The S5600 has both an LCD monitor and an LCD viewfinder. Due to the restricted space the monitor is only 1.8in with 115k pixels, which is slightly larger than the screen on the S5500, but with the same fairly low resolution. Its surface is quite reflective, and despite the one-touch monitor brightness control it is very difficult to see in bright daylight. Unfortunately the electronic viewfinder is also 115k pixels, which isn’t really high enough resolution in my opinion. It appears to be the same viewfinder used on the S5500. It would have been nice if it could have been fitted with something similar to the larger and much sharper 235kp LCD viewfinder found on the S9500.
Start-up time is very quick, taking just over a second if the flash is turned off, or under three seconds if the flash has to charge, a massive improvement over the glacially slow S5500. Focusing is also very quick and accurate, with virtually non-existent shutter lag. For low-light photography the S5600 has one of the brightest AF illuminators I’ve ever seen, and is capable of focusing quickly and accurately in total darkness at well over the four metre flash range.
The S5600 is aimed more towards the enthusiast end of the market, so it has a pretty good range of features and options, including auto, program, aperture and shutter priority as well as full manual exposure. It also has optional manual focusing, although this is difficult to use effectively due to the poor resolution of the viewfinder and the lack of any distance readout. More importantly it also has a CCD-RAW mode, although it is hidden away in the setup menu, rather than on the same menu as image quality where it belongs.
If you just want to use the camera for snapshots it also has a good range of program scene modes, including natural light, portrait, landscape and night scene. Menu options include centre weighted, spot or 64-segment evaluative metering, and center, multi-point or selectable area focusing. Sharpness can be adjusted, but there is no option to adjust saturation or contrast. What it does have is the usual Fuji F button, which provides a small second menu for adjusting image size and quality, ISO setting and colour mode (standard, vivid or monochrome). I’ve whinged about the redundancy of the F button menu before in other Fuji camera reviews, so I won’t bore you with it again here.