The Fujifilm FinePix E550 features a number of useful extra settings for those who don’t want to capture an image fully automatically. I must admit, the automatic mode is appealing, you just grab the camera, activate it, command dial on Auto, flip out the flash and shoot! But there is more to this Fujifilm E550 than just letting the camera do all the work. Just get into it a little bit more and you will soon find out that the combination of your own input and a little help from the camera will deliver a more beautiful result! The Fujifilm E550 is in fact a very interesting camera from a photographic point of view, because of the fact that the camera offers more than just Auto mode. A small step ahead is the use of the preset scenes. If you know what kind of picture you are going to take, you can command the camera to pay attention to the specific features that come with such a picture. For example portrait mode will slightly blur the background so the portrait is clearer in the foreground. Also skin tones appearing in the picture will be looked after more carefully in order to get the right tones. Landscape mode will put emphasis on a clear fore- and background. Taking the same picture in Auto mode, the camera takes an average shot, and the landscape will look less impressive. The built-in scenes are therefore a handy aid!
Fujfiilm digital camera - Internal flash
The Flash of the Fujifilm FinePix E550, works fully automatic, after flipping the flash out. Well known functions like red-eye-reduction and flashing with slow shutter speed are also found on the Fujifilm E550. We know how these settings work, and if you bear in mind the limited range of the internal flash, you will get well exposed flash images. The photos have a wonderful colour rendition, a good achievement that goes without saying. Only now and again we experience an underexposed image when we try to get the most out of the flash range. So I'd recommend staying within the limitations of the flash range in order to get well exposed images.
Fujfiilm FinePix E550 - ISO values
ISO values can be adjusted manually from a striking low 80 ISO to 800 ISO. Images until 200 ISO turn out fine to excellent, the noise-signal ratio is perfectly under control. ISO 400 however tends to show rather prominent noise at which the internal clearance of the image seems to increase the noise. The 800 ISO images can only be used at a low resolution. The advantage is that noise values compared with 800 ISO images from competing cameras (which do record in a higher resolution) are very much acceptable.
Fujfiilm E550 - White balance
White balance and resolution can also be adjusted manually on the Fujifilm E550. The automatic white balance tends to render the image somewhat warmer, however this is not disturbing. Manual setting shows a fairly cooler result; which one you choose is a matter of personal preference. If you want to benefit from the Super CCD technique you will have to get acquainted with the 12 megapixel images. In fact, this high resolution is being produced by a 6 Megapixel image sensor, but the Super CCD technique allows an end result which is a 12 Megapixel file. A nice result of this technique is the rich detail found in the image. Actually, an image should never be judged on a monitor or TFT display, because only a print shows the real power of a Super CCD. An increase of the resolution seems to equally increase the image noise, but looking at the pint, nothing or hardly anything shows.
Fujfiilm FinePix E-550 - Zoom range
The Fujifilm E550 is equipped with a rather interesting zoom range with which small rooms can be captured easily, and portraits too belong to the possibilities. The Macro setting is also a strong point of the Fujifilm E550. The extremely high resolution still gives a bright detail. A slight blur towards the edges of the image is noticeable; however, this is quite normal and not disturbing. If you want to make a macro image using the internal flash, you will soon find out that the optical zoom lens obstructs a large part of the flash light, which results in a big black shadow on your macro image. So if you use Macro, don't use the internal flash!
Fujfiilm digital camera - Focussing in low light conditions
The only thing that the Fujifilm FinePix E550 is not good at, is focussing in low light. Making pictures in dim light conditions gives the E550 a problem with focussing. You can switch over to manual focus through the zoom button and pressing the button for exposure compensation. Though this is not an ideal solution. There is no bright table at hand so you have to focus with your own eyes. Rendition of the LCD monitor however is not sufficient to judge the sharpness in twilight. An AF-assist illuminator would be a great help in this situation!
Fujfiilm E-550 - Optical viewfinder
The Fujifilm FinePix E550 has an optical viewfinder on board. Personally I find the viewfinder too small and not very functional in practice. It shows only 78% of telephoto images, which makes good framing or composing dreadfully limited. I admit that an optical viewfinder is not an necessity on a compact digital camera like the E550, and it won't be used often, but we have met greater optical viewfinders. On the back of the camera, we find the LCD monitor, which, fair is fair, performs excellently. The rendition is about 100%, so creating a precise composition is a piece of cake.
Fujfiilm E550 camera - User friendly
The available settings offer novices the possibility to develop their photographic skills and to get more out of photography than just the standard picture. The camera is extremely user friendly as far as operation is concerned, straight forward and on the whole its performance is fine. The Fujifilm FinePix E550 is a solid, traditional looking digital camera with user-friendliness and pleasant operation which come first.