Fujifilm A500 Review

 
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Fuji A500 Optics

 

 

 

 

 

Lens

Zoom
Good performance from the A500's 3x optical zoom lens.

38mm
114mm
5.2x Digital Zoom

The Fujifilm FinePix A500's 3x optical zoom range is equivalent to a 38-114mm zoom on a 35mm camera, fairly typical for its class. Though a little soft at wide angle, with some noticeable coma distortion in the trees, the A500's lens performs well. The 5.2x digital zoom takes it out to 15.6x total, albeit with the loss of quality that you might expect from digital zoom.

Macro
A slightly large macro area, but good detail and high resolution. Flash performs fairly well but is a little uneven.

Standard Macro Macro with Flash

The Fujifilm FinePix A500's macro setting performs well, capturing a slightly large minimum area of 3.31 x 2.48 inches (84 x 63 millimeters). Detail is strong and resolution high, with only a moderate amount of softening in the corners from the lens. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode.) The flash throttles down well, although its coverage is a little uneven.

Distortion
Lower than average barrel distortion at wide angle, practically no distortion at telephoto.

This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel--usually at wide angle) or inward (like a pincushion--usually at telephoto). The Fujifilm FinePix A500's 0.6% barrel distortion at wide angle is somewhat lower than average among digital cameras I've tested, though still fairly noticeable. At the telephoto end, we couldn't find a full pixel of either barrel or pincushion distortion.

Barrel distortion at 38mm is 0.6%
Distortion at 114mm is virtually nonexistent.

Chromatic aberration
Moderate, small effect on images at edges.

Wide: moderately low, top left @ 200% Wide: fairly low, top right @ 200%
Tele: low, top left @200% Tele: low, top right @200%

Chromatic aberration is moderate at wide angle, showing about 5-6 pixels of moderately bright coloration on either side of the target lines, but the effect doesn't extend very far into the frame, and decreases to very low levels at telephoto focal lengths. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)

Corner Sharpness
Some softening in the left corners of the frame, with the strongest effect at telephoto. Better than average overall.

Wide: slightly soft in left corners. Wide: sharp at center.
Tele: soft in the lower left corner. Tele: sharper at center.

The Fujifilm FinePix A500 produced soft corners in the left corners of a few shots, though the effect wasn't terribly strong, and didn't extend very far into the frame. The strongest blurring occurred in the lower left corner of the frame at full telephoto. Sharpness uniformity across the entire frame was better than average, particularly for among entry-level cameras.

Viewfinder

Coverage
A rather tight optical viewfinder. LCD monitor is pretty accurate.

38mm eq., optical viewfinder 114mm eq., optical viewfinder
38mm eq., LCD monitor 114mm eq., LCD monitor

The Fujifilm FinePix A500's optical viewfinder was quite tight, showing only about 80% frame accuracy at wide angle and about 82% at telephoto. However, the LCD monitor proved much more accurate, delivering almost 100% frame accuracy

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Fujifilm FinePix A500 Photo Gallery.

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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