Fuji SL1000 review

50x zoom, raw capture and advanced features

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What is a bridge camera
What is a bridge camera?

The Fuji FinePix SL1000 was one of the more difficult cameras this year to rate. In many ways it's a tale of two cameras.

On one hand it offers a lot of advanced features and sophisticated options for ambitious beginner photographers who want to get out of their comfort zones, or advanced enthusiasts who need a backup or quality alternative to their DSLR for those times when a DSLR isn't practical.

On the other hand, the Fuji SL1000 presents a number of small niggles often found on inferior cameras that are sure to annoy these people.

Take, for instance, the on/off slider as a starting point. This, such a small, non-important feature in a camera that we all take for granted, was one of our biggest pet peeves in the Fuji SL1000. Too often we had to slide it two or three times to get the camera to power on or off - which isn't very conducive to capturing fleeting moments.

The hyper-sensitive eye sensor next to the viewfinder was another annoyance. Befuddled by how to hold the camera without switching off the LCD, we finally opted just to switch off the viewfinder entirely, which is a shame, because the EVF is rather good.

That said, for the things those photographers above will be buying this camera for, it works very well. Image quality is excellent, the focal range is astounding, and the lens performs admirably. Raw capture is a definite plus.

There's a lot to like here. You just have to see its potential sometimes and work with it.

We liked

The 50x zoom, are you kidding? We loved the zoom and the lens's fast aperture. Actually, we loved the zoom and the lens's fast aperture, and raw capture. No wait, we loved the zoom and the lens's fast aperture, raw capture and the viewfinder. The AF is fast, image quality is great - all your core needs are met.

We disliked

The on/off slider is temperamental and the EVF's eye sensor is too sensitive, jumping between LCD and EVF view both when the tiltable LCD is fully extended and when the camera is brought within 4 inches of your eye. Processing times were a little slow shooting JPEG + raw, too.

Final verdict

Detail is the sword by which this camera lives and dies. On paper the Fuji SL1000 is brilliant - so much so you might even question why you'd need an DSLR, if you're considering this as a backup. Both still image and video quality are fantastic. The 50x zoom is supreme. And the ability to shoot in raw format gives you more control over your images. This is a camera with a lot of manual controls that a beginner can grow with as you gain confidence.

But it feels like while Fuji poured so much money and energy into getting the camera's advanced features up to speed, it overlooked some of the elements that make a good user experience.

Tech Specs

Product TypeBridge Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution16.2 Megapixel
Product FamilyFinePix
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom50x
Digital Zoom2x
Brand NameFujifilm
FeaturesFace Detection, Blink Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, External Flash Shoe
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMOV, Motion JPEG
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)619 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityEuP, REACH, RoHS, WEEE
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height86.4 mm
Width121.9 mm
Depth121.9 mm
Focal Length4.30 mm to 215 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, MPO, RAW
External FlashOptional
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerFuji Photo Film Co. Ltd
Product ModelSL1000
Product NameFinePix SL1000 Bridge Camera
Product LineFinePix
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Shutter Priority
  • Aperture Priority
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberP10NC09350A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.fujifilm.co.uk
Marketing InformationThe FinePix SL1000 is ideal for those who don't want the hassle of changing lenses or the worry of getting dust on the sensor, but who still want great pictures and a powerful all-encompassing camera.
Package Contents
  • FinePix SL1000 Bridge Camera
  • Li-Ion Battery NP-85
  • Battery Charger BC-85A
  • Plug Adapter
  • Shoulder Strap
  • USB Cable
  • Lens Cap
  • Lens Cap Cord
  • CD-ROM
  • Owner's Manual
Limited Warranty12 Month