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It’s a little over a year since I reviewed the Fuji FinePix S5600, a handy little entry-level superzoom which I really liked. It wasn’t without a couple of faults, but at under £200 for a 10x zoom 5-megapixel camera it was amazing value for money. Well it looks like Fuji has done it again, because this week I’m taking a look at the replacement for the S5600, the new S5700 (how do they come up with these names?). It offers the same 10x zoom capability, but now adds 7.1 megapixels, a 2.5-in monitor and a new intelligent flash system, and you can get all of this for under £130. How is that even possible?
What’s even more amazing is that it’s not just an update of the previous model; it’s a completely new camera from top to bottom. Even the shape of it is different. Where the S5600 appeared to be modelled on a full-sized SLR, the shape of the S5700 is a lot closer to that of previous Fuji super-zoom cameras such as the popular S7000Z or the S20 Pro. Measuring 106.1 x 75.7 x 80.7mm and weighing 306g minus batteries it is it is significantly smaller and lighter than the S5600, but it has a larger and even more comfortable handgrip, and manages to fit in a much larger monitor screen. It’s a nice screen too; with 230k pixels it’s a lot sharper than the old one, and it has a nice anti-glare finish too. It’s also slightly recessed so it doesn’t pick up too many finger marks.
The handling really is superb. With that big handgrip and the large thumb-grip area it feels like a much larger camera, but the light weight and the position of the controls mean that it’s perfectly possible to operate it one-handed without any real loss of stability. One reason for this is the zoom control, which has swapped places with the power switch, changing from being two fiddly buttons on the back to a nice rotary control around the shutter button. The zoom is very easy to control accurately; tapping it a little moves it just a fraction, while holding it down makes it zip to the other end of the range in well under two seconds. This is very helpful for accurate framing. The big 10x lens (38-380mm equivalent) is now fully internal and doesn’t extend either when the camera is powered up or when zooming, which avoids the S5600’s annoying habit of popping the lens cap off on startup.