First of all, I have been searching for my first DC and being a film SLR man up to now, I wanted certain characterististics like the SLR but at a limited price range ($400 - $500).
I have rarely seen (all over the web) such contrasting and contridicting views on the same cameras.
I was looking for advanced features (super zoom and manual control) that would allow for flexibility while delivering high quality images. That said, I was focusing on the Fujifilm S5000 and the Canon S1 IS.
While no camera came close to perfect, this site's review of the S5000 was more openly negative while singing the praises of the Kodak DX6490 and even the Canon S1.
Well, in doing alot of obsessing (and research), I have found that I wouldn't touch the Kodak and the most reportedly outstanding features of the Canon are moot. I have heard that the image stabilizer of the Canon is an entirely overrated feature and only effective under a limited range of conditions and is primarily for video work (I have even heard it described as a fraud). The same might be said, though (in all fairness), of the Fuji "super ccd"). These features are, at the same time,the greatest features in the world and completely worthless!
Also, without external shutter release control capability, how is anyone going to use the 15 second shutter speed? This type of capability is meaningless. This site incorrectly states the S5000's fasted shutter speed at 1/1000 when it is 1/2000 as in most comparible cameras.
Obviously, some of the criticisms of the S5000 are valid. It is not a perfect camera. But the overcompression can be eliminated by shooting in RAW mode, which many users (and fans) are doing.
I have found many passionate users of the S5000 who acknowledge the cameras limitations. All cameras in this class have limitations. I just don't see why this site thought that the S5000's were more unforgivable that others camera's. I don't understand why this site was so openly negative on the S5000 while encouraging the comparable Kodak!!
The bottom line is:
I bought the Fujifilm S5000 because I think it is, even with its limitations, the best choice in its class (in my subjective opinion). It's images (which are ultimately the most important thing) equal to any camera in its class and may be better.