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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fuji Finepix S1: Un-Boxed and First Impressions

Fuji Finepix S1 Pro 50X Ultrazoom

I've been waiting with anticipation to get my hands on the Fuji Finepix S1 ever since it's announcement earlier this year.  As a happy Canon SX50 owner, the S1 peaked my curiousity, begging the question, would the S1 be worthy of replacing my trusted little SX50 as my 50X ultrazoom?

Fuji S1 Pro - LCD swivelled to the side

Right out of the box, the Fuji S1 looks very nice.  It's matte black plastic gives it a more modern, sleek look than the SX50.

Fuji S1 Grip from the side

 The rubber on the hand grip is nice and tactile without being tacky, and the S1 fits nicely in my hand with just the right amount of depth to the protrusion of grip to get a nice comfortable grasp.  In the side of the grip hiding behind a little rubber plug is also where you find the USB and HDMI connections.

Fuji S1 Pro Lens

The 50X lens looks impressive when you take off the lens cap, and my eye was quickly drawn to the text noting 1:2.8-5.6.  Yes, this lens is f2.8 at the wide end.

The camera battery was charged on arrival, so I was able to turn the camera on, view the LCD and menus, look through the EVF, and zoom the lens out to it's full 50X maximum limit.

Zooming the lens from telephoto to wide is nice and smooth, with a slight push on the zoom button providing a nice slow zooming movement which speeds up with a little firmer pressure on the zoom button.  The zooming action of the lens is quite quiet.

Fuji S1 articulated LCD

The LCD is an articulated one, so it's able to swing out to the side and swivel up and down.  This is my preferred kind of LCD, something I think all camera should have these days.  Brightness and detail appear to be good.

Fuji S1 EVF & EVF/LCD button

Switching to the EVF, I'm pleased with the improved image and resolution in comparison to my SX50.  While not on par with Fuji's X series cameras, the S1's EVF is functional and usable, unlike the one on my Canon SX50 which is pretty close to useless. 

Switching between the EVF and LCD is made conveniently easy by the inclusion of an EVF/LCD button between mode dial and the EVF.  Kudos Fuji!  I like!

Fuji S1 Pro rear view - buttons beside LCD

The buttons beside the LCD are well laid out, and they too have a nice tactile feel with a nice amount of pressure resistance when pressed, giving you that feeling of good build quality.

Fuji S1 Pop-up Flash

Fuji S1 Pro hotshoe

The Fuji S1 has a built-in flash for low-light situations, although of more importance to me, it also has a hotshoe atop the camera behind the flash.  This is a real benefit as you're able to put a more powerful speedlite in the hotshoe, or preferably, slide in a wireless trigger and use a speedlite or two off-camera (my preferred modus operandi).

Fuji S1 bottom view

Turning the S1 over, we see the battery compartment, and a tripod mount, right where one would expect.  The slot for the SD card is inside the battery compartment, making it hard to get at if you have a quick release plate for a tripod screwed into the tripod mount, but that's normal for compacts and ultrazooms.  

Fuji S1 Pro - side view with LCD flipped out

Over-all, I'm impressed with the Fuji S1.  Fit and finish are nice.  Build quality seems high, and the grip feels good in the hand.  I'm really looking forward to getting out and doing some shooting with the little S1, so stay tuned for my Fuji S1 report after a day of shooting! 

Click here for the User Reviews and LOWEST price of the Fuji S1 on Amazon.

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