It's superzoom season, but Fujifilm has unveiled one with a key difference: the FinePix S1 is the first water-resistant bridge camera. Now as well as singing in the rain you can go shooting too.
The Fuji S1 houses a 50x optical zoom lens, which delivers a 24-1200mm equivalent focal length complete with optical image stabilisation to help steady the shot in preview and the resulting image.
Better still, the lens's maximum aperture starts at f/2.8 at the wide-angle and dips to f/5.6 at the full 1200mm equivalent - that puts it slightly ahead of the maximum from similar superzoom models such as the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and Panasonic Lumix FZ72 models. The competition just took a splash.
There's also 5-axis image stabilisation to reduce blur from all manner of angles, including during 1080p video capture for the steadiest possible capture.
Speed is also high up on the S1's features list. With a maximum autofocus speed of just 0.14 sec at the widest angle setting, and a continuous shooting speed up to 10 frames per second, this is one speedy snapper.
At the heart of the camera is a standard-size 1/2.3-inch 16.4-megapixel CMOS sensor which Fujifilm claims has a newly developed image noise reduction system in order to shoot clear photos at sensitivities up to ISO 12,800. We suspect that won't be the case at the highest sensitivities, but Fujifilm cameras have been going from strength to strength of late.
Elsewhere there's a built-in 920K-dot elecronic viewfinder in addition to a rear 3-inch LCD screen mounted on a vari-angle bracket. Add built-in wireless communication, full manual control and a variety of auto modes, a 1cm macro mode, 0.68 sec startup time, and there's plenty to shout about from this release.
Available from this month, the FinePix S1 will priced at a penny under £400.
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