Fujifilm FinePix S5000 | Digital Camera Review | Adjustments
The FinePix S5000 can be operated fully automatically. The Auto mode is a handy function to learn how to photograph and can be used in most situations. It is very useful that the camera, in spite of the full automatic function still shows the aperture and shutter time on the electronic viewfinder or on the LCD monitor. This way a large part of starting photographers will subconsciously become aware of the values of the settings and this way the learning process of handling the settings and use them more often will start. The command wheel also has an SP mode (Scene Program). This function offers a selection of pre-set modes like: sports, landscape, portrait and night scene. In fact the camera still operates fully automatically but a priority is given to a specific situation. In portrait mode the skin tint will be set softer and in sports mode the quickest shutter time is the most important setting. Using the SP mode the aperture and shutter time are still being showed.
Above the Auto mode on the command wheel we find an enhanced automatic mode for one who wants to go just one step further or for the advanced user who wants to simply and quickly take some pictures but still wants to keep the possibility of controlling the camera. This mode, the P-mode, allows the change of the combination of aperture and shutter time without influencing the exposure. And for those photographers that want to take another step forward, and want to photograph in a creative way, they can choose the A-mode. Values go from f2.8 until f8 in 1/3 EV accurate step. The FinePix S5000 has a quick optical lens with an aperture of f2.8 in wide angle and an aperture of 3.2 in the telephoto setting. The combination of the brightness of f2.8 and the AF assistant illuminator offer a perfect solution under dim light conditions. The camera performs excellent in difficult situations like large rooms or twilight. The standard ISO value of 200 is a good value to start with but the use of the extra light to support the AF is noticeable straight away.
Opposite the Aperture priority there is also the Shutter priority with a range of 2 to 1/000 second. This function comes in handy when trying to freeze a moving object or creating movements. And one who is not afraid of a camera can set the camera fully manually to his or her own wishes.
The FinePix S5000 has a macro function to focus an object from a distance of 10cm. The pop-up flash does a good job at these macro images. The images are smoothly exposured and the flash flashes over the object so it causes no annoying shadows. The built-in flash has six different settings: auto, red-eye reduction, fill-in flash, slow-synchro, slow-synchro with red-eye reduction and flash off. Fujifilm has chosen the option of always manually having to make the flash pop-up. I would have preferred it to pop-up automatically when needed. Maybe a too expensive solution?
There are 3 different focus modes available: A-AF, C-AF and MF. In S-AF mode the camera will be auto focussing the object when the release button is pushed halfway down. C-AF stands for continuous focussing on the object inside the AF-frame, very useful for moving objects. And last but not least there is the possibility of focussing manually; however, this is not easy. The large objects are not too difficult but small objects that are difficult to view on a reasonable distance are hard to focus. It is more a matter of guessing than really seeing them. The resolution of the small display is a bit too restricted for that.
On the back of the camera the earlier mentioned F-button is found. Through this button the user gets direct access to some “photographic” features of an image. First there is the possibility of setting the resolution. The technique of the Super CCD HR gives a standard resolution of 3M (2048x1536), but can be upgraded to a 6M (2816x2120) resolution. The FinePix can not be counted among the cameras with a complete resolution of 6M, but we underestimate the camera if we say it is a 3M camera. When we study the images and look at the differences on a 3M and a 6M image, we notice a phenomenon that looks like a higher rate of details at the high resolution image. The surplus value of the Super CCD technique that the FinePix S5000 is equipped with is that it offers a higher rate of details. The resolution of the camera lies in between 3 and 6 Megapixels. A second F-mode is the ISO value. The ISO value can be set from 200, 400 to 800 ISO. The 800 ISO is only available in 1M (1280x960) resolution and some digital noise will appear. Last setting is the FinePix Colour function. In this mode a choice can be made from: standard (colour and contrast are set to standard), black&white or chrome. The last one gives the image high contrast.
The fact that the FinePix S5000 has a large optical range means that it is not possible to equip the camera with an optical viewfinder. To solve this problem an electronic viewfinder is used. Personally I prefer an optical viewfinder, it is easier to look through, but the LCD monitor is used more often as a viewfinder. A pity Fujifilm choose a small size monitor, a 1.8-inch size would have had my preference. Beside that the view of both the electronic viewfinder and the monitor is not too broad at 90%. It ought to be possible to design a LCD monitor in which a view of almost 100% can be reached. The resolution of the monitor is 114.000 pixels which offer a clear and sharp reproduction.
The white balance of the camera has an extensive choice possibility for all thinkable situations. Beside the Automatic white balance there is a setting for: Daylight, Shade, Daylight Fluorescent, Warm White Fluorescent, Cool White Fluorescent and Incandescent. In general most images can be made in Auto without a problem. The differences between the white balance aimed at artificial light and automatic white balance are clearly visible, so it might be worth experimenting with it. In general the colours are reproduced warmly in Auto white balance.
Beside capturing still images the FinePix S5000 has the possibility to record video clips in a resolution of 320x240 pixels and at an image rate of 30 images per second. It is also possible to record voice comments which take about 0.5MB storage capacity per 30 seconds.
The Fujifilm FinePix S5000 is a rather well-equipped digital camera that will certainly appeal to the enthusiastic starter. One who really gets the taste of photographing won't easily get bored with the FinePix S5000 because it is that versatile he or she will be able to get more experience and enjoy its possibilities for a long time.