Top 8 Best Fujifilm Bridge Cameras 2017

 Fujifilm Bridge CamerasA bridge camera is so named as it bridges the gap between compact point-and-shoot cameras and DSLRs. As their quality has improved, they’ve become increasingly popular, particularly with amateur and beginner photographers. They’re often equipped with large zoom lenses that save the need to bring various interchangeable ones with you, although they have much smaller sensors than DSLRs. The result is that they’re a more affordable way of getting into photography, giving both some of the simplicity of a point-and-shoot and some of the flexibility of a DSLR. This article will examine some of the best Fujifilm bridge cameras available today.

Our Favourite Fujifilm Bridge Cameras

1. Fujifilm FinePix S1

Why it’s great:

  • 50x optical zoom equivalent to 24-1200mm.
  • 16 megapixel CMOS sensor for high-quality images and video.
  • Weather-proof construction stands up to the elements.

Our favourite all ‘rounder from Fujifilm is the FinePix S1. It has enough features to perform consistently well in many different settings. The 50x optical zoom gives a focal length equivalent of 24mm-1200mm; essentially a wide angle to telephoto range. This lens has a maximum aperture of an impressive f/2.8 – f/5.6, making low-light performance comparatively excellent.  A 16 megapixel sensor produces high-quality images, and is capable of capturing video up to 1080p at 60fps. The FinePix S1 is easy to use, thanks to the fully articulated 3-inch screen and built in Wi-Fi compatibility. The body and casing is weather-proof, meaning you can take it out and about without fear.  Overall this camera performs very well in all areas.

Buying considerations:

  • At higher ISOs (above 800) there is a fair amount of image noise produced.

2. Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Why it’s great:

  • 50x optical zoom with maximum f/2.9 – f/6.5 aperture.
  • 2 megapixel CMOS sensor.
  • 1080p video capture at 60fps.

If you’re on a budget and looking to buy a bridge camera, the FinePix S9900W is a very strong choice. It’s loaded with features that make it a versatile and high-quality camera. The 50x optical zoom lens has a maximum aperture range of f/2.9 to f/6.5, and the 16.2 megapixel sensor performs well. It can shoot 1080p video at 60fps and shoot continuous stills at 10fps. An ISO range of 100-12800 is pretty consistently good, although as with many bridge cameras the image quality suffers at higher ISOs. In terms of shooting modes and features, there’s plenty to explore and experiment with, such as Motion Panorama 360°, 11 different filter effects, and High-Dynamic Range capture.

The 3-ich LED screen is easy to navigate and the built in Wi-Fi is really handy if you’re shooting a lot and need to instantly offload your photos. As for construction, the S9900W is a well-built bridge camera, feeling sturdy and secure in your hand, and looking great.

Buying considerations:

  • Image quality is good, but not great. If you’re looking for professional-level shots this may not be the camera for you.

3. Fujifilm FinePix S9400W

Why it’s great:

  • One of the cheapest 50x zoom bridge cameras available.
  • 2 megapixel CMOS sensor.
  • Good image stabilization for steadier shots.

The Fujifilm FinePix S9400W is another budget bridge camera that is attractive to those on a budget; there aren’t many cheaper 50x zoom cameras in this range. Although image quality isn’t as good as the two cameras mentioned so far, particularly once you get above ISO 200, there are a host of features that make this a decent little camera. The lens has an equivalent focal range of 24-1200mm and it performs reasonably well throughout that range thanks to the optical image stabilization. It’s a feature that also means the minimum focusing distance is only 1cm, making it good at macro photography.

Like the two FinePix cameras mentioned above, the S9400W is capable of capturing 1080p video up to 60fps, and can continuously shoot stills at 10fps thanks to the 16.2 megapixel sensor. There’s a good range of shooting modes, from full auto to full manual, with some interesting scene modes in between. There’s also 360° and HDR shooting modes. Once you’re finished shooting, it’s easy to transfer your files with the cameras built in Wi-Fi capabilities.

Buying considerations:

  • Image quality can really suffer at higher ISOs, meaning this camera isn’t particularly well suited to shooting in low-light situations.

4. Fujifilm FinePix S9200

Why it’s great:

  • It has all the features of the above S9400W (except Wi-Fi) and costs less.

The little brother to the Fujifilm FinePix S9400W is the S9200. We say little brother, it’s a bridge camera that was released alongside the S9400W and has all of the same features, minus Wi-Fi connectivity. This one omission makes it a little more affordable, so if Wi-Fi isn’t essential, this might be the better choice for you.

