Review posted for Fuji FinePix E550|
(Monday, October 11, 2004 - 21:48 EDT)
With their 6.3 megapixel, 4x-zoom FinePix E550, Fujifilm has created what's to my mind one of their best digicams to date.
Its color is very good, its resolution excellent, and noise levels at low ISOs are very low as well. (Kudos to Fujifilm for finally providing a low ISO setting on a SuperCCD camera.) The FinePix E550 is also fast, something to be admired in a digicam. Its lens comes out quickly, AF points are picked quickly, it switches between modes and menus with snap, and both shutter response and shot to shot speeds are quite fast. In addition to its other sterling qualities, the E550 is stingy with battery power, with a worst-case run time of just over three hours with the provided rechargeable NiMH batteries.
From a usability standpoint, the E550 spans a range from rank beginner (in full Auto mode) to sophisticated photographer (in full manual exposure mode). This makes it a great choice for dual- or multiple-user households, and also a good choice for someone looking for a camera that's easy to use to get started but that has additional features to offer as you become more experienced.
About the only complaints I have with the camera are limited low-light capability (its autofocus system doesn't handle after-dark conditions very well), and a little more distortion in the lens than I'd like to see. When you consider the aggressive price that Fujifilm's brought it to market though, the FinePix E550 is a nearly unbeatable bargain: There's nothing anywhere near its combination of resolution, features, and image quality for anywhere near its price.
If you're looking for a good-performing, high-resolution all-around digicam, the E550 would make a great choice. - And it was an easy choice for me, to make it a "Dave's Pick." Check it out!