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Old Sep 8, 2004, 6:11 PM   #11
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As a followup, I found this superb review at http://www.pricegrabber.com

Well priced, 6+mp, all features including raw image

This camera uses 2 AA cells in a hurry

As a professional digital camera lecturer, I must admit that the Fuji E-550 was a very pleasant surprise for me. Priced at about $340, this digital camera produced digital photos that were much sharper, more detailed, and more excellent than I, frankly expected.

I found the digital camera very easy to use right out of the box. While this digital camera does have a 12mp interpolated image size available, I found the 6mp native image size to have more contrast, detail and resolution.

As you might expect in a consumer digital camera, the digital camera's flash is not very powerful. At 200 ISO it will produce excellent exposures out to 13 feet. By adding a supplementary slave flash such as the Sony HVL-FSL1B and a bit of flash compensation, I was able to extend the effective flash range out to 25 feet, making the Fuji E-550 useful for indoor photos of large groups.

The Fuji E-550 does an equally amazing job with macro or close-up digital photos. It will focus quite close making it very effective for photos of small items and jewelery that might be photographed for sale on auction sites such as http://www.ebay.com.

The strongest suit for the Fuji E-550 is it ability to record a great deal of detail with extreme sharpness and clarity while being handheld. The Fuji E-550 is also very capable of taking excellent night photos when it is placed on a tripod.

All in all, I was extremely impressed with the Fuji E-550. I received a lot more digital camera than I expected for the samll price of $340. For those who like to use the raw image format, you will understand that you can essentially re-take the digital photo all over again right in your computer. This is a huge advantage.

Of course, being a Fuji digital camera, the Fuji E-550 uses the somewhat more expensive XD electronic data chips. However, the Fuji E-550 is very speedy. From power on to being ready to take the first digital photo takes 1.4 seconds. This digital camera is equally as fast in writing your digital photo to the XD chip.

The newer Fuji digital cameras are marketed to compete dollar for dollar with the Kodak line of digital cameras. Therefore, they tend to be very competitive with Kodak and offer in most cases, a lot more features.

There is available for the Fuji E-550 an adaptor as well as both a wide angle and a telephoto (1.9X) supplementary lens. The supplementary lenses are very fairly priced and readily available through Fuji's own website. This is a pleasant contrast to the accessories offered by Sony, through their own website, whose wide angle and telephoto supplementary lenses are unreasonably high in price.

Conclusion: The Fuji E-550 is a top quality digital camera. It more capable than most might expect. In addition, it is quite small and pocket sized, extending its appeal to many more digital camera users. It is worthy of your attention. The digital photos produced by this digital camera are amazing and compare most favorably with much more expensive consumer digital cameras. I would happily purchase this camera again.

I will be very confident in introducing the Fuji E-550 to the attendees of my workshops all over the world. It is a digital camera that I can point to with a lot of pride, simply because it gives the digital camera user many features and excellent digital photos for a very resonable price.


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Old Sep 15, 2004, 11:31 AM   #12
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Thanks to everyone who has replied to this thread. Since posting the inquiry, a good number of sample images from the Fuji E550 have been posted. Over 160 can be found on pbase. http://www.pbase.com/cameras/fujifilm/finepix_e550_zoom

I am drawn to the conclusion that Fuji have indeed provided not one but two small point and shoot cameras (E550 and F810) that provide high resolution images withrelatively low noise. Their 4thgeneration 6Mp HR CCD, coupled within-camera noise reductionprocessing, provides useful 12Mp imageswhere detail is important.A number of usershave expressed the opinion that the 6Mp output is more pleasing but they are consistent in their praise of the image quality of both cameras.

Only one question remains in my mind on this issue. Why can I still not find a full review of the Fuji F610 (Fuji's earlier 6Mp point & shoot camera) on any of the major review sites despite it having been on sale in theUK for a very long time? And even though so many users have now bought the E550 and F810 there is still no review with sample images for either of these interesting cameras? Is there something going on here that we should know about?


ps The posting of moreF810 images by users would be most welcome, we can'tcarry onholding our breath for review images.

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Old Sep 17, 2004, 4:00 PM   #13
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I tested the Fuji e550 out at BB the other day and was impressed by its responsiveness.

I only have a couple of issues with the camera which prevent me from purchasing it.

