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Fuji FinePix S5000

Fuji's latest electronic SLR offers a full 10x optical zoom lens.

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S5000 Sample Images

Review First Posted: 10/01/2003

Digital Cameras - Fuji FinePix S5000 Test Images

 

I've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumber-generated index page for the test shots. The Thumber data includes a host of information on the images, including shutter speed, ISO setting, compression setting, etc. Rather than clutter the page below with *all* that detail, we're posting the Thumber index so only those interested in the information need wade through it!

 

Outdoor Portrait:

Good job overall, with nice detail and color. Soft-looking due to interpolation, however.

The extreme tonal range of this image makes it a tough shot for many digicams, which is precisely why I set it up this way, and why I shoot it with no fill flash or reflector to open the shadows. The object is to hold both highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the S5000 performed pretty well in that regard.

The shot at right was taken with a +0.6 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which brightened the midtones but lost some highlight detail. I chose the Auto white balance as the most accurate overall, though the Daylight setting produced similar results.

Marti's skin tones here are just about perfect, very slightly pinkish, but overall quite appealing. As is common with this shot, the S5000 reproduces the blue flowers in the bouquet slightly darker and more purplish than they are in real life. (This is a very difficult blue for many digicams to get right, and to the eye is actually a light navy blue with just hints of purple.) The rest of the color in the bouquet looks pretty good, though the red flowers are a hint oversaturated.

There's quite a bit of detail present in this shot, but the interpolation Fuji uses with their SuperCCD HR technology results in an image that looks very soft on-screen. (To get an idea of how this might compare with a conventional three megapixel camera, resample the image to 1536 pixels wide in Photoshop.) I've found in the past though, that printing SuperCCD images like this at the same size as ones from a camera with a conventional CCD of the same resolution does indeed show more detail in the SuperCCD. Still, if you're shooting for electronic use, you'd probably want to restrict yourself to the 3MP setting on the S5000, to avoid the softness seen here. There's a fair amount of shadow detail present, but the shadows are also somewhat noisy.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.2 EV, see files S50OUTAP0.HTM through S50OUTAP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Closer Portrait:

Increased resolution and detail, but the image noise is again higher than average.

Color and overall exposure are similar to the wider shot above, and the S5000's 10x zoom lens helps prevent distortion of Marti's features. Detail is much stronger in this shot, especially in the finer areas of Marti's face and hair. As above though, the SuperCCD interpolation from 3.1 to 6.0 megapixels produces an image that looks softer on-screen than it would printed at 8x10 and held side by side with a similar shot from a camera with a conventional CCD. There's again more image noise than I'd like to see, obscuring the edges of the finer details somewhat even in the midtone regions, getting worse in the shadows. The shot at right was taken at the default exposure setting, which is just slightly dark, but any additional exposure compensation resulted in too bright of an image.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files S50FACDP0.HTM through S50FACDP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Normal Flash
+0.3 EV
Slow Sync Flash
+0.6 EV

Good intensity and coverage with the built-in flash, good color as well.

The S5000's built-in flash illuminates the subject well here, producing a fairly bright image even at the default exposure. Still, I preferred the image with a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which brightened up the entire scene just enough. The household incandescent lighting results in an orange-magenta cast on the back wall, which also spills onto Marti's face, hair, and shoulders. Still, overall color is pretty good, with nearly accurate hues in the flower bouquet. I also shot with the camera's Slow-Sync flash mode, which balances the exposure by allowing more ambient light into the image with a longer shutter time. Again, I chose an exposure adjustment of +0.6 EV. The background lighting again resulted in an orange cast, but stronger due to the longer exposure time..

To view the entire exposure series in the normal flash mode from zero to +0.6 EV, see files S50INFP0.HTM through S50INFP2.HTM. For the same series in the Slow Sync flash mode, see files S50INFSP0.HTM through S50INFSP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page.




 

Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
Auto White Balance
Incandescent White Balance

Pronounced color casts with both white balance settings.

This shot is always a very tough test of a camera's white balance capability, given the strong, yellowish cast of the household incandescent bulbs used for the lighting. Both white balance settings I tried resulted in quite noticeable color casts. The S5000's Auto white balance produced the best overall color, despite a pink cast. The Incandescent setting resulted in a strong yellow cast. Marti's skin tone is very pink, as is the white shirt. The flowers in the bouquet are dark and purplish, though this is probably to be expected, given the strong color cast. The main shot was taken with a +0.9 EV exposure compensation setting, which made for a slightly dark-looking image. Boosting the exposure to +1.2 EV produced odd-looking highlights though (Similar to what the Incandescent. (Here's a shot at the default exposure.)

 

ISO Series:
As noted in the Outdoor portraits above, noise is moderate on the S5000, even at the lowest ISO setting. Image noise increases to a pretty high level at ISO 400, but the noise is about the same at ISO 800 as at 400, thanks to the "pixel combining" technology that trades off image resolution for lower image noise. (The ISO 800 option forces the S5000's resolution to the 1M or 1.3 megapixel setting.)

