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Fuji FinePix S5000

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

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Page 3:Design

Review First Posted: 10/01/2003


Looking a bit like a very compact film-based SLR with a "handle" on the right hand side, the FinePix S5000 offers a full range of exposure control options for a variety of users, as well as an impressive 10x optical zoom lens. Its body appears to be almost entirely composed of structural plastic, but it nonetheless has a surprisingly solid feel to it. It's light enough to hold easily with one hand, but the weight of the lens will make you want to hold it two-handed while shooting, despite the counterbalance provide by the mass of the batteries in the hand grip. Despite its relatively light weight, its non-pocketable size means you'll almost certainly want to use the included neckstrap when walking around with it. The camera measures 4.4 x 3.2 x 3.1 inches (113 x 81 x 79 millimeters), and weighs about 15.7 ounces (444 grams) with batteries.

The 10x f/2.8-3.2 zoom lens dominates the front view of the camera, leaving room only for the hefty handgrip. The lens telescopes out an additional 7/8-inch from the camera body whenever the camera is powered on. A ribbed ring surrounds the end of the lens barrel, looking like a focus or zoom ring, but it doesn't turn. It does, however, provide an additional grip for your left hand when holding the camera in shooting position. Just above and to the left of the lens is the AF assist lamp, which projects a bright green pattern when light levels drop below a certain threshold. The handgrip is large enough to provide a firm hold, with a leather-like texture that provides good traction for your fingers as they wrap around the camera. Tucked away above and to the right of the lens (when viewed from the front) and beneath the flash compartment is the tiny microphone used to record audio.

The camera's top panel hosts a number of controls, as well as the pop-up flash compartment. The Power/Mode dial and Shutter button angle down slightly toward the front of the camera, behind which are the Drive and Exposure Compensation buttons, as well as the Exposure Mode dial. On the opposite side of the pop-up flash is the Focus Mode Selector Lock and Focus Mode button.

On the right side of the camera (as viewed from the rear) is one of the neck strap attachments.

The opposite side of the camera features the second neck strap attachment, as well as the memory card slot and terminal connector compartment. A hinged, plastic door protects the memory card compartment. Adjacent to the compartment is the camera's speaker. Just below the speaker is the connector compartment, covered by a flexible, rubbery flap that remains tethered to the camera. Beneath this flap are the USB, DC In, and AV Out jacks. Also visible on this side of the camera is the Flash Release button, on the side of the flash compartment.

The rest of the camera controls are on the back panel, sharing the space with the "electronic" optical viewfinder eyepiece and LCD monitor. A small diopter adjustment dial adjusts the viewfinder optics for eyeglass wearers, and a firm rubber eyecup surrounds the viewfinder eyepiece. Zoom controls, a Four-Way Multicontroller, and a handful of other control buttons dot the back panel. Atop the LCD monitor are the Photo Mode and EVF/LCD buttons, along with a small LED lamp that indicates when focus is set, or the camera is accessing the memory card. On the right side of the LCD monitor are the Back and Display buttons.

The S5000's bottom panel is nice and flat, with a plastic tripod mount off-center from the lens, roughly aligned with the camera's center of gravity. Also on the bottom panel is the battery compartment, with a plastic door that slides out before opening. The position of the battery compartment is such that you can't access it with the camera mounted on a tripod plate, but at least the memory card compartment is easy to get to.


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