Fujifilm A500 Review

 
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Fuji A500 Performance

 

 

 

Timing and Performance

Fujifilm FinePix A500 Timing
Good to slightly slow speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown
Power on
to first shot
2.8 seconds
Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy
Shutdown
1.6 seconds
How long it takes to retract lens
Buffer clearing time
2 seconds
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.
Mode switching
Play to Record,
first shot
0.4 seconds
Time until first shot is captured
Record to play
4.6 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture
Display
recorded image
1.5 second
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus Wide
0.72 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.
Full Autofocus Tele
0.61 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.
Prefocused
0.012 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
2.24 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots. Buffer clears between shots.
Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG
2.33 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots. Buffer clears between shots.
Early shutter
penalty?
No
Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer
Flash recycling
7 seconds
Flash at maximum output
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
656 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
771-4000=USB 2.0 High

The Fujifilm FinePix A500's performance ranges from pretty good to about average, depending on task at hand. Startup time is a little sluggish, but shutter lag is better than average at both wide angle and telephoto lens settings. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in a very speedy 0.012 second delay, among the fastest on the market. Shot to shot cycle times are slightly longer than average, at about 2.24 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, for 20 or so shots. (There doesn't appear to be any buffer memory-imposed limit.) The flash takes about seven seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, slightly longer than average, particularly considering its anemic output. Connected to a computer, download speeds aren't bad (you probably won't feel a need for an external card reader), but are slower than those of many current cameras. Bottom line, while the A500 isn't suited for action photography, it should handle average landscape and portrait shots just fine.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Poor battery life with average alkaline cells, much better with rechargeable NiMH batteries.

Test Conditions
Number of Shots
AA Alkaline Batteries
100
AA NiMH Rechargeable Batteries
400

The Fujifilm FinePix A500 uses two AA-type batteries for power, and a set of ordinary alkaline cells are included with the camera. The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of, based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions. Given the short runtime with the alkaline cells, and only moderate runtime with NiMH cells, we strongly recommend that you purchase a couple of sets of high-capacity NiMH rechargeable batteries and a good-quality charger, as they'll save you many times their cost over the life of the camera.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
No card is included with the Fujifilm FinePix A500, although it accepts xD-Picture cards; approximately 12 MB RAM is built into the camera.

Image Capacity with
12MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
2,592 x 1,944 Images 4 9
File Size 2.5 MB 1.3 MB
2,048 x 1,536 Images - 15
File Size - 796 KB
1,600 x 1,200 Images - 19
File Size - 626 KB
640 x 480
Images - 93
File Size - 123 KB

We strongly recommend buying at least a 128MB card, preferably a 256MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.

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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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