capsule review

Fujifilm FinePix E550

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Fujifilm FinePix E550 Compact Camera

    TechHive Rating

Using a 6.3-megapixel CCD, the $350 FinePix E550 fared very well in our lab tests, edging out the two other cameras we tested this month to earn a score of Very Good for its image quality. In its default, automatic modes, the FinePix E550 captured deep, realistic skin tones in our still-life shot; in our outdoor shot, the E550 picked up fine detail on buildings, as well as a deep blue sky with no evident speckling.

Though the 9.3-ounce FinePix E550 has a bulky feel, its slightly larger size (4.1 by 1.4 by 2.5 inches) gives it room to include a nice 2-inch LCD and a 4X optical zoom. It also has rubberized grip pads on the right side, enabling you to hold the camera easily.

The camera powers up quickly and includes five scene modes, along with several semiautomatic modes (shutter- and aperture-priority) and full manual mode. Maneuvering through the modes using the small, slightly sticky thumbwheel proved a little challenging, though handling the camera with one hand was quite easy overall. We had some difficulty thumbing through modes and options using the small four-way rocker, too: Sometimes we hit one part of it when we intended to press another. Otherwise, navigating through menus didn't pose a challenge, and it didn't require moving through layers of submenus to find appropriate options.

Like other, more-advanced models, the E550 includes a bracketing control, but it also adds a feature called Top 4 and Final 4, which, when you press the trigger, records a continuous sequence of photos but saves only the last four shots taken before you let off the trigger. It should, in theory, give you a better chance of catching that perfect action shot. In addition, the E550 supports TIFF and RAW file formats--rare for a camera in its price class.

Running on two rechargeable AA batteries, the E550 managed 325 shots in our battery tests--a good showing, but not the best battery life we've seen.

With several advanced controls and 6.3-megapixel imaging, the FinePix E550 should suit intermediate photographers on a tight budget.

Kalpana Ettenson

This story, "Fujifilm FinePix E550" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Fujifilm FinePix E550 Compact Camera

    TechHive Rating
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