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Fuji FinePix Z5 FD Digital Camera Review

Fuji FinePix Z5 FD Digital Camera Review - Rebecca Bradley puts the latest offering from Fujifilm to the test.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Fujifilm FinePix Z5 FD
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A vailable in a choice of Raspberry Red, Mocha Brown or Silver colour casing, the Fujifilm Z5 FD is aimed at the fashion-conscious sector of the camera market. At a slimline and pocket-friendly 93 x 55mm, it is especially suited to pubbers and clubbers, for those all important people snaps.

Specification

  • CCD Size: - 6.3 Million pixels
  • Image Size: 2848 x 2136 pixels
  • Lens Range: 36-108mm (35mm equiv)
  • Lens: 36-108mm, F2.8 to F8.0
  • Focusing: 8cm
  • Macro: 5cm
  • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600.
  • White balance: Fine, shade, Fluorescent light, Incandescent
  • Exposure: Program AE
  • Metering: 256 Zone TTL
  • Monitor: 2.5 " TFT LCD
  • Movie Mode: Yes
  • Storage: xD-Picture Card
  • Batteries: Rechargeable Lithium-ion
  • AC Adaptor: Included
  • Video Output: Yes
  • Size/Weight: 93 x 55 x 19mm - 148g
  • Transfer:USB 2.0

Trendy and compact and in a choice of colours, the Fujifilm Z5 FD is specifically aimed at the younger and more fashion conscious sector of the market. With its slimline and compact design it is perfect for slipping into a handbag or pocket on a night out or on holiday. At around £179 it is within a similar price range to cameras such as the Canon Powershot A630, the Olympus 760 and the Samsung i70.


Modes and features
The Z5 FD has a Blog mode, which automatically adjusts image settings – helpful if you are planning to upload your snaps to an on-line blog. It also has Intelligent Face Detection, allowing you to focus on, and adjust the brightness of, people's faces, and which can be activated or de-activated by use of a button. There are various shooting modes which can be set according to the location. These include manual, auto, numerous pre-set scene modes such as Sunset, Party, Snow and Beach as well as a Picture Stabilisation setting (anti-camera shake) mode.

An interesting function of the Z5 is the FinePix Colour Modes, whereby you can choose to shoot in Standard, Chrome or Black and White mode. There are several white balance settings to choose from such as auto, outdoors, under fluorescent lamps and in incandescent light. You can also adjust the Exposure Compensation settings to suit tricky lighting conditions. In the shooting menu you can select from high speed shooting, continuous shooting and high speed, continuous shooting. The ISO settings of the Fuji Z5 range from 100 to 1600. There's also a Macro mode setting that allows you to shoot from as close as 8cm.

The camera also boasts Fujifilm's Super CCD HR technology, which uses octangal shaped photo sites to enhance light collection, particularly in low light conditions. It also has the Real Photo Processor II which features enhanced noise reduction.

Build and handling
Weighing 148g, the Z5 FD is an extremely slimline and lightweight camera, which makes it ideal for slipping into a pocket or a handbag. It features a sliding front which automatically turns the camera on or off when opening and closing as well as protecting the lens when the camera is not in use.

The menus are easy to use and all functions are easily accessible. The only problem I did have was that the battery and card compartment had a tendency to come open when attaching to a tripod, which in turn caused the camera to switch off. Something you might want to bear in mind if thinking about using the camera with a tripod.

Flash options
There are a large variety of flash modes with the Fuji Z5 FD. Firstly there is auto flash mode for ordinary photography, Red Eye Reduction for use in low-light conditions, Forced Flash which fires regardless of whether flash is needed or not, and Suppressed Flash mode for times when flash is not allowed. As well as this there is also a Slow Synchro Flash with Red Eye Reduction. This mode is for use at night time and means that both the subject and background will be visible in the shot, however, it is recommended that a tripod be used with this function.

Performance
The landscape test shows good detail with no eveidence of colour fringing, however, the portrait tests leave a lot to be desired, with loss of detail in most areas of the image and some very noisy areas. Blues, reds and greens are rendered completely different shades, as demonstrated in the colour chart test, although the skin tones are quite accurate.


The Macro mode lets you shoot from as close as 8cm and retains good detail, as you can see from this close up of a petal.

In The colour chart test, the blues and the reds actually appear a lot brighter, and the green is a totally different shade, but the skin tones and the browns are actually quite accurate.


Taken with flash and in portrait mode, the rendition of detail in this shot is quite poor, with noise apparent in most areas of the picture.


Again, taken it portrait mode but without flash, there is loss of detail and on close inspection the image is quite noisy.

Fuji Z5 FD Macro
The landscape test shows that although there isn't great detail in the picture the image quality is actually quite good and there is no evident colour fringing in areas where the sky and landscape meet.

 

Noise Tests
At ISO100 and ISO200, images are very clear, although at ISO400 some noise is starting to appear where the flower meets the grey card and there is some loss of detail. At ISO800 the image has started to become very noisy and at 1600, there is a lot of noise in the grey card area with a distinct loss of detail in the petals.

Fuji Z5 ISO100
The ISO 100 test.

Fuji Z5 ISO 200
The ISO 200 test.

 

Fuji Z5 ISO400
The ISO 400 test.

Fuji Z5 ISO 800
The ISO 800 test.

 

Fuji Z5 ISO1600
The ISO 1600 test


Verdict
With features such as Intelligent Face Detection, anti-camera shake mode, Fujifilm's Super CCD HR technology and Real Processor II, the Fuji Z5 FD has a lot of features for such a small compact. The camera also boasts an extremely slimline and compact design, with an attractive outer casing. As for the quality of images, the Macro mode gives high quality close ups and the landscape test renders good detail, but with any ISO setting above 100 quality quickly deteriorates and noise becomes evident. Unfortunately, the Fuji Z5 looks a lot better than it actually is, and I wasn't impressed with the overall quality of the image.

Fuji Z5 bottom view

Plus Points:
Pentax Optio T30Slimline and compact design
Pentax Optio T30Good Macro Mode results
Pentax Optio T30A variety of features

Minus points:
Pentax Optio T30Quite complicated to use
Pentax Optio T30Inaccurate shades of reds, greens and blues
Pentax Optio T30Anything above ISO100 poor quality

FEATURES:
Pentax Optio T30
HANDLING:
Pentax Optio T30
PERFORMANCE:
Pentax Optio T30
OVERALL:
Pentax Optio T30

The Fuji Finepix Z5 FD costs around £179 and can be pucrhased from the ePHOTOzine shop here.

All product images in this review were taken with the Canon EOS 400D. 

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