On Friday, 31 October 2014, I purchased a Fujifilm FinePix S1, a superzoom digital camera that is dust and weather resistant, a unique feature in this class of camera at that time. I bought the FinePix S1 to replace my injured but still working Fuji HS50 (I fell with it one day) and in some ways the S1 is better and in other ways it's worse.
For instance, the HS50 has a manual zoom lens; the S1 has a motorized zoom which I like far less. The S1 though has a little better image quality, although it too suffers from the excessive flaring around exceptionally bright light sources that is characteristic of all the Fuji cameras I've ever owned.
Even after two firmware updates, if you shoot RAW format, forget about shooting continuous bursts or brackets with the S1. It only does that when shooting JPEGs. I find this a puzzling limitation and affects my shooting habits. Fuji should issue a firmware update to fix this. If they don't, they should be ashamed of themselves.
I don't remember what the S1's default autofocus setting was, but at first I had it on 'Area' and the camera wouldn't focus on anything challenging (i.e. birds in flight, dimly lit low contrast subjects, etc), the same situations the HS50 handles readily, but after changing the S1's AF setting to 'Center' the focus became quite fast and sensitive. Enough so that its AF speed and accuracy rivals the HS50, if not bettering it.
The long end of the S1's lens being rated at 1,200mm is highly optimistic. I compared it to the 1,000mm of my HS50 and at best the S1 only goes to 1,100mm, more like 1,080mm.
It is also annoying that while the HS50 came with a lens hood, the S1 did not, which is puzzling considering the absence of a lens hood makes the weather sealing almost useless for all practical purposes when shooting out in rain or snow because there is nothing to keep the precipitation off the front element of the lens and thus ruining any photos you might take. Also annoying is the ridiculously expensive price Fuji charges for the S1 lens hood (USD$40 at B&H and CAD$50 at my local camera store here in Canada), which prompted me to buy an aftermarket lens hood on eBay for a fraction of Fuji’s price (USD$15, CAD$17) and it works just fine, but I still should not have had to do that.
On the plus side, the S1 does have the features I'm not happy being without in a camera - RAW format, articulating LCD, viewfinder, good image quality, fast accurate AF - and has the environmental sealing most others in this class of camera don’t have.
On Sunday, 14 August 2016, the S1 died without warning, thus ending my love-hate relationship with this camera and with Fuji, which no longer makes cameras that interest me.