I actually have an affinity for high end point and shoots cameras. In fact, just over half of the photographs in my calendar, Sinai, and roughly 20 % of the photographs in my book, Sinai: Landscape and Nature in Egypt's Wilderness, were photographed with a point and shoot camera. The image quality from point and shoot cameras have crossed an image quality threshold in which they are good enough for publication purposes. I am less concerned about noise in desert landscapes because the desert is a naturally grainy environment.
I have always been intrigued by the Fuji FinePix S1 camera because of its extremely useful zoom range between 24 mm – 1200 mm, a reasonable F-stop of 5.6 at 1200 mm, and weather resistant body. I finally had the opportunity to test the Fuji Finepix S1 during a weekend trip to Wadi Rum, Jordan. I will only briefly touch upon a few of the more important aspects of the camera.
The image quality at ISO 100 is reasonably good if you know what to expect out of a 1/2.3-inch sized sensor. The detail and quality of the photographs are not on par with the larger sensor cameras as expected, but the image quality is good enough for publication purposes. In good light, the raw files of the landscape photographs could be processed for a reasonably higher quality output than JPEGs, with nicer colors and sharpness while noise is relatively controlled. Images are still good at ISO 200, but I would not use any ISO over 400 as the image degradation is noticeable from noise and lack of detail.
Overall, I would not hesitate to use the Finepix S1 as long I worked within its limitations. Improved viewfinders would be a game changer in superzooms and the Finepix S1.