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Old Sep 3, 2005, 4:43 AM   #1
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Have only recently taken up digital photographywith a 5100 although my brother is an avidphotographer and I grew up around his dark room and the smell ofsolution. The experience must have planted a seed somewhere for later cultivation!

My sonis showing a keeninterest in photography and I'm thinking of giving him the 5100 and I'll upgrade to the new 9000 when it arrives in South Africa. I've read just about all there is to read on the 9000 and followed this forum & DPReview's enthusiastically ...... which brings me to my question.

1) I'm getting the impression from the forums that Fuji, whilst producing generally a good product, seem to have a bit of a chequered track record when it comes to new releases?

2) How long is it likely to be beforean authorative review is likely to appear on DPRev or this site- being a newbie I'm not sure how long these things take!

Thanks for any info & opinion




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Old Sep 3, 2005, 8:04 AM   #2
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Hi Steve,

Rather than Fuji having a problem with new releases, it seems to be more a problem of peoples perceptions and non-Fuji users lack of knowledge about how the cams work and how to get the best out of them. As far as reviews, I would not put too much weight in the professional reviewers opinions, most are not that familar with the cams they are reviewing and do not know how to get the best performance, instead relying on factory defaults in full auto for their opinions. If I had listened to the reviewers, I would never have bought an S7000 and would have missed out on a good cam that performs well for me. While there are experienced users on this forum that can give honest opinions, the dPreview Fuji forum has a wealth of knowledge available. So while reviews can give some indication of features and general useability, users familar with the cam/product line can give much more in depth opinions and evaluations, that's the way I see it.

Clyde
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Old Sep 3, 2005, 2:27 PM   #3
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Hi Clyde,

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Thanks for the advice and input - duly noted! I have to say that my 5100 has performed flawlessly so farand has produced some really pleasing images. The macro function is taking an awful lot of practicebutI think am at long last beginning to get afeel for it - think I've taken shots of the same flower a hundred times over now(must say the use of atripodsorted out a lot of my frustrationson the macro side!). The camera has taught me a lot already and has reallygotthe inspiration juicesflowing - so for me, it was the idealstarting platform and it's still teaching me new things each time I pick it up.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Once again, thanks for the sound advice - anyviews on the9000? The manual zoom & focus holds a lot of appeal to me, as does the super macro function.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Steve




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Old Sep 3, 2005, 3:40 PM   #4
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A full review of the S9000 may take a while because it is not really out there yet. As for Fuji's past, there are only two issues I can relate to, (1) the Super CCD has always been a source of controversy, they produce an image which is somewhat different due to the diagonal pixel array. The result is a little noise at higher ISO, but the noise tends to be more like film grain and I don't find it a problem in large prints. (2) Fuji has not been publishing firmware upgrades for most of its cameras, although it seems that there are issues that may be solved with a firmware upgrade. If it can't be fixed then Fuji should let owners know that a firmware upgrade is not possible rather than seeming to ignore them.

One more point the Clyde brought up, reviews. The S7000 produces images that are on par with the 8MP prosumer models, however it is almost always overlooked when these cameras are compared. The British photo press are much more open, and in a test which compared the Nikon 8700, Sony F-828, Minolta A2, Canon Pro1, Olympus 8080, Fuji S20 and Fuji S7000, the S7000 was credited with the only usable 400 ISO images and won the best value award for that test. The same magazine (Practical Photography) listed the S7000 as the best high resolution big zoom digicam because its 12MP mode was at least equal to about a 9MP image, higher than the 8MP models (Note: since the 12MP is interpolated they compared it to straight resolution images and found it about equal to 9MP in quality). The "pixel-peepers" will look at 100% enlargements at 72dpi on a computer screen and complain about noise and artifacts, it is actual prints that tell the real tale.

I have an S7000, I would love the new S9000 but for me it isn't as big a step up, so I will wait and get a DSLR later, however as a step up from the S5100 it should be great. The handling advantages alone will make it worth the step.

Ira

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Old Sep 3, 2005, 5:23 PM   #5
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Thanks Ira,

I've followed your various postings on this forum for a while now andhave tosay that I believe that yourinput isextremely objective as well as beingexceptionally informative. The obvious time and effort you put into explaining sometimes quite complex issues in understandable termsis of enormous help to newcomers such as myself - thank you! By the way, I'm glad you mentioned the print versus screen quality issue - I thought I was missing something, somewhere along the line.

Your comments regardingmy step up to the 9000 are encouraging as I was a little bit worried I was yearning to runwhilst still learning to crawl -but I figure it's a camera that has plenty room for me to grow intoand I really do fancy the manual zoom and focus facility ... not to mention thesuper macro. If the quality and feel of the 9000 is anything like the 5100, it's just gotto be a winner.




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Old Sep 4, 2005, 6:07 AM   #6
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Hello All,

With the S9000 you will not be stepping up IMHO.

Based on it's Specs, prints I downloaded and printed, and the Hands on Preview of Letsgodigital.org, the S9000 is the LAST camera you will need to buy.

When a wedding photographer finally obtained his Hassleblad, he never gave another camera any thought. I am talking before the digital era.

For my purposes, (which may differ from your needs) I am a people and landscape photographer, and the S9000, seems to be the first digital camera for me, that once I buy it, I won't need to think about upgrading in the future.

For the price point, where better to start for the new photographer, advanced amatuer, or pro wanting to make his people photography easier, than the S9000?

