Fujifilm FinePix S9200 Review - The Fujifilm FinePix S9200 is a bridge camera with a 50x optical zoom lens and an electronic viewfinder to help compose images and keep the camera steady. Daniel Bell reviews.
The Fujifilm FinePix S9200 was announced in January 2014 and is a bridge camera with a 50x optical zoom lens and full manual controls. The S9200 was released alongside the S9400W, which is exactly the same apart from it includes Wi-Fi. The S9200W is available for £249.
Fujifilm FinePix S9200 Features
The Fujifilm FinePix S9200 has a 16.2 megapixel CMOS sensor and a 50x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 24-1200mm. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm and has optical image stabilisation to help take the sharpest shots possible. Continuous shooting records a maximum 10 full resolution images at 10 fps. As well as the 3.0 inch LCD screen there is a 0.2 inch electronic viewfinder which has a 201k dot resolution.
To make picture taking simple there is an Auto mode. There are also plenty of scene modes as well as full manual controls. There are a number of creative shooting modes with advanced filters which include Toy Camera, Miniature, Pop Colour, Soft Focus, Cross Screen, Partial Colour, High Key, Low-Key, Dynamic Tone and Fish-Eye. The S9200 can also shoot 360 panoramas and HDR images, with three shots combined at different exposures.
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD at 60 fps with stereo sound and can be connected to a HD TV using a HDMI cable. You can use the optical zoom during recording and there is 5-axis image stabilisation to reduce shake. High-speed movies can also be recorded at 480 fps (320 x 120 pixels), 240 fps (320 x 240 pixels) and 120 fps (640 x 480 pixels).
16.2 megapixel CMOS sensor
50x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 24-100mm)
Optical image stabilisation
3.0 inch 460k dot LCD screen
0.2 inch 210k dot electronic viewfinder (EVF)
Full 1080p HD video recording
1cm minimum focusing distance
Motion panorama mode
10 fps continuous shooting
Available in red, black and white
Fujifilm FinePix S9200 Handling
The Fujifilm FinePix S9200 has the look and feel of a DSLR camera, as is common with bridge cameras. There is a good sized rubber handgrip, rubberised patch for your thumb on the rear and even a large part of the lens barrel is rubberised - this all makes the camera easy to grip.
There are two ways to control the zoom, there is the usual zoom rocker on the top of the camera, as well as a zoom lever on the lens barrel itself. Just above this lever is the button which releases the pop-up flash. Other buttons on the top of the camera are exposure compensation, continuous shooting, on / off and the mode dial. Just down from the mode dial, and next to the EVF, is the button which switches between the screen and EVF.
On the rear are movie record, playback and display / back buttons as well as a d-pad with the menu button in the centre. The d-pad also gives access to macro, flash and self-timer, with the up directional button acting as a function button. This can be customised to allow you to set the ISO, white balance, image size and much more.
Also on the rear is the 3.0 inch screen which has decent 460k dot resolution - it is bright and colourful. The EVF has a lower 210k dot resolution, but is bright and ideal for shooting in low light and when using the zoom. The S9200 has an easy to navigate menu system.
When using the supplied AA alkaline batteries, life is rated at 300 shots according to CIPA test results. For longer battery life you can use Ni-MH rechargeable batteries which will give 500 shots or Lithium batteries for 700 shots. Whichever type of batteries you use, you'll get plenty of shots before they run out of power.
We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting - H
Continuous Shooting - M
Continuous Shooting - L
Continuous Shooting - SH1
Continuous Shooting - SH2
Continuous shooting H, M and L all record in full 16.2 megapixel resolution, with SH1 limited to 1 megapixel and SH2 limited to 0.3 megapixels.
Fujifilm FinePix S9200 Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Fujifilm FinePix S9200 Sample Photos
Sample Photos - The Fujifilm FinePix S9200 takes well exposed images with good colour reproduction. Portraits have decent skin tones and are free of red-eye when using the flash. The camera automatically combines images at different exposures to create HDR images, with good results.
Fujifilm FinePix S9200 Lens test images
Lens Performance - Unfortunately detail isn't all that good when shooting at either end of the lens. Purple fringing is also an issue in contrasting areas of the images. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1cm which allows for a reasonably good macro shot.
Fujifilm FinePix S9200 ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - Images are noise free at ISO 100 but there is noise evident at ISO 200. At ISO 400 there is detail missing in places, with images becoming soft. Image quality really suffers at ISO 800, with noise continuing to reduce image quality further through ISO 1600 and 3200. At the highest two settings of ISO 6400 and 12800 detail and colour are both poor - these two settings are best avoided.
Fujifilm FinePix S9200 White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights, the Auto White Balance (AWB) produces images with a slightly warm colour cast, with the incandescent preset performing a little better. The AWB performs well under the fluorescent lights, with a very similar image produced when using the fluorescent preset.
120 Panorama | 1/180 sec | f/8.4 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
180 Panorama | 1/150 sec | f/8.4 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
360 Panorama | 1/200 sec | f/8.4 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
Panorama mode - Panorama images have a decent amount of detail and are reasonably well stitched together, although if you view them at full size there are some slight ghosting issues.
Fujifilm FinePix S9200 Digital filters
Digital Filters - The Fujifilm FinePix S9200 has a range of colour modes and advanced filters for creative photography, we have included examples of each above.
Video - Below is a video in full 1080p HD. Quality is good, with the focusing doing a reasonable job when zooming. When adjusting the optical zoom during recording, the noise of the zoom is quite loud and is picked up by the microphone.
The Fujifilm FinePix S9200 is one of the cheapest cameras available with 50x optical zoom. If you require Wi-Fi there is the S9400W which costs around £30 more. As well as the 50x zoom, there are a number of other useful features, such as the electronic viewfinder, 1cm minimum focusing distance and advanced filters. The S9200 also has good battery life, particularly if you spend a little more money on rechargeable lithium batteries. Unfortunately, if you're looking for a 50x optical zoom camera that excels in terms of image quality, this isn't the camera for you. Detail in images isn't great, and gets worse if you can't shoot at ISO 100. If you're happy with the image quality on offer, the features on the S9200 are well worth it for the price of the camera, therefore we are happy to recommend it.