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Fujifilm FinePix S9500 review




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Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9500


Our Score:


The dividing line between digital SLRs and fixed-lens cameras has been getting pretty blurred lately, with entry level SLRs getting progressively cheaper and taking on many of the easy-to-use features of snapshot cameras, while high-end fixed-lens cameras get ever more capable and sophisticated. The new FinePix S9500 from Fujifilm is the camera that finally erases that dividing line altogether, and provides the perfect choice for those who want the best of both worlds.

This camera looks, handles and performs like an SLR, and has the picture quality to match, but with a price tag of just £403.00 it is over £100 cheaper than the lowest priced SLR on the market. With its huge 28-300mm equivalent (10.7x) zoom lens permanently attached it avoids the hassle of carrying lots of extra equipment, as well as eliminating the one big problem that digital SLR owners don’t like to talk about: dust on the sensor.

I have a digital SLR myself, and I’ve had to have the CCD professionally cleaned twice. Every time I change lenses there’s a chance that dust will get inside, and no amount of blowing with canned air will shift all of it. Having used the S9500 for a little over a week, experienced its fantastic handling and performance and seen the sort of image quality of which it is capable, I’m planning to sell my SLR and get one of these instead. The 28-300mm zoom range matches the capabilities of all the lenses I have for my SLR, and it has plenty of other features that I personally would find enormously useful.

In both size and design the S9500 resembles an SLR far more than a fixed-lens camera. It is quite large, with a comfortable sculpted handgrip, a big electronic viewfinder and a pop-up flash. The 1.8in LCD screen can hinge up 90 degrees and down 45 degrees, handy for waist-level or overhead shooting. The camera is powered by four AA batteries housed inside the handgrip, their weight giving it a nice balance despite the bulk of the lens. The body is made of plastic over a metal chassis, and although there are a few creaks if you squeeze it hard, on the whole it looks and feels solid and capable.

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June 10, 2008, 2:55 am

Fuji S9500.

If you can find a pre-owned unit, it is well worth the effort.

This camera offers so much more than the pocket 'super zooms', and should be seriously considered against the more expensive true DSLRs. This is not a camera for the 'point and shoot' brigade.

Find a specifications list for this camera, and then compare it's abilities against the price. You'll be surprized how much is packed into this unit.

Rich 2

January 29, 2009, 6:27 am

A serious piece of kit at a very reasonable price!

Although this doesn't offer some of the more refined capabilities of a DSLR, it has a few tricks of its own. Video mode with on-the-fly zoom, dual storage media (CF & xD) and a massive 28-300mm (10.7x) zoom lens which negates the need to carry around a host of lenses for different situations. Time spent changing a lens and the moment may be gone...

I have to say I've been thoroughly impressed by this offering from Fuji, well worth it for the money and truly head and shoulders above the "Point and click" range of pocket zooms.

Doug Sinnott

March 23, 2009, 4:38 pm

I have just bought an almost new one off Ebay,to replace my highly regarded Fuji S7000,and have found it an excellent replacement.

It's a lot quicker to start up and focus,has a lot more features,and the lens is much more useful.

Admittedly,my Nikon D40 is a bit quicker overall,but it's only 6MP,and a lot heavier to lug around with the standard 18-55mm lens,and the 55-200 VR Nikon lens.

The Fuji combines both these lenses in a compact,well built package,and so is more likely to come with me when I go out for the day.

My S7000 produced some super prints,and the S9500 seems even better,and I think that the latest Fuji super zooms just don't seem to offer the picture quality of either the S7000,or the S9500.

Who really needs "face detection" anyway?

Anyone with a bit of know how should be able to take a decent portrait,or group picture

when needed.However,"anti-shake" is very useful,and Fuji's way of doing it is not as good as my little Panasonic FX35,but still copes quite well.

Because the S9500 copes well with high ISO's,it gets away with boosting it to counter any shake,and increasing the shutter speed.

All-in all a great camera,and if you shop around you can get it at a bargain price!

Doug Sinnott

April 24, 2009, 2:00 am

A little postscript to my review!.

I am finding that focussing at the longer zoom(above 200mm)can be a problem in indifferent lighting,sometimes "beeping" to indicate the lens has focussed,but the screen shows otherwise,and, occasionally, just won't focus at all!

Settings below 200mm seem fine,and wide angle is no problem at all,but I do seem to be getting slightly more out of focus,or blurred,images with the S9500.

It could have a focussing problem,I suppose,as I did buy it second hand,but it is in excellent condition otherwise.

They also seem to all need sharpening before printing.

I don't recall any problems focussing with the S7000,and I even think the images seemed that more vibrant,especially the macro pictures.

The S9500 images do need a bit more work on them it seems,but I will perservere,because the S9500 is so quick to start up,the batteries do last a lot longer,and it has a great lens,much more useful than the 6x zooom on the s7000,and has more useful features.

But time will tell,and meanwhile I have begun to appreciate what an excellent camera my Nikon D40 is!


June 14, 2009, 6:24 pm

I have had a Fuji S9500 since new (at least 3 or 4 years ago), I have found it to be a brilliant camera and so versatile. The results are equal if not superior than those I get from my DSLR's (Nikon D100, Sigma SD14, Olympus 500E), after much heavy use and many thousands of shots, it has finally developed a fault, although it works fine still on fully auto mode it will not allow the change of settings of aperture/speed in manual mode. Despite it costing me over £97.50 to have it fixed by Fuji, I think that is a price worth paying for such a brilliant camera. I also have an old Fuji S602 Prozoom, which despite its age still works fine and delivers great picture quality despite only being a 3 megapixel camera, the only downside is the long shutter lag, but then it is old technology. The S7000 I owned for a year or two I sold on ebay as I found it to be a bit of a dog compared to the S602 and S9500 ... I wasn't very happy with it at all, the quality and build seemed inferior and having a minimum aperture of F8 compared to F11 on the S602 and S9500 compounded my feeling that the S7000 had only been bought out as a stop gap by Fuji.

I have the box with my beloved S9500 sitting here beside me as I'm writing this, all packed up and ready to be sent back for repair ...... I shall really miss it while it is away.

Cameron Fuji S9500

October 9, 2009, 5:41 pm

I need help please Cliff! The S9500 that i bought has stopped working, it makes a turning on sound but no display lights up and you cannot take a picture. The Jessops guy said it's a dead duck, and i'm really bemused as to what the problem could be a proffessional photographer has looked at it and he had no clue. Please help, I bought this camera from ebay and met up with the chap he showed it me working and i wasn't overly immpressed, however when i started taking close up pictures and focusing and dragging away i was compelled to learn more about photography by doing it more and more. I bought it as a birthday present for my wife who loves "fudgey" film cameras. She has always wanted one and i had enough money to get one. Of course i played around with it to see if it was as good as Cliff says, and it really is. But it's stopped. I bought it in August 09 and it hasn't worked since Sep 09, it was second hand and it worked for a month, it was when the batteries died, i recharged them, to upload the photos using the data cable to the laptop - it didn't work and now i have a really expensive paperweight. I'm gutted and i need advice please.


December 4, 2009, 1:21 pm

Hi Cameron, I have had the same problem with my S9500, even though the rechargeable batteries are showing charged they would only allow me to view pictures already taken. Please try buying some standard Alkaline bateries and see if they will allow your camera to work. Did for mine...

GTown Surfer

December 27, 2010, 10:10 pm

Hi there! I just found someone selling one of these cameras for �? I realise that this camera has been around for over 5 years now but it would be my first camera and I don't need anything professional! Is it still worth the price? Ill be mostly taking shots of surfers so it needs a fast shutter exposure, thanks a million!

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