Back in November 2005 I courted controversy by awarding the then-new Fujifilm FinePix S9500 a full 10/10 in every score category. I received emails and forum posts complaining that I was stupid to award such a high score, and some people on the forum of a well-known rival camera review site practically accused me of taking bribes from Fujifilm. In January 2007 controversy turned to outright scandal when I awarded Fuji's follow-up model, the FinePix S9600, the same full-marks score. Again I received angry emails and accusations of bribery.
However controversial, I stand by both of those review scores. In both cases I received many more compliments than complaints, including literally dozens of emails from readers who had bought one of these cameras based on my review, and felt compelled to write in and tell me that I was quite right to praise them so highly. The S9500 and S9600 were both outstanding cameras offering a great combination of features, performance, handling and results at an amazingly low price. The S9600 is still available for just over £200, and is still unbeatable value for money.
The S9600 was launched in August 2006, and while it was an advanced model for the time, two years in a long time in the digital camera market. For at least the past year there has been much speculation in the forums about how Fujifilm would follow up such a successful camera. Well the speculation can stop now because that successor is here at last in the shape of the FinePix S100FS. The big question is, can it live up to its illustrious predecessors?