Fujifilm FinePix T500 Review

Daniel Bell reviews the Fujifilm FinePix T500, a pocketable camera with 12x optical zoom.


|  Fujifilm FinePix T500 in Compact Cameras
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Fujifilm FinePix T500

The Fujifilm FinePix T500 was announced in January 2013 and is an entry-level camera which updates the T400. There are more megapixels and more zoom, with a 16 megapixel sensor and 12x optical zoom, but the screen is smaller - if you want a 3 inch screen there is the T550, which is otherwise identical. The T500 is available in black, red and white for £97.99.

Fujifilm FinePix T500

Fujifilm FinePix T500 Features

The Fujifilm FinePix T500 has a 16 megapixel CCD sensor and 12x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 24-288mm, and there is also 24x intelligent digital zoom. To help reduce blur when using the optical zoom there is lens-shift image stabilisation.

To help make picture taking as easy as possible there is automatic scene recognition which adjusts the camera settings automatically for the detected scene. When using advanced filter mode there are 6 special effects available, these are toy camera, miniature, pop colour, soft focus, cross screen and partial colour.  There is also a motion panorama mode.
 
Videos are recorded in 720p HD and you're able to trim and join movies in camera.

Fujifilm FinePix T500

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 12x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 24-288mm)
  • Lens-shift image stabilisation
  • 2.7 inch 230k dot LCD screen
  • Advanced filters (6 special effects)
  • 720p HD video recording
  • ISO 100-3200
  • 5cm minimum focusing distance
  • Motion panorama
  • 1.1 fps continuous shooting
  • Available in black, red and white
Fujifilm FinePix T500

Fujifilm FinePix T500 Handling

The Fujifilm FinePix T500 has a pocketable aluminium body with grooves on both the front and rear, as well as a dotted area for your thumb to aid grip. On the top of the camera is the on / off switch, zoom rocker, shutter release and a movie record button. On the rear are playback and display / back buttons as well as the d-pad, which also provides quick access to the flash, macro mode and timer.

The d-pad is also used to cycle through the camera menus, with a menu / OK button located in the middle. The menu system is easy to navigate, any options which aren't available in the mode you are using are greyed out.

Battery life is rated at 230 shots according to CIPA test results, which should be enough to get you through a day of shooting. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response   0.125 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.5 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   1.05 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   2.35 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   2.6 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   2.8 secs
Continuous Shooting   1.1 fps

Continuous shooting records in full 16 megapixel resolution, but is limited to just three shots.

Fujifilm FinePix T500

Fujifilm FinePix T500 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Fujifilm FinePix T500 Sample Photos


Sample Photos - Images are well exposed with pleasing colour reproduction. Portrait shots have decent skin tones and a free of red-eye.

Fujifilm FinePix T500 Lens test images


Lens Performance - Detail is OK in the centre of the images but they are softer in the corners, with a decent control of purple fringing. Detail suffers a little in darker areas of the images. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 5cm, but macro shots don't pack much detail.

Fujifilm FinePix T500 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 100, but there is enough at ISO 200 to cause images to become a little soft. Images are very soft at ISO 400, with small amounts of detail lost in places which just worsens slightly at ISO 800. Lots of detail is lost at ISO 1600, at ISO 3200 image quality is poor and file size is limited to just 4 megapixels.

Fujifilm FinePix T500 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights, the Auto White Balance (AWB) produces an image with a slight magenta cast, with the incandescent preset taking an image with an orange cast. Under the fluorescent lights, the AWB performs well, with all three fluorescent presets having colour casts.

Panorama | 1/110 sec | f/8.6 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
Panorama | 1/110 sec | f/8.6 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100

Panorama mode - Panorama images have a decent amount of detail and are well stitched together.

Fujifilm FinePix T500 Digital filters


Digital Filters - The T500 has a number of special effects within the advanced filters, with examples of each above.

Video - Below is a video recorded in 720p HD. Quality is good, but you can't use optical zoom during recording, although there is digital zoom.



Value For Money

The Fujifilm FinePix T500 is available for £97.99. Other cameras with a similar amount of zoom include the Olympus VR-370 at £109.00, Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ5 at £99.99, Samsung WB30F at £119.99, Nikon Coolpix S6400 at £148.99, Sony Cybershot DSC-WX200 at £158.99, Canon IXUS 255 HS at £199.94 and Ricoh CX6 at £149.99.

