Fujifilm's XS-1 bridge camera: 26x zoom, EXR sensor, £699 in the UK (video)

Fujifilm claims it's 'reinvented' the bridge camera with the latest in its X line of premium snappers. The XS-1 is affixed to a Fujinon lens that opens up to f/2.8 and stretches all the way from 24mm to 624mm (in 35mm parlance) in an effort "cater perfectly for every photographic need" and prevent you from ever longing for the flexibility of a DSLR. It even sports a Super Macro Mode for focusing down to a rather intimate single centimeter. Behind the lens sits the same 12-megapixel EXR CMOS found in the X10, which means you get an undersized 2/3-inch sensor instead of the superior APS-C format found in the X100 and many DSLRs. Read on for more specs in the press release plus a short promo clip, and expect to see this hit British shelves in February for £699 ($1090).

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Fujifilm X-S1: The bridge camera, reinvented

24th November 2011 - The Fujifilm X series of premium cameras has a third model, the X-S1, due for UK launch in February 2012. The XS-1 represents a new breed of bridge camera. Featuring a Fujinon 26x optical zoom lens through to the EXR sensor technology found in the X10, the X-S1 puts the photographer in control.

The X-S1 is the ideal camera for the safari and travel photographer – offering superb image quality, extensive zoom range and superior handling.

Maximum optical versatility

The centrepiece of the X-S1 is the superb Fujinon 26x optical zoom lens. Offering a range of 24-624mm (35mm equivalent) it caters perfectly for every photographic need and features a bright f/2.8 maximum aperture at the wide-angle setting.

This optical range is boosted further by Fujifilm's Intelligent Digital Zoom capability, which effectively doubles the focal range without the drop in picture quality traditionally seen on older digital models As a result, the X-S1 offers users an incredible 52x zoom range of 24-1248mm (35mm equivalent).

Optically, the Fujinon lens comprises 17 glass elements, which includes four aspherical elements and two ED lenses, to deliver images with superb edge-to-edge sharpness and amazing clarity. The lens' construction is also of the highest standard, featuring metal cams for smooth zoom control and fast, precise framing.

The X-S1 is also ideally suited to capturing subjects close up. In standard mode, the zoom focuses down to 30cm, but by selecting Super Macro Mode, users can focus down to just 1cm for frame-filling close-up images. Furthermore, the lens' aperture is made up of nine blades for excellent bokeh effect photography.

Great results in every picture-taking scenario
The X-S1 features the same 2/3-inch 12 megapixel EXR CMOS sensor as the X10 which guarantees high quality images regardless of the lighting conditions.

The unique EXR CMOS technology pioneered by Fujifilm allows the user to switch between three modes – High Resolution, Wide Dynamic Range and High Sensitivity/Low Noise - depending on the lighting conditions – or leave the camera to make its own choice in the Auto EXR mode.

Coupled to the EXR CMOS sensor is a Fujifilm high speed EXR processor, which offers a minimal shutter lag of just 0.01sec and a high speed continuous shooting capability

The X-S1 also takes high-quality movies. It captures Full High Definition (1920 x 1080 pixels) video with stereo sound at 30 frames-per-second.

Easy composition and image review
The X-S1 offers a powerful combination of high quality electronic viewfinder and rear LCD, with the 0.47-inch electronic viewfinder (EVF) featuring 1.44 million pixels for superb image clarity with a wide viewing area of 26 degrees to reduce eye strain.

The rear mounted high quality, tiltable three-inch LCD screen features 460,000 pixels to make it easier for users to scroll through menus, assess exposure accuracy and view images. The LCD also offers a useful Daylight mode that overcomes the problem of viewing the screen in bright conditions.

Full user control and picture taking versatility
The X-S1 offers a superb level of functionality whether users want to make picture taking as simple as using a compact or as involved as a fully-manual digital SLR.

For simplicity, the X-S1 will assess the subject and then select the relevant scene mode for the perfect result, automatically switching the EXR CMOS sensor accordingly. The XS-1 can also calculate whether an image contains a person, features backlighting or has any subject movement. ISO settings are taken care of too by the Auto ISO mode.

Photographers after full control are well catered for with the X-S1. The camera offers a full range of conventional shooting functions (program/aperture-priority/shutter-priority/manual), plus users can also fine tune levels of colour, image sharpness and tone.

Additionally, the X-S1 provides four auto bracketing options, eight Film Simulation and white balance functions and a Raw file format.

Due to be launched in February 2012 in the UK, the X-S1 will have an estimated selling price of £699.

Fujifilm X-S1 key features
• High quality Fujinon 26x optical zoom covering 24-624mm (35mm equivalent) with Intelligent Digital Zoom boosting range up to 1248mm
• Superb build quality and finish with rubberised coating and metal dials
• 12 megapixel EXR CMOS sensor
• Up to 10 frames-per-second shooting
• Large EVF with 1.44 million pixels and 26 degree viewing angle
• Tiltable three-inch rear LCD with Sunny Day mode
• Full HD video
• PASM modes
• Raw file format
• Film simulation modes
• Macro focusing down to 1cm
• Lithium battery providing up to 500 shots per charge
• Optical image stabilisation
• 360° Motion Panorama mode