Overview of the Fujifilm X-S1 Camera
It tends to be more and more common now that Fixed-lens cameras are included with large zoom lenses and large image sensors in the digital camera marketplace. This is because camera manufacturers want to expand the segment of the market between interchangeable lens cameras and budget-priced thin cameras. With these large fixed-lens cameras, there are a lot of great features, but the price is pretty high, as high as $750 or even $1,000.
Obviously, compared to a DIL or DSLR camera for the beginning level in terms of the price, these cameras with fixed-lens included cost similarly. Based on this comparison, the price of this camera should be lowered a little bit or it had better a really good model to have the competition advantage.
In my Fujifilm X-S1 review, the camera is really nice in both the two aspects. The performance of the X-S1 is very strong, which helps you obtain great photos while you can make best use of the ultra-zoom performance. And because recently, the price of this model is lowered, the values it brings shall make you satisfied. It definitely deserves to be one of the best cameras in 2012.
Summary of the Fujifilm X-S1 Camera
- The resolution is 12.0 megapixels
- The optical zoom is 26X manual zoom (24-624mm)
- The camera has a 3.0-inch LCD with the 460,000 pixel resolution and a 0.47-inch electronic viewfinder of the 1,440,000 pixel resolution.
- The maximum image size is 4000 x 3000 pixels
- The camera use a Rechargeable Li-Ion battery
- Dimensions are 5.3 x 4.2 x 5.9 inches
- The camera weights 33.3 ounces (with battery and memory card included)
- The 2/3 in image sensor uses the CMOS EXR technology
- A full HD 1080p movie mode is supported
- 26X manual zoom lens brings images of the good sharpness
- The response times are very fast
- There are both an electronic viewfinder and a tiltable LCD which are handy for shooting images
- Pop-up flash works great for shooting low-light photos
- Battery life is outstanding
- The X-S1 will bring you a great value if its price is lowered
- Menu structure is not well organized
- There are two many buttons which make inexperienced photographers confuse
- Really large camera body won’t attract everyone
- Camera can be a little challenging to hand hold steadily in low light or when shooting movies
Detailed Review of the Fujifilm X-S1 Camera
Whether a digital camera has included how many great features, the image quality always remains the most important aspect of any models. Even when you possess the fastest camera in the world, it is meaningless if it produces lousy images.
Fortunately, you will be glad to see the great image quality with the Fujifilm X-S1, for both photographs shot with inadequate light or outdoor. It’s the large 2/3-inch (0.67-inch) CMOS image sensor which contributes to a lot of the success of the X-S1. The image sensor is a bit larger than many other ones among the current point-and-shoot cameras.
You can easily shoot nice photos over a distance with the large 26X zoom lens while the image quality of portrait photos remains great. The image with the X-S1’s lens is very sharp. And it’s possible to select the option of doing the final sharpening of the images with a manual focus ring, which is a very nice feature. Especially, the performance of the autofocus is perfectly good most of the time. However, it was nice to have that manual focus option for shooting photos in occasional really tricky scenes.
Because there are a lot of control options available with the X-S1, the images can be tweaked while you’re shooting them to meet your exact needs. The RAW format is also available, in which there is more versatility in trying to make your images look nicer.
Another advantage is that you can use the pop-up flash unit which is located above the large zoom lens to have the images of a high quality when shooting them with the flash. The centered positioning of this flash is nice. Besides, the pop-up flash has a good angle to the scene.
One unique aspect of the X-S1 is that it has a manual zoom lens, in which you can turn a zoom ring to move the X-S1 within its 26X zoom range. It is very interesting to use this feature and you will think about the old 35mm film cameras with manual zoom rings included, too.
Not only bringing fun, but the ability to turn the zoom ring manually also gives you two additional advantages. First, the speed of moving through the entire zoom range is much faster than almost any zoom motor mechanism that I’ve seen, which just accounts for about one second. Second, the battery life will be better when you twist the zoom ring manually, rather than having to use a zoom motor mechanism. Especially, the X-S1 has the best battery life ever among digital cameras that I have seen. You can shoot up to almost 500 photos per battery charge and this is a really powerful model.
As far as photographers often concern about the X-S1’s response times, the performance of this camera is fast. The startup is fast and you will encounter almost no shutter lag. The responses times between shots are very fast too. Besides, you can make the best use of multiple burst modes. The performance of this camera is even greater than you may expect for such a camera in this price range.
There is a large mode dial included with the camera. Consequently, it is very easy to select the shooting mode that you want to use.
The movie modes are also nice and the camera can shoot in full 1080p HD video mode. There are a lot of options for controlling the video as you record, including the ability to get full access to the manual zoom lens. A tripod is highly recommended because it is a little hard to hold the camera steadily in your hands while shooting videos.
As I have mentioned from the beginning, the X-S1 is a huge camera. Because the weight is up to about 2 pounds, I highly recommend you to use a tripod for holding it firmly. Perhaps the number of people who are interested in such a large camera is lowered, but if you are a fan of the old 35mm SLR film cameras, this model seems to be similar to those types of cameras in terms of size and bulk.
If you are finding a camera which is available in many color options, this is not really the one for you. The only color with the X-S1 camera is black, with no trim color. There was a rubberized grip on this model’s body and lens, including a large right handgrip, so you can find it easy to hold and use this camera.
It is not difficult at all to set up the camera to work exactly in the way you want because there are many buttons on the back and top panels. But it will take a bit of time to find out about the buttons if you are just an inexperienced photographer. For beginners, it may be a bit confusing at the beginning.
The camera has a very nice LCD screen with a high resolution. It can be tilted up to 90 degrees, so you can easily shoot photos in odd angles. Because sometimes, some problems happen with glare, it’s great to find the available electronic viewfinder with this camera. And the interesting thing is when you lift the camera to your eye to use the viewfinder, the activated screen shall be automatically switched from the LCD to the viewfinder.
However, the menu structure with the X-S1 is a little odd and the on-screen menus seem not to be well organized. Due to this odd organization, it is not easy at all to look for the exact command that you want to use. This seems to be a popular issue with Fujifilm cameras of late.
Fortunately, thanks to the mode dial and all of command buttons available, perhaps you will not have to use the on-screen menus frequently. While the odd arrangement of the menu makes you most concerned, you can find it comfortable to handle the camera, which is a nice point.
If the high price tag does not matter to you, the X-S1 is a great model to consider. If you can find the camera anywhere under the MSRP of $799, the X-S1 is really a great camera at a great value.