Fujifilm FinePix J50
- Minimal chromatic aberration, 5x optical zoom
- Can't really use sensitivities above ISO 200, a little sluggish at times, some sharpness issues
FujiFilm's FinePix J50 doesn't do anything to separate itself from the pack. However, the 5x optical zoom will appeal to users who want a budget camera that can get in that little bit closer.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
FujiFilm's FinePix J50 is an entry-level, 8.2Mp point-and-shoot camera targeted at users who want something with an above average zoom. The FinePix J50 packs in a 5x optical zoom lens while maintaining a slim body. This unit has a simple interface that will suit novice photographers. However, it has a few image quality and interface issues that mean it might not be an ideal choice.
The 5x zoom lens really is the key feature of this unit. There are few models at this price point that manage to have both a large zoom and a relatively slim build. For users who find 3x just isn't quite enough, the J50 will be a good option. The lens is also supported by digital image stabilisation, although it is a fairly poor. We'd much rather have seen an optical solution, to make the most of the big lens.
Another problem with using the lens is that ISO sensitivities much above 200 cause some image quality issues. The shots heated-up noticeably for some reason, and while noise levels weren't massive there was a reasonable amount of detail lost by the noise cancelling algorithm. We wouldn't recommend shooting above ISO 200 with this unit. This may make taking clear, crisp shots at higher zoom magnifications difficult.
In our sharpness tests the J50 performed about average. Shots were crisp and clean for the most part, although resolution in patches of intense detail wasn't quite as good as some competing models. Imatest also picked up a fair amount of over-sharpening, which was evident in our outdoors shots. The level of detail is fine for small and probably medium sized prints.
Colours were rich and generally strongly saturated. At times they were a little paler in hue than we'd expect, and Imatest confirmed this, but the overall balance was bright and vivid. The preset white balance options do a decent but not outstanding job of correcting the colour temperature; we found the automatic mode created some warmer-than-usual shots at times.
The camera was a little sluggish. It clocked in at 0.12sec in our shutter speed tests, and took 2.5sec to start up. The delay between shots was 2.8sec. This wasn't helped by the apparent inability to turn off image review, meaning you're stuck looking at your shot for 1.5sec before taking the next one.
The interface also has a few other quirks — for example, FujiFilm's habit of placing the manual shooting mode under the Landscape scene option. We can't work out why it doesn't have its own mode dial setting; many novice users may miss it entirely in its current location.
As with most entry-level models, the features list is fairly bare here. There are no options to change things like sharpness or colour strength. You can alter the ISO sensitivity and white balance and tweak the exposure, but little else can be changed.
Aesthetically, the J50 is relatively plain. It has a boxy, matte silver design. While it isn't amazingly slim, considering the 5x optical zoom FujiFilm has done a relatively good job keeping it thin. It is built from a combination of plastic and metal and feels sturdy and solid.
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