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February 16, 2009

New Fuji S1500fd gets image stabilization - can now compete with others

The most exciting new camera (from an enthusiast perspective) of this new lot of Fujis is probably the new Finepix S1500fd. As the model name suggests, it sits between the affordable S1000fd and the also affordable S2000hd which came out at Photokina 2008 and offered hd as in high-def video recording, as opposed to just good old fd as in face detection.

Fuji addressed the biggest deficit of the S1000 by adding mechanical (sensor-shift) image stabilization to its brand new S1500. This is great news because now the camera can compete with the other affordable-superzooms and the popular fun (travel) zooms such as the Panasonic TZ-series.


Its 12X optical zoom lens remains at the compromise focal range of 33-396mm (equivalent of course), and the sensor also remains at 10mp 1/2.3". None of the new Fujis are using SuperCCD sensors by the way. They are all using "standard CCD" sensors.

Other features of note include a 2.7" LCD, four AA batteries, manual photographic control, and a burst mode that's only a burst-mode if you want to shoot at 5mp (or lower) resolutions. Not that that is a bad idea, it just goes to show that even 10-megapixels is perhaps an overkill for this tier :-)

The starting price is not bad, it will tip off at $250 in March. That's a price that already makes it competitive with the TZ-series and the Canon/Sony models - all things considered.

Another point of order is that Fuji's superzoom line-up has more tiers than any other manufacturer out there, going in this fashion:
+ giant 2/3" superzoom - S100fs
+ 1/1.6" superzooms such as the S9000 and S9100 (aka S9500 and S9600)
+ "Sensitive" version of S9X00 series
+ S2000hd (high-def video recording)
+ S1000fd and S1500fd
+ S5700 and S5800 (or S570 and S580)

Read all about it
+ Press release at Imaging Insider
+ Fuji USA

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