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Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 Review

The Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 has a 50x optical zoom lens and looks very much like a DSLR. Daniel Bell reviews.

|  Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 in Compact Cameras
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Fujifilm FinePix SL1000

The Fujfilm FinePix SL1000 is the latest camera to offer 50x optical zoom, as well as the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and Sony CyberShot HX300. The biggest advantage the Fujifilm has is the price, it is cheaper than both the other models with 50x zoom and also packs other features such as RAW shooting, a tilting screen and EVF. It is available to purchase for £299.99.

Fujifilm FinePix SL1000

Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 Features

The SL1000 has a 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and a massive 50x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 24-1200mm. With its minimum focusing distance of 1cm it's ideal for shooting subjects that are very close or a long way in the distance. Autofocus has a speed of 0.2 seconds and can shoot at up to 10 fps in full resolution. There is optical image stabilisation to keep your pictures free from blur.

When shooting there is six scene SR Auto (Scene Recognition Auto) which automatically detects a portrait, landscape, night, macro, night portrait and backlit portrait and adjusts the camera settings automatically. The SL1000 also offers full manual controls and RAW shooting. Other modes include motion panorama and advanced mode which includes HDR.

There is a 3 inch 920k dot tilting LCD screen and 920k dot electronic viewfinder (EVF) with an automatic eye sensor. To activate the zoom there is a lever on the side of the lens barrel.

Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD at 60 fps with stereo sound. You can also record high-speed movies at 480fps (240 x 180 pixels), 240fps (320 x 240 pixels) and 120fps (640 x 480 pixels). The SL1000 can be connected to a HDTV via a HDMI cable.

Fujifilm FinePix SL1000

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor
  • 50x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 24-1200mm)
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 3 inch 920k dot tilting LCD screen
  • 920k dot electronic viewfinder (EVF)
  • Full 1080p HD video recording with stereo sound
  • ISO 100-12800
  • 1cm minimum focusing distance
  • HDR & panorama modes
  • Full manual controls and RAW shooting
  • 10 fps continuous shooting
Fujifilm FinePix SL1000

Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 Handling

The SL1000 very much has the look and feel of a DSLR camera. It has a substantial rubberised hand grip and rubber grip for your right hand thumb. The lens barrel is also rubberised, so there's certainly no issues when holding the camera. There is also a hot shoe socket and an electronic viewfinder (EVF) with a dioptre control, which is reasonably bright and is automatically activated when you hold the camera to your eye, but there is also a button to switch between it and the LCD screen.

There is a mode dial on the top of the camera alongside the on / off switch, shutter release, zoom rocker as well as the continuous shooting and exposure control buttons. On the left hand side is a button to raise the flash and a button on the lens barrel which acts as a second way to control the zoom. On the rear of the camera is a rotating wheel for cycling through menu options. This also gives quick access to the flash, self-timer, focusing mode and Fn, which can be customised to set the ISO, image size, image quality, white-balance and more.

The 3 inch LCD screen has a respectable 920k dot resolution and tilts to make it easy to shoot with the camera higher up or lower down. The SL1000 has an improved menu system from previous FinePix cameras, it looks much better and is easy to navigate.

Battery life is rated at 350 shots according to CIPA test results, we were able to take over 500 shots before the battery went flat. 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   0.125 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.25 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.6 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   2.55 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   1.4 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   2.8 secs
Continuous Shooting - H   10.7 fps
Continuous Shooting - M   5.0 fps
Continuous Shooting - L   2.3 fps

Continuous shooting is not available when recording in RAW, but all the continuous shooting modes record in full resolution.

Fujifilm FinePix SL1000

Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 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 SL1000 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Portraits have decent skin tones and are free of red-eye. Images are well exposed and have good colour reproduction. The SL1000 creates impressive HDR pictures.

Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 Lens test images

Lens Performance - Detail is good when shooting wide and remains good when using the zoom, even at its full 50x range, although there is purple fringing in contrasting areas. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm, this allows for a good, well detailed macro shot to be taken.

Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Images are noise free at ISO 100, with a small amount of noise appearing at ISO 200, with slight but steady increases at ISO 400 and 800. Noise causes images to become soft at ISO 1600, which becomes much worse at ISO 3200. At ISO 6400 and ISO 12800 images are extremely noisy, with detail lost and the image size has a reduced resolution at these two settings.

Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - The auto white balance (AWB) handles our studio lighting well. Under the incandescent lights, the incandescent preset also performs well, taking a very similar picture as when using the AWB setting. Under the fluorescent lights, all three fluorescent presets produce a slight colour cast.

180 Panorama | 1/300 sec | f/8.4 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
180 Panorama | 1/300 sec | f/8.4 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100

Panorama mode - Panoramas have a decent amount of detail and are well stitched together.

Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 Digital filters

Digital Filters - The SL1000 packs a range of FinePix colours as well as Advanced Filters which allow you to easily take creative pictures.

Video - Below is a video shot in full 1080p HD. We have uploaded a range of videos to the ePHOTOzine Youtube page. There is an video using the optical zoom and high-speed videos at 120 fps, 240 fps and 480 fps.

Value For Money

The Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 is available for £299.99. Other cameras with a 50x optical zoom lens are the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS at £359.00 and the newly released Sony CyberShot HX300 which is due to be priced around the £419.00 mark. The Nikon Coolpix P520 has 42x optical zoom and is expected to set you back around £399.00 and the Olympus SP-820UZ has 40x, available for £199.99.

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 SL1000 Verdict

Fujifilm have been keen producers of compact cameras with large amounts of zoom at a low price for a while now, the downside is the image quality is not generally all that good. We are pleasantly surprised to find that you can take decent pictures with the SL1000, they even have impressive detail at 50x optical zoom.

When you consider the massive range of features on the camera, its price tag of £299.99 looks quite generous, this is also cheaper than the two other 50x optical zoom cameras available from Sony and Canon. If you want a camera with lots of zoom, the SL1000 is worth considering. Its feature set is comparable to a DSLR, so if you are looking for a camera with DSLR functionality without spending a large sum, again, the SL1000 is an ideal option.

  The Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 has an impressive 50x optical zoom lens and image quality is also good.

Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 Pros

Feature packed
Large optical zoom lens
Tilting screen
Full manual controls and RAW shooting
Decent electronic viewfinder
Good battery life
Solid SLR style body
Good image quality
Very good value for money

Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 Cons

Images are noisy from ISO 1600 upwards
Purple fringing is common
No RAW continuous shooting


Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 Specifications

Max Aperturef/2.9 - f/6.5
35mm equivalent24mm - 1200mm
Optical Zoom50x
Image Sensor
Pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor Size1/2.3inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution920k
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/1700sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • A
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting10fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 640x480 VGA
  • 320x240 QVGA
Video FPS1080i/60fps
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLi-ion battery NP-85
Battery Life (CIPA rating)350shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsLi-ion battery NP-85, Battery charger BC-85A, Plug adapter, Shoulder strap, USB cable, Lens cap and Lens cap cord, CD-ROM, Owner's manual

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Photographs taken using the Fujifilm FinePix SL1000

Moon - Stacked

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Niknut Plus
11 2.9k 82 United Kingdom
6 Mar 2013 4:26PM
Impressive results from a small sensor.....& the mid-range & long range zoom shots are
so clear !! 24-1200 must cover every conceivable situation ??

Surprisingly heavy at 659g....must be lots of glass in that remarkable lens ??
pablophotographer 9 1.9k 405
6 Mar 2013 10:52PM
I think they should be giving a pair of binoculars with it as well. It would save power energy to search first for that bird THAT far away and then shoot it. Yes, if you can see THAT far, THAT well, consider yourselves lucky.
sasan 7 36 England
12 Aug 2013 11:37AM
I think it's a good job
Good image quality in any position
High zoom on 50x !
Aperture f/2.9 - f/6.5 is very nice
Screen resolution 920k is pro
Good macro as 1 cm better than most compact cams
Continuous shooting 10fps likes dslr !
Shutter speed in 1/1700sec is middle but 30 seconds is exciting for
astronomical photography
Video recording is incredible fullHD at 60fps & really perfect job with zoom during video recording & powerfull stereo sound recording(low noise during move the lens)
Good battery on 350 shuts
I L ephotozineWink
I L Japan
I L Fujifilm

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