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Fujifilm FinePix S5100 / S5500 Review

January 2005 | By Simon Joinson
Buy on From $199.95

Review based on a production Fujifilm FinePix S5500

Announced in July 2004, the Fujifilm FinePix S5500 (sold as the S5100 in some territories) is an update to the S5000 offering the same 10x (37-370mm equiv.) optical zoom, SLR-like styling, comprehensive feature set and aggressive price point. The most significant change is the replacement of the rather controversial 'Super CCD' sensor used in the S5000 with a conventional 4 megapixel CCD offering an extra million effective pixels (the S5000's SCCD sensor used 3.1 million effective pixels to produce 6MP output images). Other welcome improvements include a better movie mode, manual (custom) white balance control and improved viewfinder/LCD screen coverage.

  • Fujinon 10x optical zoom (37-370mm equiv.)
  • 4.0 million effective pixel CCD
  • Aperture priority, shutter priority and manual, plus program modes
  • RAW format option
  • High quality movie capture (640 x 480) at 30 fps with sound
  • Electronic Viewfinder and 115,000 pixel LCD screen
  • Powered by 4 x AA batteries
  • PictBridge™ compatible for direct printing without a PC

*Note: The FinePix S5500 used in this review is the same camera as the S5100 sold in the US. Throughout this review any reference to the S5500 applies equally to the S5100.

Fujifilm FinePix S5500/5100 vs S5000 (differences)


Fujifilm FinePix S5500/S5100

Fujifilm FinePix S5000
Sensor 1/2.7 inch square pixel CCD 1/2.7" SuperCCD HR
Effective Pixels 4.0 million 3.1 million
Maximum file size 2272 x 1704 2816 x 2120 (interpolated)
Viewfinder 0.33 inches, 115,000 pixels 0.33 inches, 110,000 pixel LCD
Viewfinder/screen frame coverage approx 100% approx 90%
ISO settings Auto, 64,100,200,400
Auto, 100,200,400,800 (1MP only)
Manual White balance Yes No
Playback histogram Yes No
Continuous shooting Max 3.3 fps (3 frames) Max 4.2 fps (5 frames)
Max Shutter speed 1/2000th 1/1000th
Movie Mode (Max) 640 x 480, 30 fps, with audio
Only limited by storage card
320 x 240, 30 fps, with audio
Only limited by storage card

Key specifications

Street price • US: $399 (FinePix S5100)
• UK: £250 (FinePix S5500)
Body Material Polycarbonate

• 1/2.7 inch square pixel CCD
• 4.23 million pixels total
• 4.0 million effective pixels

Image sizes • 2272 x 1704
• 1600 x 1200
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480
Movie clips

• 640 x 480 (30 fps)
• 320 x 240 (30 fps)
• With sound
• M-JPEG (.avi) format
• Duration limited only by card size (streaming)


• 37 - 370mm equiv. (10x optical zoom) Fujinon
• F2.8 - 3.1
• 10 step aperture

Focus • Contrast-detect through-the-lens (TTL) AF
• Auto and manual focus
• Continuous and single shot AF
• AF illuminator
• Area, Center and Multi (manual AF point selection) autofocus
• 10cm closest focus (macro mode, wideangle)
Shooting mode

• Programmed AE with program shift
• Aperture Priority AE
• Shutter Priority AE
• Manual
• Auto
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Sports
• Night Scene
• AE-Compensation -2.0 to +2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps

Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 64,100,200,400
White Balance • Auto
• 6 presets
• Manual
Image parameters • Contrast (3 levels + auto)
• Color options (standard, chrome, black & white)
Continuous Top 3-frame: up to 3 frames (at intervals as short as approx. 0.3 sec.)
Final 3-frame: last 3 frames before releasing the shutter button
(at intervals as short as approx. 0.3 sec.)
Long-period continuous shooting: up to 40 frames
(at intervals as short as approx. 0.6 sec.)
Flash • Built-in pop-up flash
• Auto, Manual on/off, Red-eye reduction: on/off, Slow sync: on/off
• Range (Auto ISO):W: 0.3– 5.0 m (1.0–16.4 ft ); T: 0.8– 4.5 m (2– 14.8 ft)
Storage • XD-Picture Card
Viewfinder • 0.33 inches, 115,000 pixels electronic viewfinder
• Approx coverage 100%
• Dioptre adjustment
LCD monitor • 1.5" TFT, 115,000 pixels
• approx 100% coverage
Connectivity • USB
• A/V out
Power • 4x AA batteries (Alkaline included)
• Ni-MH batteries recommended
• AC-5VH AC adapter (optional)
Supplied accessories*

• AA-size alkaline batteries (LR6) (4)
• 16 MB xD-Picture Card™
• USB cable
• Audio/Video cable
• Shoulder strap
• Adapter ring AR-FX5A
• Lens Cap
• Software for FinePix CD-ROM

Other features

64 Zone Multi, Spot and Average metering
• RAW shooting option
• Auto Exposure Bracketing
• PictBridge compatible
• Built-in microphone and speaker
• Optional Wide conversion lens WL-FX9/WL-FX9B (0.79x)
• Optional Tele conversion lens TL-FX9/TL-FX9B (1.5x)

Weight (inc batts) 480 g (16.9 oz)
Dimensions 112.7 mm × 81.1 mm × 79.3 mm (4.4 in. × 3.2 in. × 3.1 in.)

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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This article is Copyright 2004 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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