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56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent value for money with some nice features.
The S9500 is a good camera all round for the price. Some people seem to have trouble with picture quality so there may be a quality control issue. The pictures are really very good. Images taken at 1600 ISO are quite noisey though, but this shouldn't be such a surprise. Up to about 400ISO there isn't really any significant noise, which is good news. In this respect the...
Published on 6 Sep 2006 by J. Spashett

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77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My S9500 Review...
I purchased my S9500 after weighing up all the other options out there (well, most of them). I wanted an SLR-like camera with first and foremost a good/great zoom range. Second to that I wanted manual control over shutter speed, aperture etc whilst still being able to stick it into Auto mode when I was feeling lazy, and lastly I was on a fairly tight budget (around the...
Published on 15 Nov 2006 by Steve Picler


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56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent value for money with some nice features., 6 Sep 2006
By 
J. Spashett "Jason_S" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix S9500 Digital Camera - Black (9MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 1.8 inch LCD (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
The S9500 is a good camera all round for the price. Some people seem to have trouble with picture quality so there may be a quality control issue. The pictures are really very good. Images taken at 1600 ISO are quite noisey though, but this shouldn't be such a surprise. Up to about 400ISO there isn't really any significant noise, which is good news. In this respect the camera does better than most others.

Many of features of dSLR camera are to be found on the FinePix. There are no real 'show stopping' problems - but this camera isn't a more expensive dSLR so don't assume that you'll get the very high quality that they produce.

Traditional image stabilasation is missing from this camera, and some people may find this a drawback for telephoto shots. FujiFilm appear to be trying to push high ISO CCD technology to address this, rather than use the more usual Optical - Gyro lens correction technology. - High ISO speeds have the drawback of more image noise, but also have the advantage of being able to take moving objects without bluring -- somthing that traditional lens stabilisation can't help with at all.

All in all a good buy. There is one thing, however, that people might want to check on before buying. There is reportedly a problem with mechanical failure of the 'command dial' after 3 - 4 months of operation. I don't know if this defect has been fixed or not in newer batches.
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72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't spend more on a DSLR . ., 31 Aug 2006
By 
Mr. H. Worf (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix S9500 Digital Camera - Black (9MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 1.8 inch LCD (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
.. unless you are a pro (wildlife) photographer. But even then the lack of mirror noise might be a bonus? This camera is simply brilliant. I have no idea where the comments about low quality pictures come from - I can only think the other users must have set 1600 ISO and underexposed one or two stops; that does lead to a lot of noise. Or they used alkaline batteries (always a no no). Or perhaps the xD cards were faulty? And remember a 9m pixel photograph is only 1.8x the size of a 3m pixel one.
The first thing I did was to take more than 40 test shots of the same scene using a tripod and cable release, at 50mm 135 equivalent and 200mm 135 equivalent. ISO ratings were 80 to 3200 (1600 -1EV) and capture was RAW, 9F and 9N jpeg. Prints were done with Qimage professional on Epson paper with a Canon printer. Colours, exposure and levels of detail are all very good or excellent. Colour accuracy has in particular always been a Fuji strong point, and this camera is no exception. There is a little noise at 1600 ISO, and quite a lot pushed to 3200, but I would expect that. Given that most images will be captured at 80 to 400 ISO this is not going to be an issue. The zoom range is staggering, both in terms of quantity (28mm to 600mm using 2x digital zoom) and quality. And a minimum macro of just 1cm. I would only use RAW sparingly due to the after shot processing fag, using 9F jpeg for everyday pictures. The range and quality of this camera, including full manual control, make this a truly staggering value for money package, as well as the most capable non DSLR I have used, by a country mile.
Minuses seem petty in terms of the VFM of this camera as a stand alone. The supplied xD card is for demo purposes only - you need a 512 or 1 meg card. Use the supplied batteries in your torch, you need 2000 plus Nimhs. The supplied RAW software is rubbish, download s7raw (if you use Photoshop there may be file format issues) which is freeware and will edit and convert fuji RAF files.

