal opinion not a professional review.
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Old Mar 10, 2007, 3:22 PM   #4
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jphess wrote:
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The fact is that cameras from every manufacturer will produce very good digital images. And you will probably start scrutinizing images at 100 percent magnification or higher and start worrying that you don't think the images are as good as you get from something else. This kind of activity is a total waste of time. If you cannot purchase a camera and just enjoy the pictures you get from it, then I think you should purchase something else.
Most sensible statement I've read in a long time. I have 2 Fujis, a Canon and a Kodak which produce results more than acceptable to me.



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Old Mar 11, 2007, 6:23 AM   #5
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Yes I agree too. I've owned and used many cameras of various makes and models during the last couple of years. But my question stems around low light performance.
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 8:38 PM   #6
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I had a look at the camera tonight and I do really like it. The menu isn't the best I've ever seen but I'm not buying a new cam for the menu so I can live with that.

I've picked one out online for £252 and will (all being well) order within the next day or two.

Does anybody have any comments for me before I buy? Good point or bad points to this camera? Anything I should be aware?

Feedback appreciated.
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Old Mar 12, 2007, 11:42 AM   #7
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First of all, get yourself at least two sets of rechargeable batteries. The alkaline batteries that come with the camera will only be good for 30-40 images. You get much better performance from the rechargeable batteries. I use Energizer 2500 MaH batteries, and they do a pretty good job.

Don't use the Auto mode on the camera. Set your ISO at 100, and use the P or A mode to start with. Then you can expand on your knowledge from there.

Don't start scrutinizing your images at 100 percent magnification. It doesn't tell you the whole story. Some of the tutorials I have watched suggest that 50 percent magnification is the most ideal for evaluating images you are going to print. But be sure to print at least one 8x10 before you start to panic. I'm just warning you that many people, including myself, expect miracles from this camera. The images are much better than what you will see on a monitor, and you need to print one of them to realize that.

Finally, you will probably want to invest in an image editor if you don't already have one. The camera takes excellent images, but to get the most out of them you will need to be able to do some postprocessing.
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Old Mar 12, 2007, 12:07 PM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated.

I already have three sets of 2700's and an 8 slot rapid charger ready, and I'll buy more. I take between 1000 and 3000 shots every weekend.

How many shots (average) will a full charge of 2500's take?

I had an S5600 last year and thought that the image quality and colours were fantastic. I remember a slight blurred effect at 100% resolution but as you said the prints and reduced digital shots were first class. I'm guessing the S9600 is if anything much better and so I will be pleased regardless.

I have to say that I like to adjust the white balance for colour compensation in my photos. I add a little red/brown to give people a more tanned look and avoid people looking pale in my shots (We're in the UK here). People are more likely to purchase their image if they look tanned and healthy. In fact, people comment almost every week that "they like my camera, it makes them look tanned".
I think I read somewhere that the S9600 has a custom white balance setting... Is this correct?

And with regards to the lighting issue since I'll be shooting in low-light conditions. I'm going to invest in a nice flash for the hotshoe.

I'll post my photos on http://www.panoramicpixel.co.uk for those who are interested.


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Old Mar 12, 2007, 12:58 PM   #9
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I have a Fuji S5100 as well as my S9000. I expected to my images from the 9000 to be noticeably and unmistakably better than the ones from my 5100. The first few images that I took with the 9000 made me panic because I was expecting a major improvement, and on the monitor they didn't look any better at all. So I'm just trying to prepare you. The images are better, but in subtle ways that will only show up in printing.

I typically get 250-300 images from a fresh charge. I sent my 5100 with my daughter on a short trip she took last November. I inserted a set of Energizer lithium batteries in the camera and gave her as set of rechargeables as a backup. She took about 800 images on her trip. Then we used the camera again at Christmastime. That same set of batteries is still in the camera and there is no low battery warning yet. Of course we aren't using the camera a lot right now. I like to use these batteries because they don't lose their charge on their own like the rechargeables do. They are quite expensive, about $7 a set. But they keep a camera ready. I like to have a set as a backup to my rechargeables.

The camera does have a number of white balance settings, as well as the capability to set a custom white balance. Instructions are in the manual.

I have an external flash that I use occasionally. Just remember that this camera does not have any TTL flash exposure control. So you just want a basic automatic flash. A lot of people have recommended the Sunpak 383 or the Vivitar 283/285 .
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Old Mar 14, 2007, 5:25 AM   #10
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Thanks again.

I've read almost every review I can find online and I'm gonna bite the bullet and just order it.
I was actually thinking of just spending an extra £200 for a real DSLR, but to be honest, I don't think I'm really ready for DSLR just yet.

I'm gonna order the S9600 now. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks guys
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