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Old Mar 14, 2006, 12:43 AM   #1
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I am currently using a Sony W1 and have decided to upgrade. Although I am happy with the results from the Sony I would like to get "better" pictures. One of the limitations with the Sony is the zoom (38 - 114). I am mostly interested in shooting scenery/nature, candid family shots, and pictures of our puppy. I started by looking at entry level DSLR's with kit lenses. After reading reviews now for several months, both online and magazines I bounced from one to another, unable to make up my mind (I typically like to research the heck out of something before making a decision). Along the way I started noticing quite a few reviews on the Fuji S9000. They were mostly favorable. When I started comparing specifications, it seemed like the Fuji was superior in many aspects to the DSLRs. Less barrel distortion, less pincushion distortion, better lens vignetting, higher scores for sharpness, and a faster lens. Again, this was compared against kit lenses. Within its best operating range, would I not expect to get superior results with the Fuji over the DSLRs?

Many of the reviews noted that the price for an entry level DSLR was not much more than that of the Fuji. But they were always comparing the MSRP of the Fuji to street prices for the DSLR's. There are a number of reliable online sellers that have the price of the Fuji around $500, not a bad investment if I can get good results. I will probably use this camera for a couple of years and then want something new, so I am concerned about how much I spend on this camera.

I was leaning towards the Fuji when I started reading opinions posted in Steves Forums. There seems to be a split with owners of the Fuji. Some are very happy with the results they are getting. Some are quite disappointed with their results. Should I be conerned that I will not get the results I am expecting?

I am not back to square one on my decision, but right now am not sure which way I want to go. I would appreciate any comments/suggestions in regards to the Fuji, or an alternative.

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Old Mar 14, 2006, 2:14 AM   #2
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I had the Fuji S7000 and liked it very much till it disappeared from a subway train I was riding. I had considered getting the S9000, but went for the S5200 mostly because of the price, which is now well under $300.

One camera priced similarlyto the S9000 which, I would urge you to consider is the Pentax *ist DL, which is under $500 at some online retailers. I have its older brother, the DS, and am pleased with it, even with the kit lens. I have bought 3 other lenses for it. Though not the top of the line, the pictures they help produce are quite good, in my eyes.

Compare the sample images of the DL and the S9000 at the end of the reviews for each at this site.

The DL is not a speed demon for continuous shooting, say, of sporting events, but neither is the S9000.

Although the S9000 is supposed to be good at low light photography, I would dare say that the DL is at least its equal in this respect. Check it out.
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Old Mar 14, 2006, 4:25 AM   #3
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I am going through the same situation just now, looking at a superzoom P&S camera vs. the Nikon D50 as an entry level DSLR. Based on reviews and users comments as well as general features, I migrated from the Panasonic Z30 as top choice to the Fuji 9000/9500, with other possibilities inbetween.

I think I have made up my mind to go for the DSLR despite the extra future cost for additional lenses and despite the extra bulk to carry around (the extra lenses), but here I think I will just buy a Tamron or Sigma 18-200 zoom as an all around travel lens.

I really think the Fuji will be a great camera based on what other people have said about it, but what has made up my mind is that I went to a camera shop and looked through the view finders of the Nikon D50 and the various P&S superzooms. And I convinced myself that I really really really want a TTL viewfinder, not an EVF. For me it makes a world of difference when framing a shot.

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Old Mar 14, 2006, 1:39 PM   #4
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Just a personal observation. I own a Fuji S-9000. However, it has been a real disappointment to me.Other thanhigher ISO settings, the photos look a great deal like those form my older Fuji-5000. The S-9000 does not have great low light level shooting capabilities due to the large degree of noise.

I purchased the S-9000 because I felt it could possiblybe every bit as good a the consumer dSLR cameras selling in the virtually same price range. It actual practicethe S-9000 IMHOis not as capable, and I ended up buying a consumer dSLRjust three months later to my chagrin.My purchase, IMHO, was not money well spent. Anyone want to buy a Fuji S-9000?

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Old Mar 14, 2006, 3:55 PM   #5
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Another vote for the Pentax - the prices of the DL are dropping (they are coming out with the DL2, a minor upgrade).

I bought a Panasonic FZ30 right before Christmas and ended up selling it (for a loss, of course) a month later because while it took nice photos, it didn't have the dynamic range I was looking for (my old Sony F717 was better). I looked at the sample photos of the Fuji S9000 compared to the FZ30 and didn't think it was any better (they process pictures quite a bit differently, but in the end, there's similar limitations). I bought the Pentax based on price and the fact that I could use some 20-25 year old lenses, and I'm SO glad I did.
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Old Mar 15, 2006, 2:22 AM   #6
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The S9000 is somehow a compromise, that's for sure, but if you don't want to spend lots of money for lenses then it is a good choice. The image quality is excellent for a fixed lens cam (if you don't use the automatic mode), even without post-processing your shots.
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Old May 19, 2006, 12:50 AM   #7
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I want to thank everyone for their opinion on the S9000, and for their suggestions.

Well, it has been sometime, but I finally made a decision and purchase. I bought a D50 from Cameta Auctions. It is a factory demo/refurb. By all observations it is in perfect condition. The only way I could tell that it was not new was by the box it came in. The box said on the outside 'Nikon Reconditioned Product'. Buying it that way, thru Cameta, was a way I could keep price within the range I was willing to spend. And, I am happy with my choice.

A special thanks to mtclimber, who has been singing the praises of the D50 through out this forum.

After all said and done, I ruled out the Fuji S9000 (and Pentax *ist DL) because I could not find a dealer that carried the camera in stock. Many told me they could order me one. But, I really wanted to handle one and try it out before making that kind of decision. Besides all the reviews and positive comments on the D50, just actually handling one and trying it out really sold me.

Again, thanks for everyone for helping me make a good choice.

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