The Fujifilm S2500HD is virtually two cameras image quality-wise, as the wide angle and top end of the zoom produce drastically different results. At the wide angle the dynamic range is relatively decent, getting the majority of the highlights and shadowing without ditching too much detail.
Involve the zoom and the range is narrowed considerably, favouring the mid tones and losing the extreme ends of the scale to under and over exposure. Using such long magnification means this kind of performance can be expected, but annoyingly the stabilisation doesn’t have much effect, even when on a tripod, making the likelihood of getting a sharp image bereft of motion blur quite slim.
Pictures tend to be quite soft at this range as well, and the focus is neither intelligent or rapid enough to keep up with anything fast moving. Noise starts to creep in at the ISO 800 point, which is quite impressive for a bridge camera, and Fuji reign in the pixel smoothing so going north of that setting doesn’t lead to an oil painting. Thankfully colour is quite impressive in the right lighting conditions, and flesh tones come out a touch duller than would be flattering to the subject, but at least keeps things on an even keel. Essentially the images are relatively decent for a compact, and certainly above the majority of the bridge cameras.
The Fuji S2500HD is a well built, decent looking camera which is extremely straightforward to use. It’s a shame the image stabilisation and colour gamut isn’t quite up to spec with the rest, as the image quality is the only real fly in the ointment.