Although the Fujifilm FinePix S9600 is not really complex, you must, however, search a bit before finding everything accurately. It is simply a case of getting used to and the necessary practice hours, although there are matters to which I personally just could not get used to. This possibly says more about me than the camera itself. When operating the menu I notice that this way of operating has been there for a long time, and I have no objection to seeing the necessary changes for once. Not that the menu does not function, but a revision would not hurt. The Fujifilm FinePix S9600 works pleasantly and smoothly nevertheless.
Fujifilm Finepix S9600 - Camera handling
With the Fujifilm FinePix S9600, starting up is done rapidly. There's no lens that has to slide out, and this will shorten precious time. You can take a photograph within a second and this is a very fine result. Simply annoying is the fact that after the camera has gone in sleep mode you will have to turn the camera off and back on again. Just touching the release button does not awake the camera. This is really no longer something of this time. Something similar applies to the play mode. In order to go from play back to recording, you must use the switch. Whereas most of the other cameras have a separate quick button to review the pictures and you are back in recording mode with just one push on the button. It would be a further improvement to put the play mode after the recording mode, certainly since you always have to go past the play mode when the camera has gone in sleep mode. Perhaps it's a trifle, but during photographing and reproducing it is an obstacle and it simply slows things down.
Fujifilm Megazoom digital camera
I absolutely prefer zooming with an ordinary zoom ring above a button. It is quicker and much more accurate. The zoom ring with the Fujifilm FinePix S9600 has been constructed well. It's nicely wide and equipped with an anti-slip surface as a result of which it feels pleasant to the touch. When zooming the lens gets only slightly longer. Because the lens is rather light, this has no disadvantageous influence on the camera's balance. Certainly be sure to stand firmly and use a short shutter speed in the extreme tele mode. Otherwise you will definitely have blurring from movement. An optical image stabilization is lacking. Fujifilm claims that you can use high sensitivities to compensate movements. But this is something very different, apart from the side effects of the use of high sensitivities such as the potential increase of noise. The Fujifilm S9600 is still one of the few Megazoom digital cameras without an optical image stabilizer. Next to the quality of the Super CCD sensor and the high noise value, such a stabilization system would give Fujifilm a very powerful instrument. Possibly a next generation will be equipped with this?
Fujifilm S9600 - External sensor
As for the auto focus, the Fujifilm FinePix S9600 can utilize an external sensor or the information from the image sensor. The latter is less quick, but an advantage is the possibility to focus on each point of the image. The external sensor is useful mainly with low light. In regards to this, Fujifilm has clearly gained profit with the FinePix S9600. The predecessor was certainly not very slow, but the Fujifilm FinePix S9600 still performs a lot better. For converting from the auto focus, you luckily don't have to go through the menu. Sometimes you have to convert just briefly, and thus a separate button is useful. If you want to check the focus in advance, an increased image can be shown on the monitor.
Fujifilm FinePix Auto Focus
This works reasonably, the larger image is of a moderate quality and therefore it is hard to judge the sharpness. Focusing manually is easily done as well; here you can also use an increased image. In regards to focusing manually, the lens has a separate ring. Admittedly, it is operated electronically and therefore works less direct, but still very pleasant. If you still quickly want to focus automatically, you can activate the auto focus once by pressing a button.
Fuji Viewfinder and LCD screen
The viewfinder as well as the monitor of the Fujifilm FinePix S9600 is of a good quality. According to your own wishes, a lot or little information is shown. Possibly with a grid; this makes it easy to keep the camera steady. There's also a live histogram. Although the monitor is not very large, it's very pleasant to work with. A big advantage is of course that the monitor is to be turned into a few angles. This way you don't have to make a big deal out of getting a high or low position. In the viewfinder, the same information can be found as on the monitor, but on a much smaller screen. Nevertheless, the quality of this screen is clearly not as good as the large screen on the back of the camera.
Fujifilm RAW Photography
Even though many functions can be reached directly with a button on the Fujifilm FinePix S9600, we still have to look for reference in the menu regularly. Some items have been hidden, like the setting for photographing in RAW and the white balance. You ask yourself why all those important aren't to be found under the F-button. Especially because these kinds of subjects are important to the advanced photographer and the camera is aimed at this group of users. The number of languages to be set in the camera's menu is limited. Fujifilm's designers could work on the menu a bit and maybe have a look at their competition. It's a pity that the menu has to be activated more than necessary to set certain settings to your own wishes. It takes the speed out of the camera.