So far I’ve covered some of the key features of the Fuji X-S1 and had a look at the image quality. All of which are very important factors when judging a camera. The Fuji has delivered on all counts so far. But as this is a bridge camera, there’s another key test as to how good a camera this is. The whole point of owning a bridge camera is to have all the goodies of a DSLR (minus the giant sensor) packed into a unit with a fixed lens that is ready for any occasion.
The images above and below were taken from exactly the same spot. I didn’t move. The first shot was at the widest angle, taking in the full cityscape in front of me. I’ve highlighted a little box in the middle. That’s what you see in the photo below, at full zoom. The BT Tower, up close. Truth to be told, it’s not a great shot to show off the quality of the lens. The light and sky didn’t lend to a brilliant result. But you do get the idea of what a 26x zoom can do.
Of course, it’s not just about bringing the far away up into close up focus. A good bridge camera needs to be able to take a decent macro shot too. The X-S1 has two macro settings (Macro and Supermacro) which are easily accessed through a button on the back. In the more powerful mode, you can focus on an image just a centimetre away. I’ve tested this. It seems true to me. And focussing is quick and accurate. My Olympus Pen really struggled with macro, often forcing me to use the manual focus ring – which, with a decidedly low res screen, was not an easy or fun task.
There’s a dozen or so macro photos in a Flickr set I created – click here. Are any of these telephoto or macro photos as good as what you could get out of a DSLR with the right lenses? Nope. But they’re not that far off when viewed on a monitor. Can you get a DSLR with the necessary lenses for less than three times the cost of the X-S1? Nope. Price wise, they’re not even close. Can you comfortably carry around the DSLR and all those lenses in one handy small sized should bag? Nope, not even close. Is the DSLR ready to shoot anything, anytime. Nope – changing lenses takes time. Enough time to miss the shot.
It’s a trade off. Cost and convenience for ultimate image quality. It’s a trade off I’m happy to make. I still have a few subjects I want to test this camera out on. A moon shot and some birding shots. They’ll follow soon. I have to say, whenever I am looking for a new camera, I check out Flickr. I go look at what owners of the camera are producing. Strangely, the results I found on Flickr were largely disappointing. Especially the birding shots. A huge number of them were worse than what I’d got from my old HS10. If it wasn’t for the fact I had owned an HS10, I might have passed this camera up based on those snaps on Flickr. I suspected that many of those shots were over cropped. The results I’ve been getting suggest my suspicions were well founded.