1.) Pop-Up flash is VERY flimsy. This pop-up looks like it will fail in the evry short term. Fixing a camera with a mfgr under warranty is a HUGE headache. Out of warranty costs are so expensive as to make fixing it usually not worth it.....I tried 2 E50's out and on one camera, the pop-up got stuck mid-way from full extension! Talk about lack of quality here! The pop-up flash button is the same as my old Fuji. The button is shallow and the mechanism ultimately wear and teared to failure rather qucikly--my old Fuji pop-up flash btw was markedly better constructed that this new current model.

2.) Xd cards are prohobitively expensive! If you're going to take adequate advantage of the 6-12MP and video, you need a LARGE card. 512mb will get you started but 1GB is what's sensible for a 2 week vacation for instance........Costco charges $320 for 2 512mb Xd cards vs. $100 for 1GB SD or 1GB CF Extreme card--that's a $220 difference! That money could easily be used to upgrade to a better model or used for other accessories.

3.) The rest of the camera body is rather shoddy. The USB/AC door comes with a plastic cover that ISN'T hinged! WTF were they thinking?!! This piece of plastic is engineered to be lost. FWIW, covers on cameras are NECESSARY to protect dirt and grime from backpack/pockets from affecting it's full function. From the look of it, this plastic cover will loosen over time and be lost (again, another way for Fuji to make good $$$ on a replacement?).................Also the handle of the camera CREAKED when gripping. Again, telling me that fit & finish isn't that great.............In comparison, though I'm not a fan of the Canon A series construction either, at least it's a step above Fuji's construction effort.
4.) No AF light is a little disconcerting as well.

IMHO, my gripes are sufficient for me to not warrant a purchase.

I had a bullet-proof Olympus C-3000 that was treated VERY gently over the years, and yet, still that camera had some good wear. I cannot imagine a camera like the E550 lasting 3+ years of good wear and travel without something breaking or falling-off.

Long-term wear and tear should be equally considered alongside the otherwise good performance of the camera.

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Old Sep 18, 2004, 10:24 AM   #14
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Steve posted his review of this camera. I had hoped for better pictures than he was able to get. I'm going to wait for something better.
Beverly W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2004, 2:21 PM   #15
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It's a shame Fuji did not put dual slots on the 550 like they have on the S7000 and S20. I'm currently using a Hitachi 2gb microdrive in my S7000's CF slot, you can pick up a 2gb microdrive for around $165-$175. As far as picture quality, I shoot in 12mp fine soft or RAW rather than 6mp, you can always downsample later. To get an accurate idea of the sample pics you look at, download and print them, far more accurate than viewing them at 100% on your monitor screen.

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Old Oct 10, 2004, 3:27 PM   #16
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Hi there,

I took the plunge and bought myself the E550 - i think its a great little camera, a few gripes including what someone mentioned about the slot cover which isnt hinged, it just pushes on, but overall its a great improvement to my old casio qv3000ex.

If anyone is still looking for some sample shots id be happy to take some and put them on my site? Let me know


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Old Oct 13, 2004, 10:04 AM   #17
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I just purchased my E550 as well - after long, but fun research. I am new to photography as a whole. Once I have had a chance to play with it for a while longer, I will post my humble opionon. So far, I love it!

In terms of the xD cards -- I bought two 512 MB XD cards from FutureShop.com for $149.99 each (Canadian $ -- I am in Ontario, Canada). Yes, they are more expensive then CF or SD, but I wouldn't say that they are "prohibitive."They are however way faster and smaller (read: requrire less power) then some other media choices. After all, the E550 requires only 2 AA batteries, while most of the competition requires 4 AA's. Furthermore, I just read that Kodak is also going to be manufacturing xD cards -- as more competition enters, prices will drop.

Another point to remember -- the E550 is a rather inexpensive point-and-shoot camera. A lot of criticizm seems to come from people who are expecting dSLR performance out of a very compact point-and-shoot camera.
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Old Oct 13, 2004, 10:13 AM   #18
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Comparing the E550 to the S7000 does not make sense IMHO.

The E550 weights in at 155 grams while the S7000 is 3.8x heavier at 590 grams. There also is a HUGE difference in size -- that is why Fuji could put a dual card slot in the S7000 and not the E550.

Both cameras are great and serve a different purpose...
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