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
Alls fine with the fuji
Fujifilm Finepix S5600 Zoom
Member Name: redleaf
Fujifilm Finepix S5600 Zoom
Advantages: 10x optical zoom, easy to use, intuitive, can change speed and aperture etc, lots of features
Disadvantages: 5.1 mexapixels, XD memory card
I've had my Finepix for around 3 years now, and as of yet have no complaints about it. I bought it primarily for the 10x optical zoom (so I could take better photographs of nearby birds), and because I wanted a camera where I could change settings etc. A digital SLR was far too complicated and far too expensive, so this was the next best thing. I thought I could learn a bit more about photography by using it, and although I've had a play with all the features I have to admit I really haven't taken it any further. Most of the time I just shoot in Auto mode, but happily this has led to some great results (my best picture being a close up of a puffin spreding it's wings, whilst on Skomer).
The camera itself is relatively light for it's size and I never have any trouble carrying it about whilst nature watching or sight seeing. It's a bit cumbersome to take to events such as meals or birthday parties, so if you want a camera primarily for this type of photography, stick with a compact one. The black with silver trim looks nice and the Finepix is very comfortable to hold due to the soft rubbery coating on the right hand side (unless you're left handed I suppose). The button layout is very intuitive with the on/off dial and shutter release operated by your right hand fore finger and the zoom, menu, flash, macro etc. buttons as well as the features dial easily operated by your thumb, whilst in hold. The features dial is something I particularly like as it means time spent looking at menus is minimised - you simply rotate the dial to the shooitng mode you want. The camera really is easy to use. The LCD screen, whilst smaller than other cameras is clear and bright, and you can also choose to view the scene through the viewfinder. The camera also has a screw hole beneath it, so it can be attached to the quick release clip of a tripod.
As I've already mentioned I do most of my photography in auto mode - switching to night time, landscape and macro mode as needed, and often manually operating the flash, which is as easy as turning it to on, off or to auto. The other modes are anti - shake and natural light. For those wanting more control the size of the aperture can be changed (F3.2 to F8) as can the shutter speed. Continuous shooting is available, which I have used, with a degree of success, when photographing birds. The Fuji Finepix S5600 also has a video mode. This takes up a lot of memory on the memory card, but is a really handy thing to have - just make sure you have enough room! It's worth mentioning that you cannot use the zoom whilst in this mode.
When taking a picture, you first depress the shutter button half way, and the camera focuses and then you press it fully to take the picure. In my opinion, the shutter release is really fast, and much better than many other digital cameras I have tried. Although the images taken are sharp and clear, at 5.1 mexapixels you can't blow them up too big without loosing some clarity. If I was buying now - I would definitely try and get something for more pixels. The camera is good at taking close up shots, and 55mm lenses (such as macro lenses) can be screwed on the end of the integral lens, which gives more control to take pictures how you want. I use extra macro lenses to take photos of moths!
The Fuji Finepix S5600 takes 4 AA batteries, and although the battery life is very good it's definitely worth getting rechargeable ones, if you don't want to keep forking out cash when they die. It takes an XD memory card which I have no problem with other than the fact that if it took an SD one, I could transfer the images easily to other media (such as my Nintendo Wii), so it is slightly annoying.
All in all, I'd say this is a fine camera and good value for money (£150 when I bought it, probably less now). It's a great bridging camera for those wanting to learn more about photography - if they have the time! That said, nowdays you could problably pick up something with more mexapixels for a similar price.
Summary: An excellent little camera - I just wish I had more time to use it properly!
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