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Fujifilm FinePix S9900W S9800 Review

The Fujifilm FinePix S9900W and S9800 are Fujifilm's latest ultra zoom bridge cameras, with a 50x optical zoom lens, and built in Wi-Fi in the S9900W.


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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W Black (2)
The 50x optical zoom lens Fujifilm FinePix S9900W replaces the S9400W and updates include a new remote shooting mode (over Wi-Fi), a new sketch mode, and an increased resolution electronic viewfinder (920k vs 201k dots). The S9900W is the same as the S9800, but the S9800 lacks Wi-Fi.

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W S9800 Features

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W Black (3)

The Fujifilm FinePix S9900W and S9800 feature a 16.2 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, along with a 50x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 24-1200mm in 35mm equivalent terms. Optical image stabilisation is included to help take steady shots, and the camera can focus on subjects just 1cm away from the lens in macro mode. The camera also shoots at 10fps for 10 shots. On the back there is a 3inch screen with 460k dots, and an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 920K dots. 

The camera features full manual controls, as well as numerous auto and scene modes to make it easy for a beginner to take photos. There are a number of advanced filters to help take creative shots. The camera can shoot panoramic photos as well as HDR (High Dynamic Range) shots to capture detail in both the bright and dark areas of a scene. 

Built in Wi-Fi, on the S9900W, lets you use your smartphone or tablet to shoot remotely as well as transfer pictures for easy sharing to social media websites. The camera records full HD videos at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 at 60fps with stereo sound, and optical zoom is available while recording. The camera has 5-axis image stabilisation to help reduce shake while recording. The camera also records high-speed videos at 120, 240 and 480fps at a reduced resolution. 

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W Black (4)

Key Features

  • 16.2 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor
  • 50x optical zoom lens, 24-1200mm equivalent
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 3.0inch 460k dot screen
  • Electronic viewfinder (EVF) 0.2-inch, approx. 920K-dot
  • Wi-Fi for remote shooting and transfer (S9800W only)
  • FullHD video with stereo sound
  • ISO100 to ISO12800
  • 1cm macro focusing
  • 10fps continuous shooting
  • Available in black, red or white

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W S9800 Handling

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W Black (5)
 

The Fujifilm FinePix S9900W looks like a small Digital SLR, with a large rubberised handgrip along with a rubber ring around the lens, this makes it easy to get a firm grip on the camera. On the back is a textured thumb grip however this isn't rubberised. The electronic viewfinder has an improved resolution of 920k dots, and detail is good, although it is quite small. There is a rubber eye piece making it more comfortable to use. On the side is dioptre adjustment, with a button on the other side to switch between the EVF and LCD.

You can control the zoom with the usual zoom rocker surrounding the shutter release button, or alternatively using the zoom lever on the lens barrel. Just above this lever is a button to release the pop-up flash. Other buttons on the top of the camera are exposure compensation, continuous shooting, on / off and the mode dial. 

On the back of the camera are buttons for movie record, playback and display / back buttons as well as a scroll wheel 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, Wireless and much more.

The 3.0 inch screen has a decent 460k dot resolution - it is bright and colourful with reasonably good viewing angles. The menu system is easy to navigate, and is split up into two main areas: photo and setup. 

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W Black (6)

The Wi-Fi (on the S9900W) is quite simple to use. You need to have the app (Fujifilm Camera Remote) installed on your smartphone or tablet before connecting. In the menu you need to select wireless transfer and then follow the instructions to connect the devices to each other. From the app you can shoot remotely, and the app lets you set the zoom, self-timer and flash, as well as record video. You can enter playback to transfer images onto the smartphone, and there is also the option to geotag images. 

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W Remote App Fujifilm FinePix S9900W Remote Fujifilm FinePix S9900W Playback
Remote App Remote shooting Playback

 

Using the supplied AA alkaline batteries, battery life is rated at 300 shots according to Fujifilm / 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, and replacements are readily available.

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W Black (8)

Speed - 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.

Shutter Response <0.05secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.2secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.4secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.5secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.9secs
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.6secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
10fps (10 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A


Focus, shutter response and shot to shot times are all good, and the camera can shoot at 10fps for 10 shots before slowing down. 

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W S9800 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. 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 S9900W Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Photos have good colour and saturation, and exposure is generally reliable, although occassionally highlights are blown. Portrait photos taken with flash show very low levels of red-eye and the ISO setting is kept quite low. 

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W Lens test images

Lens Performance - Detail is quite good in the centre of the frame, but detail becomes blurred towards the corner of the frame when shooting wide-angle shots. Purple fringing is quite high particularly when using the full optical zoom. Detail when using the full optical zoom does appear quite low. Barrel and pincushion distortion is quite well controlled and there is little vignetting in shots. The camera can take good macro photos, with the camera focusing on subjects just 1cm away from the front of the lens. 

