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Fujifilm X-S1 has a 26x optical zoom

Fujifilm has launched a new bridge camera, and it's packing a 26x optical zoom, as well as a 12-megapixel sensor.

There's a new bridge camera in town and its name is the Fujifilm X-S1. And good news if you want to capture snaps from afar, as it's packing a quite ridiculous 26x optical zoom.

The X-S1 is the third in Fujifilm's X series, joining the X100 and X10. It's the bulkiest of the three, sitting midway between the other two offerings, and from the looks of things, it should give other bridge cameras a run for their money.

The Fujinon 26x optical zoom lens gives you a range of 24-624mm, at the equivalent of a 35mm analogue camera. Using Fujifilm's Intelligent Zoom capability, the focal range should double to a nuts 52x, with a range of 24-1248mm, which is a twitcher's dream. Fujifilm claims this won't result in any drop in picture quality, though we'll have to wait for our own tests to see if that holds true.

It's not only for use from afar though -- it'll focus down to 30cm, but whack it into Super Macro Mode, and it'll go down to 1cm for amazingly detailed frame-filling close-ups. It also has a nine blade aperture for great bokeh effect shots -- those blurry backgrounds with the subject in focus.

So, what else? It has the same 12-megapixel EXR CMOS sensor as the X10, which should give you great shots even in low light. Movie-wise you've got 1,920x1,080 HD video, at 30fps, complete with stereo sound. The 3-inch LCD tilts for framing at awkward angles, and has a Daylight mode so you can see it in bright sun.

The X-S1 will hit shops in February, for £700. How do you think it stacks up against the competition? And will you be buying come February? Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.