The Fuji Finepix E510 is the middle camera in a series of three point and shoot digital cameras from Fuji. Whilst it is an easy to use model it also boasts some advanced features. If you are looking for a digital camera that can handle all the usual social shots including holiday snaps, family pictures and photos of various social gatherings then the Finepix E510 will be of interest to you.
The main feature of the camera is that its lens is designed to give a wider view than the majority of digital cameras. This is especially helpful when you are taking shots of landscapes or groups of people as it allows you to cram more into the shot.
101 x 60.5 x 32.6 mm
With its wide angle lens landscape scenes are a particular forte of the Finepix E510. Landscapes can be further enhanced by a pre programmed scene mode dedicated to them. In fact the camera handles very well outdoors all round producing vibrant colours, with scenes being correctly exposed.
Pictures taken indoors do not match the quality of those taken outside. The camera finds it difficult to focus perfectly in low light. This results in pictures that are less than pin sharp in these conditions. This is a shame because the pop up flash unit is powerful and lights up low light scenes better than most cameras.
Macro or close up shots are fine without being outstanding.
The Finepix E510 is a five megapixel digital camera with a 3.2x optical zoom lens. As mentioned above the lens differs from the majority used in digital cameras as it is a wide angle lens and is ideal for landscape and group shots. There is a downside and that is it slightly reduces the ability of the lens to zoom in on far away objects compared with other 3.2x lenses.
As you get to know your camera there are four pre programmed scene modes for you to try out. These are Portrait, Landscape, Sports and Night Scenes. Using the pre programmed settings helps the camera to achieve the best possible results when taking pictures in different lighting and composition situations.
Rather than having a fixed position close to the lens the flash unit pops up on the top of camera. The range of the flash, up to four meters, is impressive too. I found the flash performed very well and lit up low light shots well. The flash modes available are: Automatic, Red eye Reduction, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash (Slow Synchro, Red eye Reduction + Slow Synchro in manual mode).
Another big plus point with the Finepix E510 is that Fuji has added a large 2" LCD screen. An LCD screen of this size helps you when composing images and working with the menus. There is also a facility to adjust the brightness of the monitor.
The camera's movie mode is limited compared to some of its competitors. You can choose to shoot at a resolution of 320x240 for up to a minute or at 160x120 for up to three minutes.
All the necessary cables and software for connecting the Finepix E510 to a television set and a computer are supplied with the camera, by Fuji.
For more advanced photographers you can take full control over the image by placing the camera in fully manual mode. Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes are also available. Shutter speeds range between 2 and 1/2000 seconds and aperture settings between F2.9 and F8.
Ease of Use
I found the Finepix E510 very easy to use. To get you started there is a fully automatic mode. In this mode the camera makes all the decisions relating to producing the correct exposure (colours, lighting, speed of movement etc.) leaving you free to concentrate on capturing the shot.
The camera's main control is a dial on the top. By using the dial you can select the mode that you want. For example whether you would like the camera to be in automatic mode, shoot a movie or use the manual settings and scene modes.
There are buttons on back of the camera for selecting macro/close up mode and to set the flash to fire. A clearly marked button controls the zoom lens. There are also buttons to give you access to a fast menu and the full menu.
People can find the menu systems on digital cameras daunting. As with all the Fuji cameras I have tested the menu system of the Finepix E510 is about as straightforward as you can find. Only settings available for the shooting mode you are working in are displayed. Finding and selecting the menu that you need to use is easy.
You can buy the Fuji Finepix E510 for around £190. This should include postage and packaging.
The dimensions of the Finepix E510 are 101(W) x 60.5(H) x 32.6(D) mm and it weighs 170 grams. It is not one of the smallest or lightest digital cameras. This though can prove to be an advantage. Coupled with the handy grip on the front it means that there is plenty to grab hold of when you are taking a shot. This reduces the likelihood of camera shake and therefore a blurred image.
As with the majority of digital cameras it is a typical shiny silver model.
Batteries / Memory Cards
All it takes is two AA batteries to run the Finepix E510. A set are supplied by Fuji when the camera is shipped. To keep costs down it is advisable to consider using rechargeable AA batteries.
xD Picture cards are used for storing images. The one supplied with the camera is just 16mb. With a five megapixel camera that will fill up with just a few shots. Therefore you are advised to pick up a high capacity card when you buy the camera.
The Fuji Finepix E510 is in its element outdoors for groups of people and landscape style shots where it makes the most of its wide angle lens. It is not so good indoors when the light is low, despite a pop up flash unit that casts more light than most.
Price wise Fuji has it about right with ease of use, generous sized LCD screen and its manual controls all in the camera's favour.