Fujifilm FinePix E550 Review
Date: Jan 3, 2005
Jan 3, 2005 - Here's what I receive in the box:
AA Rechargeable Ni-MH Batteries and Recharger
USB and A/V Cables
QuickStart; User Guide
Software CD: FinePixViewe 4.2, Raw File Converter
LE 1.1, ImageMixer VCD2 for FinePix
Fujifilm FinePix E550 is a brand
new design for Fujifilm and looks very handsome.
Fujifilm got many things right in this camera.
The Fujifilm E550 is not compact but is easy
to hold thanks to its non-slip handgrip. It is
also very lightweight, probably thanks to the
use of only 2 AA batteries, which surprisingly
also lasts quite long.
Turn this camera on, and the 4x optical zoom
lens extends out in less than 1 sec. and the camera
is ready to take pictures in about 0.5 sec. more.
Press the shutter release button and the picture
is taken immediately: no practical shutter lag.
Shot to shot time is fast (about 1 sec.), but
if you are using flash, it takes about 3 sec.
to recharge the flash. Top 4 and Final 4 continuous
shooting makes this camera perfect for "catching
There are not too many buttons on the E550 so
you would need to go to the Menu sometimes.
Flash pictures are great as long as you stay
within the flash working distance (about portrait
distance away), but I find the results a bit inconsistent:
most times, the flash pictures are well lighted;
a few times, the pictures seem underexposed, even
though I have not changed distance or even composition.
At times like these, I go into the Menu and dial
in a +2/3 in Flash output.
Best image quality on the E550 is at the 12MP
Fine setting, but the resultant image is a huge
4+MB in size, which seems a bit excessive for
a 6+MP resolution. The image quality at 6MP is
also quite good, with an average image size of
The shutter speed range is 3-1/2,000 sec. In
Auto and Programmed Auto modes, the slowest shutter
speed is only 1/4 sec. Street night photography
is possible, but if you need longer shutter speeds,
you're out of luck.
11.9mm, Programmed Auto, Spot, 1/400 sec., F3.4,
and ISO 80
I mentioned this before in another Fujifilm review,
but I simply love the FinePixViewer software because
all the information is contained in one screen.
Each image's filename is clearly visible and you
do not need to launch another window to view the
EXIF info. There is (still) some valuable screen
real estate wasted along the rightmost column
with the "Register Now" ad. You can
do basic image editing, re: brightness, saturation,
The E550 Instruction Manual is well illustrated
and written, though the print font is very small.
In Canada, you usually receive both an English
and French version -- though, I received 2 French
"Mode d'Emploi" and no English one.
Lucky, I read French ;o).
On our improvements wishlist:
- eliminate CA;
- provide a wider range of shutter speeds, especially
longer shutter speeds, and make them available
in Programmed Auto mode;
- upgrade the LCD to gain up in low-light;
- add an AF-Assist Illuminator;
- ideally, LCD should swivel for easy macro
The Fujifilm FinePix E550 comes really
close to meeting all the three criteria we have
set out for receiving our Editor's Choice Award:
It has low noise at lowest ISO, and fast operation,
but image quality suffers from CA. We find that
it does require some photographic exposure knowledge
to obtain the best of it. Though the Fujifilm
E550 is positioned for beginner and serious amateur
photographers, a few improvements will set it
squarely against the more expensive prosumer models.
If you are ready to move beyond point-and-shoot,
desire a full-featured camera in an affordable
package, and quite willing to learn about exposure,
the Fujifilm FinePix E550 might be just what you're