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The Fuji FinePix S1500 is the latest incarnation of the very successful FinePix S1000fd. It is very SLR-like in appearance and the added bulk of the battery-holder/grip does give it an assured feeling in your hands. Of course, this can be a disadvantage, and if you want a camera that you can just slip in-and-out of your pocket, then maybe a slimmer compact should be considered.
The 12x optical zoom is excellent and it equates to 33-396mm in 35mm terms - and if this isn't enough, there is a 5.7x digital zoom feature too.
The menus are friendly and easy to navigate, and there are helpful explanatory prompts that appear on thew LCD screen when the mode-dial setting is changed.
There are 14 preset scenes to choose from, each setting the camera to its optimum settings for the given scenario, but on top of this, the camera can be used like an SLR in Shutter Priority or Aperture Priotity modes, giving the user much more control over the image then many compact cameras, which insist on doing everything for you. There is also an Automatic Scene Selection, that was not available on the previous model (the S1000fd), which is accessed via the mode-dial and selects the scene for you based on the conditions.
Annoyingly, the S1500 retains the sluggish response of its predecessor and, if anything, I would say it is slightly slower still.
The Panorama Mode is a nice feature and there are a wide range of resolution choices, some of which are enforced by the scene mode that is selected. Video is also available - 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 with mono sound.
Sensor-shift Image Stabilization has been added in the evolution from the previous model and this is accessible via a button on the top and applies across all modes; This is a vast improvement.
In the upgrade from S1000fd to S1500, I would have like to have seen the introduction of a dedicated rechargable battery but instead it retains the 4 x AA configuration of the previous model. Also, it would seem that support for XD memory cards has been dropped from this model, leaving a choice between SD and SDHC formats - and the 24MB internal memory remains unchanged.
There are several options available for continuous shooting but be aware that some of these will restrict the resolution of your pictures.
Also, there are a number of feature that may appeal to a more professionally minded user and that you might not expect to find on a digital compact, such as a histogram and a full range of ISO options - again, only available in certain modes/scenes.
By far the most useful addition to this model - in my opinion - is the Autofocus Tracking system, which allows the user to focus on a moving object and then the camera will keep it in focus as it moves around (providing it stays within the boundaries of the LCD display)
In summary, it is a seemingly natural progression from the S1000fd and, if you don't think you need the new Image Stabilization, Automatic Scene Selection or Focus Tracking features, then the S1000fd is still an option. The S1500 is an excellent camera for learning the basics of photography because you can start of with everything automated and then gradually take control of different aspects yourself as your confidnce grows. Of course, you could do that with an entry-level SLR, but not for this price. It is also nice to have a camera that produces quality pictures but is small and convenient enough to take to parties or on holiday.
40x Optical Zoom(24mm-960mm)** and Powerful Optical Image Stabilization- Capable of ... more
super-macro image at ranges as close as 1cm.- Lens shift image stabilization ensures that even hand-held shots are free from blur.16M BSI-CMOS High Image Quality and Fast autofocus, Quick response.16M BSI-CMOS sensor supports for sensitivities as high as ISO 12800, the high-sensitivity sensor makes even dark scenes bright for high-quality images. With autofocus speed of 0.3 sec.***, start-up time of 1.0 sec., a 0.5 sec. interval between shots and a continuous shooting speed of 10fps at full resolution (max.10 frames).FULL HD MOVIE with Stereo sound (1080i/60fps)Movie recording is as easy as taking pictures, with a dedicated Recording button to start recording instantly. The high resolution, 1080i movie capture at 60fps and slow-motion capture at 480fps*4 is superb when played back on HD TV screens.High Performance Shooting Function- The FinePix S8200 boast electronic viewfinders, making it easier to frame subjects and check focus in bright daylight conditions.- A zoom control is placed on the side of the lens barrel, letting you adjust zoom with your left hand while the index finger of your right hand rests on the shutter button, ready to take the shot.Easy Upload and SearchingShare pictures with friends and family, tagging pictures and movies for upload to FACEBOOK and YouTube(tm) right within your camera.
With an incredible focal range, impressive image quality and intuitive control, the ... more
Fujifilm FinePix S9400W Bridge Camera gives you versatile photography without the need to ever change lens. FUJINON lens Equipped with a FUJINON zoom lens with fast apertures of f/2.9 to f/6.5, the S9400W bridge compact allows you to take stunning macro close-ups all the way to distant subjects in sharp and detailed form. The 50x optical zoom lens features 17 elements in 12 groups while combining aspherical and ED elements to prevent aberration and produce superior quality photos. This multitalented lens lets you capture a broad range of shots with the ability to create gorgeous depth of field. The 5-Axis lens-shift image stabilisation technology ensures hand-held photography is blur-free. Camera control Bridge cameras give you unprecedented control with a comfortable and secure grip when shooting. Zoom adjustment is easy thanks to the side-level zoom control; use your left hand to zoom while your right index finger rests on the shutter, ready for that pivotal shot. A camera for all scenes With a high 16.2 megapixel resolution and BSI-CMOS image sensor, the FinePix S9400W captures bright, high quality stills and videos, even in low light. There are many versatile scene modes to help achieve stunning photos that are rich with detail and natural in colour tones. Select from Portrait, Landscape, Night, Macro and Auto for quick, easy, point and shoot photography. Capture breathtaking 360° motion panoramas images of that awe-inspiring landscape. Just sweep the camera across the scene and the camera will stitch the shot together for one seamless and beautifully creative panorama. Viewfinder The Fujifilm bridge camera offers excellent flexibility when framing shots through the electronic viewfinder. Frame the composition with enhanced visibility, even when at full 50x zoom. Full HD recording Record the moment as a Full HD movie and enjoy playback in pin-sharp detail on an HDTV via the mini HDMI connection. One touch recording gives you