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - For the lowest noise and best detail possible we would recommend using ISO100 to ISO200, as images have low levels of noise and good levels of detail. For lower light situations ISO400 to ISO800 still provides good results, although noise increases and detail is reduced. At ISO1600 and ISO3200 noise levels become strong and we would recommend avoiding this setting if possible, although results may still be useful if resized and used on the web. ISO6400 and above is best avoided as noise is extremely high, and detail is very low.

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under tungsten lighting with a slightly warm result, and the tungsten preset gives a similar result. AWB performs well under fluorescent lights, with the fluorescent preset giving a magenta colour cast.

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are numerous digital effects available, which can be selected in the Advanced shooting mode. The HDR mode combines a number of shots for improved dynamic range, although this is at a reduced resolution of 8 megapixels. Panorama mode - The camera features an automatic panoramic mode, where you simply press the shutter release button and pan the camera from one side to the other. Results are good, and well stitched together, although with a low resolution image produced.

Video - The camera records fullHD video at 60fps, with stereo sound and optical zoom. When using the camera handheld, the image stabilisation system struggles to keep video stable when using full optical zoom, so a tripod is recommended.

Value For Money

The Fujifilm FinePix S9900W is available for around £199, with the Fujifilm FinePix S9800 available for £179, which makes them excellent value for money, particularly up against the following ultra zoom cameras, shown below:

Nikon Coolpix P900, 83x optical zoom, vari-angle screen, Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS, £479
Canon Powershot SX60 HS, 65x optical zoom, vari-angle screen, Wi-Fi, £340
Sony Cyber-shot H400, 63x optical zoom, CCD sensor (720p video), £169
Samsung WB2200F, 60x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, NFC, £269
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72, 60x optical zoom, £210 
Olympus Stylus SP-100EE, 50x optical zoom, dot-sight, £210
Sony Cybershot DSC-HX400V, 50x optical zoom, tilting screen, Wi-Fi, GPS, £299
Fujifilm FinePix S1, 50x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, weather sealed, £265

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W S9800 Verdict

The Fujifilm FinePix S9900W is one of the cheapest ultra zoom bridge cameras available with built in Wi-Fi and EVF. This makes it apealling particularly for those people who might be on a tight budget, and if you want a cheaper version, then the S9800 is available without Wi-Fi. There is a long 50x optical zoom lens, and the camera is capable of producing bright colourful images, although when using the full optical zoom images are quite soft. The camera can shoot at 10fps and fullHD video is recorded at 60fps. For those who want a lot of zoom in a DSLR styled camera, then the S9900W offers compelling value for money, making it recommended. 

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W S9800 Pros

50x optical zoom lens
Electronic viewfinder with higher resolution
Built in Wi-Fi (on the S9900W)
Full HD video at 60fps
Good value for money

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W S9800 Cons

Image quality could be better
S9800 does not feature Wi-Fi
No dedicated Wi-Fi button on the camera (although you can customis the Fn button)

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

The Fujifilm FinePix S9900W has good value for money and you get a lot of camerra for your money.

 

 

Fujifilm FinePix S9900W Specifications

ManufacturerFujifilm
Lens
Max Aperturef/2.9 - f/6.5
35mm equivalent24mm - 1200mm
Optical Zoom50x
Image Sensor
Pixels16.2Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution460k dot
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/1700sec
Shutter speeds longest1/4sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • A
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting10fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS60
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiYes
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery Type4x AA batteries
Battery Life (CIPA rating)300shots
Box Contents
Box Contents4xAA type alkaline batteries, Shoulder strap, USB cable, Lens cap and Lens cap cord, CD-ROM, Owner's manual
Dimensions
Weight670g
Width122.6mm
Height86.9mm
Depth116.2mm

View Full Product Details


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Photographs taken using the Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

AlaskaCaitlín

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Comments


24 Jun 2015 4:32PM
I have the Fuji S1, which I woulopdn't change for this model, I've had Fuji cameras for several. and have updated every two years, I was hoping there would be a better advgance to the S1 then this model.
Untill such time as they bring an updated model to the S1 i'll stay with my present Model.

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21 Jul 2015 12:30AM
Disappointed that another camera without GPS. Why are they moving it to needing a linked phone, which has a worse battery life even before using wifi to link and GPS to tag? Illogical and damned frustrating.
Davoid 3
27 May 2016 6:23PM
Under key features, you list Wi-Fi (S9800 only). Wi-Fi is only on the S9900. Thanks for the good review!Wink
8 Nov 2016 4:58PM
The sound of the motor when zooming in and out of the video is awful

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