The Fuji Finepix Z2 is a five megapixel digital camera. It is small and slim. This is the type of camera that you can easily slip into a pocket or small bag. The Finepix Z2 is straightforward point and shoot model making it easy to use. It is likely to appeal to someone who is looking for a camera that can be taken anywhere and takes no time at all to get used to.
90 x 55 x 18.6mm
On the whole I was pleased with the quality of the images I managed to produce with the Finepix Z2. The camera had no problem focusing in standard lighting conditions and the colours are strong. Although there is a slight fall off in sharpness towards the edge of each photo this is typical of this type of digital camera and is nothing to be overly concerned about with this camera.
Starting with the outdoor test photos the camera handled these well. The photos are an accurate reflection of the conditions at the time the photos were taken. Whereas some digital cameras can struggle with areas of light and dark the Finepix Z2 was able to cope with this. It also had no problem with glare from the sun. Sky colours are a pleasant shade of blue. This all suggests that if you are planning to use this camera primarily for landscape type photos you should not encounter too many difficulties.
Both the indoor and outdoor portraits are successful in terms of skin colour, sharpness and brightness. There is also no red eye in the indoor portrait. There is something that troubles me with these shots though and that is there is a degree of pixilation. This is where the photos are not completely smooth in certain areas and you can notice a jagged look in certain areas. This certainly detracts from the overall quality of the pictures.
My other indoor test shot of some beer bottles is taken in almost complete darkness. This is a picture the camera truly struggles with. Most digital cameras have an Autofocus Illuminator. This casts a beam of light onto the subject and helps the camera to focus. The Finepix Z2 does not have one and is unable to focus properly when the light is very low. The result is a shot clearly out of focus.
By way of contrast the macro shot works very well indeed. It is bright and sharp, comparing favourably against those taken by other similar digital cameras.
The dedicated test for colour is another photo to create a positive impression. The colours are deep and vivid with no single colour dominating.
All digital cameras tend to lose quality when the ISO rating is increased. This is often referred to as noise. Using a higher ISO rating can help when taking pictures in lowlight or if you are trying to reduce blur when you are taking a picture of a moving target. The Finepix Z2 does lose quality when the ISO rating is pushed up to 400, but it is a lot better than the majority of digital cameras. In fact you can push the ISO rating all the way up to 1600 with this camera and the picture it takes compares nicely with other cameras where the ISO rating has only been push up to 400.
Shutter Lag and Recycling Times
I managed to take a single shot in 0.33 seconds. This is an average time. It took 6.74 seconds to take five consecutive shots. This works out at a rate of one photo every 1.55 seconds. This is a fast time.
You can compare this camera to other models by taking a look at the Shutter Lag Comparison Table.
The 3x optical zoom lens has a focal length equivalent to 36 to 108mm in 35mm format. The maximum aperture size is f3.5 - f4.2. For close up photography the lens can focus from 8cms. There is also a digital zoom feature. This gives an extra 5.7x zoom capability.
For composing images there is a 2.5" LCD screen. This is made up of around 232,000 pixels. There is no room for a viewfinder.
To help make picture taking easier there are a number of predefined scene modes. All you need to do is select the most appropriate scene for the picture you are taking and the camera will select the optimum settings. The scenes available are Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night Scene and Natural Light. There is also a continuous shooting mode for when you would like to fire off a number of shots in quick succession.
The flash unit has a maximum range of 3m. This falls to around 2.3m when the zoom lens is in use. The flash modes available are Auto, Red-eye Reduction, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro. Red-eye Reduction + Slow Synchro.
For when you would like to appear in the picture yourself there is a self timer. The delay time can be set to either two or ten seconds. To help preserve the memory of a shot you can add a voice memo to a photograph after it has been taken. The maximum length of the voice memo is up to thirty seconds.
There are a number of different resolutions you can take pictures at. This could be useful if you are looking to take pictures for use on the Internet or to send by email. There is also a resolution with a 3:2 aspect ratio. This is useful if you are planning to make 6x4" prints as this is the perfect shape and the photo will not need to be trimmed at all to fit on the paper.
To add something different to your photos you can shoot in black and white or chrome.
You can shoot movies up to the capacity of the memory card. The maximum resolution is 640 x 480. The maximum speed is 30 frames per second. This should be good enough for playback on a television set. Sound is recorded with a movie, but you cannot zoom in and out while shooting.
More advanced settings include shutter speeds in the range of 4 seconds to 1/1000 seconds, multi zone metering, ISO sensitivity equivalent to 64, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1600. There are also a number of white balance settings (Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light(Daylight),Fluorescent light(Warm White) Fluorescent light(Cool White) and Incandescent light).
Fuji supplies all cables and software to connect the Finepix Z2 to a computer, television set and PictBridge compatible printer.
A cradle is supplied with the camera too. The camera needs to be placed in the cradle before it can be connected to the external devices mentioned above. The cradle is also used when you wish to use a tripod. This is a bit of a drawback to be honest. The camera is a little loose in the cradle. This is even more of a problem if you are shooting a portrait picture with the camera upright as it is liable to fall out of the cradle. This is certainly an important point if you are planning to use the camera with a tripod.
Ease of Use
There is nothing particularly difficult about the Finepix Z2. Being a standard point and shoot type model there are not too many features that you need to get to grips with. All the main controls such as zoom, flash, self timer and image review are controlled through buttons on the back of the camera. The menu system is also fairly straightforward, although in my opinion the screens are a little cramped.
You can pick up a Fuji Finepix Z2 for around £225. This compares to around £215 for a Canon IXUS 55, £210 for a Sony DSC T5 and £200 for a Pentax Optio S5z.
This makes the Finepix Z2 one of the most expensive five megapixel digital cameras. To be honest although it has many plus points I think some of its competitors offer better value for money.
The Finepix Z2 has a very simple design. I must admit to really liking the clean style of the camera. It is available in black and white and I am personally quite taken by the black one. The lens is non protruding and is protected by a large sliding cover.
The camera weighs 130g and has dimensions of 90.0 x 55.0 x 18.6mm.
Batteries and Memory Cards
A rechargeable lithium ion battery is used to provide power to the camera. Fuji supplies both a battery and charger with the Finepix Z2. The downside to this type of battery is that a spare battery is more expensive than a set of AA batteries. Therefore you may decide it is best to just make sure the battery is always fully charged before you set off to take any important photos.
Images are stored on xD Picture cards. A 16mb card is supplied as standard. I was able to take 13 photos using the default settings before the memory card became full. This means it is a good idea to pick up a high capacity card to go with the camera. Click here to save money on xD cards..
Points I like:
Style and design
Low noise at high ISO
Where it is not so hot:
Pixilation of pictures
There is a lot to like about the Fuji Finepix Z2. It has a very stylish design and is easy to use. There are now a large number of digital cameras to choose from if you are looking for a pocket sized camera. At its current price I feel it is a bit expensive and better value can be found elsewhere.
Fuji Finepix Z2 Front View
Fuji Finepix Z2 Back View
Fuji Finepix Z2 Top View
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