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Fujifilm FinePix S100FS Review

April 2008 | By Richard Butler


Review based on a production Fujifilm FinePix S100FS

For many years, consumers wanting more control and range than a compact but lower weight and cost than a DSLR have been able to buy 'bridge' cameras, which look a lot like DSLRs but do away with the bulky, expensive mirror assembly that defines an SLR. They have traditionally had smaller sensors which allow long zoom lenses to be created in a relatively smaller space.

However, in recent years, more manufacturers have started to compete at the bottom end of the DSLR market with slimmed-down offerings at ever-more aggressive prices. This has left the bridge camera in a tight spot - why buy a DSLR-like camera if you can nab the real thing for around the same money? Until recently, it appeared to be a question with no answer: most bridge cameras shrank from the challenge and began to look and feel more like compacts with an absurd zoom on the front. Fujifilm's fully-featured S9100, launched back in August 2006 disappeared from the market without any sign of a replacement.

Until the announcement of the Fujifilm S100FS, that is. And it's an interesting package: one of the largest sensors we've seen in a non-DSLR for many years, a lens covering a 14.3x zoom range (that, importantly, starts at a usefully wide-angle 28mm equivalent), and the eighth generation of Fujifilm's Super CCD sensor technology. There's some photography-related features that have been added too, such as presets designed to mimic the behavior of specific Fuji films and a dynamic range expansion mode.

Headline features

  • 14.3X optical zoom (28-400mm equivalent)
  • 2/3" sensor with 11.1 million effective pixels
  • Eighth generation Super CCD HR sensor
  • 2.5" tiltable LCD screen
  • Film simulation modes (imitate the behavior of Fuji films)
  • Dynamic range expansion mode
  • Exposure, dynamic range and film simulation bracketing

S100FS Key specifications

Street price • US: $750
• UK: £400
Body Material Plastic
Sensor • 2/3" Super Type CCD
• 11.1 million effective pixels
Image sizes

• 3840 x 2880
• 4032 x 2688 (3:2)
• 2816 x 2112
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480

Movie clips • 640 x 480 @ 30 fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30 fps
• AVI Motion JPEG with WAVE monaural audio
Lens

• 28 - 400 mm (35 mm equiv)
• F2.8 - F5.3
• 14.3x optical zoom

Focus

• TTL contrast-type autofocus
• Single / Continuous AF
• Manual focus
• Center / Moveable area / Multi

Focus distance

• Normal: 50 cm (wide) / 2.5 m (tele) - Infinity
• Macro: 10 cm (wide) / 90 cm (tele) - 3.0m
• Super macro (28mm equiv. only) 1 cm - 1.0 m

Metering

• TTL 256-zone metering
• Multi-area
• Average
• Spot

Shutter speed

• 30-1/4000 sec (extremes depending on exposure mode)

Aperture • F2.8-F11 (wide), F2.8-F8 in automated modes
• F5.3-F11 (tele), F5.3-F8 in automated modes
Shooting mode • Auto
• Program
• Aperture Priority
• Shutter Priority
• Manual
• Film simulation bracketing
• Movie
• 2 custom modes
• Scene modes
Scene modes

• Nature
• Nature soft
• Nature vivid
• Flowers
• Portrait
• Portrait soft
• Baby mode
• Portrait enhancer
• Night
• Sunset
• Snow
• Beach
• Sport
• Fireworks

Sensitivity

• Auto
• Auto (Max ISO 400)
• Auto (Max ISO 800)
• Auto (Max ISO 1600)
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200
• ISO 6400 (up to 6MP)
• ISO 10000 (up to 3MP)

White Balance • Auto
• Fine
• Shade
• Fluorescent (daylight)
• Fluorescent (warm white)
• Fluorescent (cool white)
• Incandescent
• Custom
Image parameters

• Film simulation modes: Provia, Velvia, Soft, Portrait
• Color, Tone and Sharpness controls
• Dynamic range expansion

Continuous

• 3 fps, max 7 JPEG, 3 RAW (Top-3 or Final-3)
• 7 fps, 50 shots at 3MP
• 1 fps until card is full

Flash • Built-in pop-up
• Range (Auto ISO): 7.2 m (w), 3.8 m (t)
• Modes: Auto, On, Off, Slow Sync, all with Red-eye reduction option.
Storage • 25 MB internal memory
• SD/SDHC memory card (not included)
• xD-Picture Card (not included)
Viewfinder

• 0.2" electronic viewfinder (EVF)
• 200,000 pixels (each pixel shows R,G and B consecutively)
• Approx.100% coverage

LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 230,000 dots
• Approx. 100% coverage
Connectivity • USB 2.0 High speed
• A/V out (NTSC/PAL switchable)
Power • NP-140 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
• Charger included
Other features

• DPOF
• PictBridge
• Index view
• Histogram
• 2 and 10 sec self-timer
• Hardware-based Face Detection AF/AE

Optional accessories Leather case
Compact AC Power Adapter AC-84V
RR-80 Remote Release cable
Weight (no batt) 968 g (34 oz) inc memory card and batteries, 918g without.
Dimensions 133 x 94 x 150 mm (5.3 x 3.7 x 5.9 in)

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2008 dpreview.com and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey

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