Fujifilm FinePix A500 - digital camera review: Fujifilm FinePix A500 - digital camera

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CNET Editors' Rating

2.5 stars OK
  • Overall: 5.6
  • Design: 6.0
  • Features: 5.0
  • Performance: 5.0
  • Image quality: 6.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Low price; easy operation.

The Bad No manual controls; sluggish operation; average image quality; no burst mode.

The Bottom Line The appeal of the basic Fujifilm FinePix A500's tiny price tag is offset by its slim feature set and mediocre performance.

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Fujifilm FinePix A500

Casual photographers on a tight budget will appreciate Fujifilm's no-nonsense FinePix A500, a compact 5-megapixel snapshooter. Unfortunately, the camera's low price comes at a cost: a limited 3X zoom range, no manual controls, just four scene modes, and a tiny 1.8-inch LCD. It has no burst capabilities at all beyond a 320x240-pixel, 10-frame-per-second Silent Movie mode. Image quality is only average, and perks such as batteries and a decent memory card will cost you extra, but you can tuck this little camera in your pocket for less than $200. If you're really strapped for cash, the almost identically featured 4-megapixel FinePix A400 goes for about $50 less.

This solidly built, 6.5-ounce, 1.1-inch-thick camera's attractive finish looks good, though the company cut some corners. Some may be disappointed with design weaknesses such as the lack of a rubber cover for the A/V, USB, and DC ports. The A500 sports both an LCD and an optical viewfinder, the latter proving invaluable when the tiny, 77,000-pixel display becomes unreadable in direct sunlight. The optical viewfinder has a handy pair of notches near the top of the frame to mark the "safe" area when shooting at parallax-inducing closer distances.

The A500's sparse controls are simple and easy to learn. The top panel has only the shutter-release button and a tiny, recessed power switch. The back panel contains just three stand-alone buttons: picture review, menu/OK, and display/back. A pair of left/right buttons flanking an up/down zoom lever sit at the top-right edge of the back panel. Besides menu navigation, the left/right buttons can activate macro mode and adjust flash options, respectively.

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Where to Buy

Fujifilm FinePix A500 - digital camera

Part Number: 906456 Released: Jan. 25, 2006

Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jan. 25, 2006
  • Optical Zoom 3
  • Optical Sensor Type Super CCD HR
  • Sensor Resolution 5.1 Megapixel
    5.1 Megapixel
  • Optical Sensor Size 1/2.5"