The manual can be found here: http://www.fujifilm.com/support/digital_cameras/manuals/pdf/index/s/finepix_s1_manual_en.pdf
Now, I need the manual because I was out at lunch for a brief walk about and encountered a beautiful woodpecker busily eating whatever it could hammer out of a dying tree. All this about 50 feet from my house.
What I wanted was to set both to continuous shooting so I could maximize the likelihood of a few sharp images. There are two buttons between the shutter and the mode dial on both cameras. The left hand button is for compensation, and this works well on both. The right hand button is for continuous mode and is very handy on the HS50EXR, because it works as expected.
The button on the S1 is dead. I have no idea why. Is the camera Fuji sent broken? Or is this a setting? There is nothing obvious in the menus, so I am left to hunt it down in the manual. Sigh …
Much later …
Ok, I reset the camera. It worked. Then I set up the camera the way I like it again and it stopped working. I set quality back to jpeg and it worked again. So it does not shoot continuous in raw mode at all. Wow … the HS50EXR has no such limitations.
So, some other impressions of the S1 …
Not impressed by the issue with continuous shooting. I fail to see why it should be a JPEG only camera for features like that.
The EVF is claustrophobically small … but it is very clear. Win some, lose some. HS50EXR’s EVF is much bigger, but it is not nearly as clear and contrasty.
Setting the diopter on the EVF is easy on the HS50EXR. Zoom in, dial what you want, no sweat. On the S1 it is very unpleasant. I was never able to get it right by setting it while zoomed in. It just would not find a sharp position. Zooming out to full wide makes it easier and thankfully the sharpness of the view remains when zoomed in.
The lack of an EVF sensor is a real drag. In the end, I like to use the EVF and I like to chimp images. Chimping in the tiny EVF is painful, although I am getting used to it. When I want to see it larger, I click the play button and it does come up on the LCD. But not that quickly. The HS50EXR behaves correctly.
The view in the EVF moves around a great deal unless you brace the camera very carefully. This makes it really difficult to shoot anything that moves. Both cameras have this problem, although the heavier HS50EXR is easier to stabilize hand held.
Without extreme care, critical sharpness never happens. That’s right … never. There is no way on God’s green earth that you can shoot in snapshot style with 1000mm effective focal length and get something sharp. Not gonna happen. I have shot many hundred images so far with these two and my keeper count is well under 50%. My critical sharpness count was zero for the first 200 or so. That is not a misprint or hyperbole …
Once I started bracing … and when I tried a monopod on the S1, my keeper rate jumped a bit and my critical sharpness rate jumped a lot. Quite a few of the images were extremely clear and sharp. These cameras require very careful handling.