Fuji Finepix Z1 Review

Ultra Compact

Picture
Fuji Finepix Z1 Ease of Use 7
Features 7
Movie Mode 8
Build Quality9
Colours 8
Photo Quality 8
Style 9
Lowlight 8
Macro 8
Value for Money 8
5 Megapixels
3x Zoom
2.5 inch LCD Screen
90.0 x 55 x 18.6mm
130g

Overview

The Fuji Finepix Z1 is a five megapixel digital camera with a three times optical zoom lens. It is an ultra compact model that will slip easily into a pocket or small bag. This is a very straightforward camera. There is very little you need to learn before you can start taking photos. It is just a case of charging the battery, loading the memory card and off you go. The Finepix Z1 is therefore likely to appeal to anyone who is looking for a digital camera that can go anywhere with you and is also easy to use.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

5
3x
2.5 inches
90.0 x 55 x 18.6mm
130g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

8cm
No
No
Lithium-ion Rechargeable
xD Picture

Image Quality

The Finepix Z1 produced a pleasing set of test pictures. There was only one photo that it failed with and that is the test carried out in complete darkness. The result was an over exposed shot that was out of focus. This is a test that Fuji digital cameras routinely struggle with. It means that the camera is likely to get into difficulties when the light is really poor.

The indoor portrait shot comes out well though. This indicates that as long as the light indoors is fair you will still be able to take photos. The portrait shot is much better than the one achieved by many other digital cameras. The lighting is good and the picture is sharp.

Outdoors there were no problems to report at all. The scenic, landscape type shots all came out very well. Colours were good throughout, the images were bright and clear and the level of detail captured was pleasing as well. The only areas where the detail could have been clearer were in the darkest areas under trees.

The test for colour produced a very strong result. The blues in particular came out with plenty of depth. This means that photos taken with this camera are likely to be well balanced in terms of colour.

The outdoor portrait was another success. There is a pleasant natural feel to the photo.

The macro shot was also bright, clear and sharp.

Shutter Lag and Recycling Times

Shutter lag is the time it takes to take each picture. A constant criticism of digital cameras is the delay in between clicking the shutter button, the picture being taken and also the camera being ready to take the next picture. From a pure shutter lag view the Finepix Z1 took a picture and recorded it in 0.48 seconds. This is a bit slower then average.

In terms of recycling times I was able to take five pictures in the space of 7.75 seconds. That works out at a rate of 1.55 seconds per picture. I am not claiming that this is the most scientific tests, but it should give you an indication of the recycling speed of the camera. This is a fairly fast time. My test is carried out indoors under standard conditions and it is possible that you would see better results outside.

I must admit I have become used to seeing cameras clock faster times than this one managed. It is quite fast if you are taking a number of shots in quick succession, but I would have liked to have seen a faster time for a single shot.

See sample images link arrow

Features

The 3x optical zoom lens has a focal length that is the equivalent of 36-108mm in 35mm format. The zoom capabilities of the camera are boosted by a 5.7x digital zoom feature. For close up photography there is a dedicated macro mode that allows the camera to focus from 8cms away from the subject.

There is a large 2.5" LCD screen on the back of the camera. This is used for composing photos, accessing the menu system and reviewing images. There is a button that increases the brightness of the monitor should you need to do so. There is no room for a viewfinder.

There are a small number of pre programmed scene modes available. These help the camera to take the best possible shot for different photo opportunities. All you need to do is select the most appropriate scene before taking the picture. The scenes available are for Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night Scene and Natural Light.

The built in flash unit has an effective range of 3m. This falls to 2.3m when the zoom lens is in use. You can set the flash to automatic, always on, always off and slow synchro. Slow synchro is often used for night photography when you would like the background as well as the subject lit. Red eye reduction is also available.

If you are looking for a different effect when you take a picture you can take a shot in black and white or chrome. When you would like to appear in the picture yourself there is a self timer. The delay can be set to either two or ten seconds. You can also add 30 second voice memos to photos to help preserve the memory.

You can capture movie footage with the Finepix Z1. Movies are of TV quality and can be shot at a resolution of 640x480. The top speed is 30 frames per second. Movies are only limited in duration by the capacity of the memory card.

There are a small number of more advanced settings. These include exposure compensation, shutter speeds between 4 - 1/1000th seconds, sensitivity equivalent to ISO 64 / 100 / 200 / 400 / 640 / 800 and white balance Fine, Shade, Fluorescent Light (Daylight), Fluorescent Light (Warm White) Fluorescent Light (Cool White), Incandescent Light). Although you have access to control white balance and exposure compensation all other functions are controlled by the camera. There are no manual exposure controls.

Fuji supplies all the necessary software and cables to connect the Finepix Z1 to a television set, computer and PictBridge compatible printer.

Ease of Use

I feel that Fuji have taken a step backwards with their menu design. I used to find their menu system very easy to get around, but they have changed the design and I don't think it is for the better. Don't let that put you off the camera though as it is a minor irritation rather than anything worse.

