Pros Fantastic for Low Light - Wide Dynamic Range Photos
Cons Doesn't have Stereo Line-Inputs for using External Mics
Summary After Owning my S9100 for about a week...
I will say this camera has Exceptionally High Picture Quality ( Once the Camera and it's Functions are Fully Understood & Used Approprietly )
It seems to me that the CNET Reviews are Stacked Against the S9100 because Fuji choose to Place More Importance on Cleaner High ISO Picture Quality than on an Electro-Mechanical IS System.
High ISO Capabilities ( With Acceptable Noise Levels ) are the ONLY Cure for Stopping Motion-Blur within a Shot when the Subject themselves are moving.
In-Camera IS Systems have NO EFFECT and Can NOT Stop Motion-Blur caused by Anything Other than an UnSteady Camera.
Many cameras on the market sold today Ship with Un-Natural Amounts of HIGH Color Saturation & Un-Natural Amounts of HIGH Contrast & HIGH Sharpness - As Default Setting )
This makes for good "Eye Candy" straight out of the Camera but places Stiff Limitations on what can be done in Post Processing... Which is Where MOST of the PROs live.
IF DESIRED... These can be Pumped Up inside the S9100 ALSO but Fuji - Wisely ( imho ) sets these to Normal or UnBiased by Default... This keeps Open your Full Options for Post Processing & Printing.
The S9100 has one of If Not The Highest Actual Optical / Sensor Resolution of ANY Sub-DSLR Camera available...
It shoots Incredible HIGH RESOLUTION & LOW LIGHT / Wide Dynamic Range Photos... Period !
With my Ridata Pro 4-Gig 150x CF Card - I can shoot 216 RAW 9.2 MegaPixel Images at Only ~ 5.5 Seconds between shots (Fast for this Class of Camera)...
Or 9.2 Jpegs at up to ~ 3 fps in Burst Modes.
Or 59 Minutes & 30 Seconds of Very High Quality M-Jpeg Video... Pretty Prestine !
With the Correct Handling and SetUp of this Camera...
The Results are Nothing-Less than Stunning...
It's Low Light capabilities are AMAZING !
Pros Great lens, GOOD photos. Nice resolution.
Cons Rather large and heavy
Summary I got considerably better photos than I would have expected if the c/net review was the only review on the net. I sell cameras for a living, and I have professional photo experience. I have taken cameras reviewed by c/net and used them for several days. I seldom agree with your accessments. You constantly have a noise problem, but in a two day user period (300 photos) I got very good quality photos with the Ss9100. Let's face it, at 1600 there will be noise. There is also this noise with very good film such as the Fuji 1600 pro films. Your reviewer needs to spend more time at practical shooting before he gives a bad review of a great camera such as the S9100. You indicate that there are no stores with this camera in my zip. Wichita, Kansas has 500,000 inhabitants and several zip codes. My store (ZIP 67211) stocks and sells the 9000 and the 9100 (we are a Canon dealer, etc.)with great success. I do appreciate, however, that fact that C/net does supply a conscienceous review of all cameras. By in large, your site is awsome. Thanks
Pros Looks, build, quality, excellent image quality, lighting compensation
Cons Viewfinder kinda small
Summary I don't really get the CNET rating for this camera. For the price it is an unbelievably good camera. It is the kind of camera you pick up, turn on, and from there it is hassle free. This camera gives incredibly sharp, vivid pictures close to that of the Sony Alpha. It snaps quickly, focuses very VERY well from wide angle through telephoto. The range on this camera is excellent and I experienced no noise at all under store lighting (Shirokiya, Ala Moana Center). I loved this camera. Very fast, fast easy focus, superior quality images. All this and 9-megapixels at half the price of an over-priced Nikon!!!
I tried to find something bad about this camera but I couldn't. I never had any problems with out of focus or blurred images. None.
After testing this camera for 20 minutes in the store, I would highly recommend the S9100. You probably wouldn't need anything else other than an external flash or super-wide angle attachment. That's it.
"I LOVE my S9100"on by ddolfe
Pros Fantastic pics, easy to use and all at a great price!
Cons None that I have found yet.
Summary Hi. I bought a DSLR for myself for Christmas thinking it would be a terrific upgrade to my "old reliable" Fuji S5200. What a mistake! I had given the S5200 away already, so I returned the DSLR and bought the S9100 instead and couldn't be happier. The pics are superb, it's so easy to use and I don't have to be bothered changing lenses and carrying around a bunch of "stuff". I'm surprised it rated so low on CNET, but maybe they were just having a bad day or something. If you're looking for a great camera with all the bells and whistles, the S9100 is the way to go as far as I'm concerned. I've been a film photographer for years and in keeping up with the times have purchased 5 digital cams since they were 1st introduced, and by far the 3 best I ever owned were all Fujis!
Pros Able to use all my Vivitar 283/5's and Metz flashes, and sync up to 1/1000 sec.!!
Cons Probably will not be able to use it when it is -35C. here in the North..
