Operation of the Fujifilm FinePix E550 is straight forward. A good thing, because in addition to the fully automatic programs, like Auto and preset scenes the Fujifilm E550 also offers half automatic and manual operation. The on/off button speaks for itself, the E550 response is ultra fast and within a few tenths of a second the 4x optical zoom lens appears outside of the camera's housing to get ready for action and take the first shot. On the back of the Fujifilm FinePix E550, next to the monitor, we find a button that has to be switched to either record or play mode. On top of the camera, you can choose through the command dial in which way you'd like to operate the E550. Setting the camera to Auto, nearly everything will be handled automatically by the camera. Nearly everything? Yes, with the exception of the flash. It doesn't pop out automatically. So when activating the camera you ought to (manually) fold out the flash or the camera isn't capable of flashing automatically. If you didn't a yellow symbol will show the need of folding out the flash. It's a shame Fujifilm didn't choose for a more friendly solution like having the flash pop out as soon as the camera is activated.
Fujfiilm E550 - Optical viewfinder & Zoom
Thanks to the hand grip, the Fujifilm FinePix E550 lies comfortably in your hand. If you look through the small viewfinder with your right eye, you will experience that your nose falls along the side of the camera's body. However, if you want to look with your left eye, your nose will get into a fight immediately with the monitor. I have to admit that the value of an optical viewfinder decreased a lot, due to the high quality of nowadays monitors. The optical zoom is pleasant to operate, quick and smooth. The switch response is fast and the lens zooms precisely in 11 steps. The focal range from 32.5mm – 130mm is ideal in many circumstances. Photographing indoors in a small room like a sitting room is easier, and much more can be captured in your photo. Telephoto offers the possibility to make a good framing when capturing portraits.
Fujfiilm digital camera - Menu
The Fujifilm FinePix E550's menu looks familiar for those who are acquainted with a Fujifilm digital camera. Colourful, rich contrast and a well-organized division. The multi functional button lets you navigate smoothly through the menu. But the Fujifilm E550 offers more than just automatic programs. Pressing the quick button gives you a choice for exposure compensation. The typical command dials, often found on digital cameras, which offer aperture of shutter priority possibilities, do not appear on the E550.
Fujfiilm FinePix E550 - Shutter and Aperture priority
If, for example, you choose for Shutter priority, the multi functional button on the back should be used to adjust the shutter speed quickly. If you want to go a step further and operate the camera manually, (M) again you can use the multi functional button and pressing the quick button for exposure compensation will make you switch over to Shutter and Aperture Priority. Another quick button is the 'F' button. This button gives quick access to specific features of a film, but then translated to a digital recording. Fujifilm gained a lot of experience through the years concerning this subject, and was therefore able to built-in this handy setting. Choices are Standard value or black/white value, but also the specific slide film features (colour and contrast) can be decided through the Chrome setting.
FinePix E-550 - Easy to operate
For those who want to get the FujiFilm FinePix E550 out of the box, and not be bothered about a manual, will find no problems operating the camera. The manual is only needed for very specific features, like getting to know the 'F' function thoroughly. And one who does take out the manual and study it with the camera in his hand, will get to know the camera inside out in a very short time span. In short, the Fujifilm FinePix E550 is an extremely user friendly digital camera.