If you are looking to take a selection of holiday snaps or the occasional household photo then a compact camera is a great option, but after you have got to that point which one do you choose exactly, with a number of options available, there’s pretty much anything and everything available, all of which coming with their own purpose that suits a certain need, one of those needs might be for something with a range of features but affordable, and if that is what you want, the FinePix T500 from Fujifilm might be a great option, (a camera which we now have the chance to review thanks to the kindness of Viking Direct.)
Kicking things off with specs, the T500 features a 16 megapixel CCD sensor, a 12x optical zoom (35mm equiv: 24-288mm), and a 2.7 inch 230k dot LCD screen. There’s also automatic scene recognition in-built, allowing the camera to adjust the settings for the detected scene, as well as an advanced filter mode that has 6 special effects available for your photos, including toy camera, miniature, pop colour, soft focus, cross screen and partial colour.
Finally there’s also a motion panorama mode, as well as the ability to record videos in 720p HD. On top of all that there’s also an ISO range of 100-3200, a 5cm minimum focusing distance, and a 1.1fps continuous shooting mode.
In terms of design, the FinePix T500 has an aluminium body that is available in a black, red and white. On the front and the back of the device you will find grooves and dots that will provide a better grip when using the camera.
On the top there’s a switch to turn the camera on / off, a zoom rocker, shutter release and a movie record button, and then on the back of the camera there’s playback, display/back and d-pad buttons, the latter of which can be used to quickly access the flash, macro mode and timer, as well as cycle through the camera’s menus.
Inside the camera there’s also a battery that is said to last around 230 shots, an amount which should be good enough for the camera to last a full day of shooting.
We took a number of photos during our testing of the FinePix T500, all of which turned out extremely well for a camera of this price, with a good amount of exposure and colour reproduction, images were of a good enough quality for the average joe, a consumer which this camera aims itself at, and if your not any old joe and fancy taking some portrait shots, they turned out well as well, with decent skin tones and a lack of red-eye regularly.
In terms of details, the centre of the images look great, however towards the edge of the photos we generally found that images become a little satirised, with small amounts of dark areas in images. Alongside which macro shots generally lack a high amount of detail, and the camera sometimes takes a while to focus properly.
The amount of noise is also low at ISO 100, however as you turn the ISO up you will generally find that images lose small amounts of detail, and then even more at ISO 1600 and ISO 3200, with a file size that is limited to just 4 megapixels.
The FinePix T500 uses an Auto White Balance mode, that produces images with a slight magenta cast under incandescent lights, with a number of presents for fluorescent lights as well, all of which perform extremely well. When taking a Panorama photo, the cameras also performs well, with decent amounts of details and a good finish when they are all stitched together.
When it comes down to it, the FinePix T500 from Fujifilm is a great camera, and definitely worth the small price it has been set at, featuring a number of modes that are sure to keep you busy taking photos of the events around you, and a sensor and lens combination that makes sure most of the photos you take stay clear and crisp (well for a £100 anyway).
Alongside this the cameras 720p video recording mode is sure to be a handy feature, and means that we no longer need to take make camcorders with us on school trips. There are however a few problems, the first a main within which is the cameras screen, whilst testing the T500 I often found that images often looked a lot worse on the fitted screen then they do when they have been imported, meaning that I regularly had to take multiple shots because the a mixture of a small screen size, and a lack of image quality on the screen itself.
Finally this I also found that the camera can often take a long period of time to focus on a subject, meaning that you often miss the shot you need to take whilst waiting for the camera. However despite this, I have to say the Fujifilm Finepix T500 is definitely a good buy, at least for its price, if you want something with a better quality or a bigger screen, you should look through Viking Direct’s listing of compact cameras, as they have a huge selection available, ranging from cheap £20 cameras all the way up to ones over £1000.