Fujifilm FinePix S5100 / S5500 Review
Conclusion - Pros
- High resolution, lots of detail
- Sharp, bright F2.8-3.1 10x zoom lens
- Low distortion
- Excellent color rendition
- Comprehensive photographic controls
- Fast and responsive operation
- Very reliable focus and exposure
- Excellent handling
- Well built, seems very rugged
- Easy and intuitive to use
- Perfectly usable as point-and-shoot camera
- Focuses well in low light (though see below)
- Bright, clear screen that works well in low light (though see below)
- AF illuminator
- Raw option
- Program shift
- 640x480 pixel, 30fps movie mode
- Great value for money
- Excellent battery life
Conclusion - Cons
- Minimum focus distance too long in normal mode
- Small screen
- Some exposure/dynamic range problems in high contrast/very bright scenes
- No image stabilization
- Occasional focus errors at long end of zoom in low light
- Some vignetting at wider focal lengths
- Unimpressive burst modes
- Auto modes don't use the full range of shutter speeds (1/4 - 1/1000 sec)
- shutter priority allows 3 - 1/1000 sec
- manual mode allows speeds from 15 to 1/2000 sec
When we reviewed the S5500/5100's predecessor a year ago, Phil commented 'Throughout my time with the S5000 I was left wondering what would have been like had Fujifilm used a standard four or five megapixel CCD'. Well now we know; a lot better. All the positive attributes of the S5000, from the good design and handling to the impressive zoom range and wealth of photographic controls are now married to a sensor capable of doing them justice. And the result is a camera that offers an compelling option for those wanting a big-zoom camera on a tight budget.
Like the models that came before it, the S5500/5100 is designed to be a true 'photographer's camera'; offering true SLR-like handling, fuss-free operation, and plenty of options and controls, whilst remaining perfectly usable as a 'point-and-shoot'. The screen could be bigger, the EVF brighter and smoother, and the vignetting is something Fujifilm needs to address in the S5100's successor, but overall this is a significant upgrade to the promising, but flawed, S5000.
Finally, of course, image stabilization would be a seriously useful addition; albeit one that would almost certainly lead to a significant cost increase. As it stands the combination of price, features and reliable focus & exposure stsyems mean the S5100/5500 is pretty easy to recommend.
|Sophisticated construction by the nature by Orchideon|
|After the Rain by Flor Tempra|
from Macro - Something Pink
|Asilah by Limburg|
from Cozy Corners
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