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Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd | Digital Camera Review | Control
The Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd is noticeable compact for a camera with such a large zoom range. Thanks to the burly grip one can hold the camera extremely well. The format shouldn't be much smaller for photographers with a little bigger hand. The rubber covering on the grip and on the back of the camera, provide an excellent grip, in any case; the camera won't slip out of the hands easily. You do have to try and find the best way to hold the camera. Especially when supporting the lens with the left hand to prevent blurring, both hands tend to meet. On the other hand we have the ease of use of the compact format, which makes it easy to always carry the camera with you.
Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd | Digital Camera Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd | Digital Camera
Fujifilm S6500fd - Sleep mode & Focussing
The Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd starts up surprisingly quick; within just one second you can take a picture. Unfortunately you have to use the main switch for reviewing the images. This way you cannot take a quick picture of something you see while reviewing images. I'm a supporter of a separate button, so you can react much faster to unforeseen moments. The Fujifilm S6500fd knows a so-called sleep mode; only when using it; it looks like the camera really is in a deep sleep. The camera does not respond to the shutter release button and you have to switch the camera off and on again to bring it back to life. Luckily you can set the time for 'sleep' through the menu. Focusing is pretty quick, but you do need sufficient contrast. The focus indication is a little confusing though. A yellow field is always shown when you cannot focus and the announcement AF! appears. It would have been a bit clearer if Fujifilm would have chosen a red field with a failing focus and a green field with a succeeded focus, this is actually pretty standard nowadays.

Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd - Manual focus
When focusing manually, part of the image is being rendered enlarged, and this works excellent. It is one of the advantages of an electronic viewfinder; you can do much more with it than with an optical viewfinder. A disadvantage is the experience that the electronic viewfinder is behind in regards to resolution in comparison with the optical viewfinder. What is very handy is the possibility to use the auto focus when focusing manual. Just one press on the button and the focus has been made. Afterwards one can tune the focus a bit more or just leave it as it is. There are enough situations where this function comes in handy. A typical quality for a camera where photography goes further than just taking snapshots.

Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd - Face Detection
When speaking about the focus, we cannot deny the face detection, one of the key features of the Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd Megazoom camera. One push on the button for Face Detection and as soon as a face is detected, you can see a green field around the face: the detection has succeeded! It is of great importance that the eyes and mouth are visible; this is one of the criteria for detecting the face. For years, Fujifilm has experience with this technique; it is used in their mini labs for instance.
But since a short period, the time is right to use the technique in digital cameras as well, like the Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd. Fujifilm's knowledge is an enormous advantage. Of all the cameras with face detection, the Fujifilm S6500fd is surely the most effective. Also small faces, up to nine, at the edge of an image are recognized accurately. But there's more possible with face detection; not only the auto focus reacts to it, also the lighting is being adjusted. When reviewing the images, you can zoom in quickly to check the focus. At first I was skeptical about the benefit and reliability of face detection, but Fujifilm convinced me completely! You have to try a bit and play with the features, but you will notice after a little while that face detection will be used often.

Fujifilm S6500fd - Optical stabilization is lacking
The Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd camera is equipped with a regular zoom ring and this works extremely pleasant. When supporting the lens you can both stable hold the camera and zoom in quickly. This is very praiseworthy. You will have to hold the camera tightly when zooming because, with the Fujifilm S6500fd, optical stabilization is lacking. This is only possible by increasing the ISO but this is not the same as optical stabilization. The low weight of the camera makes it hard to hold the camera steady with longer focal lengths; so a tripod, a wall or fence would be useful. Although increasing the ISO and the quality of higher ISO recordings is fine, it would not be too much luxury to equip the Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd with an optical stabilizer. At this moment the Fujifilm is about the only Megazoom camera without such a system.

Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd - LCD monitor
The LCD monitor on the back of the camera is of high quality and it gives you an excellent view in many angles. Also the electronic viewfinder is reasonable but still stays behind on the larger monitor. The possibility to operate the most important functions by using the buttons is very pleasant. De F-button has a central role in this. It is like choosing another film. RAW is not being named in the quality settings; one has to search deep in the menu for this. This is very unfortunate, for RAW is being used more and more. Perhaps something for Fujifilm's design department to think about.
Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd
   
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