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Fujifilm FinePix S1500 - Fujifilm FinePix S1500

By Cliff Smith



Our Score:


Not too surprisingly, the S1500's overall performance isn't much different to that of its predecessor. It's actually a little slower to start up than the S1000fd, in a little over two seconds, although it shuts down more quickly in about one and a half seconds. In single-shot mode it still has a shot-to-shot time of approximately three seconds, but at least it's consistent and can keep it up until the card is full. In long-period continuous shooting mode it averages approximately one frame per second, which is actually a little slower than the S1000fd. It's also not consistent, starting of faster but then slowing down after three or four shots. The S1500 also has several high-speed continuous shooting modes, including

The autofocus system is also very good under most conditions, focusing quickly and accurately even in low light conditions. Like the S1000fd the S1500's low-light performance is excellent, with a bright AF assist lamp and a very powerful flash. However some readers who bought the S1000fd did suggest that it had problems focusing at full zoom, so I tested this more thoroughly and in fact I did find that the S1500 also has difficulty in this area, sometimes taking two or three tries to focus correctly at full zoom. Annoyingly the camera beeps confirms focus in this situation even if it's actually badly out of focus, so you have to pay attention.

Image quality was one area where the S1000fd had a few issues, but several improvements seem to have been made for the S1500. Unsurprisingly it still has the same lens performance, with noticeable barrel distortion at wide angle and pincushion at telephoto, but providing decent corner-to-corner sharpness. It still has the same excellent image noise control, with good picture quality at 400 ISO and usable images even at 800. Dynamic range seems to be a bit better than the previous model, although maybe I've just seen too many 12MP cameras lately. Colours definitely aren't quite as strident in the default mode though. All in all the S1500 produced good results in a wide range of different situations, and was a lot of fun to use.


Additional features including sensor-shift image stabilisation, scene recognition and tracking AF, as well as some minor image quality tweaks make the S1500 a worthwhile upgrade over the S1000fd. Its compact size, decent build quality and comfortable handling make it a capable and versatile all-rounder and a good value alternative to more expensive travel cameras.

mick / LUMIX

May 19, 2009, 1:35 pm

I had a S1500 and was forced to send it back to QVC for a refund. There was a high level of purple fringing (chroma), but that was not the main problem. The camera could only be used with the sun behind me and on days when there was no scattered light. A lens hood is not supplied and it is not possible to fit one due to the design of the lens. There is no filter thread. The lens suffered from severe flare and the photos were useless. Why Fuji would sell this type of camera without a hood is beyond me. A phone call to Fuji UK confirmed that a hood is not available. The Fuji S1500 is the worse camera that I have used in 40 years plus. I obtained a (used) Panasonic FZ18 from a local dealer, what a difference !! Just to end this saga, I was that impressed with the Panasonic it got me thinking....what about the Panasonic G1 ? after hours of reading test reports and web photos/commments from users I now have a G1 on order! If you want a bridge camera then go for the current Panasonic FZ28, the Fuji S1500 simply does not make sense.

Cliff Smith

May 19, 2009, 6:36 pm

Hi Mick. That's interesting and a bit worrying to hear. Unfortunately the weather's been terrible here for the past week so I've not test the camera in bright sunlight, but you're quite right about it lacking a lens hood, which could be a problem.


May 19, 2009, 9:58 pm

Mm - I'm still using a FujiS5600 and, although it does have a filter ring, I never use a hood but sometimes have to shield the lens with my hand when the sun is very bright. It is certainly necessary more often with the S5600 than it was with my film SLRs......

I wonder how common this is.

Cliff Smith

May 20, 2009, 1:36 am

The design of any lightweight, compact zoom lens is a compromise between size, weight, optical quality and of course price. Zoom lenses in general, and compact zooms in particular, are all a lot more prone to lens flare and other optical problems than good quality SLR prime lenses.

mick / LUMIX

May 20, 2009, 2:41 am

Cliff, that is true enough,however,it is no excuse for Fuji not providing a lens hood when other cameras can do so at the same price. Unlike other bridge cameras the lens extends and retracts so it would be difficult (impossible ?) to design a hood. The lens is a poor design in the physical and optical sense. Fuji may well advertise / sell more than Panasonic but they are well behind in both build and photo quality.


May 23, 2009, 8:49 am

For an inexpensive ultrazoom, it's really pretty good. I like what I see of its picture quality. I think this is going to be a really big seller for Fuji.


August 8, 2009, 8:17 pm

mick, you are maybe right about the lack of the lens hood, but there is one thing that bothers me the most. You've compared S1500 with the Panasonic FZ18! FZ18 is a better camera, but you're not helping anyone with the choice, since Fuji is around 100 pounds cheaper! That is quite allot for someone like me and you can as well compare it to cannon markIII, I ask you what's the point of that? We all know there are much better cameras for more money, but you can't compare them if they are not in the same price range...

Anyway, if you have tested similar camera in the same price range, that you think is much better, it will be nice to share it with us.

Martin Smaling

September 1, 2009, 11:27 pm


I bought the Fuji S1500 just for fun and as a spare camera and I must say that I'm a little dissapointed by the image quality. When I compare the image quality with my Lumix FZ28, TZ4 and my Canon SX110IS, the sharpness, particular in the edges is poor. Also the colours are undersaturated in the standard mode en very oversaturated in the chrome mode. But autofocus, build quality, handling and autofocus are very good and that just for 169 Euro's here in Holland! So I think that after all the S1500 isn't so bad afterall, as long if you do not compare the picture quality with more expensive camera's. But I think the Canon SX110IS is the better choice because it is only a little more expensive, but has almost the same zoomrange, has a very good picture quality and also a manual mode (see the test here on trusted reviews). And probably the price of the SX110IS will drop because of the introduction of the SX120IS




September 6, 2009, 3:33 pm

Hi All,

I bought this camera two weeks back. At first I thought it’s a bit non-user friendly, but when I started using it I felt awesome. I would like to explain why.

