Fujifilm S5200 Review

 
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Fuji FinePix S5200 Optics


Lens

Zoom
Excellent 10x optical zoom range, with good performance.

38mm
380mm
4x Digital Zoom

The FinePix S5200 zooms over the equivalent of a 38-380mm range, quite impressive for a consumer digital camera. Details are well-defined at wide angle and telephoto, though partly from some high-contrast edge enhancement on the camera's part. Still, good results at both zoom settings. Some coma distortion is noticeable at full wide angle, though the effect isn't strong. The camera's 4x digital zoom takes it out to 40x total, though with the loss of quality that digital zoom creates. Still, the camera attempts to preserve finer details by increasing contrast to compensate for the softer resolution.

Macro
A slightly below average-size macro area, though with good detail and high resolution. Flash exposes well at telephoto, though the lens blocks it at full wide angle.

Standard Macro, Wide Macro with Flash, Wide
Standard Macro, Tele Macro with Flash, Tele

The FinePix S5200 performs well at its macro setting, capturing a minimum area of 3.21 x 2.40 inches (81 x 61 millimeters), which is below average. Detail and resolution are both good. The S5200 allows macro shooting at full wide angle and at telephoto, both of which capture roughly the same size area. Details are a little sharper, and corner softness less severe, at full wide angle however. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode.) Where the telephoto setting pays off however, is with the flash. At full wide angle, the flash is blocked by the camera's long lens, resulting in a harsh shadow in the bottom of the frame. At telephoto, the flash intensity is slightly less, but results are consistent throughout the frame. Best bet? Shoot at wide angle when you don't need a flash, but switch over to telephoto if a flash is required.

Distortion
Impressively low barrel and pincushion distortion.

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 FinePix S5200's 0.3% barrel distortion at wide angle is very low among digital cameras I've tested, as is its 0.04% pincushion at full telephoto (actually about one pixel). Impressive results!

Barrel distortion at 38mm is 0.3%
Pincushion at 380mm is 0.04%

Chromatic aberration
Moderately high, small effect on images at edges.

Wide: moderate and bright, top left @ 200% Wide: fairly bright, top right @ 200%
Tele: moderate and bright, top left @200% Tele: bright, top right @200%

Chromatic aberration is moderately high at wide angle and telephoto, showing about 4-5 pixels of bright coloration on either side of the target lines. (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
Slight softening in the right corners of the frame, strongest at telephoto.

Wide: slightly soft in the upper right corner. Wide: sharp at center.
Tele: soft in the upper right corner. Tele: sharp at center.

The FinePix S5200 produced only moderately soft corners in a few shots, with the most visible effect in the far right corners at full telephoto. Quite a bit of the softness is likely due to chromatic aberration.

Viewfinder

Coverage
Good accuracy with both the electronic optical viewfinder (EVF) and LCD monitor.

38mm eq., EVF 380mm eq., EVF
38mm eq., LCD monitor 380mm eq., LCD monitor

The FinePix S5200's electronic optical viewfinder (EVF) and LCD monitor both proved quite accurate, showing about 102% frame accuracy at wide angle, and about 99.5% at telephoto.

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Fujifilm FinePix S5200 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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