I own a S9600 and to be honest, this is the closest to DSLR I could get without buying an expensive body/lens combo. Let me describe this camera for any one who is contemplating buy one. Bear in mind that I am not a technical reviewer. I learned a little about photography recently and I do not dwell on things like MFT and other technical terms. I like a camera if it shoots to my satisfaction.
Build Quality :
The build quality is average. It does not feel like cheap plastic like many low end DSLRs feel, but it is not a tank. Buttons are placed well for someone with my hands. Camera feels just right in my hands and the external material used under shutter makes it slip proof. I have a couple of doubts about it though, one about the battery compartment, another is for control dial. Both feels like they may break if I am not really careful but many a times i had been careless without a hitch. I wish white balance selection button was placed in photography menu if not under a dedicated button. I would advice any one to get a UV filter for the lens to avoid scratches. Getting a soft case might help carrying it as well.
I wish Fuji supplied something to protect LCD from the smudges and dirt which can accumulate with the use of viewfinder.
It’s a Fujion lens. Equivalent of 28-300 mm on 35mm. At the wide end it is F2.8 and at 300mm it’sF4.5. This makes for a really interesting shooting toy when there is light. When the light is low, I really need a tripod. Besides I prefer using tripod. I am not a pro shooter who can buy a 300mm F2.8 optically stabilized lens and can justify it. Photography is a hobby for me, not a profession. This lens is quite capable. I have been able to get very good quality photos under moonlight (with tripod of course).
Lens zooming function is by twist barrel mechanism. It feels solid and easy to use. The manual focus ring is easily movable with one finger. To change focusing mode, one need to turn a small button to AF/AF-C/M mode. M being the manual. AF-C is the continuous focus mode and does a bit of motion tracking. I have not done a lot of motion tracking just yet so I will not comment on that.
Noise becomes a bother when you are shooting long exposures or at ISO higher than 400. Wish Fuji can introduce an update to do some Noise reduction.
Best thing Ever, 4 AA size NiMh/Alkaline batteries. Easy to find in case you run out of juice. I keep two sets for emergencies. One set can see you through 200-300 shots depending on if you use LCD/playback functions.
Raw files can set you back by 18Megs per file and Jpeg fine or normal will set you back by 4 megs. If you are planning to shoot raw, make sure you carry enough storage.
This cam supports both CF cards as well as xD picture cards. I prefer CF as xD cards are easy to loose and feel flimsy in my hands.