First of all I am not a professional photographer and I don’t play much (u can say never at all) with the ISO settings and other advanced stuff. In this camera I can change ISO settings if I want.

There are 3 options when you take a picture in auto mode:

1. The normal photo

2. Finepix photo

3. B&W photo (Black and white)

As option 2. above Finepix option focuses more deeply to the colors. You can actually really feel the colors. I think its because this options brightens the picture, anyway I like this option very much.

I took my S1500 out during night and tried. The night mode was just cool, the fotos seemed clearer than our naked eyes.

I have to try the other settings outside at different hours of the day, right now am not free during the days till the end of this month.

As a fair conclusion I would like to say that I love my S1500 and take with me everywhere just as a pet. It’s a bit out of hand as what else you expect from a DSLR model. The first camera I used was an Olympus FE320 which could be taken in your pocket but the fotos weren’t upto my satisfaction. It was all blurry images I got after my one month vacation in india.

Hope this camera meets up to my satisfaction in my next vacation to Istanbul…


September 11, 2009, 10:36 am


So I just bought the S1500 and I must say, although I'm no expert photogtapher, I am a little disappointed as other buyers in the picture quality. Another thing that is frusrating me is that I can't figure out how to access the shooting options to adjust the sharpness, white balance and so forth. If there is anyone who can assist me, I would greatly aprreciate it thanks!


November 2, 2009, 8:54 pm

Hi, i am considering changing cameras at present I have a Kodak c713 which has been great but did not like the water of the med, i am thinking of either the fujifilm s1500 or Pentax K-m, both get good reviews but which is the best?

Any help is greatfully recieved.

Ray 5

December 23, 2009, 7:10 am

Awesome camera for the price!!

I purchased this camera as a replacement for one that had stolen from my wife. All I can say about it is "AWESOME", we really enjoy all the features. For those of you reading the bad reviews, just remember like any digital camera you have to read the instructions. Generally the photo quality isn't because of the camera but more the person using it. We've used it on trips, school activities, and sporting events. The only thing that I find needing improvement is the motor hum on video, but then again I didn't purchase a video camera!


January 9, 2010, 11:20 pm

I bought a fujifilm finepix s1500 some days ago and i think that the difference point of view between users are users that usually use automatic cameras and user that like manual mode camera, for those who like automatic digital cameras which do everything automatically for them it will be a nightmare using the s1500 and for advance users that like manual camera and like to have control over their picture quality its a dream camera.

Personally me i really like this camera cause i have almost total control, example iso setting which varies between 64 to 6400 which is great, the flash control strong flash and close shot flash.

It has a good image quality in low light shots, rapid to use, nice view finder.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages.


1. When shooting in the dark view finder or lcd display is poor

2. Poor video quality


1. When shooting in dark more open the flash the space in the bottom of the flash can be used as a 3rd view finder to aim your shot hehehe.

2. Sharp image quality depends on the settings you put on it.

3. High quality images in low light

4. Nice flash, and nice control over flash

5. Easily connects to computer as mass storage so it like using a card reader or pendrive

7. Face detection works fine

8. The one i like the most on it is the panorama shot .. really great this function

9. Macro shots close object work great if you know how to tune it well.

10. Good control over iso setting

11. Focus technology great


My personal conclusion - if you buy this camera and you want to take the best shot with it. Don't hesitate to lean how to use it on manual mode and fine tune it for the type of shot you want and the type of image that you are looking for.

Have fun using the s1500


Mauritius Island


April 11, 2010, 12:35 am

Question for Fujifilm S1500 owners (and this is something I would like to see included in all digital camera reviews): how big an SD-Card do I need if I buy a S1500? Put another way - what is the average file size on the SD-Card of a jpeg picture taken at the camera's highest resolution? Or, typically how many pictures taken at highest resolution can you get on, say, a 4GB card?


June 18, 2010, 9:35 am

Hi, I bought the s1500 after damaging a s7500 (unavailable now). I used 4 rechargeable batteries in the s7500 and they lasted a long time, however the new camera just eats them up and I need to carry 3 x 4 fully charged batteries to not get caught short. The view finder is also very blurred with color distortion. Anyone else found these probs and should I send it back?


August 7, 2010, 2:43 am

I have answered my own question: I bought an 8GB card and it is way OTT unless you want to take movies or expect to make heavy use of burst mode. A 10MP picture takes approx 5MB on the card. A 2GB card would have been fine for my purposes.

I cannot identify with Margie's comment above. The batteries supplied with my camera lasted through a week's holiday and several social occasions before expiring. One good thing about the S1500 - I find the flash largely superfluous - this camera takes great pictures indoors. I suspect it was using the flash that ate up the battery life in my old camera.

Rachel Fielder

October 20, 2010, 5:10 pm

Hi, I have been looking into buying a camera which is better than the basic £40 digital jobby that I have at the moment. The main reason is because I am coming up to a photography module on my course and am looking to get a more manual camera to get more accustomed to tweaking and playing with functions. This specific model is now rather "cheap" compared to other models. Is it worthwhile really? As there are a lot of mixed reviews about it.


July 28, 2012, 12:27 am

I have the Finepix S1500, I bought back in 2009, that has worked great until last 6 months. The batteries only last a few hours and sometimes less. What is going on? Does the on/off slide wear out and not close down the camera?

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