ISO Series
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800



 

House Shot:
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Good resolution and detail, but color balance is a bit warm, and noise levels are high.

Both the S5000's Auto and Daylight white balance settings resulted in similar, slightly warm color balances. I chose the Auto setting, due to a slightly lesser color cast. Resolution is high, as the tree limbs and shrubbery show a lot of fine detail. Details are again a little soft throughout the frame, and fine detail is somewhat obscured by image noise. There's also some softness visible in all four corners of the frame.


 

Far-Field Test

High resolution and detail, with good definition. Slightly limited dynamic range, however.

This image is shot at infinity to test far-field lens performance. NOTE that this image cannot be directly compared to the other "house" shot, which is a poster, shot in the studio. The rendering of detail in the poster will be very different than in this shot, and color values (and even the presence or absence of leaves on the trees!) will vary in this subject as the seasons progress. In general though, you can evaluate detail in the bricks, shingles and window detail, and in the tree branches against the sky. Compression artifacts are most likely to show in the trim along the edge of the roof, in the bricks, or in the relatively "flat" areas in the windows.

This is my ultimate "resolution shot," given the infinite range of detail in a natural scene like this, and the S5000 performs well. Detail is strong in the tree limbs over the roof, as well as in the fine foliage in front of the house, with good definition in the leaf patterns. Details are just a hint soft, with only very slightly increased softness in the corners. Keep in mind though, that this is a 3 megapixel that's been interpolated up to 6 megapixels to take advantage of the diagonal, honeycombed structure of the SuperCCD sensor. If you shrink it back down to a 3 megapixel final image size, the details become much sharper-looking. The S5000 loses most of the details in the bright white paint surrounding the bay window, a trouble spot for many digicams. The shadow area above the front door fares only a little better, evidence of a somewhat limited dynamic range. Overall color is good, however, and exposure is about right. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series, followed by ISO, sharpness, and color series.

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
2,816 x 2,120 (Interpolated)
S50FARGF
2,048 x 1,536
S50FARLF
1,600 x 1,200
S50FARMF
1,280 x 960
S50FARSF


ISO Series:
ISO Series
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800


Sharpness Series:
Sharpness Series
Soft
Normal
Sharp


Color Series:
Color Series
Color
Black and White
Chrome




 

Lens Zoom Range

Excellent 10x zoom range.

I routinely shoot this series of images to show the field of view for each camera, with the lens at full wide angle, at maximum telephoto (10x, in this case), and at full telephoto with the digital zoom enabled. The S5000's lens is equivalent to a 37-370mm zoom on a 35mm camera. That corresponds to a moderate wide angle to a pretty substantial telephoto. Following are the results at each zoom setting.

Wide Angle
10x Telephoto
Digital Telephoto



 

Musicians Poster

Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Slightly warm color, but good resolution and detail.

This shot is often a tough test for digicams, as the abundance of blue in the composition frequently tricks white balance systems into producing a warm color balance. The S5000's Auto and Daylight white balance settings again produced similar results, though the Daylight setting had the least warm cast of the two. Even so, the blue background has purplish tints that aren't in the original image. The blue robe is greenish in the highlights, with only a hint of purple in the deep shadows. Resolution is high, with good detail in the embroidery of the blue robe. (The original data file for this poster was only 20MB though, so cameras like the S500 are definitely capable of showing more detail than the poster has in it.)



 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Macro with Flash

A slightly better than average sized macro area, with good detail. Flash throttles down almost too well.

The S5000 performed pretty well in the macro category, capturing a minimum area of 2.88 x 2.17 inches (73 x 55 millimeters). Resolution is high, with strong detail in the dollar bill and coins. The brooch also has good detail, but is slightly soft due to some corner softness, which invades all four corners of the frame. Color balance is a bit warm, but still pretty good overall. The S5000's flash throttles down for the macro area almost too much, underexposing the lower portion of the frame. (Plan on using external lighting for the closest macro shots, but the S5000's flash is much more usable than average for macro shooting.)



 

"Davebox" Test Target
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

A warm color balance, but good saturation (although the red additive primary block is too hot).

Both the Auto and Daylight white balance settings resulted in warm-toned images here, although the Auto setting resulted in a slightly lesser cast. The warm cast gives the large white color block a yellow tint, as well as the mini-resolution target. Exposure looks pretty good, albeit just slightly dim, and the S5000 distinguishes the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 target nicely. Colors are reasonably bright in the large color blocks, although the large red block is a bit oversaturated. The shadow area of the charcoal briquettes shows moderate detail, although with a higher than average noise level.

 

ISO Series:

ISO Series
ISO 200
ISO 400




 

Low-Light Tests

Good low light performance, including a bright AF-assist light, but a slight yellow color cast and more noise than average.

