S9000 Frequently Asked Questions

The S9000 is Fujifilm's replacement for the S7000 ( see S7000 FAQ ).

The S9000 looks like an all new camera. The major upgrades over the S7000 (and previous S602Z and S20pro) are an increase in sensor mega pixels to 9MP and a new manually zoomed 10x zoom lens.

Are the S9000 images interpolated?

Yes, all digital cameras (except the Foveon sensor cameras) need interpolation to produce an image. However, unlike the S7000 which had a 6MP sensor and produced 12MP interpolated images, the S9000 has a 9MP sensor and produces 9MP interpolated images.

However, analysis of the raw files from the S9000 shows them to be 18MP images, so the camera with its honeycomb 5th generation super CCD does go through an "upsized" 18MP image as part of the picture taking process. This may in some way explain its poor burst mode / buffer performance.

What is the continuous shooting speed of the S9000?

The S9000 has two burst modes - "top 4" and "final 4" which capture images at 1.5 fps. This is a pretty appaling "burst" mode. By comparison, the Canon S2 IS can shoot at 2.4 frames per second (fps) until the SD card is full ( see S2 IS FAQ ). This frame rate is also seriously down over previous Fujifilm pro-sumer cameras. The S602Z and S20pro featured 5 fps and "top 5" / "final 5" modes and the S7000 featured 3.3 fps in "top 5" / "final 5" modes.

Does it have an optical or electronic viewfinder?

The Canon S9000 features an electronic viewfinder with 235,000 pixels. This is about average for prosumer cameras with EVF's and not really sufficient resolution to use the viewfinder for accurate manual focus (to put this in context, a 640 x 480 computer screen has over 300,000 pixels). The benchmark to date for EVF resolution was the Minolta A1 which featured a 1MP EVF.

How big is the LCD display on the S9000?

The rear mounted LCD is nothing special at 1.8" and only 115,000 pixels. It does tilt out from the body (an improvement over the S7000) but is small and low resolution compared to other cameras in this class.

What batteries does the S9000 use?

Thankfully, Fujifilm have chosen to use 4 x AA batteries to power this camera rather than some proprietary and expensive system. However, alkaline batteries will not power the camera for long. High capacity NiMH batteries are the way to go.

What is "anti-shake" and does the S9000 have image stabilisation?

Anti-shake is Fujifilm marketing speak for a setting where the camera will automatically select higher ISO settings to keep the shutter speed high to prevent camera movement from blurring a picture.

The S9000 does not have image stabilisation which typically uses mechanical means to move the sensor or elements in the lens to prevent camera movement from blurring a picture.

Can you use add-on lenses with the S9000?

The short answer is no. The lens is threaded on the front (58mm thread) but the lens barrel extends with zooming and does not seem strong enough to bear the weight of add-on lenses.

Fujifilm do not list any add-on lenses as options for the S9000.

What storage media does the S9000 use?

The S9000 has dual media slots and can use xD cards as well as compact flash type I or type II cards. Microdrives and FAT32 (for cards >2GB) are supported.

Is it better to use xD cards or compact flash cards with the S9000?

Like the S7000, write performance is slightly better with xD cards. The camera can clear the buffer (like when you use the "top 4" or "final 4" modes) slightly quicker. However, the speed difference is such that most people wouldn't notice. What you will notice is that xD cards are much more expensive than compact flash. So if price is an issue, go with the compact flash cards and buy the fastest card you can afford - you may be able to use it in another camera which can take advantage of that faster speed.

Is there a movie mode?

The movie mode on the S9000 is great, featuring 640x480 resolution at 30 fps. Thanks to the manually zoomed lens the S9000 can also zoom during recording. It's a little disappointing that the S9000 uses the mjpeg codec for movie compression. Other cameras now offer mpeg4 compression which produces smaller file sizes for the same quality resulting in longer movies using the same size memory card.

What firmware versions have been shipping with the S9000?

Users have reported versions 1.00, 1.01 and 1.02.

How can I focus to infinity?

Troutman on dpreview posted an intersting technique that he has used - see forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1012&message=16525836 - which involves putting the camera in manual focus mode, turning the manual focus ring clockwise until focused beyond infinity and then listening to the focusing motor clicks and turning focus back 3-4 clicks.

Why do my pictures look soft when viewed at maximum magnification or as 100% crops?

This question also crops up as: why do my S9000 images look worse magnified than those out of my $100 2MP point and shoot?

The answer is easy. You're looking at a highly magnified part of a 9MP image. It is always going to look soft when you are viewing at magnifications where you can see the actual pixels.

Once the mega pixels on the sensor get above about 3MP you really need to be printing your images to see them in the best light. On-screen viewing will just not do them justice.

How does the ISO1600 performance of the S9000 compare with the F10/F11?

Sample images that I have seen show that the ISO1600 performance of the F10/F11 is superior to that of the S9000. Unfortunately, it would seem that the S9000 just has too many photosites packed into too small an area to gather enough light for super-clean high ISO performance. You can make your own mind up - see sefi.dyndns.org/~hkultala/kuvat/fuji_demotus/comparison.html.

When was the S9000 released?

The Fujifilm S9000 has been shipping since around September 2005.

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