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Fujifilm FinePix S9500 | Digital Camera Review | Control
It takes some time to figure out where everything is situated on the FinePix S9500 digital camera; due to the many buttons the camera possesses. I counted more than twenty buttons. If you already are an enhanced user of a digital camera you won't find it too hard though. The Fujifilm FinePix S9500 is easy to operate once you get the hang of it. And due to the fact that the lens doesn't extend, the FinePix S9500 starts up extremely fast. Generally the Fujifilm S9500 responses speedily so no complaints can be made about that.
Fujifilm FinePix S9500 | Digital Camera Fujifilm FinePix S9500 | Digital Camera
Fuji S9500 digital camera - Shutter lag
The time lag between turning the FinePix S9500 on and being able to take a picture is not even one second. That is an excellent achievement. The release button has a great pressing point that really lets you feel the difference between half-way and completely pressing it. Shutter lag is almost non-existing. This is a huge difference compared to two years ago; the technique has improved with giant steps. To review the image after taking it, you have to turn the button from record to play. This is annoying for when you quickly want to take another picture but still we can live with that. Nevertheless, a quick button for play mode would be appreciated and should be found standard on a camera, in my opinion.

Fujifilm FinePix S9500 - Zooming
Zooming in with a standard zoom ring has my absolute preference to a button. Zooming will be carried out faster and more precise. The zoom ring on the Fujifilm FinePix S9500 is actually well made. Nice and wide and equipped with a somewhat rough surface. When zooming in the lens will extend a little. But that does not influence the balance of the camera since the lens is light weighted. Just make sure you're standing firmly, using a fast shutter speed, especially in maximum tele mode. If not your image will undoubtedly suffer from blur due to jitter because image stabilisation is not available on the S9500.

Fujifilm S9500 - Manual and Auto focus
The auto focus works fine; the Fujifilm FinePix S9500 uses an external sensor and one on the image sensor. This latter one enables focussing on any desired spot of the image. In dimly lit circumstances the external sensor is perfectly suited for the job. The FinePix S9500 performs great in dimly lit as well as in bright light situations. But don't expect miracles because speed of course stays behind compared with the real digital reflex cameras. Adjusting the menu doesn't require digging into the menu. Sometimes you have to swap to a different focus and a separate button offers a good solution in that case. If you want to check the focus prior to taking the image, you can render an enlarged image on the monitor. This is a handy feature.
Manual focus also works great. And again it is carried out by a normal ring positioned around the lens. It works electronically and therefore less direct, but still very pleasant. And if you just want a quick auto focus, you can activate the auto focus for once-use only.

Fuji FinePix S9500 - Viewfinder and LCD monitor
The viewfinder and the monitor of the Fujifilm S9500 are both of high quality. Depending on your own wishes you can view a lot or not that much information. Even gridlines are available which is very useful to be able to keep the camera straight. You don't really want to capture a 'draining sea'. A live histogram is also available. And although the monitor is not that big, it's extremely pleasant to work with. The big advantage of the screen of course is its capability of tilting up and down. It saves you from cutting acrobatic capers trying to capture high or low images. The viewfinder shows the exact same information as the monitor on the back of the S9500, of course on a much smaller screen. The quality of the electronic viewfinder is not bad at all; in fact it may be called good. Still the quality doesn't equal the quality of the large monitor on the back. Both monitor and viewfinder offer a 100% image rendition. Special detail is the fact that the refreshing rate can be adjusted from 30fps up to 60fps which results in a smooth and calm view. One small disadvantage appearing when the camera is set to 60fps is that the focus magnifier stops functioning.

FinePix S9500 digital camera - Menu
Although many functions are directly accessible through a button on the FinePix S9500, still the menu has to be consulted frequently. And some items are hidden in an almost unreachable spot. For example photographing in RAW format and the white balance, functions that I think should be directly accessible. The menu of the camera is available in many different languages. The structure of the menu however is at first glance rather vague. It might be me, but I suggest that the menu gets arranged newly in order to get a straightforward intuitive navigation in stead of having to figure out how on earth it works. It definitely needs time to get acquainted with the menu but after some time you will get the hang of it and it will become easier to navigate through the menu.
Fujifilm FinePix S9500 Fujifilm FinePix S9500
   
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