FujiFilm FinePix Z1

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FujiFilm FinePix Z1
  • FujiFilm FinePix Z1
  • FujiFilm FinePix Z1
  • FujiFilm FinePix Z1

Pros

  • Looks great, beautiful LCD, very portable

Cons

  • Mediocre image quality, lack of features

Bottom Line

Not a bad camera. It looks stylish, but if you're after quality photos and a bunch of manual settings to tweak them, look elsewhere.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 8 stores)

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This is one sleek-looking 5.1 megapixel camera. About the size of a small pack of cards, it comes cased in silver and matte black metal. There is no on switch, you simply slide back the front panel, revealing the lens and exposing the flash. The camera just reeks of style.

The small size of the FinePix Z1 makes it is a great travel camera. It fits snugly in the pocket without being uncomfortable, yet it has enough substance and weight behind it to feel strong and durable.

Its size necessitates a minimalist button layout. There is no function wheel at all; most functions are controlled through a simple menu system accessed from the back. This is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it fits very well with the sleek design of the camera, but on the other hand there are only so many features that can be crammed into such a small space. It offers only a bare minimum of customisation features such as white balance and exposure control, and little in the way of more advanced features. We don't expect a point-and-shoot to have all the features of a top-end SLR, but some basic controls would be useful. Perhaps the saving grace of the FinePix Z1 is the ability to manipulate ISO sensitivity up to 800, which isn't usually a present available on a low-end model.

The compactness of the camera did lead to some problems during our testing. Being as thin as it is, and having the lens up in the top left-hand corner, means that anyone with larger than average-size hands would tend to find theirs fingers falling across the shots every so often. With practice this can be avoided, but it is a niggling annoyance.

On a brighter note, the FinePix Z1 has a beautiful 2.5" LCD. While not as clear as some other large-screen camera LCDs, it is nonetheless a very welcome addition, and being crammed onto such a small camera only makes it look bigger.

Pictures taken with the camera during our tests looked quite good. There was a small amount of blurring around details, but nothing too serious. What was more noticeable was the lack of strong colours in most of the photos. It is worrying that images looked so washed out, especially in a camera without advanced features to help correct this.

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