I still have a Fujifilm S100fs "bridge" camera that I picked up in 2008. It was probably the best option back then but, at a max zoom of 400mm, it apparently wouldn't even be considered as meeting the requirements for this review of today's "superzooms".
However, I still love using it whenever I know that I'm going to need a long lens or if I don't want to be bothered with changing lenses on my new Sony equipment. I recently did a business trip to Asia and taking my faithful old Fujifilm camera was a no-brainer, and it lived up to all expectaitions.
Funny thing is, even though I do sometimes utilize the full zoom range provided by the S100fs, I seldom have the need to go all the way up to 400mm. Consequently, I can't imagine ever having much use for the extreme range provided by these new offerings. My main concern would be that providing such an extreme range must compromise some other aspects of the optical performance.
Peter Daves: I feel so inadequate! I lived in Shanghai for five years and loved shopping at a huge multi-story photography market that I found there. One of the items I picked up was a 30mm ball head and, until now, I loved using it on a Slik tripod that I picked up at a Tokyo junk store for just $10. Trouble is, my ball head cost me just a bit less than $30. How can I hold my head up now that I know that I should have been spending around $400?
Not sure how you would rate a lens as "worthy" but I do have a number of classic MF lenses that are quite heavy and need adequate support. One is my Canon FD 70-210 zoom. Another combination is my Konica Hexanon AR 135mm coupled with a Konica doubler. My Tokina RMC 35-110 zoom is also pretty heavy compared to modern plastic lenses. All of these are installed on my Sony with an E mount adapter so the ball head gets a bit of a workout, even when I'm using my Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f1.7 .
RichRMA: I bought a ball head out of China on Ebay that looks a lot like the FLM unit. Has dual ball tensioners/locks and works perfectly. $25.00 and free shipping. Pay $350 for an Acratech ballhead? Not likely.
I've had my Chinese no-name ball head for about 6 years and it is still going strong. Not bad for $30.......
I feel so inadequate! I lived in Shanghai for five years and loved shopping at a huge multi-story photography market that I found there. One of the items I picked up was a 30mm ball head and, until now, I loved using it on a Slik tripod that I picked up at a Tokyo junk store for just $10. Trouble is, my ball head cost me just a bit less than $30. How can I hold my head up now that I know that I should have been spending around $400?
Klarno: I bought this camera specifically as a platform to use with legacy lenses on a metabones speedbooster. For that, it's wonderful-- it offers just enough direct controls to get the job done quickly and effectively. ISO, exposure comp and shutter speed adjustments are very easy to get to. I set the bottom soft button to magnification and I leave peaking on. At $160, can't argue at all.
I managed to get one on ebay for $140. It was a "new-in-box" body-only offer, so I guess the kit lens had been removed to sell separately. It was a great buy and I am thouroughly enjoying what it allows me to do with my old Canon FD and Konica Hexanon AR lenses.
feztizzle: I have a nex6 and all i use is third party lenses. I sold the kit lens which was horrible and got 4 primes and adapter's from ebay. All 1980's and older and love the pictures I get and so does everyone else.
I reccently picked up an a3000 (body only deal) with the intention of using it as a "toy" with my old Canon FD and Konica AR lenses. I have been so pleased with the results that this camera (with my Konica lenses) has now become my prime user system.
themacguy: I own both the S9100 and the S100fs. Both are excellent, IMHO, for the use I intended. The only things I didn't like about the S100fs were the proprietary battery (I prefer AAs - who doesn't?) and the fact that the histogram can't be set to stay on without depressing the +/- button. Otherwise, I'm quite happy. I skipped the HS10/20 units as I didn't feel there was enough improvement to warrant another purchase at that time. I'll wait for the X-S1 to come down in price a bit (and be thoroughly debugged by the early adopters). Too bad about the continued use of proprietary batteries in the X-S1.
Agree 100%. I started in digital with the S1000fd and then moved up to the S100fs. I still love using it and the results it provides.
I looked at the X-S1 in a camera store this week and was VERY impressed. In fact, this was the first time in 4 yrs that I have ever even be led to consider an alternative to my S100fs. However, I probably won't be making a move until my S100fs fails on me.