If you don't try this camera you may regret it.

Update - now had this brilliant camera for 3 months. There is virtually no shutter lag. The high res video option makes it a realistic emergency video camera (although only with mono sound). You get video that bears up well after conversion to DVD - my TV is 107cm. As with other reviewers I am still learning all of the ropes, but remain utterly impressed. I have got 2x1gb cards in - an xD and compact flash. I find myself using mostly the 400 ASA setting on either A,S or P and get clear images virtually free of noise. The flash is a marvel - absolutely no red eye even without the red-eye reduction setting (which is therefore completely pointless). The normal light setting in lieu of flash also works very well under artificial light.
Negative points when compared to a DSLR:
1.the limit F stop range - I would prefer if it was greater than f2.8 to f8, but this is of little practical impact for an amateur like myself not necessarily seeking huge depth of field.
2.the speed of writing to the cards when using continuous shooting. I rarely take more than 4 continuous shots at a time, so again this is not a serious drawback for me.

I still carry my (also very good)little A500 everywhere I can't lug the S9500; I agree with other reviewers that the S9500 is not a pocket camera by any stretch of the imagination.
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An impressive piece of kit, 20 Nov 2005
This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix S9500 Digital Camera - Black (9MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 1.8 inch LCD (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
This is a truly versatile camera. Whether you are a family snaps person, or a serious amateur taking portraits with studio flash, the combination of the S9500's fifth-generation 9MP sensor and the 28 to 300mm (equivalent) zoom lens provides something for everyone.
For the serious amateur, there is more than enough control with the Program and Manual modes. Auto-exposure and autofocus are perfectly adequate. Ergonomics are very good. Image quality is excellent.
If you are looking for Image Stabilisation, this camera doesn't have it (the anti-blur setting merely sets a faster shutter speed). But hey, if you're going to be regularly using the telephoto capability, you could always invest in a monopod/tripod.
My only real gripe is the FinePixViewer software that comes bundled with the camera, which frankly lets the side down. Be aware that even the most minor manipulation of an image will be subject to significant JPEG compression. For example, a simple rotate / or slight crop of an image can reduce the filesize from 2.2MB (for a shot taken at 9MP Normal) to 0.5MB (clearly negating the benefit of buying a quality camera in the first place). Until Fujifilm offer us an upgrade of this software, you will need to use some other image manipulation software (e.g. Photoshop, etc.) if retaining the highest quality is important to you.
The bottom line is if you are a serious amateur about to buy your first decent digital camera, this is well worth considering for under £500. To match the sensor resolution and the focal length range in 'DSLR land' (don't underestimate the cost of those lenses...) could easily put you into £1500+ territory.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice camera, 24 Nov 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix S9500 Digital Camera - Black (9MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 1.8 inch LCD (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
Had this camera just over a month now. Got it as a replacement for my Fuji 602Z. The S9500 is great. Pictures are sharp, colour is also great. Can't really fault it's picture quality. The menu system takes some navigating and getting used to, but once you've got a handle on it you can get it doing most things you want.
I noticed a previous review only gave it one star for dodgy picture quality, from reading various forums dotted around the web it would appear that Fuji have had some quality control issues and that some of these cameras have got out into the shops. So if you're thinking of buying this camera be aware of that, and send it back if you're not completely satisfied.
Hopefully you'll get a good one and enjoy it as much as I am enjoying mine.
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77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My S9500 Review..., 15 Nov 2006
By 
Steve Picler (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix S9500 Digital Camera - Black (9MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 1.8 inch LCD (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
