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“Upgraded to the Fuji Finepix S5500 from my s3000 which...”

Written on: 07/11/2005 by dribbly (1 review written)

Good Points
Rugged, comfortable design. Big bright lens, fast focusing with assist light, low image noise, fast shot to shot and burst modes, surprisingly effective flash. Good white balance and metering, full manual control over everything!

Bad Points
Slow startup. Shake at extreme telephoto. Macro unexciting. Unusable manual focus. Slow refresh rate of EVF (but still acceptable).

General Comments
Upgraded to the Fuji Finepix S5500 from my s3000 which was great unless I needed to have some control over the image. Bought the S5500 for £190 in June 05, and it gives me all that and more! Lens is fast, and zoom is easy to control. If zoomed right in, then auto mode will not always cope, especially in poor light, but shutter priority and higher ISO generally does the job, or else using a tripod is even better. Had considered a camera with IS for this, but couldn't find one I liked, with a focus assist in my price range- find the low light focus to be excellent, again a vast improvement over the s3000.

Camera is fast and responsive enough to do action shots of my kids, which the s3000 choked on. Burst mode, while limited, is helpful for this. On the other hand, the camera can be as auomatic or manual as you like: I like being able to decide exactly how to compose my photos, but on the if there isn't time then you can just snap away to good effect.

Apart from this, image quality is good, perhaps a little soft, but not a great problem. Also camera likes ISO 200 a lot in auto, which can blow out shots at times if you're not careful. Occaisionally have seen chromatic fringing but not as often as some reviews might suggest. Printed images can look great, even at ISO 400 at smaller sizes like 6x4. Flash also seems to be well controlled, which means it's not too obtrusive for darker shots.

Problems? Get used to a slow startup, courtesy of winching that big zoom into position. The EVF could be better, it's a bit grainy, but quite functional. The LCD is small but very clear and seems to refresh quickly. The macro is not too impressive: I found a set of adapter rings online that improve its performance markedly, though.

All in all, this camera is superb value for a very low price, giving plenty of flexibility for not a lot of cash. Now replaced by the s5600, which means that if you can find one, the s5500 will be even better value. Highly recommended!

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