Shooting the Fujifilm Finepix S1

Today’s Post by John Larsen

After lugging my DSLR around on a few vacations I began looking for a camera that would meet my needs at a reasonable price. I wanted a camera that was not too big to bring to the beach or have by the pool. I narrowed down my options but once a local camera shop had an “open box” Fuji S1 on sale for CAD $150 off the regular price my decision was easier.

  • Other than the size and portability of the camera, there were a number of features that appealed to me about this particular bridge camera:
  • The 50x zoom lens starts at 24mm (equivalent.) When I was shooting film I always preferred 24mm over 28mm as it suited my subjects better. The long 1200mm end of the lens capabilities would also come in handy on occasion.
  • It is weather-resistant. Should the camera inside a bag that is sitting near a pool happen to get splashed accidentally I will not freak out.
  • It had numerous built-in filters and modes. I will likely never use all of these filters but some of them could be useful, or at least fun.

  • Built-in wi-fi. You never know when a situation arises that will necessitate an urgent download of an image directly to your smart phone so you could send it by email or post it on social media. I had a Blackberry phone and the Fuji app was not available for it so I would have to consider a change to an Apple or Android phone if I wanted to utilize this functionality. This app also enables remote capture allowing me to leave my camera in the yard and trigger the shutter remotely whenever the local chipmunk was in the frame.
  • Panoramic capabilities. Many years ago I wanted to buy a Hasselblad XPan but could not justify the price given the few opportunities I would have to actually use it. The S1 shoots 120, 180 and 360 degree panoramics.
  • Video functions include slow motion. This was something that I wanted to try with my motorsports coverage. My research revealed that the S1 cannot auto-focus while filming in slow motion and that these videos are recorded at 480 fps at a resolution of only 240×180 pixels. You can also take a photo while creating a video.
  • Needless to say, I ran out to the store and picked up a Fujifilm S1 at a discounted price because the box had been opened.

John Larsen is Senior International Travel Correspondent for our sister blogs. His PhotoGraffics website contains samples of motorsports and hot air balloon photography from Canadian balloon festivals. He recently set up a site through Zenfolio to sell his motorsports photos.