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Fujifilm has recently introduced two new cameras, in the process launching a completely new series of budget-priced compacts, the J-series. I looked at the ultra-compact FinePix J10 a few weeks ago, so today it's the turn of the other new model, the 8.2-megapixel, 5x zoom FinePix J50.
Just a couple of years ago the J50 would have been a flagship model, but as modern compact cameras go, it actually has a pretty average specification. Longer zoom lenses are quickly becoming the norm, so the f/3.2 - f/4.8, 37 - 185mm equivalent 5x zoom lens on the J50 is nothing out of the ordinary. The 1/2.5-inch 8.2-megapixel CCD doesn't stand out from the crowd, and even the larger-than-average 2.7-inch 230k dot LCD monitor is far from special. About the only thing the J50 has going for it is the price, because it's currently selling for under £100, which is pretty cheap by any standard.
Considering its low cost the J50 is a surprisingly well-made camera. Available in either black or silver, the body is half metal, half plastic and is solidly made. It's not a particularly small camera, measuring 95.6 x 55.4 x 32mm (not 23mm as stated by the company website and at least one other review that I've seen), although weighing approximately 155g including battery and card it is light for its size.
The shape of the body makes it a comfortable camera to hold, and the raised detail on the front panel provides a secure finger grip. On the back the small eight-position mode dial doubles as a thumb grip.