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Fujifilm Finepix JX500 Digital Camera Review

fujifilm20120613aa.jpgDigital Camera Review by: Keith Parsons 


The Fujifilm Finepix JX500 is an entry level compact camera option that will fit easily into your pocket for convenience and certainly will not break the bank.  

Coupling a 2.7” LCD screen with a generous 26-130mm zoom lens the JX500 offers a vast range of speciality scene modes to keep the user more than amused. Add in 720p HD video and a range of colours and Fuji has offered a formidable option to the low cost compact market.

 

Appearance and Functionality


Available in either black, grey or pink colours the JX500 is noticeably small in size and weighs in at a lowly 113gms (including battery and memory card). Its size is an advantage however as it can easily fit in your trouser pocket or handbag allowing you to take it anywhere you go.

The body of the camera is made of plastic with a thin metal strip joining the front and rear panels together. The silver highlights add a nice contrast and perhaps speak off style not always found at this end of the camera spectrum. You will find included in the box a wrist strap so you are unlikely to let the camera slip from your grasp and a tripod can also be fitted to the JX500 via the screw fitting on the bottom of the body, a feature overlooked on many compacts.

fujifilm20120613ab.jpgThere are a minimal amount of buttons to be found on the JX500s body and this keeps confusion down, allowing the user to quickly find what they are after. The camera powers up reasonably quickly and delivers the user straight to a live view screen that maximises viewing space by keeping information to a minimum. The menus are basic although the fact that they are clear and concise allows the user to quickly find what they desire from two sub headings; shooting menu, set-up.

The JX500 essentially only shoots either in SR-AUTO, AUTO or Program mode although the real beauty in the JX500 is found in the amount of scene modes that are available to choose from. Scene modes are essentially camera presets for certain subject matters. Some of the better options include a Panorama mode, Night (tripod), Sunset and Sport. Though these modes are quite useful in tough situations they are only presets and will not always work as desired.

A feature of the JX500 is its compatibility with social networking sites like Facebook, youtube etc whereby when you shoot an image you can mark it, allowing you to easily identify which images you intended to upload when reviewing your images at a later date on a PC. I feel it would have been a great addition to have seen compatibility with a wireless memory card available (e.g. eye-fi card) to further the cameras integration with social media.

A flash is included on the upper left hand side of the front panel and offers enough power to light a group of people at night. The user is able to select from a number of quickly accessible options including Auto, Off, Always On and the very handy “Slow Synchro” setting that will allow a more subtle flash output.

Fuji have saved size by allowing battery charging to be done in camera rather than with an external charger. This is a definite positive especially if travelling as you can simply plug the camera into either a computer (via USB) or power socket to charge.

 

Image Quality


The JX500 utilises a 14 megapixel 1/ 2.3” CCD sensor that is able to shoot images anywhere from ISO100 right up to ISO1600. Although ISO3200 is also achievable it is only on the smallest quality setting. Noise is apparent right through the ISO range although you will find images shot in good lighting conditions handle noise very well up to 400ISO.

The camera handles white balances reasonably well and can be manually set when shooting in the Program mode. A number of size options are available including a number of smaller options suitable for email or internet. Unfortunately the JX500 does not appear to handle camera shake very well and would benefit from some greater image stabilisation (despite possesing some digital stabilisation).

 

Lens Quality


fujifilm20120613ac.jpgThe JX500 uses a Fujinon 5x optical zoom (26-130mm 35mm equivalent) lens that offers up more than enough zoom to get you through most shooting conditions. The lens does make considerable noise when extending and contracting although this can be overlooked as it appears to be reasonably quick in its movements.

A fairly large aperture opening is afforded when the lens is at its widest point (f/3.5) and the option of a macro setting allows focussing as close as 10cm away from the front of the lens.

 

LCD


fujifilm20120613ad.jpgAdorning the rear panel of the camera is a 2.7inch LCD screen that offers considerable size for such a small camera. The screen like many others is difficult to see in bright sunny conditions although it performs quite well in more subdued lighting situations.

Optimal image viewing would be recommended on a larger computer monitor as always although the LCD screen gives just enough with its 230,000 dot resolution to check your images and navigate through menus on the go.

 

Video


The JX500 offers the option of shooting video at a respectable (for a compact camera) 720p HD resolution. The audio quality is susceptible to wind noise although will get you by in many controlled situations.

Video is however always a secondary option on a stills camera and the JX500s video quality is definitely usable though suffers from camera shake with little stabilisation available. It must be remembered though that we are talking about a camera that retails for $109 RRP and therefore any video is a bonus.

