I finally bought this digital camera on 29 March 2006 after a pretty extensive research for about a month or so.
I suddenly developed an urge to get a digital camera and started looking for one on the Internet. At first I looked at the Canon S2 IS. It is reasonably compact and easy to carry around and it has quite a lot of features too including 12X optical zoom, image stabilizer, auto and manual focus, and swivel screen. As I was testing the camera out at a local camera shop, the guy at the shop let me play with a Canon EOS 350D as well and wow…. what a different. The 350D was so much better and the optical viewfinder was terrific but it is also much more expensive.
I didn’t make any purchase that day and continued my research. As I check the prices for additional lenses for the 350D, it dawn on me that it will cost way more money if I choose the digital SLR path and I am not willing to spend that kind of money yet… maybe someday I will. And then I came across the Panasonic Lumix FZ30 and I thought I have found my camera. It has 12X optical zoom (don’t need to worry about getting additional lenses), image stabilizer, and most importantly, manual zoom and manual focus ring on the lens. The Canon S2 IS has a motorized zoom and button operated manual focus function that were not very user friendly. Unfortunately, the FZ30 also have an issue with high ISO settings. A few of the reviews I read point out that pictures taken with high ISO are kinda noisy. This means problem with taking pictures in low light conditions.
And then I stumbled upon the Fujifilm S9500. It is very similar to the FZ30 in many ways but it has a much tolerable high ISO usage. Though it only has 10.7X optical zoom, its wide angle starts at 28mm as oppose to the S2 IS and FZ30 that start at 36mm and to me, wider angle is more important then telephoto. And really, that was the deciding factor for me. Next I check out the prices at a few local camera shops and was surprise to find the differences in the prices offered by the different shops. I finally bought mine at RM2039. That’s not the end of the story unfortunately because I also bought a 1GB CF card, four 2500 mAh AA rechargeable batteries and a charger, and a UV lens filter to protect the all important part of the camera, the lens itself.
Major features of the Fujifilm S9500 includes:
- New Fujifilm Super CCD sensor with 9.0 million effective pixels
- New 28-300mm (10.7x) Fujinon zoom lens with manual twist-barrel zoom control
- Class-leading sensitivity setting of ISO 1600 for photography in low light conditions
- 1.8” tilting LCD screen for easy high and low angle shooting
- 0.01 second shutter lag and 0.8 second start-up
- Real-time histogram
- Highlight Warning feature for displaying highlight areas in playback
- VGA movie capture of 30 frames per second with zoom capability and sound
- Closed unit design to eliminate dust accumulation on the CCD
- Hot shoe and PC sync terminal
- RAW format shooting
- Dual storage options (CompactFlash and xD-Picture Card)
Isn’t it gorgeous? … my precious …
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