Product Type: Fujifilm digital cameras
Newest Review: ... for this type of photography, stick with a compact one. The black with silver trim looks nice and the Finepix is very comfortable ... more
Bridge Camera for close to SLR shooting on a budget
Fujifilm Finepix S5600 Zoom
Member Name: Paul-Teixeira
Fujifilm Finepix S5600 Zoom
Date: 18/05/09, updated on 18/05/09 (140 review reads)
Advantages: Value for money, Zoom, Features
Disadvantages: It is quite bulky if your used to a compact camera
I bought this camera in the summer of 2007, a week before setting off to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Thought my little canon compact probably wouldn't do the landscape justice. This is an excellent bridge camera, packed with good features and opportunity to work in either point and shoot mode or to start to learn the craft of photography and learn what the effect of altering different settings such as light balance can have.
I have used the camera for nearly two years now and have no real complaints. The battery life, if operating without the flash, is excellent. The camera feels sturdy in your hands, with a reassuring weight to it that suggests robustness. It looks and feels well made, and mine has now survived trekking in Africa and backpacking round Europe without any problems.
There are plentiful different modes of shooting and an easy to use interface to navigate between settings. The video mode shoots good high quality stuff with excellent sound quality, although to my mind I don't think I have tired to video in low light conditions so couldn't tell you how it would perform. Landscape, anti-shake, and fast shoot modes are available just to name a few as is the ability to take multiple shots with one squeeze of the trigger, useful for moving objects.
The 10x optical zoom was a big draw for me and doesn't disappoint. However I would switch off the digital zoom as the quality of the shot is compromised when you use it. Don't be put off if you think 5.1 mega pixels won't be enough. I have had a canvas printed at 60 x 30cm of a photo taken with this camera and it looks fantastic. You really don't need masses of mega pixels unless you plan on printing above say 1 metre square.
Whilst the iso range seems impressive, my advice would be to avoid the highest setting unless you really know what you are doing. Otherwise unless the light is perfect results can come out grainy, particularly when shooting distance objects. I would leave this setting in auto mode or set it at iso 800 (one below the top setting) for best results.
One of the best features of the interface is the F button, located on the bottom right of the back of the camera. When pressed it allows you to quickly alter the settings for the size of the images being taken (lower sizes will use up less memory if you are running out of space on a card), iso settings and colour settings.
The software provided is adequate for the needs of most, can't say I've used it much, I like to just print my pictures naturally without trying to enhance them.
Overall I really can't fault this camera. It offers outstanding value for money and I would thoroughly recommend it for somebody interested in moving their photography up a step towards SLR shooting. I think the current Amazon price is £80 which is an absolute bargain! Buy this camera and you will not be disappointed.
Summary: Outstanding value camera packed with features
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