Summary I purchased this S9100 at a New Year Sale in Toronto, for $549.00. Was it a good buy? It was a fantastic buy! For my money, I get a camera that shoots the way I have always been used to shooting. I can use all my still very good Vivitar 283 & 285 flashs, as well as my Metz 60CT and 45 CT flashguns.
It works very well in the studio, and I can use shutter speeds from 30 sec to 1/1000 sec. when using flash! That for me is a really great advantage, as I no longer have to worry about buying the latest, greatest, flash systems to work with the digital camera. The difference between 9 or 10 megapixels? Aah, who cares! I have made excellent 12" x 16" prints from my 4 MP digital. While I haven't had a chance to print much from this camera yet, as I have been too busy working for customers, I have looked very closely at the files from this camera on my ColorVision Calibrated ViewSonic 22 inch Graphic Series G810 monitor, and to be quite honest, I am delighted all to heck. And what is this knock all about against this camera, that it doesn't have an image stabilization system? Has anyone ever heard of a tripod these days? As for noise at higher sensitivities, well, I can count on 2 fingers the number of times that I felt the need to shoot at ISO 400. I do 99.9 % of my shooting at ISO 100, both indoors and outside. This little camera with its 28 > 300 mm zoom lens is going to find itself in a lot of strange places, where some old geezers are building boats, or carving toys for kids in their woodsheds, etc. It will also shoot a wedding or two, as well as some old classic car events, or motorcycle shows. And I'll be syncing my old metz flashgun on a stand with a coloured gel on it at about 1/350 sec. Can DSLR's do that? In case someone cares, I have been a working Pro for 22 years, and am now settling in to a slower pace, and I will not be too shy about showing up with a Fuji FinePix S9100 and a S20Pro in my bag. My guess is that whoever gives this camera a bad rap, just cannot bring themselves to view any other camera besides Nikon or Canon as having anything to rave about. My guess also is that when you spend those kinds of bucks, you have to justify it somehow. But for me, I'm raving about the capabilities of this camera, and that my older equipment is not obsolete with it either. Oh yes, my Sunpac flash works quite nicely also, and the colours are sharp and superb. However, one of these days, I really should read the owners manual!!Updated
As a follow up to my Jan. opinion, I just wanted to say that in the meanwhile, I have photographed several events, including a Sports Hall of Fame Inductee Evening, and more recently a Wedding this past weekend. For these events, I used a Metz 60 CT-1 and Metz 45 CT-5 Flashes, as well as my Vivitar 285's and 283 flashes. This is a wild looking piece of gear with a Metz 45CT-5 attached for vertical shots, and also with a Vivitar 285 sitting in the hotshoe for horizontal shots. Yep, both flashes attached at the same time, and when shooting vertically, the Vivitar is switched off, and horizontally, the Metz is turned off. No fooling around changing lenses. Auto focus performed great, and the pics were sharp and crisp. It was a bright sunny day, and was able to shoot with flash sync at 1/350 sec for fill lighting. Nice!
After some 22 years as a Portrait/Wedding Photographer, I have slowed the pace down now...deliberately, but I am still quite fussy about my pics. I have no complaints with the quality of pics from this camera. I must say that the convenience of having a piece of glass that goes from 28mm wide to 300mm long is a real treat. You can do an aweful lot of very creative work with just a twist of the wrist. Throw on some Cokin Filters on the front, and you're in business. Also could not believe the quality of pics of the floating table candles that I took, HAND HELD FOLKS! 1/4 of a sec. Fantastic! And someone was complaining about the lack of an image stabelizer on this camera? I didn't need one, and I'm 64. If you can't take good pictures with the S9100, maybe it is time for a good medical checkup. Not sorry in the least for buying this camera! RegardsUpdated
This is another update for those who are reluctant to buy or recommend this camera. Today I finally got around to taking this camera out for a cold weather excursion. The temperature was -14C, or approx. +10F. I was outside approx. 30 minutes, and encountered absolutely no problems with this camera. The batteries did not pack in, and I did not hide it inside my overcoat. I must say that when the temperature drops below this level, I really do not care to be out in it anyway. Fine Art will have to wait for a warmer day. Fuji recommends that this camera be used between 0 degrees C., and +40 C., but now I find that I can use it outside those parameters. Maybe I am nullifying the warranty. I am not sure, but it is almost up anyhow.
I have had this camera for almost a year now, and have used it for Weddings & Portraits, and indoor concerts in a Concert Hall. It is a pleasure to be able to sync my flash at shutter speeds up to 1/1000 of a second, and also hand hold it at ISO 400 while shooting a stage performance, using the house lights. The photos are just great. The video capture is also superb. For the money that I paid, and the quality of photos that I get from the S9100, I have not felt the need yet to upgrade to a full DSLR. I belong to an informal photo club, where everyone else uses Nikon D200's and D2X's. The difference in the quality of my photos, and the ones taken with my friends Nikon's is so minimal as to be insignificant. Of course, they would scoff at that. But the proof is in the 12 x 18 photos that come off of my Epson R1800 printer. So I more or less have decided that when this camera finally packs it in, I will look at a DSLR. Until then, colour me happy! Yes, you can have quality photos without breaking the bank. Merry Christmas to all!