I purchased my S9500 after weighing up all the other options out there (well, most of them). I wanted an SLR-like camera with first and foremost a good/great zoom range. Second to that I wanted manual control over shutter speed, aperture etc whilst still being able to stick it into Auto mode when I was feeling lazy, and lastly I was on a fairly tight budget (around the 300 area) so I couldn't exactly spend out on a 800 Canon! The S9500 fitted my needs perfectly on paper and offered all of the above and more - like the tilting LCD screen - fantastic!, movie recording - very nice and a manual zoom lens - nice touch, AND not forgetting the 9MP sensor - impressive!
After recieving the S9500 and switching it on I was confident I'd made a good choice. It was nice and solid, very well made and easy to use - I was delighted with my choice, especially when I went straight out into the garden and tried out the super-zoom lens - it was superb.
I started taking picture after picture, trying out the zoom range, testing the super-macro mode, adjusting the LCD tilt-screen and I was genuinely delighted with the camera - the pictures looked great (on the LCD screen).
Although after the initial excitement had worn off things started to go slightly downhill... I noticed that the camera had occasional difficulty focusing when it was at full zoom, not too bad outside but quite poor indoors and as the afternoon light started to fade focusing indoors at full zoom became very poor (slow and non-existent at times) - the pictures were blurred and colours were flat.
So I went back outside to make the most of the early evening with my S9500 and took some shots of various things in my garden. Focusing became okay again outside but that was made secondary to the fact that after uploading the pictures onto my computer I quickly noticed that the shots taken in fairly low light (and I'm talking FAIRLY low - like a slightly overcast morning) were terribly noisy. They looked bitty, messy and as if they'd been taken with an 80 compact camera. Even after putting it in Manual mode and adjusting the ISO and shutter speed etc pictures were still appearing noisy, flat and quite poor overall.
For me this was a terrible shame as I really wanted to love the camera, but the more pictures I took and the more I viewed them on the PC the more I became extremely disappointed with the overall picture quality - unless the picture was taken outside in the afternoon sunshine it was poorly focused, very flat, very noisy and lacking any sharp detail.
Maybe I expected too much for the price and maybe I'm being over critical, but for me if a camera can only take decent pictures outside in glorious sunshine then it lacks the versatility and performance I require to take my camera anywhere (morning, noon and night) and achieve great photos.
This is only my opinion but it is an honest review. If you're just looking for a super-zoom camera that takes decent pictures then go for this, but if you're a keen photographer looking to move up to SLR and SLR-like cameras then I would guess that the S9500 will disappoint you when you see the results. I would save your money and buy a Nikon D50 or a Canon 350D - only slightly more expensive but they are true SLR cameras that will give you much better results. Okay, you have the issue of less of a zoom range, no LCD screen to frame your shots with and possible dust issues - but if you're looking for great photos then that's the way to go in my opinion.
Conclusion: The S9500 gives with one hand and takes away with the other. The 10x optical zoom, 9MP sensor, tilting LCD screen and movie mode are all made rather useless when you realise that none of those features actually give you sharp, vibrant, detailed pictures morning, noon and night all year round.
I have since returned my S9500 and am saving a few more pennies for something else more satisfying. Thanks for reading!
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice camera for the creative photographer, 8 Sep 2006
By 
Mr. G. Bridgeman-clarke "Graham BC" (Rayleigh, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix S9500 Digital Camera - Black (9MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 1.8 inch LCD (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
This camera appears to have very mixed reviews. One of the reviewers even suggests that there may be a few variations on this camera and they may be right.

I bought the camera for my daughter after researching the market and noting that the Fuji S9500 scored highest or very high in reviews in the likes of Digital Photographer, Digital Camera and Amateur Photographer. I was keen to compare this with the equivalent Panasonic camera which had the advantage of a Leica lens.

I went to Comet and tried both but the Fuji felt better in the hand, was easy and within a few minutes the basics of the camera were understood. My daughter of 14 tried both and was keener on the Fuji's looks and liked the layout of the information in the viewfinder. She is still learning photography so she wanted to make certain that if she wanted to she could switch between both auto everything and manual. The camera allows that and she finds it a breeze to use.

