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Customer Review

on 10 July 2012
]Fujifilm X-S1 Digital Camera (12MP, 26x Optical Zoom) 3 inch Tiltable LCD Screen

Just took delivery of my new Fuji X-S1 today and have spent the last few hours playing around with it. So far it's all I hoped it would be and already owning the excellent x10 the menu system is second nature (and quite intuitive although it may do no harm to have a look at the manual). And on the question of the manual, this comes in booklet form with the camera in French and German versions; you need to use the enclosed CD-ROM for an English version - oh, and the charger only comes with a European (2 pin) plug. These are not really major issues however as a) just put the CD in your computer and b) either use a 3-pin convertor or use an alternative plug lead which will fit it to the charger body.

These are the "mini gripes" over with.

I already own a couple of DSLRs and a combination of lenses but sometimes I just can't be bothered to carry them all around if I'm out for a day with a camera - what I mean is that if I want to do some macro work (insects, plants etc) I won't carry a wide angle or tele lens with me. Conversely I'll only take a heavy wide angle lens (e.g. my Nikkor 14-24mm) if I want to do some landscape shooting.
However sometimes I may just want to go out with a camera and hope I'll get some inspiration along the way - and in this eventuality I'll doubtless have the "wrong" lens with me...

So, I wanted something that would do everything in one package. Enter the Fuji X-S1. The purists will dismiss so-called "bridge" cameras as neither being a point-and-shoot nor a full blown DSLR. But having read most of the reviews for this camera, and bearing in mind the X10 quality (I believe they share the same sensor) I decided to purchase this unit. My initial thinking is that well, you don't have to think too much about what gear to take with you unless you are going out to specifically shoot a certain type of scene. Just pick up the X-S1 and you're set for most anything. With a range of 24 to 624mm you have it all in one package.
Some other reviewers have commented on the slow auto-focus at the extreme end, and I will agree with this, but my advice here would be to switch to Manual Focus (MF) at the far end and just do it yourself - in fact reverting to Manual Focus reminds us of days gone by before Auto Focus existed. This is no hardship and will probably teach you more about focus and moving your feet rather than relying on the electronics within the camera. End of sermon.

I am not competent enough to give here a rundown on the technical specifications of this camera but these are available elsewhere. This is simply a great package at a realistic price. In the few hours I've had it I've used at the end of the telephoto range to capture some birds in flight, at the macro setting (there are two settings here, "Macro" and "Super Macro") for some plants, wide angle for some shots in the street and even some low light shots in a dark room. All OK - but are they as good as some dedicated lenses for such applications? I don't know but they're certainly good enough for me, and I suspect most amateurs.

Last year I bought the Fuji X-100 when it first came out and sold it shortly thereafter as I felt it just wasn't the camera the hype made it out to be (although on reflection perhaps I should have persevered a bit further, but that's another story). I then bought the Fuji X-10 and felt this was the camera the X-100 should have been. As I mention above I'm a huge fan of the X-10 and with my new X-S1 I feel I have extended my X-10 range of shooting possibilities.

Ergonomically this feels like a real DSLR (say, one of the entry level Nikons or Canons) but still pretty solid, although not too heavy or cumbersome to carry around with you all day. You may wish to invest in a small case for the camera - one that will allow you to carry it around with just perhaps a spare battery and memory card (I also have a mini-tripod I carry around - and it all fits in a "holster" type bag).

In conclusion this is a camera I'm really looking forward to being a constant companion. OK I'll still have my Nikon DSLR and various lenses which I'll use for specific projects and I'll probably still carry around a small P&S in my briefcase or jacket pocket but I believe this really is the archetypal "do it all" camera!
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