Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My s5600 review

Camera Bought: 30 May 06, Last Updated: Jan 2007

Note you can get good second hand s5600 if you look at a discounted price.

The s5600 is an excellent choice for a camera, although time flies...

If I were to upgrade I would go for a Panasonic DMC TZ3. Compact with 10x Zoom. It lacks manual controls, yet I more often than nor use auto these days.

Fuji FinePix s5600, Overall: 9/10 Recommended (EU Best in Class Award)

This camera is a good compact-ish (coat pocket) All-in-One. The zoom adds more versitilty and gets you closer to the subject. Its very robust and has taken my wrough treament. As the overall score shows as well as winning EU Best in Class Award, its not perfect, but the optimum compromise.

tip: I would say this camera is a robust bridge camera. At first I antispated to get into the manual settings however I find am more of a causal photographer and in most situations the auto works fine. One point: I would say honestly RAW is a complete waste of time.

The 10x zoom is a great improvement on 3x and is one of the main reasons I bought the camera due to increased versitily. Test shots show how effective it is...

(Cropped images at 1:1 res, slight camera shake due to lazyiness on my part)

Image Quality:9-10

The s5600 is well capable of taking good sharp photos. You can see plenty of shots I have taken with this camera on this blog as well as flickr. Most of my shots now are taken in auto 'N' mode, with 'C' processing as shots tend to be brighter.

deadphotosociety. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr

There are some minor issues, for example some rare purple fringing can occur, likewise jpg compression and noise does appear at 1:1 res, however in no way utterly spoils pictures. Photo editting can improve this. RAW output is twice the size, less noise however underprocessed, but I guess that is what RAW is all about.

Features: 9/10

(Left is Chrome oversaturated with blue, than real life right.)

Chrome is very effective at creating rich colourful pictures, for lazy people like me, however some times you should select Normal to avoid oversaturation. Yet it has to be reiterated that it can greatly liven up pictures as well.

Marco: 9/10

I have had a lot of fun with marco, capturing close up detail, small bugs and the like. The s5600 doesn't have a massive DOF however a higher f number (smaller) aperature helps.

Tip: For things which may move, I usually set CF, JPG, N mode, continious shooting and keep clicking as I move closer towards the subject.

Tip: From a recent play with continuous shooting, for a fixed position, its best to use the auto-focus, switch to manual focus then press the shutter button, that way it will keep shooting without trying to re-focus, hence quicker shots.

The key let down is the limited continous shooting in manual modes, its there to stop you making mistakes but with a little experience it becomes a niggle to what shots you can achieve. Also to some extent the burst isn't lightening fast however fair with the competitors in its class.

Don't bother with RAW but if you want search for "s7raw".

ISO: Normal range is 64-200 clicks. Above this contrast and noise can set in, however better than other cameras.

Sharpness: I select Normal as Hard or Soft settings are well named.

Construction: 9/10

2x Drop Test from Table high Proof. Still working fine.
1x Slam into brick wall, temporary read error, still working fine.

Just from picking the camera up you can tell it is solidly built. A simple rattle test shows only an insignificant amount of rattle from the pop up flash, which is only to be expected. The best part of its construction is its fully contained lens mechanism as many other cameras have an external mechanism which is far more vunerable to damage. The camera does make noise when in operation which can be a bit annoying if wildlife is startled by it, but then again most cameras make noise.

There are a couple of minor build issues. The EVF has an acceptable but low res. The USB cap as a number of other camera brands is a tad flimsy and should be treated with care. The battery cap has a tendency to scratch batteries. Also maybe it is just me, but I am progressively finding it a bit hard to switch from play to review without accidentally sliding to off.

Ease of use: 9/10

From soon playing with the camera it is clear it is designed for well… me. You can easily stick to AUTO and get brilliant shots, whilst also being able to go manual.

A couple issues are that manual focussing and likewise switching to continuous shooting are a tad fiddly.

Value for money: 9/10

I’d say as a package its good value for money being an ‘all in one’, although it has to be said xD cards are generally more expensive. Likewise there are many second hand models out there, as people progress through photography.

Batteries: 9/10

I have used 2500amh Rechargeables for 2-3 week now without needing recharge with clever use of the EVF, which is recommended. Note I am a casual photographer. A good indicator when the batteries are going is when the camera struggles to focus.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is manual focusing like on this? Can you manually set the camera to focus at a fixed distance such as 1m, 3m or 10m?

If you shoot at ISO 800, how do the images look?

3:36 AM  
Blogger intellectual idiot said...

To be honest MF is slow, then again I guess that is so you can get it just right.

I would say it is quicker to use AF then switch to MF.

Usual range is ISO 64-200, I think I shot ISO 1600 when timelasping it made night look like dusk.

See if I can pop some pics up...

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

I bought this camera after having a z740 for about a half-year...It's leagues better than the kodak and shows that Fujifilm does a real good job at this camera (image quality is even better than some full-blown DSLRs). The reason I got this one was that my pa had an old 2 mega-pixel Fuji that produced good pics.

3:15 AM  
Blogger MikeW said...

Just like to say thanks for your words on the Fuji Finepix S5600. It helped persuade me to order one which I have done from Amazon. Can't wait to receive it.

1:43 PM  
Blogger intellectual idiot said...

someone asked a question about macro.

you have to have the camera a set way from the object, likewise if you are focusing on something where there is a lot of other stuff

some times it will struggle to focus

best tip focus on your hand, hold the shutter half down, then move in to the object and take the shot

9:54 PM  

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