 

 

 

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Conclusion


As a 'first' digital camera or just a cheap, small stills and video capture device that you can take wherever you go the Fujifilm JX500 may fit the bill perfetly. And with a street price of around $110 it almost borders on loose change.


The lens offers a great zoom range covering most shooting scenarios from wide group shots and landscapes to more close up zoomed portraits. The image quality stands up easily for smaller prints and web outputs too and can hardly be disputed for its stylish appearance.

 

So if you find manual functions and extensive options too much to bear, want a simplistic operation and to save a few coins then I would recommend the Fujifilm Finepix JX500 as a good choice.

 

Accessories Used During Testing:
Tamrac Evolution Zoom 16 / 5715 Camera Bag 
SanDisk Extreme 30MB/s SD Card  

 

Recommended Retailer:

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View / Buy The Fujifilm FinePix JX370  

 

Appearance rating 4 stars
Functionality rating 3.5 stars
Image quality
3 stars
Video quality
3 stars
Lens quality
3 stars
View finder (EVF)
4.5 stars
LCD screen (Rear)
-
Value for money 4.5 star
Street Price $109
SPACER.GIF  
Effective Pixels 14 million pixels
Sensor Type
1/2.3-inch CCD with primary color filter
Image Sizes 3 Sizes / 3 ratios
Lens Type: Fujinon 5x optical zoom lens
Focal Length: f=4.6 - 23 mm, equivalent to 26 - 130 mm on a 35 mm camera
Full-Aperture: F3.5(Wide) - F6.3(Telephoto)
Constitution: 5 groups 6 lenses
Lens Mount
-
Resolution Settings: Stills Still Image
L: (4:3)   4288 x 3216 
    (3:2)   4288 x 2864
    (16:9) 4288 x 2416
M: (4:3)  3072 x 2304
    (16:9) 3072 x 1728
S: (4:3)   2048 x 1536
    (16:9) 1920 x 1080
Resolution Settings: Video 1280 x 720 pixels / 640 x 480 pixels / 320 x 240 pixels (30 frames/sec.) with monaural sound.
Zoom function can be used.
Sounds will not be recorded during optical zoom operation.
Face Detection Yes
Manual Focus No
Auto Focus Yes
Aperture Priority No
Shutter Speeds (Auto mode) 1/4 sec. to 1/1400 sec., (All other modes) 8 sec. to 1/1400 sec.
Shutter Priority No
ISO Auto, Equivalent to ISO 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200* (Standard Output Sensitivity)
* ISO 3200 is effective in image size S.
LCD Monitor 2.7-inch, approx. 230,000 dots, TFT color LCD monitor, approx. 96% coverage
Viewfinder No
Flash Auto flash (i-flash)
Effective range: (ISO AUTO)
Normal
Wide: Approx. 50 cm - 4.5 m / 1.6 ft. - 14.7 ft.
Telephoto: Approx. 90 cm - 2.5 m / 2.9 ft. - 8.2 ft.
Macro
Wide: Approx. 30 cm - 80 cm / 1.0 ft. - 2.6 ft.
Telephoto: Approx. 80 cm - 1.2 m / 2.6 ft. - 3.9 ft. 
Hot Shoe No
White Balance Automatic scene recognition
Preset: Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White), Fluorescent light (Cool White), Incandescent light
Self Timer 10 sec. / 2 sec. delay
Stills Format/s
JPEG (Exif Ver 2.3 ) *3
(Design rule for Camera File system compliant / DPOF-compatible)
Video Format/s AVI (Motion JPEG)
Video Recording Time/s -
Storage Type - External SD / SDHC / SDXC memory card
Storage Type - Internal
-
Connectivity Video output: NTSC / PAL selectable with monaural sound
Digital interface: USB 1.1 Full-Speed
Power Source Battery charger BC-45W
Battery Options Li-ion battery NP-45B
Battery Life Approximately 170 frames
Dimensions 94.0mm (W) x 56.6mm (H) x 21.3mm (D)
Weight Approx. 113g (inc. battery & memory card)











 


 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Fujifilm

 

FUJIFILM brings continuous innovation and leading-edge products to a broad spectrum of industries, including electronic imaging, photofinishing equipment, medical systems, life sciences, graphic arts, flat panel display materials, and office products, based on a vast portfolio of digital, optical, fine chemical and thin film coating technologies. The company was ranked number 15 for U.S. patents granted in 2006. Fujifilm is committed to environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship.

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