Fujifilm Finepix S9600 Verdict
The Fujifilm FinePix S9600 leaves me with mixed feelings. The camera itself is fine and feels exceptionally solid. It really seems like a camera for the serious user. This is mainly because of the lens with the real zoom ring and the fine zoom range. The FinePix S9600 will surely please both wide-angle as well as tele-lovers. Also the large amount of buttons indicates a camera for the advanced photographer. This group benefits more from buttons than a button-friendly classification. Those who know more about photography will change a setting quicker to take the right picture. Even though some buttons can be on a strange spot, you will get used to this quickly after some hours of working with the camera.
Fujifilm Finepix S9600 - Balanced photos
I am very pleased about the metering. The Fujifilm FinePix S9600 delivers nicely balanced pictures both with and without flash. The metering system will not let itself get of course quickly by backlight. When using flash, you will get very nice pictures. The colour reproduction is good, it looks nicely natural and also with higher sensitivities the noise will be under control. You will have to pay for this with a loss in detail when using JPEG. The auto focus is also very good. The Fujifilm FinePix S9600 performs exemplary, even with low light. You can even connect a studio flash; this is a scarcity for this kind of camera!
Fujifilm S9600 - Function button
Unfortunately, Fujifilm lacks a few things with the FinePix S9600. First of all with the operation and in particular important settings like RAW. To me personally this could be improved. You often have to dig deep in the menu to change something and you will not stay in the menu after confirming the change. It just does not work completely spotless, and you will find that the camera has a few of those small obstacles, which, to my opinion, can be taken away by simply setting up the menu again. This gets everything but the beauty prize. In itself, the F-button is useful; the most important functions are directly within reach. But unfortunately there are a few important settings missing there. Like white balance for instance and also RAW cannot be chosen with the F-button. The only reason that I can think of for this is that working in RAW takes up quite some time and that Fujifilm’s emphasis is on the JPEG format.
Fuji Finepix S9600 - Camera operation
Another striking and less rosy property is the on/off switch. Every time the camera has gone to sleep mode, you need to switch to off first before switching to the desired mode. There goes the perfect photo moment! Something similar applies if you want to take a quick photograph while examining the photograph. You will first have to set the main switch to its proper position, where the competition is ready with simply a push on the release button to take the photograph. It is remarkable that Fujifilm still has no optical image stabilization, in the form of moving lens parts or a sensor. The only way to compensate movement is increasing sensitivity and that is not always desired. It must be possible for Fujifilm to build in real image stabilization? Especially with the longer focal points it is an enormous shortage. This is principally because the lens is not really bright in that mode.
Fujifilm Finepix S9600 Review rating
Just like my introduction started off, the Fujifilm FinePix S9600 leaves me with mixed feelings. On paper, it is without a doubt a very nice camera; and this is the way it looks too. It is nicely solid and you have a beautifully tight hold. After unwrapping, you will want to start working with it as soon as possible; and as a photographer you will come across the named negative properties quickly. This is a pity, for the Fujifilm S9600 certainly has a lot of potential. It also seems that the camera still leans too much on its predecessor, without really leaping forward in innovation and technique itself.
Fujifilm Finepix S9600 Test - Photo Quality
The Fujifilm S9600 guarantees a fine image quality, outstanding flash photography and has been equipped with an all round zoom range. Although the necessary options are present, the demanding photographer will possibly experience an obstacle when we look at what RAW demands when it comes to the speed and processing in the camera. Moreover, this photographer will have more problems with the seemingly small flaws like the restricted compression choice than the average consumer. The Fujifilm S9600 degrades itself with that as a top camera under the Megazoom camera segment, and this is unfortunate because you continue to keep the feeling that there’s more possible for this model. Still, we do not want to go past the general quality, and recommend the Fujifilm FinePix S9600 to the enthusiastic photographer.
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Fujifilm xD Picture card - Type H
Fujifilm also provided the new xD Picture type H card with the test sample, a faster variant of the memory card. Indeed the files are being processed to the card faster. The files are pretty large, especially if photographing in RAW and you will notice this when processing. After taking a RAW picture, you will have to wait a few counts before taking the next photo. In real life, this actually does not work pleasantly. In JPEG you won't have any problems with this, except when making a series of recordings. The buffer is filled up quickly and you will have to wait a while. The fact that you cannot make continued recordings with RAW also shows that the Fujifilm S9600 is not a speed freak. The speed is a serious restriction in the possibilities you could have with this camera. With a 9 Megapixels resolution you will quickly need a large memory card. And a fast card wherever possible. When photographing only in JPEG, you will just need a 512MB memory card. If you rather work in RAW, you will have to think of a 1GB or even more. In the table below you can see how many recordings fit on a 512MB card.
Considering 512MB storage capacity:
RAW - 3488x2616 pixels - 18.8 MB - 27 pictures
JPEG - 9M - Fine - 3488x2616 pixels - 4.5MB - 113 pictures
JPEG - 9M - Normal - 3488x2616 pixels - 2.2MB - 227 pictures
JPEG - 3:2 - 3696x2464 pixels - 2.2MB - 227 pictures
JPEG - 5M - 2592x1944 pixels - 1.2MB - 409 pictures
JPEG - 3M - 2048x1536 pixels - 780KB - 651 pictures
JPEG - 2M - 1600x1200 pixels - 630 KB - 818 pictures
JPEG - 03M - 640x480 pixels - 130KB - 3993 pictures
Video - 640x480 pixels - 7.4 minutes
Video - 320x240 pixels - 14.6 minutes