The S5000 did fairly well under low-light conditions, thanks to its default ISO setting of 200, and a bright AF-assist light that really helped it focus under dim lighting. It was able to capture usable images down to 1/2 foot-candle (5.5 lux) at ISO 200, 1/4 foot-candle (2.7 lux) at ISO 400, and 1/8 foot-candle (1.3 lux) at ISO 800.

As with the rest of my tests, image noise was higher than average across the board, even at the ISO 200 setting. If you don't mind trading off image resolution for higher ISO, the 1.3 megapixel shots at ISO 800 are surprisingly usable, given the noise levels at ISO 400 in the full-sized images. Overall, I liked the bright AF-assist light, and the camera could work quite effectively at light levels a good bit darker than city street lighting at night (1 foot-candle), but the noise is higher than I'd like to see. The table below shows the best exposure we were able to obtain for each of a range of illumination levels. Images in this table (like all of our sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.

  1fc
11lux
1/2fc
5.5lux
1/4fc
2.7lux
1/8fc
1.3lux
1/16fc
0.67lx
ISO
200
Click to see S50LL2003.JPG
1 sec
F/2.8
ISO: 200
Click to see S50LL2004.JPG
1.8 sec
F/2.8
ISO: 200
Click to see S50LL2005.JPG
2 sec
F/2.8
ISO: 200
Click to see S50LL2006.JPG
2 sec
F/2.8
ISO: 200
Click to see S50LL2007.JPG
2 sec
F/2.8
ISO: 200
ISO
400
Click to see S50LL4003.JPG
1/2 sec
F/2.8
ISO: 400
Click to see S50LL4004.JPG
1 sec
F/2.8
ISO: 400
Click to see S50LL4005.JPG
1.8 sec
F/2.8
ISO: 400
Click to see S50LL4006.JPG
2 sec
F/2.8
ISO: 400
Click to see S50LL4007.JPG
2 sec
F/2.8
ISO: 400
ISO
800
Click to see S50LL8003.JPG
1/5 sec
F/2.8
ISO: 800
Click to see S50LL8004.JPG
1/2 sec
F/2.8
ISO: 800
Click to see S50LL8005.JPG
1 sec
F/2.8
ISO: 800
Click to see S50LL8006.JPG
1.7 sec
F/2.8
ISO: 800
Click to see S50LL8007.JPG
2 sec
F/2.8
ISO: 800



 

Flash Range Test

Strong intensity all the way out to 14 feet.

In my testing, the S5000's flash illuminated the test target all the way out to 14 feet, without any significant decrease in intensity. Flash power remained bright and strong throughout the series. Below is the flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.

8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
Click to see S50FL08.JPG
1/60
F/3.2
ISO: 200
Click to see S50FL09.JPG
1/60
F/3.2
ISO: 200
Click to see S50FL10.JPG
1/60
F/3.2
ISO: 200
Click to see S50FL11.JPG
1/60
F/3.2
ISO: 200
Click to see S50FL12.JPG
1/60
F/3.2
ISO: 200
Click to see S50FL13.JPG
1/60
F/3.2
ISO: 200
Click to see S50FL14.JPG
1/60
F/3.2
ISO: 200



 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

Good resolution, 1,100 lines of "strong detail." Slightly better than average barrel distortion, very low pincushion.

The S5000 performed well on the "laboratory" resolution test chart. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 800~850 lines per picture height, in both horizontal and vertical directions, and the artifacts were more pronounced at spatial frequencies below the camera's limit than typically found with conventional CCDs. Interestingly though, in this instance, there's very clearly more detail to be found in the 6 megapixel interpolated images than in the 3.1 megapixel ones. (Even resizing the 6 megapixel shots downward results in noticeable loss of detail, so it's clear that Fuji's interpolation scheme is more than just smoke and mirrors.) I found "strong detail" out to at least 1,100 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 1,400 lines.

Optical distortion on the S5000 is about average at the wide-angle end, where I measured an approximate 0.7 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared much better, as I measured only a half-pixel of pincushion distortion. Chromatic aberration is higher than average, showing fairly strong color around the edges of the target lines in the corners of the frame. (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.)

Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
2,816 x 2,120 (Interpolated)
S50RESWLF
2,048 x 1,536
S50RESWMF
1,600 x 1,200
S50RESWSF
1,280 x 960
S50RESWTF

 

Resolution Test, Telephoto
2,816 x 2,120
(Fine, Tele)
S50RESTLF




 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

A slightly tight electronic optical viewfinder and LCD monitor.

The S5000's electronic "optical" viewfinder (EVF) is surprisingly a little tight, showing 89 percent frame accuracy at both wide angle and telephoto zoom settings. The LCD monitor resulted in the same measurements, since it shows the same view. Given that I like LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the S5000's LCD monitor has some room for improvement here. Flash distribution is surprisingly even at wide angle, with just a little falloff at the corners of the frame. At telephoto, flash distribution is very uniform, as you'd expect.


Wide Angle, Optical

Telephoto, Optical

Wide Angle, LCD

Telephoto, LCD



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