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Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd - Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd

By Cliff Smith



Our Score:


As I mentioned, the AF system is reasonably quick, locking on in good light in about 0.8 of a second, and thanks to the brightest AF lamp I’ve ever seen it will focus in total darkness at a range of at least 6m. The pop-up flash is also very good, with an effective range at wide angle of an impressive 8.3m, or 4.6m at the telephoto end.

Image quality is superb compared to most other 6MP cameras, thanks mainly to the quality of the lens. Despite its huge zoom range it manages to produce virtually no distortion at the wide angle end and is pin-sharp right across the frame. The 1/1.7in SuperCCD HR sensor appears to be that same one found in the FinePix F30, and has the same slight problem with purple fringes on high-contrast edges, but it is very minor and under normal conditions hardly shows up at all. Colour rendition, contrast and dynamic range are all excellent.

With the sensor the S6500 also inherits the F30’s amazing high-ISO performance. At 1600 ISO there is roughly as much image noise as the S9500 produced at 800 ISO, which is to say not much. At the maximum 3200 ISO the noise reduction system does sacrifice a lot of fine detail, but the exposure remains consistent and although there is some colour distortion in darker areas the images are usable. This gives the S6500 a big advantage over most other high-end super-zoom cameras. Despite its lack of image stabilisation it can be used hand-held in low light with a reduced risk of movement blur. Image stabilisation compensates for camera shake, but can’t do anything about your subject moving, which can still ruin a picture at low shutter speeds. By providing usable images at shutter speeds at least three stops faster than most other cameras can manage, the S6500 avoids the problems of both camera shake and moving subjects, resulting in sharper pictures.


The S6500fd is a very good camera for the price, with great handling, huge creative versatility and superior picture quality, but it suffers by comparison to the higher spec and similarly priced S9500 which is still available. The face-recognition technology is impressive, but really not all that useful. Will its outstanding high-ISO performance be enough to sell it?

martin jeeves

March 20, 2009, 10:21 pm

had this camera for over a year and a half never let me down ,the results are fantastic and would be hard pressed to buy another make or model that could copy the results i have had from this camera. you get a lot of camera for the money I think I paid 𧵍 for it from pc world. Battery life is outstanding using 4 nih mi batteries, i shoot in raw using fuji,s own program for processing shots,very fast AF at night the green light is very bright,great camera!


June 7, 2009, 6:30 am

I guess if you're reading this ,this late in the day, you are thinking about picking this camera up second hand, as I did. Do, it's great, I even bought another after trying out the s9600 for a while, to my mind this is the better camera, backing you up in such a wide rang of situations that I couldn't be without it. I'm now about to upgrade to a dslr, normally I'd look to pass this on to spread the cost, but I would'nt be without it such is its go anywhere do anything character. The price you'll pick this up for on ebay makes it a no brainer, and you cannot find an all rounder that has better quality to iso performance. If you already have a dslr, you might find this worth considering over a second body, if you really are thinking of a back up camera.

Si P

October 9, 2009, 6:33 pm

I've looked up this camera here, as I've just started using mine again. I also have a s9600 which I bought to "upgrade" the 6500. I recently upgraded that to an EOS450D. To be honest, I wish I'd never bothered with the 9600, good though it is. I really think the 6500 is far superior in image quality - ok, it can't match a true DSLR, but it does come pretty close. I've been out using it's great macro system on the plethora of spiders in our garden and I've been amazed at the quality. If anyone reading this is thinking about photography as a hobby, but doesn't want to fork out loads of cash to buy into a DSLR system (wife's not happy at my almost bankrupting us buying kit for my EOS)get a second hand S6500fd. You'll have all the equipment you need to take first rate photographs and experiment with different styles - if you then decide it's not for you you've not lost a great deal of money and will probably get back what you paid for it if you sell it. Don't get suckered into the "more megapixels must be better" philosophy. It's the glass at the front and the eye behind the camera that makes a truly good picture. Good luck.

Si P

October 9, 2009, 6:48 pm

Oh, and I nearly forgot, I bought the wide angle screw on lense for the 6500, which also works on the 9600. Just for fun I screwed it on to the kit lense which came with my EOS 450D to see what would transpire. It was amazing! I used it for a wedding I shot at the end of August and the pictures were superb with little or no distortion whatsoever. Saved me a fortune!


August 11, 2013, 1:18 pm

A long time ago... six years to be precise I bought this camera. A that time i hadn´t money to expend in a "cheap" Nikon D40. So I decided buy this Fujifilm s6000fd (marketed as S6500fd in others countries). I was noticed the qualities of this 6 Megapixel left the over-valuated S9100 to shame, and even pretty close from quality of Nikon D40 with a Kit Lens (shotting RAW) and more close from older DSLR (of course you can't do magic with DoF/Bokeh with small sensor). This camera it was state of art in sensor technology from a compact camera. It was so good, if you compare this camera with much of the last luxury compact camera 1/1.7" sized sensor, you will find this is better even in resolution and only missing a little in dynamic range regard . A fool folk chased me when I was taking pictures in the coast in the middle of beauty Argentina's Patagonia. This ugly boy owned a over-valued Panasonic FZ-50, he talked much comparing my Fujifilm S6000fd with his Pana all the time, bluffing how much much better it was his camera. This boy talked to me without idea what had it mi camera inside, better angular of 28mm, better sensor by miles, in general better camera. In my life this camera have part of my former work in digital with others small DSLR. Now I owner of Nikon D700, D300 and lastly Panasonic G3 to informal shots so, I lent the old S6000fd to my lovely friend Jorgelina. I cant sell it or gift it because is part of my learning and the monetary value is nothing, so I kept it, the real first love never sells.

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