Compared to... Canon EOS Rebel XT (350D)

Perhaps the biggest competition for high end 'super zoom' cameras is the budget DSLR (and in fact the S9000 is sold very much on the premise that it is a credible alternative to an SLR). Obviously we're talking about a lot more money (for the body and lenses to cover the 28-300 range), but not a ridiculous amount of money. So here, as an interesting comparison, are studio shots taken using the S9500 and the Canon EOS Rebel XT (350D) at each camera's lowest and highest setting (ISO 80 and 1600 for the S9000, ISO 100 and 1600 for the XT). Note that you should bear in mind that the EOS Rebel XT pictures were taken with a high quality 50mm prime lens - if you used an inexpensive zoom on the body you would expect to see slightly softer results.

Studio scene comparison (S9500 @ ISO 80, Rebel XT @ ISO 100)

  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500 Zoom: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
  • Canon EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT): Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority (F9), ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Parameter 1)
  • Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI.
Fujifilm FinePix S9500
Canon EOS Rebel XT
ISO 80, 1/40 sec, F5.6
ISO 100, 1/40 sec, F9
4,344 KB JPEG
2,882 KB JPEG
Noise, std dev: 2.4
Noise, std dev: 2.5

I think it's fair to say that at the lowest ISO setting the S9000 is doing a fairly good job against the SLR - especially when you remember that the Canon studio scene was shot with a 50mm F1.4 lens; if we'd used a cheaper zoom lens the results would have been much closer. The Rebel XT - like all SLRs - is producing a cleaner image (noise is slightly lower), and is capturing marginally more detail (though again this is due in no small part to the lens), but for standard prints the difference isn't so great as to make a massive difference.