Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Compare Fujifilm S8000, Olympus SP550, Panasonic FZ18 - nothing to S9100

Fujifilm S8000' 18x zoom is too bigNight Pattaya' image noiseThis September Fujifilm made its fans a little happier by releasing a new SLR-like with a groovy 18x zoom lens, S8000. David Troy, Senior Product Manager, Consumer Digital Cameras, Electronic Imaging Division, FUJIFILM U.S.A., Inc. says: “By styling advanced DSLR features in a compact, easy to use digicam, we’re offering users the tools to capture photos you would swear were captured by a pro.” Let’s analyze which features of Fujifilm S8000 make us happy and force us to throw away our favorite DSLRs, compacts and even camcorders. For more details look through: Fujifilm S8000 vs S700, S9600 or F40: Great zoom for SLR-like, great sensor for Compact.
Fujinon’s 18x Wide Angle Optical Zoom lens
Fujifilm is bringing the wide-angle, long zoom technology to the consumer market with a 27mm-486mm equivalent 18x optical zoom lens. ‘It’s all the lens you need in one device’ – Fuji-guys said. Really! To tell the truth I was never in need of 486mm lens for my SLR but maybe there are a lot of astronomers among photographers now. Then it is impossible to understand why do they need a wide angle? Instead we can guess that they are following Olympus and Panasonic 18x zoom success. For more details look through Panasonic FZ18 vs. Fujifilm S8000 or Olympus SP-550; Compare 18x SLR-likes or Olympus SP-560 vs SP-550; 18x SLR-like with E410’ processor and 826mm Tele converter. Still it’s not such important for Fuji’ marketing specialists that Olympus was the first who brought the 18x zoom with SP-550 model. What is more it’s not such important for marketing specialists that with 18x lens they are bringing 18x artifacts in pictures. Unfortunately searching for the all-in-one device some mfrs forget about picture quality. However it’s the main thing for a digital camera. Even worse that S8000’s sensor wasn’t made with Fujifilm’s famous Super CCD HR technology. Therefore in comparison with S9600 / 9100 (look at my previous post) this 18x SLR-like S8000 looks some insipid. Yes, 1/2.35 inch Fujifilm’s sensor is a little larger than 1/2.5” from Panasonic FZ18 or Olympus SP-550 but it is unimportant. And so a full-resolution ISO 1600, and half-resolution ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 look unconvincing, although it is likely but with high noise.
5xs all-in-one with CMOS sensorDo you really need a 18x zoom?Dual Image Stabilization
This is the next marketing’s feature, no more. The well-known sensor shift combines with higher ISO levels and faster shutter speeds. Can’t we select ISO levels and shutter speeds without Fujifilm S8000? Not likely!
As for Fujifilm’s Face Detection technology, I already said in my previous post that everyone can distinguish face from ass by himself. Why must we pay extra money?
As regards other S8000’s features, there is nothing impressive. Fujifilm’s ultra-zoom has 2.5” LCD, 640 x 480 at 30 fps movie mode, Electronic Viewfinder, xD / SD / SD-HC compatible slot, 4xAA Batteries, dimensions at 111 x 78 x 79 mm (4.4 x 3.1 x 3.1 in) and weight at 510 g (18 oz). Is this everything you need for $400?
Speaking about 18 xs zoom cameras such as S8000, Olympus SP-550 and Panasonic FZ18 I can’t find anything that photographers really need. There are only marketing’s features which are able to force us to do shopping. I asked some users in the Net about their reasons buying this gadget. Look through their answers:
- One of the biggest pros of the 18x zoom is the fact that people like me that own a digital SLR will more than likely never ever be able to enjoy that sort of benefit in a lens, especially one that size! I can think of a few lenses (e.g. the Sigma 50-500 zoom) that are 10x, but they are GIGANTIC lenses, heavy, and not very versatile in terms of lighting conditions you can use them in. I could only dream of having a lightweight 18x zoom lens that could offer better image quality.
- I had a Fujifilm S5200 for about a year before I upgraded to a real dSLR. It was a nice camera and had a huge zoom that I almost never used. I got a ton of great photos out of it but nothing any better than I could have gotten from a compact P&S. The only reason I bought the camera in the first place was because it was big and I felt it made me look like I was serious about my photography.
To tell the truth, one of DSLR advantages is using swapping lenses. And so Canon bring about this potential for compacts. However, if you are ready to pay $500 for “body”, $160 for Wide converter WC-DC58B with conversion lens adapter LA-DC58H, $140 for Tele converter TC-DC58C for 420mm Tele photo and some (not a little!) money for External Flash Speedlite 580EX II, maybe it’s better to look at Canon Rebel XT (it’s cheaper) or even Rebel Xti / EOS400D. For more look through Canon Powershot G9, SD950 and A650: can 12MP make SLR from compact.
Therefore there is no need of 18x zoom lenses for real SLR. It’s easy to buy a 170-500mm zoom lens or even 500mm fixed lens. As for SLR-like cameras, it’s more than enough to have a 10x zoom to get not bad picture quality. And in comparison with Fujifilm FinePix S9100 the new model S8000 is a step back. In other words in chase of buyers Fujifilm loses its admirers.
For more details about SLR-like cameras look through:
- 7 best SLR-like’s specification table
- Choosing Digital zoom cam: Canon PowerShot S5 IS can fight with Sony DSC-H9 or H7; Canon, you really can?
- Canon PowerShot S5 vs EOS350D, Sony H9 vs A100; SLR-like cam never comes to SLR.
I collect info about all digital cameras. Tell me what you need and we will find the one together. Feel at ease at Comments directory.