I have read through the manual with the camera and I think that is where the camera is let down. This camera at sub 300 can be classed as a very good high end entry camera but I can see that a few people who are not familiar with digital cameras could find the camera a bit of a challenge. For example you can switch from viewing your subject through the rear screen or viewfinder but need to use a button on the camera to do so. For the first few minutes my daughter could not understand why she could not see the image through the viewfinder as well as on the rear screen as she can with her basic Nikon compact. As such if the camera came with a one page `get started' single sheet (like Nikon) then I am sure she would have figured out the procedure speedily.

Overall a good camera, but read the manual first to get the best out of it!!
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fuji S9500 - fantastic quality & value, 8 July 2006
By 
A. Hirst (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix S9500 Digital Camera - Black (9MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 1.8 inch LCD (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
Bought this camera 4 days ago and haven't been able to put it down. I thought long and hard before buying the S9500 rather than a digital SLR, and believe I made the right choice.

It has all the manual control you could wish for using P,A,S and M modes plus a number of other modes for different scenarios including fully auto, night scene, landscape and portrait for the point and shoot brigade.

The 28-300mm lens is of excellent quality and gives a great zoom range. Much better than carrying a range of expensive and heavy lenses for a DSLR, plus no risk of dust on the lenses and sensor that you get with DSLR's. The picture quality is fantastic, especially using the 9 megapixels fine setting which produces files of approx 4.5MB and allows 227 phots on a 1GB xD card, with vibrant colours and saturation to match. Haven't used the RAW settings yet (not that you can do anything with them anyway using the Fuji software) but with picture quality this good I don't see the need to in most circumstances and for most people.

There is no image stabilisation, and using the anti-shake mode merely increases the ISO used which produces more grainy pictures under most light conditions where the ISO goes to 800+ so I recommend staying away from it except in bright light and to use a tripod where shake is likely to be a problem. Alternatively if you know what you're doing with the shutter speed priority mode and setting the ISO manually this is a far better option for reducing hand held blur than the anti-shake mode.

Macro mode is also a doddle to use and produces excellent results. And the 'N' natural light mode also produces great results for low light internal shots where use of the flash may wash out the colours or produce shadows etc.

The built in flash is excellent having a good useable distance range and producing no red-eye (using the red-eye flash setting), plus it has slow synchro for night flash shots with a background light source and forced flash mode for infill flash.

Menus are a bit complicated (due principally to the flexibility and range of functions this camera provides, which after all is a plus) but an early read of the manual and a bit of practice and it all strangely seems to make sense and becomes straightforward to use and remember. Alternatively some people may be happy to just set it to Auto and never even open the manual - it will still produce great results most of the time.

Shutter lag is virtually nil and shot to shot times are fine, although playback of shots is a tad slow in moving from frame to frame.

The included 16MB xD card is useless - you will need a much bigger card (1GB recommended by most people/sites), and you will also need rechargeable AA batteries and a charger.

Bundled software is poor, and so you will definitly need a better suite for review and editing unless all you ever want to do is review and print the photos as they are. Editing options are very basic and even rotating a frame halves the file size so use for any sort of manipulation and editing should be avoided.

Bottom line though is that I love the camera itself to bits and am very pleased with the purchase.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fuji FinePix S9500 - notes on upgrading from a Compact, 10 Oct 2006
This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix S9500 Digital Camera - Black (9MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 1.8 inch LCD (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
I bought this as I wanted to upgrade from a Digital Compact and didn't want to fork out for all the associated paraphernalia (lenses etc)that you need for an SLR. I was also attracted by the powerful zoom.

My first response was disappointment - it is heavy and some of the controls are quite small and difficult to operate. You really do need a tripod to make good use of the zoom, which means more stuff to lug around. My early attempts produced shots that were not noticeably better than with my lovely compact (Sony Cybershot). I was getting an awful lot of blurring and blowing. The only thing I really loved about it was the adjustable angles on the LCD screen, which means you don't have to lie on your tummy to take pictures of plants from the ground up.

