Fujifilm FinePix S5100 Zoom / Fujifilm FinePix S5500 review
I've had the s5500 (as known in South Africe) this lovely camera for a few months now, and totaly happy with it. I've taken over 20 000 shots (Yes, that many), and most are vey good. But you get to learn the limitations after being eith it for a while.
I've had experience with lesser cameras form Sony and HP (The worst cameras IMO), but the Fiji has so many features you can grow and learn with. It far exceeded my expectations, and I could't think of a better value peice of kit for the price!
It's far from perfect I admit, but then what is? Someting better is always bound to come along! Think s5200/s5600. The S5500 amazes in a few aspects, burst mode is fantastic, batery life is amazing (I've taken about 700 shots with a single charge of my 2000mAh Uniross Ni-Mh without flash). The feel in you hand is great, but i have big hands, so love the S9500.
I've managed to take many clear handheld full zoom (380mm) shots, you just need light bright enough, and use the EVF, since you have more stabilty on the camera than using the LCD.
All in all, a value for money camera that is beaten only by its replacement, the 5200/5600.
Problems? Not really. But as I say, it has limitations, but one can master ways of "cheating" into better shots. It takes time and knowledge of the camera.
Slow startup, I missed many great shots (Such as a naked girl, bodypainted, walking through a building at Wits University! DAMN).
Sometimes Reds are sometimes TOO red.
Low light focus is slow, and often wont auto-focus on black or red subjects. Solution - get focus from another colour object around the same distance, and light condition. Viola! Also, many people don't know about the "half-press" of the shutter release! Use It! And get those action shots!
Admitedly it is a budget camera, but it would have been nice if Fuji incorporated a swivel lens (Why didnt they do it on the 5200?) , as I've been in situations where I've shot "blind" overhead shots, such as at a mass pillowfight. I did manage to get some good pics in the frame though.
Flash is decent, but again, hotshoe would have been nice, but I do hope the Auto pop up flash on the 5200 can be disabled?
Zoom buttons are a bit fiddley, and manual focus is too tricky, and you rally can't judge if subject in focus on small lcd/evf. Lens does show fringing on object in front of light sometimes. Pity you can't shoot around all objects.
Reason I wouldn't part with it, is that I've found ways of makin it work for me. I'd take the S9500 if only burst mode was faster. Why couldn't Fuji make it shoot @ 3.3fps like 5500? I'd be happy to take 4MP shots, and on xD for speed!