Julia said...

I intend to buy a Fujifilm S8000 or Panasonic FZ18. Can I have the same night picture a crowded place with these gadgets?

fototramp said...

If you like an ultra zoom camera you should choose a cam with a larger sensor, for example S9100 with 1/1.6 " or Panasonic FZ50 with 1/1.8 ". You won’t make a crowd to freeze so you’ll get a blurry picture with Fujifilm S8000 or Panasonic FZ18. It’s more important to have a larger sensor size than a bigger zoom lens if you need a great image quality.

Sam said...

I’d use the FujifilmS8000 for a few weeks. Its wide angle is really useful but has some distortions. As for maximum zoom it isn’t usable without tripod. In middle positions the Image stabilizer works well. I’m some disappointed in S8000, especially in image quality.

fototramp said...

I already wrote that 18x zoom is good only for making money for Fujifilm and 10x 28 mm - 300 mm is more than anought for SLR-like camera. As for the S8000, it has a much smaller sensor, so its ISO performance is nowhere as good as S9600's or S6500fd's, but it has not bad image stabilizer which might come in handy in low light situations.

Julia said...

There's a reason for comparison with Panasonic FZ18 or Olympus 550/560 because Fuji S9600 is a little expensive. And if you prefer a better quality performance ask yourself you’re willing to pay the extra money for Fuji S9600 with its higher resolution, slightly higher ISO performance, external flash and flip LCD.

fototramp said...

Hi Julia
If you prefer a ‘better quality performance’ it’s better to look at SLR, especially when some SLRs costs cheaper than Fuji S9600 (look at Olympus E330, Canon XT etc prices). As for our SLR-like’s comparison, I think that Fujifilm FinePix S9100 / 9600 with Fujifilm SuperCCD V HR famous technology 1/1.6 " sensor is a truly great camera which can fight with Sony R1 and CMOS sensor.

Anonymous said...

My primary reason for buying the Fujifilm S9600 is the low light capability. And there are a lot of people who love their S9100 / S9600 cameras and attest to their performance in low light.

SiR said...

I think 18x zoom it there is a good idea for the manufacturer of cameras. But it is necessary to improve a design of this lens for improvement of operational qualities.

'Mystery Photo'

Anonymous said...

I bought S8000 and S6000 to compare the pros and cons.

S8000 is better only in super Macro mode. S6000 is clear winner in all other modes and lighting conditions.

I Love my S6000 camera. It feels like a DSLR, good body built with quality material.

I need a camera that gives me a better picture quality with less noise in all lighting conditions.

How many times are you going to make use of 18x zoom and Super Macro?

I have returned S8000 camera and kept S6000.

If your requirement matches with mine then buy S6000.

fototramp said...

Yes, 18-x optical zoom for SLR-like camera is good for mfrs. However, for its users it costs extra money. Moreover, this long zoom is useful maybe just one time in a year.

fototramp said...

To Anonymous
Off course, the Fujifilm S6000 with Fuji's famous Fujifilm SuperCCD HR 1/1.7 inch sensor is much, much better.

barrakev said...

hi, u gotta help me.

i have been through almost every review looking for a camera i'd settle and be happy with once i sell my pana FZ7. i intially had my sight on the FZ50 because it's the only bridge camera in it's class ie. long zoom, manual focus and zoom rings, external hot-shoe, tilting screen and IMAGE STABILISATION. but i'm so worried about the iso problems.
so i looked and found out thr Sony R1 had a great lens and sensor, but was as heavy as a dslr, lousy burst rate and presumably not as fast as the FZ50. you see, most if not all my pictures are taken in the evenings and in parties, so i finally decided that my main concern is being able to zoom in and take good images in those situations. the last camera i found is the Finepix s9600 that seems perfect, among a bunch of s6500fd owners who disagree.

enough of that; my question is, can the Fuji Finepix s9600 take sharp pictures at higher iso (but hopefully not above 800) handheld, at night? is there a camera with all the features i'm looking for other than a dslr that can, if not?

fototramp said...