In terms of buttons and dials the Finepix Z1 is well laid out and has a simple design. On the back of the camera you will find all the buttons you need to control key features such as flash and zoom with out having to hunt them down through a mass of buttons.

Cost

You can pick up a Fuji Finepix Z1 for around £225. This compares to around £220 for a Canon IXUS 50, £205 for a Pentax Optio S5z and £215 for a Nikon Coolpix S1. As you can see this camera is slightly more expensive than rival cameras. I think it is more or less fairly priced.

Style

The Finepix Z1 is a slim, ultra compact digital camera. Personally I think it looks quite classy. Although it is a fairly typical rectangular shape the edges on the back are rounded. I also like the sliding front cover that opens to reveal the lens. In fact I would go as far as to say I think it is the most attractive ultra compact model I have seen. It is available in black and silver.

It weighs in at 130g and has dimensions of 90.0 (W) x 55 (H) x 18.6 (D) mm.

Batteries and Memory Cards

Power is supplied by a lithium ion rechargeable battery. Both a battery and charger are supplied with the camera. Buying a spare lithium ion battery certainly adds to the over all cost and you may prefer to simply ensure the battery is fully charged before you set off to take any important pictures.

Fuji supplies a 16mb xD card with the Finepix Z1. I was able to take 12 photos before the card was full. Therefore it is advisable to budget for a high capacity card to go with the camera. Click here to save money on xD cards.

Points I like:

Design and build quality
Picture quality

Where it is not so hot:

Menu system

Summary

The Fuji Finepix Z1 is certainly up there amongst the best ultra compact digital cameras that I have tested. The picture quality is very pleasing and I am a big fan of the design. It is slightly more expensive than its rivals, but I would be prepared to pay the extra few pounds. One area I would like to see improved is the menu system.

Fuji Finepix Z1 Front View Fuji Finepix Z1 Front View

Fuji Finepix Z1 Back View Fuji Finepix Z1 Back View

Fuji Finepix Z1 Top View Fuji Finepix Z1 Top View

Sample Menus

Fuji Finepix Z1 shutter volume Fuji Finepix Z1 scene modes

Fuji Finepix Z1 exposure compensation Fuji Finepix Z1 white balance

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

Canon IXUS 510 HS Rating 86/100

If you are prepared to pay a bit more for extra quality then the Canon IXUS 510 HS is likely to be of interest to you. For a pocket camera picture quality is very good. Add in the impressive set of features including a touch screen and Wi-Fi and you can start to see that you do get more for your money compared to a lot of digital cameras. The power of the lens also gives you plenty of scope for capturing a wide range of photo opportunities. It is true you pay a little extra than with more standard pocket cameras, but if you also include the stylish look of this model there is a lot on offer for the price tag.

Read Review: Canon IXUS 510 HS Review

Canon IXUS 125 HS Rating 86/100

If you are looking for a pocket camera and you are prepared to pay extra for picture quality and build quality then the Canon IXUS 125 HS is a good choice. Although it doesn’t have all the latest features like 360 degree panoramas it does an excellent job when it comes to taking pictures. It is straightforward, easy to use and will fit into just about any pocket.

Read Review: Canon IXUS 125 HS Review

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Rating 85/100

The Canon IXUS 1100 HS is a very good choice if you are looking for a pocket digital camera with a combination of a longer zoom lens and touch control. Once you get used to the screen and improve your touch accuracy it responds well. Picture quality compares favourably with other pocket cameras. The style and build suggest a bit of extra class too. The IXUS 1100 HS ticks most of the boxes for a camera in this category.

Read Review: Canon IXUS 1100 HS Review

Related Pages

Fuji Finepix Z1 Review Fuji Finepix Z1 Specification Fuji Finepix Z1 Sample Images Fuji Digital Cameras

Best Deals



Read a Review



Photography Courses

photography courses

Search By Price

Digital Cameras Under £50
Digital Cameras £50 - £100
Digital Cameras £100 - £150
Digital Cameras £150 - £200
Digital Cameras £200 - £300
Digital Cameras £300 - £500
Digital Cameras £500 - £1000
Digital Cameras Over £1000

Search By Camera Type

Simple and Easy Digital Cameras
Pocket Sized Digital Cameras
Extra Zoom Digital Cameras
Super Zoom Digital Cameras
Advanced Digital Cameras
Waterproof Digital Cameras
Compact System Cameras
Digital SLRs

Search By Camera Brand

Canon Digital Cameras
Fuji Digital Cameras
Nikon Digital Cameras
Olympus Digital Cameras
Panasonic Digital Cameras
Sony Digital Cameras

Buyers Guides

Digital Cameras
Memory Cards
Digital SLRs
Major Features
Shutter Times
Batteries
Where to Buy

More Guides

Local Guides

All Local Guides
England
English Counties
London Locations
Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales

News Feeds

XML RSS My MSN My Yahoo