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Fujifilm FinePix T500 Verdict

Many entry-level cameras tend to have a 5x optical zoom lens, so if you want an easy to use camera with more zoom the T500 is an ideal option. Although image quality isn't the best, if you're the type of person who shares images on the web via sites such as Facebook it's unlikely you'll have any complaints. It's good to see optical image stabilisation, but we found the T500 struggled to focus in dark conditions. The T500 has a solid aluminium body and is excellent value for money.

 

Fujifilm FinePix T500 Pros

Optical image stabilisation
Good zoom range in a compact body
Aluminium body
Easy to use
Excellent value for money
Advanced filters allow for creative photography
Video quality is good

Fujifilm FinePix T500 Cons

Shortish battery life
Image quality isn't the best
Screen is quite small

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Fujifilm FinePix T500 Specifications

ManufacturerFujifilm
Lens
Max Aperturef/3.4 - f/6.9
35mm equivalent24mm - 288mm
Optical Zoom12x
Image Sensor
Pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3440
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor2.7in
Screen resolution230k dots
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • AF Tracking
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest8sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • A
Metering
  • TTL
ISO sensitivity100 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting1.1fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
  • 320x240 QVGA
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMINo
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiNo
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLi-ion battery NP-45A
Battery Life (CIPA rating)230shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsLi-ion battery NP-45A or NP-45B, AC power adapter, USB cable, Hand strap, CD-ROM, Owner's manual
Dimensions
Weight136g
Width99.4mm
Height57mm
Depth25.8mm

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Photographs taken using the Fujifilm FinePix T500

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Comments


28 Jun 2013 2:15AM
This is an excellent review and certainly gives anyone considering the Fujifilm FinePix T500 a real understanding of what this camera can and cannot do.

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MentorRon 1 73 Canada
30 Jul 2018 3:43PM
Just a comment on the full review. In my T500, there is a choice in the video menu to select either digital or optical video zoom.
I agree about the lack of image sharpness. My Finepix J110W (5X zoom) has sharper images. I'm guessing at this price point it's hard to make a great 12X zoom, especially one starting at 24mm. They seem to have decided to remove all the grain at the expense of detail.
I just picked it up because it takes the same Li-Ion batteries as the J110W and has OIS, which I miss on the J110W. These are both just "vacation" cameras.
As long as you don't "pixel peep", i.e. keep your viewing at 1980x1080 the images are ok. Same for GoogleCasting to an LED TV.
Colours are pretty accurate and rich, so mixing shots with those from the J110W works well.
MentorRon 1 73 Canada
7 Aug 2018 5:45PM
Today I noticed an issue with this model. It does not auto-rotate portrait mode photos for viewing. You have to do each on in the camera's playback menu and click OK, or do the same in a computer program later. Never had this with any other FinePix since they started making them.
8 Mar 2019 6:47PM
I am buying one of these second hand tomorrow how long does the battery life last while dong videos i will be happy if it lasts half a hour
MentorRon 1 73 Canada
8 Mar 2019 9:11PM
Never tested how long it would last for continuous video. On vacation shooting stills it would last up to one day (I always carry a backup). I returned this camera after vacation as it would not focus reliably. You could not trust the Focus OK signal, so came back with many out-of-focus (not blurred) images, especially on telephoto stills and video. I did not want to be forced to review every single image after taking it at 100% to ensure it was ok. Sometimes you could point it at a different object to get a clear still shot, but you can't do that with video. It also unfocusses if you zoom during video. You also miss many fleeting moments where you cannot take another shot. Was just too frustrating, as I take several thousand photos on a trip. Maybe something like a Canon PowerShot SX700 series P'n'S would be a better choice.
MentorRon 1 73 Canada
8 Mar 2019 9:56PM

Quote:Never tested how long it would last for continuous video. On vacation shooting stills it would last up to one day (I always carry a backup). I returned this camera after vacation as it would not focus reliably. You could not trust the Focus OK signal, so came back with many out-of-focus (not blurred) images, especially on telephoto stills and video. I did not want to be forced to review every single image after taking it at 100% to ensure it was ok. Sometimes you could point it at a different object to get a clear still shot, but you can't do that with video. It also unfocusses if you zoom during video. You also miss many fleeting moments where you cannot take another shot. Was just too frustrating, as I take several thousand photos on a trip. Maybe something like a Canon PowerShot SX700 series P'n'S would be a better choice.

Of course both the T500 AND the Canon PowerShots all have the small 1/2.3 inch CCD sensor (28 sq mm light gathering area), which limits sharpness. However my wife's J110W also has it but the images are sharper than the T500's. My current F100fd is almost as sharp as her camera (same 28-140mm lens), but has Image Stabilization and a 1/1.6 inch CCD (48 sq mm light gathering area = 70% larger), which are a bit more important to me.

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