Fujifilm S5200 Review

 
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Fuji FinePix S5200 Operation

With more of an enthusiast's set of controls, the Fuji FinePix S5200's user interface is nevertheless easy to use and understand with a little practice. Exposure mode, Flash, Macro mode, and zoom all feature external controls. Settings like Exposure Compensation and White Balance are adjusted through the (likewise uncomplicated) LCD menu. Navigating the LCD menu system is easy, via a menu bar that runs along the bottom. There are only a few options for the Record menu when you're in either the Auto or Scene modes, confined to adjusting the self timer, adjusting the LCD, and entering the Settings menu. In Program, Shutter, Aperture, or Manual mode, additional options include White Balance, AF Mode, Metering (called Photometry), Bracketing, Sharpness, and Flash compensation. The Setup menu is accessed as an option on the Record and Playback menus. The camera's small size and few controls also make it easy to operate one-handed. There are just enough controls and menus, though, that even the experienced digicam user should familiarize themselves with the camera by giving the manual a closer look.

Record Display: In any shooting mode, the EVF and LCD monitors show a concise information readout by default. An outline box and crosshair indicate that the AF and exposure metering are determined from the center of the frame. Also displayed is the exposure mode, resolution, quality, and number of available images. Camera settings such as flash mode, EV, etc. are also displayed if enabled. Pressing the Display button once disables the information display. Pressing it again enables a fine black framing grid in addition to the information display, which divides the image area into thirds horizontally and vertically. (Grids like this are handy for lining up buildings and other objects.) A fourth press brings up a Post Shot Assist Window that shows the current scene and the last three images shot along the left side of the monitor.

Playback Display: In Playback mode, the main display shows the captured image and a small playback symbol, while the date and time of capture and the file number appear for just a few seconds as you scroll to each new image. Pressing the Display button removes the icon and disables the momentary information display, showing the image only. A third press calls up the index display mode, which displays images on the memory card as tiny thumbnails, nine at a time, and also shows the date and time of capture, and file number of the currently highlighted image for a few seconds. Another press of the button takes you to the Date Sorting screen, which lists the dates images were shot on the left side of the screen and displays thumbnails for each date on the right as you scroll through the dates.

 

Fuji FinePix S5200 Modes and Menus

Record Mode: Marked on the Power / Mode dial with a red camera symbol, this mode allows you to capture still images. Eleven exposure modes are available via the Exposure Mode dial, including Auto, Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual, Movie, Anti-blur, Natural Light, Portrait, Landscape, and Night. Auto mode is fairly self-explanatory: the camera does just about everything. The P, S, A, and M modes offer varying degrees of control up to complete control in Manual mode, and the Scene modes take over control again, biasing settings for a given situation. Finally, Movie mode records short movies with sound. Following is the complete Record menu, though some options are not available in all modes:

  • Self-Timer: Activates the 2- or 10-second Self-Timer mode.
  • Photometry: Selects among Average, Spot, and Multi point exposure modes.
  • White Balance: Adjusts the overall color balance. Choices are Auto, Custom, Daylight, Overcast, Daylight Fluorescent, Cool White Fluorescent, Warm White Fluorescent, and Incandescent.
  • High-Speed Shooting: Turns the high-speed shooting option on or off.
  • AF Mode: Selects among Area, Center, and Multi point AF modes.
  • Option/Set-Up: Accesses the following Setup submenu, as well as the LCD Brightness adjustment.
    • Image Display: Turns on an instant image review, which displays the image immediately after capture.
    • Shutter Volume: Sets shutter sound to Low, Medium, or High, or turns it off.
    • Beep Volume: Sets beep sound to Low, Medium, or High, or turns it off.
    • Playback Volume: Sets playback volume on a scale of zero to 10.
    • Frame Number: Continues frame numbering from card to card, or Renews numbering with each new card.
    • LCD Brightness: Sets LCD brightness on a scale of -5 to +5.

    • Digital Zoom: Sets digital zoom on or off.
    • CCD-RAW: Enables CCD-RAW mode, whose images must be processed on a computer with special Fujifilm software.
    • Zoom position: Lens position can be set to go to a certain zoom setting when the camera is powered on, or it can be set to default.
    • AF Illumination: Turns AF Assist lamp off and on.
    • Auto Power Off: Sets the Power Save function to enable after two or five minutes of inactivity.
    • Format: Formats the xD-Picture card, erasing all files (even protected ones).

    • Date Time: Sets the camera's internal calendar and clock.
    • Time Difference: This option lets you set the time for another time zone. For example, when traveling, you can specify the time at home and for where you are, and the time difference is applied to captured images.
    • Language: Sets the menu language to one of seven options. (English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and two Asian languages.)
    • Background Color: Sets the menu background color.
    • USB Mode: Sets the USB mode to DSC (storage class device) or PictBridge (for connecting to a PictBridge device).
    • Video System: Designates the video signal as NTSC or PAL.

    • Discharge: Discharges the batteries completely, handy for avoiding "memory effect" in rechargeable cells (do not use for alkaline cells; you will not be happy with the results).
    • Reset: Resets all camera settings to their defaults.

  • Sharpness: Adjusts the in-camera sharpening to Hard, Normal, or Soft.
  • Bracketing: Sets up exposure bracketing for plus or minus 1/3, 2/3, or 1.0 EV

FinePix Photo Mode Button:
Pressing this silver button marked with an F brings up another menu that allows setting of image quality mode, ISO sensitivity, and FinePix color modes.

  • Quality: Sets the image resolution and quality. Choices are 5M Fine (2,592 x 1,944), 5M Normal (2,592 x 1,944), 3:2 (2,736 x 1,824), 3M (2,048 x 1,536), 2M (1,600 x 1,200), and 0.3M (640 x 480). In Movie mode, options are 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 pixels.
  • Sensitivity: Sets the ISO to Auto, 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, or 1600.
  • FinePix Color: Sets camera saturation modes, which include Standard, Chrome (which is color with increased saturation), and Black & White.

Playback Mode: The traditional playback symbol (a green arrow within a rectangular outline) indicates this mode on the Power / Mode dial. Here, the user can review captured images, enlarge them, delete them, or set them up for printing on a DPOF-compatible output device. Pressing the Menu button pulls up the following options:

  • Erase: Deletes the selected frame or all frames.
  • Image Rotate: Rotates the current image clockwise or counterclockwise.
  • Print Order: Sets DPOF tag with date, without date or resets all.
  • Protect: Adds or removes write protection for individual frames or all frames.
  • Playback: Enables an automated slide show of captured images on the memory card, letting you select the transition style and interval.
  • Set: Allows you to adjust the LCD brightness, or pulls up the same Setup menu as in Record mode.

  • Voice Memo: Records a 30 second voice memo in WAV format to accompany an image.
  • Trimming: Lets you crop an image by zooming in and saving the cropped portion as a new file.

 

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