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Fujifilm FinePix S100FS - Fujifilm FinePix S100FS

By Cliff Smith



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Fujifilm FinePix S100FS


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User Score:

The S9600 had pretty brisk performance, so the new model has a lot to live up to. It starts up in just over 2.5 seconds, and shuts down again even faster, pretty good for a super-zoom camera. Shot-to-shot time in single shot mode and maximum JPEG quality mode is a very respectable one frame a second, while in long-period continuous mode it can manage an equally respectable 0.8 seconds per shot. The S100FS has multiple continuous capture modes, including several bracketing modes, all with different shooting rates, but in the fast top-seven mode it can manage over two frames a second.

The autofocus system is fast for a super-zoom camera, although I have seen faster, especially on DSLRs. In good light and wide-angle zoom settings it focuses in a fraction of a second, although it does slow down somewhat in lower light and at longer zoom settings. It is still impressively quick for a contrast-detection system though, on a par with the best of the competition.

In terms of picture quality, there's no question that the S100FS in an impressive camera. For overall detail and clarity it comes closer to DSLR quality than any other bridge camera I've tried, and colour depth and high-ISO noise control are also very good. The big SuperCCD HR produces virtually no noise at 800 ISO, and usable images even at 3200 ISO, although it has to be said that the 3-megapixel 10,000 ISO setting is a bit of a gimmick. The only fly in the ointment is the lens quality. At the widest angle setting it does produce a fair amount of barrel distortion, but a more serious problem is the very visible chromatic aberration around the edges of the frame. The advantage of an interchangeable lens DSLR is that you can always save up for a better quality lens, but with the S100FS you're stuck with it. It is possible to apply some correction in Photoshop when converting from RAW mode, but this is a patch at best. Fortunately the problem is far less noticeable at longer focal lengths.

So far then the S100FS is doing well, but there is one final point that has to be made, and it could be the decisive factor in the success or failure of the S100FS. Fujifilm is advertising the camera as an alternative to a digital SLR, claiming that it provides an "all-in-one solution for photo enthusiasts … seeking the manual controls and functionality of a DSLR without the bulk, hassle and expense of additional lenses..."

Now I don't mind a bit of marketing hyperbole, in fact I expect it, however while I am very impressed by the S100FS, it's not really fair or reasonable to compare it to an SLR. As a camera it stands head and shoulders above every other bridge camera on the market, but even an entry-level DSLR will beat it in every important respect, including performance, features and image quality. The size of the sensor, the contrast detection AF system and the quality of the lens are simply not up to the standard of even basic DSLR systems. This is really the S100FS's only weakness, because it is currently selling for around £390, while you can buy a Sony Alpha A200 with an 18-70mm lens for £299, or a Nikon D40 with both an 18-55mm and 55-200mm for £438. Frankly, if I was looking to spend nearly £400 on a camera, I'd get a proper DSLR. If the S100FS drops in price to the level that the S9600 is at currently then it will be a bargain of galactic proportions, but right at the moment it's simply too expensive to compete.


The Fujifilm S100FS is a worthy successor to the S9600, and has superior handling, performance and image quality to any other super-zoom camera on the market, but comparing it to a real DSLR is a bit disingenuous. It is very expensive, more expensive even than an entry-level DSLR, and for all its qualities it doesn't quite compete on the same level.



July 8, 2008, 11:44 pm

I purchased the S100fs in early May, 2008. To say I am impressed is an understatement. If you would like to see - straight out of the camera images, have a look at : http://www.pixplanet.biz/Posti...

Ian Porter

October 6, 2008, 4:31 am

Very nice pictures Dave, they certainly look very impressive to me and are much better than Cliffs for evaluation. I really don't know why Cliff uses those model cars at all. I agree with Cliff though that this camera seems overpriced, I couldn't bring myself to pay over 𧷸 for it when I could buy a DSLR. I'll keep waiting for something radical to happen before giving up on my Fuji S7000 and Canon A560. Cheers, Ian

Shapour Va

October 22, 2008, 4:16 pm

I usually check all sites before purchasing in order not to be sorry after purchasing!By reading almost more than ten reviews I came to conclusion that this camera is realy a sophesticated great job of technology especially by implementing as the Fujifilm's Super CCD 's

In order to be more acquaited with the photos taken with this camera please have look at the galery of http://www.pbase.com/cameras/f....

I was really satisfied, what about you?

Shapour Vaezi Tehran Iran

Ian Dalgliesh

October 31, 2008, 4:33 am

I've just purchased an S100fs from Fuji's own website.It's Refurbished and on sale at 𧷷.99,less 10%,via myfuji,of which I an a member(membership free).I'll keep you posted as to how the pics turn out.

Tom Paul

October 31, 2008, 4:33 pm

Agree with Cliff - a brilliant camera but a touch expensive. BUT, Ian Dalgliesh is spot on - I too have just bought a "refurbished" one from Fuji UK" for under 𧷚 and at this price it makes much more sense. Simply cannot tell it from new, it's absolutely perfect and unmarked, and suspect it might be Fuji moving on stock while trying to avoid upsetting its retailers. This was at 10% off (use code P24OCTOBER) which expires 2nd November so you'll have to be quick!

Tim Mason

December 1, 2008, 8:24 pm

I actually bought a Sony a350 and was so dissapointed with the images I was getting, I took it back to the (indipendant) camera shop. Even with the Zeiss lense, it wasn't much better. The assistant suggested the s100fs and I have found it to be excellent. The only niggle is the maximum 'bulb' exposure of 30 seconds which is a bit limiting for night / movement photographs.

Michael Wildeman

January 3, 2009, 6:31 pm

can you explain how you got the 10% discount from Fuji guys? I have joined myfuji and can find no sort of discount scheme... cheers


Ian Dalgliesh

April 3, 2009, 1:16 am

Update:2/4/09:Look up homepage of www.fujifilm.co.uk.,there see photos on front page.The golden river with two swans is mine,taken with S100fs.


September 14, 2009, 11:00 pm

I currently have a lumix fz 28 and am already looking for an upgrade. I do mountain climbing and love landscape and wildlife photography. The thing is that I don't find myself ready (or wealthy enough) to upgrade to a dslr with a such a great zoom. The reason for the upgrade is that even though fz 28 is a great camera and has received great scores on the net, it somehow does not really satisfy me, especially when it comes to night photography.

I can get a Fujifilm FinePix S100FS for about 480$ here in Iran And could also get the new lumix fz38 for the same price (panasonic cameras cost a lot over here, don't know why). Which one do you guys think (especially those who have had this camera) would serve me better? would you call switching from fz 28 to s100 even an upgrade in image quality? note that I can get rid of my fz 28 for a good price (around 350$).

I would appreciate your help.


May 31, 2012, 9:16 pm

Still considered a great bridge camera? looking to buy a used one for £150 as this is my budget and new bridges for this price dont seem to come close.

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