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- Fujifilm X-S1
- Fuji attempts to build a true bridge camera.
Fujifilm X-S1 First Impressions Review$799.95
Superzooms are treated like overpowered point-and-shoots, the happy medium between pocket cameras and DSLRs in terms of price and target audience. But they don't make everybody happy. There are photo enthusiasts (not many, to be honest) who own a nice DSLR but would fork over the cash for a high-quality, all-in-one camera if they had the choice, rather than compromising for a glorified point-and-shoot with a big lens. Fujifilm thinks these folks are mostly nature photographers.
The X-S1 aims to fill that (possibly narrow) niche by taking a step beyond the genre's self-imposed borders. It's built around an oversized sensor with one of the most solid, well-constructed chassis we've ever seen in the category. It maintains all of the native versatility and comfortable handling of a regular bridge camera, too. As long as the image quality is actually superior to models like the Panasonic FZ150 or Canon SX40HS (and with such a large sensor that worked well in the X10, there's no reason to think that it won't be), it'll be the only truly premium superzoom on the market. Like it's X-series siblings, it's a boutique camera, the only one quite like itself at the moment.
But as a boutique camera, it's pricey. At $799, it's the most expensive superzoom by a long shot, even more expensive than a lot of DSLRs and system cameras. It would take thousands of dollars of lenses to match the X-S1's massive focal range, but $800 for a non-system camera is a tough sell. Fuji cameras also always seem to have some sort of weird firmware-related bug—false overheating warnings (HS20EXR), wonky AF (X100), the dreaded white blob (X10)—so the odds are pretty good that we'll hear about something wacky with the X-S1.
Of course, we'll have to get the X-S1 into our labs for proper testing before we can actually give a solid stamp of approval or a rejection sticker. It's dude out by the end of the month, so with any luck, we'll be writing about it very soon.