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Fuji S5000 Camera,
This review is from: Fuji FinePix S5000 Digital Camera [3MP 10xOptical] (Accessory)I have had this camera since Christmas, and having got to grips with the features of the S5000, and taken literally hundreds of pictures, I now feel that I can make a reasonably informed judgement.
Having a keen interest in photography I also possess an SLR camera. And it was the S5000's SLR styling that really appealed to me. Generally I have found it nice to handle. Some of the features are a bit hidden away in menus, though these are pretty intuitive, and the instructions are detailed and well presented. If you wish, you can allow the camera to make all the decisions for you, or you can get a bit more involved, using Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, or Full Manual. Full control of white balance is not available, only a number of preset values, though these cover most eventualities. The indoor setting, which is used to counter the orange affect of tungsten lighting, is particularly good.
In terms of picture quality, I have had mixed results. The 6 million-pixel mode (which uses software interpolation to add extra pixels) creates results more akin to a 4-mega-pixel camera. So A4 prints are probably the limit of the S5000. Exposures are generally good, and colours are vibrant and rich. On the downside, this camera is quite prone to purple fringing. That is an unsightly halo effect around backlit or contrasty objects. This is a problem common to all digital cameras, though the Fuji suffers more than some. The camera is also a little prone to electronic noise (that is the noticeable patterning to large areas of a single colour such as the sky). This problem is certainly manageable at the 200 ISO setting, and again it is a problem that many digital cameras also suffer from. There are only 3 ISO settings, 200, 400 and 800, though the 800 setting only allows 1-mega pixel images to be taken. I generally keep the camera in the 200 ISO setting, where digital noise is minimised.
The auto focus is generally good, though I have found that it often searches around in vain in some dull conditions. I have also found that the focusing during macro (close-up) photography struggles. A manual focusing option is available, but this is quite fiddly, and it is difficult to make out whether you are in focus on the screen or EVF (Electronic View Finder).
So would I recommend this camera?
The answer has to be yes. You are likely to find the same failings that I have mentioned above in any digital camera in this price bracket. Just because this camera looks like a digital SLR doesn't mean it should be compared with them. Obviously there are limitations in terms of image quality, but that is a result of where digital photography stands at the moment. Being used to an SLR camera, I found that I hardly had to read the instructions at all to begin with. I personally find the camera a joy to hold and use. It feels like a 'proper' camera and the build quality is good. Prints are excellent at 4"x6" and 5"x7" and very good at A4 size. If you want to print larger than that you may need to look at a camera with 5 million pixels or more.