However, I've had it six months now and I'm growing to love it. It is a BIG learning curve, and I still have it on Auto most of the time, but gradually I'm practising using all the different settings to see what results you can get. There are many features I haven't even tried yet - there just isn't enough time in a weekend!

If you are a Compact user and dithering about whether to move up the food chain and get one of these, I would suggest you only do it if you are prepared to put in a lot of time and effort. Otherwise, you're probably better advised to splash out on one of the new high specification compacts - your results will probably be just as good, and you'll still be able to carry it in your handbag!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A genuinely excellent camera - (actually S9000), 12 Feb 2008
This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix S9500 Digital Camera - Black (9MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 1.8 inch LCD (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
Some long time ago I earned my living as a professional photographer, mainly doing studio work (portraiture, fashion and glamour). Then came a change of career and my photography became a hobby rather than a means of earning a living. Later still came the digital photographic age, and I finally pensioned off my Canon EOS-5 (35mm), Bronica ETR-Si and Mamiya RB67 Pro-S (medium format).

In their place I bought a Fuji Finepix S9000 (which is exactly the same thing as the S9500, but the US model).

So why did I choose this camera as opposed to another? Mainly because it did exactly what I needed it to do.

I needed a camera that gave me the control I was used to in 35mm and medium format. The ability to choose my own apertures and shutters speeds. The ability to choose my own "film speeds" (or, at least, the digital sensitivity equivalent). A camera with a focal length range from decent wide angle to decent telephoto. Most of all, however, I needed a camera I could take into a studio and hook up to studio flash so that I could continue to take the same sort of pictures digitally that I could take on film stock.

The S9000 does all this, and the results are pretty good. Not perfect, but pretty good.

Of course you could get a wider focal length range by having an exchangeable lens Digital SLR - but that choice also comes with the risk of dust on the sensor, which has always been a particular problem with DSLRs. To be blunt, why take that risk when you have a "35mm equivalent" focal length range of 28-300mm?

For a photographer who works in the studio with models 28-300mm is very adequate.

Of course I'd rather like a "digital medium format" camera too. If I could find digital version of the Mamiya RB67 Pro-S I'd be in heaven, particularly if I could afford it.

In the absence of that, however, the S9000 does very well indeed.

So why 4 stars rather than 5? This boils down to auto-focusing performance which is, unfortunately, disappointing - particularly in low light situations.

Other than that - go for it.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent bridge camera, 19 Feb 2007
By 
B. Griffiths - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix S9500 Digital Camera - Black (9MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 1.8 inch LCD (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
This camera seems to have got a very mixed set of reviews. I've had this camera for about 2 months now and it has been excellent. I have some background in photography and wanted a camera that could do pretty much anything an SLR could do but without being as bulky (i.e. extra lenses etc) and the Fuji seemed to have everything that I needed. The lens is excellent, it fits well in the hand and it gives excellent results. I'm not sure if some people have been unlucky with their camera's or if it's down to user error but I have had no cause for complaint with the pictures the Fuji takes. It should be remembered that this is not a standard 'compact' digital camera and in a lot of respects should be treated like an SLR when it comes to taking photo's, I've found playing with the light meter options to make a big difference to the quality of the photo's taken. The other complaint some have mentioned regarding lack of focus and sharpness at maximum zoom without a tripod is a bit of a pointless complaint as most camera's would struggle to take a decent photo at 300mm when hand-held - it is worth remembering the basic rule that you have to roughly equate shutter speed to focal length so at 300mm you would need a shutter speed of at least 320/sec to avoid too much shake... this is as true for a [...] Canon SLR as it is of the Fuji. In general this camera can give results that come very close to much more expensive SLR's in a cheaper and more user-friendly manner. If you want to try getting creative with your photography but don't want to splash out 600+ on an SLR this is well worth the money.
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