Pros Amasing quality of photos in low light conditions; relatively inexpensive; 10x zoom; Easy to use; Super fast
Cons I'd prefer a manual focus ring insted of a button
Summary For me the best way to tell a good camera from a mediocre one is to test how it takes photos in low light conditions. This camera exceeds all my expectations.
I owned two digital cameras before (Canon PowerShot A40 and Canon PowerShot S50). Non of them took such excellent photos in low light conditions. Fujifilm's natural light technology and Super CCD HR makes wanders. Usually you don't expect from a point-and-shoot camera good quality photos taken in low light conditions, but this is not the case here. Quality of photos is great. ISO range up to 1600 allows you to take pictures almost in darkness and the level of noise is ecceptable even at highest sensitivity.
Another good thing is Fujifilms's anti-blur technology. I guess it somewhat similar to image stabilation in other cameras in this category, but Fujifil has taken a different approach. The thing is that image stabilzation is helful only when you move, but not a subject. With Fujifilm's anti-blur, it works in all this situation, too. I think it's a superior technology.
Another thing what I like is that this camera uses AA batteries. I had a camera with lithium-ion battery before, and I didn't like it. There were many times, when I was far away from any civilization and couln't recharge it. And they're more expensive. AA batteries make your camera just a little heavier but you always know that you can bye them anywhre on you way if you need to. They're cheaper, too. You can also buy reachargble batteries if you want.
I've liked this camera so far, and I recommend it.
"Awesome Non-SLR"on by MTowshar
Pros Authentic colors in photos, Virtually no shutter lag, High detail in RAW and highest JPEG format
Cons No Image Stabilization
Summary Though its not an SLR camera, this thing sure acts like one. During the first couple of days I had it, I sped through over 300 pictures to figure out its strengths and weaknesses.
The sensor in this camera is amazing. It captures highly detailed, true color images. If I'm not using RAW format, I keep my camera set to the highest JPEG setting. I notice no artifacting, nor any compression discrepancies. Detail is mind-blowing. This 5.1 mp camera provides me with pictures that seem like they could be 7.1 megepixels or even higher.
If you use pre-focus, shutter lag is non-existent. Even if you don’t use pre-focus and are in wide-angle, the shutter lag is very low. The only time you will experience high lag is when zoomed in with no pre-focus.
The only true weakness so far is the lack of image stabilization. However its only noticeable if you are in low-light conditions, zoomed in, and not using the flash. Seriously, that's it. If you choose not to use the flash in low light conditions, and choose not to use a tripod, just keep the zoom wide and it works perfectly. I took excellent pictures of my friends in motion, with a flash, fully zoomed in, and there wasn't a bit of blur.
Thought there’s buttons for everything, I find the camera easy to use. The menu is simple. If you have to rapidly changes settings, nothing is more than two steps deep. The manual is not overly detailed and even provides advice to taking great pictures.
I could go on and an, but bottom line: For a camera that doesn’t fit into your shirt-pocket, it is well worth any price you pay for it. If you want exceptional pictures but not at an SLR price, you can’t beat this camera.
Pros 10 x optical zoom with improved anti shake
Cons Slightly heavy unit
Summary First time digital camera buyer. Love my manual SLR and wanted something with a high optical zoom, short delay with picture taking, and high megapixel quality.
This camera fitted the bill without having to pay the price for a digital SLR.
The delay when taking the picture is really short compared to others and the continous shot mode is excellent. Have not been disappointed with the quality of photos.
Family member purchased similar styled "konica minolta camera" for higher price and is not getting the same sort of quality that I have obtained at times with the s5200. Where as friend has the S5100 and loves the pictures that is taking.
I could not be happier with my purchase and love using this camera. Would recommend to all.
Pros Well-built, fast response, ISO sensitivity, 10*zoom, battery life, AF assist lamp, manual focus, macro mode
Cons Purple fringing in high contrast and high-end of zoom, focussing in low-light, colours not so vibrant, not extremely high detail in photos.
Summary This camera is very good value compared to the competition. It's also very solid with its fixed lens, also allowing a fast load-up time. It has virtually no shutter-lag and has generally very fast performance.
Photo quality, while it cannot be described as brilliant, is still good. Detail when viewed up close is not very high, but average.
Colours are not vibrant, and can look a little dull unless the subject has high colour (eg flowers).
Purple fringing is present especially at the telephoto end of the zoom range, though it's not that bad and only shows when there is high contrast (eg trees & sky).
ISO sensitivity goes up to 1600. Compared to the competition, this camera performs much better at higher ISO levels, though it is still not noise-free. Anti-blur uses higher ISO settings.
In low light, the camera does not always focus properly on the subject, even with the AF-assist beam. The camera also tends to 'hunt' for focus at the telephoto end of the zoom range.
Buttons for zoom are not where you would expect it. They're on the back of the camera (should be within reach of index finger).
XD picture cards are more expensive to buy and currently sell in maximum 1Gb size.
Battery life is brilliant! According to DCresource it's 2nd best in its class (500 shots with LCD on). It takes convenient AA sized batteries.
Manual focus is very handy especially when the subject to focus on is very small.
Overall this is a very good performing camera that does not have frustrating quibbles that cameras can have. I would say it is easily the best one out there in this price range, with no major flaws at all! Very happy with its overall performance so far.
Pros Image quality, solid ergonomic build, speedy, functional, ease of use, brilliant LCD resolution, price point
Cons Deserves higher market kudos and deserved recognition beyond the accolades it has already received
Summary The Fuji FinePix S5200 is THE top value in the present digital camera market today. With it's rugged good looks and snappy, consistent performance, the Fuji FinePix S5200 stands in a class by itself.
In an era where cookie cutter models spring about with each passing month, Fuji has maintained true loyalty to photography purists looking for image quality FIRST; not glitzy styled or over saturated buzz term laiden cameras that most all of us have reviewed or demo'd in earnest trying to decipher which model reigns supreme. In physically shooting/comparing the Fuji S5200 with the Canon S3 IS, Panasonic FZ7, and Sony H5; I can state with conviction the the S5200 out performed the latter models by miles. Field tested at live sporting events, amusement parks, outdoor nature venues, indoor concerts, and everyday shooting captures; the S5200 consistently delivered vivid, crisp, clean, and virtually noiseless (even at high ISO's and max zoom) images unlike the above mentioned competitors whom all tout "true image stabilization." Yes, Canon may have a more friendly and feature laiden menu interface; though in comparison to the S5200 failed to deliver image quality which at best were hugely soft. The H5 with it's mega 3" screen is pretty to look at for sure, but if you dispise noise at ISO 200+, then I suggest you continue past this model as well. With it's patented gyroscope, the Panasonic FZ7 may sound like a an industry leader, for which it very may well be when it comes to stabization. But again images inconsisent in both standard monitor viewing and print; not to mention the cheaply constructed plastic body that houses it's elements. One of the worst cases I have seen aside from the Playskool-like Olympus SP500 UZ.
Bottom line here folks is should you wish to purchase a true digital tool for most photography needs; the Fuji FinePix will not lead you down the primrose path like it's competitors. Remember the name of the game here is image quality in a solidly built, reliable box; and the Fuji FinePix S5200 delivers with flying colors. If you are lucky like I was to pick up this gem for under $249 US, you undoubtedly will be pleased even further with your pruchase decision. Of course you can always risk it, dent the pocket book, and demo the S3 IS, FZ7, and H5. However, you will soon come to realize that the Fuji FinePix S5200 is the heavy-hitter in the bunch.