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Fujifilm FinePix S5600 - Fujifilm FinePix S5600

By Cliff Smith

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

In terms of overall handling the S5600 scores very highly, but there are a couple of minor niggles. Most of the controls are very well laid out, including separate buttons for exposure compensation and continuous shooting modes, including auto bracketing. However the zoom control, which is also used in conjunction with the EV compensation button for manual focusing, is very awkwardly positioned. If like me you are left-eye dominant, you’ll have to try to squeeze your thumb in between the camera body and your nose to use the zoom. The zoom control is also very jerky, and goes from one end of the massive zoom range to the other in just 12 steps. If only it had the superb manual zoom control of the S9500…

Despite having a 10x zoom lens, the S5600 has no image stabilization. What it does have however is the ability to shoot at high ISO settings with very little image noise. Fujifilm is so far the only company to really crack the image noise problem at higher ISO speeds, and with its relatively fast F3.2-3.5 lens the S5600 can produce good results at shutter speeds around 2-3 stops higher than other comparable cameras under the same lighting conditions. Since most IS systems only offer the same 2-3 stop advantage the S5600 does just as well without one, which helps to keep the price down.

Overall picture quality is very good, although unusually for a Fujifilm camera I found the colours in standard mode to be a bit under-saturated, and the auto white balance produced a somewhat cold appearance in bright sunlight.

Noise control is, as I have mentioned, among the best I have ever seen. At 800 ISO image quality is better than many other cameras can achieve at 200 ISO, and even at the highest setting of 1600 ISO images are still quite usable, although the noise reduction system loses a lot of fine detail.

The S5600’s newly designed lens produces excellent results at all focal lengths, with good corner sharpness and minimal distortion.

The only real problem with image quality is something that has plagued just about every Fuji camera I’ve ever seen: massive purple fringing along the left-hand edge of every bright highlight. It is annoying, and robs the S5600 of the superb image quality of which it is otherwise capable.

Verdict

For under £200 the Fuji S5600 offers big-camera handling in a small and easy-to-use package. It has lightning-fast performance, a good list of features, massive zoom range and amazingly good low-light capabilities. Image quality is generally very good under most circumstances, but how I wish Fujifilm could shake of those damn purple fringes.

Jamestw

August 27, 2009, 5:37 pm

I have this camera and I have taken some amazing pictures with it. A feature that I find very useful is the ability to shoot in RAW which makes a lot of difference when it comes to image quality. 10/10

widhie

April 15, 2010, 11:58 am

I've been using this kind of camera for almost 3 years now, the Fujifilm Finepix S5600. And this camera is quiet satistying. Only I have been tempted to try another product. The Olympus SP510UZ. Wich one is the better camera, actually? Anyone can inform me about this? Please, share me your experience.

Splogbust

May 23, 2010, 2:50 am

I'm still using mine too. The on/off switch is getting a bit temperamental but it's still producing the goods after thousands of pictures. Will eventually have to replace it I guess....

Jorge Arguello

June 4, 2010, 5:36 am

It is very compact with many functions, It is almost a professional camera for amateurs (almost an DSLR)


I bought this 3 years ago. I am quite happy with it. I am able to take a high quality photos. The continues shotting is 0.5 sec. Means that 2 photos per second. The bracketing and white balance brings the option for play and get the picture expected. My kids (5 & 1) has through it on the floor (not sure what they have done when I don’t see them) We took pictures under the rain, in dusty and country side. It is easy to carry, good zoom (equivalent to 320mm).


The ISO 400 is able to have good A4 printings, sometimes up to 12”x16”. The ISO 64 allows me to have big enlargements. I am still amazed of get a such good camera.


I also have an SLR canon with 2 lens (20-70, 50-200) but it is more difficult to carry them having 2 kids.


You will not be disappointed but read the manual to use it well.


Only one thing: The quality of the EVF (neither the TFT LCD screen) has not enough quality to see if the subject is on focus. But for the price I consider it fair.

Bertie

June 6, 2010, 6:14 pm

The only criticism I have of the S5600 is the ease at which the battery compartment door can be opened and I have on a few occasions spilled the batteries all over the floor.





I now use a piece of Sellotape to prevent the above.





I suppose the displays COULD have a higher resolution but as they don't impact image quality I'm not really concerned.





I would think the camera can now be got on eBay for fifty quid-ish or even less and would be a great buy as most more modern cameras of this nature don't seem to produce better images.

Tink0027

August 3, 2010, 1:36 am

I have owned this camera for over 5 years and am so happy with it. I still have to try out RAW images yet and I can only see two issues with the camera over this time namely...


1) Due to the small footprint of the bpdy, it is impossible to remove the batteries without unscrewing it from the tripod. The thread is too close to the hinge.


2) When recordiong video although the quality of the image and sound is excellent, you can't change the zoom length once recording.





Other than these two small issues I can live with, I love this camera and invested in the excellent Fuji S5500/S5600 tailored camera case with a 2Gb XD card.

Langjan

March 27, 2014, 7:32 pm

Trying to download pics to my Ubuntu (Linux) computer, the software seems to be limited to work only on Microsoft systems, which is weird.

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