Regards, Nicholas
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Old Sep 4, 2005, 8:26 AM   #7
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Monza76 wrote:
Quote:
A full review of the S9000 may take a while because it is not really out there yet. As for Fuji's past, there are only two issues I can relate to, (1) the Super CCD has always been a source of controversy, they produce an image which is somewhat different due to the diagonal pixel array. The result is a little noise at higher ISO, but the noise tends to be more like film grain and I don't find it a problem in large prints. (2) Fuji has not been publishing firmware upgrades for most of its cameras, although it seems that there are issues that may be solved with a firmware upgrade. If it can't be fixed then Fuji should let owners know that a firmware upgrade is not possible rather than seeming to ignore them.

One more point the Clyde brought up, reviews. The S7000 produces images that are on par with the 8MP prosumer models, however it is almost always overlooked when these cameras are compared. The British photo press are much more open, and in a test which compared the Nikon 8700, Sony F-828, Minolta A2, Canon Pro1, Olympus 8080, Fuji S20 and Fuji S7000, the S7000 was credited with the only usable 400 ISO images and won the best value award for that test. The same magazine (Practical Photography) listed the S7000 as the best high resolution big zoom digicam because its 12MP mode was at least equal to about a 9MP image, higher than the 8MP models (Note: since the 12MP is interpolated they compared it to straight resolution images and found it about equal to 9MP in quality). The "pixel-peepers" will look at 100% enlargements at 72dpi on a computer screen and complain about noise and artifacts, it is actual prints that tell the real tale.

I have an S7000, I would love the new S9000 but for me it isn't as big a step up, so I will wait and get a DSLR later, however as a step up from the S5100 it should be great. The handling advantages alone will make it worth the step.

Ira
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Hi Ira,
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All good points! It has been my experience with the S7k that it can produce some stunning prints at 12mp fine soft, often I only crop and perhaps re-size to print at 8.5" x 11". While I do examine my prints at 100% on my monitor, it is not how I judge the camera results, but as you said I judge by how well the actual prints come out (when using a good printer). I knew my S7k pics were pretty decent, but I didn't realize how good they could be until I upgraded to an HP 7960 eight color ink photo printer. And while there are many naysayers about Fuji's technology, I believe they have a very good as well as unique technology that performs well in the real world, there are some problems/areas that could be improved, but no camera is 100% perfect. I may upgrade to the S9xxx at some point in time, but I'm not in a hurry to replace my S7000.
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Old Sep 4, 2005, 8:55 PM   #8
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SteveDak

Thanks for the words of encouragement, I try to make things as understandable as possible, I guess it comes with the vocation, I am a teacher.

nickphoto123 may seem a little "over the top" in his praise for the S9000 but he is probably correct for a lot of photographers, the lens range is excellent for portraits, groups and landscapes, and the expanded ISO range seems to make ISO-400 very usable, ISO-800 acceptable and ISO-1600 good for smaller prints (which, considering the 9MP resolution, means anything up to 8" X 10" is still a small print).

Clyde is right on about the S7000, I have only two issues with the camera, the time taken for the lens to extend slows down the startup and it does not focus well (or provide a usable viewfinder) in very low light. I have no issues with the print quality, even though 100% on screen viewing shows a somewhat fuzzy image, it is the prints that count, and I have some really impressive 8" x 10" prints and a couple of 13X17 prints made on an HP ink jet, and plain paper, that are incredible.

I think Fuji offers the best values in this particular market segment, and provides cameras which have 90% of the potential of a DSLR without the hassles and added expense of lenses and accessories.

Ira

EDIT: BTW the only reasons why I am looking at the possibility of a DSLR instead of an S9000 are: - I already have Pentax and Minolta lenses from my film SLRs, so I don't need anything beyond the kit lens, and - I would like to reduce the DOF in my portraits and wedding shots, the small sensor cameras have such extreme Depth Of Field that just about everything is somewhat sharp so I have to use some selective blur in Photoshop Elements to simulate the effect.

I have some information for beginners on my school web site at: http://www.k12.nf.ca/gc/photoclubweb/photoclub.htm my school photo club site.


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Old Sep 5, 2005, 4:23 AM   #9
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Hello Nicholas,

Your views pretty much sum up where I'm at on the S 9000 - seems its got everything I'd like and more, and at what appears to be a good price for all thatit offers. I assume that like me you are in line for one when itbecomes available. If so, I would really like to get your initial impressions since you're likely to get it in the States before we do here in SA.

I think the letsgodigital "preview" is a rehash/translation of the Japanese review with comments added by the editor, hence their emphasis on the term "preview" rather than review - clever bit of marketing for the mag but informative non the less!

Steve
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Old Sep 5, 2005, 5:11 AM   #10
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Hi Ira,

Nice site & explanations which I have bookmarked. Have read so much of late but have realisedthat practice is everything and I think this is one of the reasons that Digital has captured my imagination so much. No waiting for printing and the associatedcosts thereof (and after having forgotten what you did to get the result you got!).

One of the issues that attracts me most about the S9000 is its lens range - I have witnessed the ritual, & sometimes irritation,of lense changing first hand and must say that at this stage I think it is something I can live without! For what I want to do now and what I expect to do in the future, I think this camerais ideal for me and I am looking forward to more than a few years of happy shooting & education from it.

I've developed a likeing for close up macro work - do you think the improved macro mode of the 9000 is likely to be as good as the spec implies? I've been limited to 10cm so far with the 5100 and I have to say it's pretty hard work without a manual focus!

Steve
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