To barrakev
In my opinion, the Fujifilm S9600 is number two (number one is the Sony R1) digital ultra-zoom camera in the modern digital market. The DSC-R1 is a unique camera with its 21.5 x 14.4 mm 10MP CMOS sensor and an excellent 24-120 mm 5-x zoom Carl Zeiss lens. I already wrote that Sony and Canon are making two CMOS sensor’s factories in Japan, but it is a long story. Therefore, we only have these two and a specialized infrared sensitive version of the S9600/S9100 -- the Fuji IS-1. This camera joins the quietly introduced S3 Pro UVIR in providing additional sensitivity to the infrared spectrum, used mostly for law enforcement and specialized scientific applications. Additionally you can purchase an add-on hot mirror filter to block IR light and produce results similar to a normal digital camera.
Fuji S9600 / IS-1 features
- Super CCD HR 1/1.6 inch sensor 9 mega pixels / Visible - IR (400 - 900 nm) for IR-1
- Real Photo Processor reduces noise and delivers enhanced color reproduction
- Fujinon 28-300mm F2.8-4.9 10.7x optical zoom lens with manual twist barrel control
- Sensitivity setting of ISO 1600 at full resolution for low light photography with reduced noise
- Low sensitivity of ISO 80 for ultra-high quality photography
- Ultra-fast response times at 0.01 second shutter lag and 0.8 second start-up
- Improved auto focus response time in low light conditions
- Improved image processing algorithms resulting in increased image sharpness and resolution
- Intelligent Flash system
- Real-time histogram to assist exposure settings before shooting
- Highlight Warning feature for displaying highlight areas in playback
- Hotshoe and PC sync terminal
Unfortunately, there is not an optical image stabilizer. Moreover, these two are some expensive and big devices. Look at this comparison:
Fuji S9600 / IS-1: Weight (no batt) 650 g (22.9 oz), Dimensions 128 x 93 x 129 mm (5 x 3.7 x 5.1 in)
Sony A100: Weight (inc. batteries) 638 g (22.5 oz), Dimensions 133 x 95 x 71 mm (5.2 x 3.7 x 2.8 in)
Canon Rebel XT: Weight (inc. batteries) 540 g (19 oz), Dimensions 127 x 94 x 64 mm (5 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
Therefore, I have a question: there are some smaller and cheaper as the S9600 / IS-1 digital SLR cameras. Maybe, is it better to look at any Single reflex models?

barra said...

hi again,
thanks for your reply. now u got me thinking about dslrs instead :\
however, may i ask ur expert opinion on some more:
1. is the Sony DSC R1 as responsive as a camera should be in taking spur-of-the-moment shots?
2.Will the Fuji S9600 produce more blur pictures in low light and/or sports action(no flash) because it does not have an optical image stabiliser? it wud be a setback if it does that more often than taking sharp pictures, handheld.
3. i have not checked out dslr prices. my assumption is that getting a 200mm lens alone wud be the same price as these bridge cameras,no? what wud be your recommendation for a dslr with an all-round lens, as i really hate carrying more than just a camera?
thanks, and appreciate your advice.

fototramp said...

To Barrakev
Compare the Fujifilm S9600 with the Sony DSC-R1 or some SLR cameras we have just a one snag: a bigger sensor (physical size) has a bigger sensitivity. In case of the Fuji F9600, we have a 1/1.6 inch about 8.2 x 6.1 mm sensor size; in case of the Sony R1 -- 21.5 x 14.4 mm, Sony A100 or Nikon D80, D200 -- 23.6 x 15.8 mm. As for SLR camera price, it is not such terrible: Sony A100 is available for $620 with not bad 18-70mm kit lens. Moreover, using Sony’s Image stabilization system I can successfully shoot with 75-300mm lens for $220. In addition, there are many excellent and not expensive Konica/Minolta lenses. Canon EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT is available for $381. I had an excellent SLR-like camera -- the Nikon 8700 for two years ago. However, after my Alpha I do not want to think about an ultra zoom. I am thinking about the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 or Sigma 12-24mm. As for you, maybe it is better to make a step to the SLR.

malo said...

Just to comment on the last entry, bigger sensors mean more pixels or bigger pixels and better quality, the sensor on the s9600 is smaller but their pixels are octogonal instead of square and 2 different sizes, thats how they managed to cram so many onto a smaller sensor. This system worked a treat for the fuji dslr resulting in improved pictures, for the s9600 it resulted in a wider iso range. I own a s9600, its wicked, beautiful and a great all rounder, no need for flash in low light but.. yes u need a tripod !!!!!!!!!!

fototramp said...

To Malo
When I am talking about bigger sensor, I am talking about physical size of the sensor and as a result about physical size of each pixel. In case of the Fujifilm S9600, it has 1/1.6 inch Fuji’s great Super CCD HR technology sensor whereas the S8000 has 1/2.35 inch ordinary CCD sensor. As for your camera, I would be happy to post some your photos to illustrate my article.

Anonymous said...

You lot talk trash, the s6000 sucks, only 10x zoom, crappy maneul zoom, No Image stable, Cant even take sd cards, the lcd is cack, The s8000 is much better, get over it

The Geeks said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)