Summary: The Fuji Finepix S100FS is an outstanding camera with unique features for its class such as expanded dynamic range and film simulation. It also features a mechanical zoom covering a 14.3X range from a 28mm wide-angle to a 400mm super-telephoto. This camera does nearly everything and does most things well. We have a few quibbles with it, listed under Cons to the right, nothing serious though.
Pros: Mechanical wide angle 14.3X zoom lens, Low image noise, Excellent dynamic range, Flexible rendition of image colors, Great lens sharpness, Good white-balance, Effective stabilization, Very short shutter-lag, Excellent macro mode, Good ergonomics, Good build quality
Cons: Pronounced chromatic aberrations, LCD does not always show correct exposure, Focus speeds not on par with camera price, Playback mode ignores buttons while info is not displayed, Slow to flush buffer, AF-On only works in MF, No white-balance button, Slow to wake-up after auto-off, Tiny viewfinder, Short battery-life, Competition from DSLRs
Conclusion: Fujifilm FinePix S100fs digital megazoom camera The market for the so-called bridge cameras is very much under pressure due to the DSLR cameras becoming cheaper and cheaper. And yet the bridge cameras are obviously in favour, especially when they have a huge zoom range. It's quite clear that a camera offering an all-round zoom range puts less weight and costs on you than a similar DSLR camera. Fujifilm have broad experience and has been active for years in this segment.
Conclusion: With the price of DSLRs dropping all the time, the justification for bridge cameras between compacts and full-grown DSLRs looks increasingly weak. The S100FS makes a game job of proving that there is still room for such a camera. It represents an awful lot of camera for comparatively little money and one that is more flexible than a DSLR kit for the same outlay. Its feature set, including very respectable RAW performance and dynamic range optimization is impressive.
Pros: Very useful zoom range, Excellent resolution and good edge to edge detail, Sharp, generally high-quality lens, Expanded dynamic range option (and it works), Excellent high-ISO performance for a non-DSLR, Full photographic control, huge range of SLR-like features (real SLR-like handling too), Bright, sharp, electronic viewfinder (better than most) and articulated screen, Macro modes make lens even more flexible, Fast RAW performance, RAW processing software included, A...
Cons: Strong, visible chromatic aberration at the most useful focal lengths, Noise reduction attacks fine detail if you look too close, 230 shot battery life somewhat limiting, Film simulation rarely useful, RAW processing software is unusable, Electronic viewfinder glitches if you pan the camera too quickly, Continuous shooting buffer not as large as on latest entry-level DSLRs, Unnecessarily large RAW files (23MB each)
Summary: FujiFilm's FinePix S100fs is a great pseudo-SLR camera. Its 11.1 megapixel sensor and large 28-400mm lens capture great snaps and the manual shooting modes combined with speedy operation make it flexible and powerful.
Excerpt: The S100 FS replaces the popular S9600, and at first glance you could be forgiven for thinking that is was actually a D-SLR. It certainly looks the part, with its sculpted design and chunky handgrip that makes for a more substantial body compared to a Canon EOS 450D or Nikon D60. The sensor inside the S100 FS is physically smaller than that found on a typical D-SLR, but packs in a resolution of 11.1MP.
Summary: The 11-megapixel Fujifilm Finepix S100FS is a heavyweight in both size and features, with impressive raw performance, a large sensor and an excellent wide-angle long lens, only let-down by purple fringing.
Pros: Excellent, versatile lens, Decent noise control, Raw performance