The X-S1 from Fujifilm is designed for competent photographers looking for class-leading image quality and a versatile long zoom lens.
Offering a zoom range of 26x or 24-624mm (35mm equivalent) it caters perfectly for every photographic need and features a superbly bright f/2.8 maximum aperture at the wide-angle setting. Furthermore the clever Intelligent Digital Zoom feature doubles the maximum optical zoom to 52x or 24-1248mm without losing any of the image quality, meaning you can get even closer to your subjects without moving a muscle.
Optically, the lens comprises no fewer than 17 glass elements, which includes four aspherical elements and two ED lenses to deliver images with superb edge-to-edge sharpness and amazing clarity. The lens’ construction is first-class too, featuring metal cams for smooth zoom control and fast, precise framing. Despite the huge zoom range, the X-S1 is still more than capable when it comes to capturing subjects close to the camera. In standard mode, the zoom focuses down to 30cm, but by selecting Super Macro Mode, users can get down to just 1cm for stunning, frame-filling close-up images. What’s more, the lens’ aperture is made up of nine blades for creative out of focus highlights.
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The X-S1 features the same 2/3-inch 12 megapixel EXR CMOS sensor as the much-lauded X10; ensuring users are assured of high quality images regardless of the lighting conditions. The unique EXR CMOS technology designed by Fujifilm allows the user to easily switch between three modes depending on the lighting conditions – or leave the camera to make its own choice in the Auto EXR mode. Switching between the modes changes the performance of the sensor for an impressive level of versatility. The High Resolution option is perfect in bright conditions or when the very best picture quality is the primary aim. Wide Dynamic Range mode should be chosen in scenes of high contrast when the user wants to get details in both shadow and highlight areas of an image, while the High Sensitivity & Low Noise option should be selected for optimum results in low light conditions. Coupled to the EXR CMOS sensor is the speedy EXR processor, which offers a minimal shutter lag of just 0.01sec and a high speed continuous shooting capability of seven frames-per-second at full resolution (Large JPEG) or a rapid 10 frames-per-second at six megapixel resolution (Medium JPEG). Which means no matter how fast the subject is moving you’ll be sure to catch it in the frame.
The X-S1 is equally capable when it comes to shooting movies. Full High Definition (1920 x 1080) video can be shot with stereo sound at 30 frames-per-second then saved in the H.264 format which is currently one of the most commonly used formats for the recording, compression, and distribution of high definition video.
Power is nothing without control and the X-S1 offers a superb level of functionality whether users want to make picture taking as simple as using a compact camera or as involved as a fully-manual digital SLR. For point and shoot simplicity, the X-S1 will assess the subject and then select the relevant scene mode for the perfect result, automatically switching the EXR CMOS sensor. This very clever camera can not only establish the type of scene being photographed, it can also calculate if an image contains a person, features backlighting or has any subject movement. ISO settings are taken care of too by the Auto ISO mode, which selects the optimum setting between ISO 100 and 3200. Those after a more advanced level of ISO control can select up to ISO 12800
Any photographers wishing to roll their sleeves up and get fully involved in the picture taking process are also well catered for with the X-S1. The camera offers a full range of conventional shooting functions (program/aperture-priority/shutter-priority/manual), plus users can also fine tune levels of colour, image sharpness and tone. Furthermore, the X-S1 provides no fewer than four auto bracketing options, eight Film Simulation and white balance functions and a One touch Raw file format.
The X-S1 caters for those used to framing pictures on the back of an LCD and also offers a powerful combination of high quality electronic viewfinder to ensure composing and viewing images is quick and simple, regardless of the lighting conditions. The 0.47-inch electronic viewfinder (EVF) features 1.44 million pixels for superb image clarity and has a wide viewing area of 26 degrees to reduce eye strain. The EVF is impressively bright, too, making it easy to check settings or adjust focus manually. On the rear of the X-S1 is a high quality tiltable three-inch LCD. It features 460,000 pixels making it easier for users to view menus, assess exposure accuracy and view images. The rear LCD also offers a useful clever Sunny Day mode, which overcomes the perennial problem of being able to view the screen in bright conditions. So next time you’re on the beach with the children you’ll be able to create some great memories, for years to come.
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