Buying considerations:

  • As above, the S9200 doesn’t produce the greatest-quality images particularly in low-light.

5. Fujifilm FinePix SL 1000

Why it’s great:

  • 50x optical zoom with 24-1200mm equivalent on 35mm sensor.
  • Maximum aperture range of f/2.9 – f/5.6.
  • Ability to capture RAW images.

One of the major benefits the FinePix SL 1000 has over other FinePix, and indeed other bridge cameras, is that is can capture images in RAW. This means that there’s less image compression than in JPEG format so you can produce higher-quality images and have greater flexibility in post-production.

The huge zoom lens we’ve seen in the models above is present here also, and the equivalent wide angle to telephoto range is really impressive. For low-light shooting the max aperture of f/2.9-f/5.6 coupled with impressive autofocus and image stabilization means you can capture some really good quality images with a tripod (although again, things get grainy at higher ISOs). Video capture is up to the usual 1080p at 60fps standard here as well.

Buying considerations:

  • Image quality suffers towards the longer focal lengths and at higher ISOs.

6. Fujifilm FinePix S8500

Why it’s great:

  • 46x optical zoom, equivalent to 24mm-1104mm.
  • Very affordable, without compromising on quality.
  • 1cm super macro mode.

Despite not having the 50x optical zoom of many of the FinePix range, the 46x zoom on the S8500 is still impressive. With an equivalent focal length range of 24mm to 1104mm and the inclusion of a 1cm super macro shooting mode, this camera is extremely versatile. The smaller zoom also makes it considerably less than some of the other Fujifilm bridge cameras we’ve seen so far.

Fujifilm included the same 16 megapixel sensor we’ve seen in other cameras, and like the rest it’s backlit for increased performance in low light. The videography performance is also pretty standard; a solid 1080p capture at 60fps and continuous still shooting at 10fps. Build quality is very good (except the tripod bush, which is plastic) and for the price, the quality of images is also more than acceptable.

Buying considerations:

  • There’s no doubt this is a budget camera, and although the quality is good for the price, a more discerning photographer may not be satisfied.

7. Fujifilm FinePix S8400W

Why it’s great:

  • 44x optical zoom with 24mm-1056mm equivalent focal length range.
  • Full manual controls.
  • Built in Wi-Fi.

Priced only fractionally more than the above S8500, the FinePix S8400W has a few more features that makes it equally good value. The lens has a slightly longer optical zoom range of 44x, giving a 35mm equivalent of 24mm-1056mm. It also has the 1cm minimum focusing range, making it great for macro shots, wide angle shots, telephoto shots and everything in between.

The S8400W features fully manual controls, meaning you have greater scope to get creative and play around with settings. If you’re just getting into photography this is an incredibly effective way of finding out how the various settings work together to affect a photography. Unlike the S8500, this camera has built in Wi-Fi which is ideal if you’re taking a lot of photos and want to upload them right away. There’s a range of shooting modes to choose from, including scene recognition auto mode, 360° panorama, 6 special filter modes, and an HDR mode.

Buying considerations:

  • This is another camera that doesn’t perform at all well at higher ISO ranges.

8. Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR

Why it’s great:

  • 42x optical zoom, equivalent to 24mm-1000mm in 35mm terms.
  • Maximum aperture range of f/2.8 at 24mm and f/5.6 at 1000mm.
  • Optical image stabilization and macro shooting mode.

Throughout this article the Fujifilm FinePix range has shown itself to be a fairly varied and versatile range of bridge cameras. The HS50 EXR is no exception to this trend. It gives a 42 x optical zoom which, although is the shortest range on our list, still gives a huge range of possibilities. The f/2.8 maximum aperture coupled with the backlit 16 megapixel sensor and image stabilization makes it pretty good at taking photos in low light.

One of the benefits of the HS50 EXR is that it’s capable of capturing photos in JPEG and RAW formats, the latter compressing images less and giving a greater range of options when it comes to editing photos in post. Another big selling point is the lightning-quick autofocus, capable of focusing in as quickly as 0.05 seconds. This autofocus, coupled with the image stabilization and excellent electronic viewfinder make it a joy to use.

Buying considerations:

  • It has the shortest focal length range of all the cameras we’ve outlined here, and it doesn’t have Wi-Fi, unlike others in the same price range.

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