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|Product:||Fujifilm FinePix Z10fd|
Fujifilm FinePix Z10fd Review - Gwyneth Paltrow once led a mirrored existence in Sliding Doors. Matt Grayson would like to point out the Fujifilm FinePix Z10fd also features a sliding door but doesn't have Joey Boswell from Bread directing it.
The Z10fd is a slimline point and shooter with 7Mp, 3x optical zoom, face detection and easy to use functionality.
Fujifilm FinePix Z10fd: Specification
- Zoom: 3x optical (38-110mm)
- Resolution: 7Mp
- Sensor size: 1/2.5in
- Sensor type: CCD
- Image size:
- File type: JPEG
- Sensitivity: ISO100-1600
- Storage: xD picture card, internal (54Mb)
- Focus types: Auto
- Normal focusing: 60cm-infinity
- Close focusing: 8-80cm
- Metering types: Programmed AE
- Exposure compensation: /- 2EV in 1/3 step increments
- Shutter speed: 4sec-1/1000sec
- Flash: Built-in
- Monitor: 2.5in TFT LCD
- Interface: USB 2.0
- Power: Li-Ion battery
- Size: 91.2x56.5x18.7mm
TheFujifilm FinePix Z10fd at £74 offers you a 7Mp sensor, 3x optical zoom and the ease of use that Fujifilm compacts are famous for. Alternatively the Canon Powershot A470 at £72 has the same resolution and zoom and has a 1cm close focusing capability. Kodak offer the Easyshare M763 which also has the same resolution and zoom and the capability to be used on any other Kodak docking port.
Fujifilm FinePix Z10fd: Modes and features
Fujifilm pride themselves on being consumer focused in their pursuit of human factor engineering. Changes to the menu system over the past few years have been subtle which means that loyal followers of the system haven't been overwhelmed with massive differences.
Slide the front lens cover over to the right and the small transparent window will sit aligned with the built in flash while switching the camera on in the process. The slider is firm and has a slight springiness to keep it in place once you've opened it. This means it won't close on you while you're messing around with features or have it hanging from your wrist.
The design has followed a minimalist approach with only the shutter release sat on the top plate. Looking on the rear of the body and the 2.5in LCD screen occupies the left 2/3 of the body with 99% of the functions being put onto two silver rings to the right. Only the display/back options have their own dedicated button.
Of the two silver rings, the top one houses face detect activation, playback access and the zoom while the bottom ring has the image stabiliser, macro, flash and self timer options. The red centre of the lower ring can also be pushed to access the main menu. Interestingly the zoom on the top ring is operated by pressing left and right instead of the usual up and down.
One of the more interesting features of the Z10fd is its infra-red communication option. This is similar to the WiFi option found on the Nikon Coolpix S52c but without the same kind of range. It allows you to upload your images to another device via IR but this means the camera has to be within range and, in some cases, in line of sight.
A FinePix button used to be available to give you access to shooting modes and film simulations but this has recently been scrapped to place everything in one menu system. This process simplifies everything as it gets everything in one area.
Flicking the camera into manual mode will release all the systems available on the FinePix Z10fd such as exposure compensation and AF area select.
The display button will scroll through three options which are information on the screen, no information and a rule of thirds grid which aids composition.
Fujifilm FinePix Z10fd: Build and handling
It's an unusual design as it tapers slightly towards the right end but not as much as it's sibling, the Z5fd. This design means it needs longer legs to support it which isn't all that attractive.
The buttons are firm and feel stable yet they're nicely responsive. The screen is nice and bright and the only flimsy part of the camera is the battery door.
The casing is metal which means for a more endurable life with you and a Li-Ion battery means a longer life to take more pictures. Of course should you forget to charge it up and it runs out just as you take that panoramic vista on a day out or something, you can't just get some spare batteries from the shop-so be careful.
The primary colours are unsurprisingly boosted but the pastels to the left are more muted.
The Fujifilm has recorded CA regardless of the low contrast.
Macro is only 8cm but still closes in on subjects adequately.
Fujifilm FinePix Z10fd: Performance
The blue has turned out really punchy on the colour chart with green and yellow coming out bright. The mono tones appear balanced and the earth colours are natural. The skin tone looks a bit pale but could be warmed up in portrait mode.
The pastel colours down the left side of the original chart look a little more muted than I normally see from a fujifilm model but overall it seems to have a decent result.
Despite the white bars and lock being in shadow, the low contrast has still dug some fringing up on the edges of the bars as a thin purple line. I'm glad to see the camera has used an aperture of f/8 which has a much broader focal plane than the narrow options of f/3.2 or f/2.8 that I've been seeing used lately. This means that more of the picture will be in focus from foreground to background.
The greens of the bushes and grass to the right of the image are realistic and there's nice detail in the foreground grass.
8cm is the closest that this compact can focus in on which I would normally state as pathetic. However, the detail and closeness of this pepper shaker is surprisingly decent. I like the fact that the individual grains of the pepper can be picked out on the image.
The burst test managed seven images in ten seconds on the continuous mode of the drive area. Like all other Fujifilm models, they also have a Top3and Final3 option where the camera will take a series of images but only record the first three when you push the button in Top3 mode or the last three images as you release the button in Final3.
These seem to be complex modes for a point and shoot model as it relies on your reactions.
Start up time from sliding the door to being able to take a picture is around 3sec and if there's no card, you also get an extra second to wait while the "images will be recorded to internal memory" warning flags up. Shutter lag ranges from 0.04sec to 0.08sec which is about normal.
The scene mode has a standard portrait mode that you'd expect to see in any other camera but also benefits from a natural light mode. In an amazing double-whammy, the natural light mode has a secondary natural & flash mode. This takes two photographs in quick succession: one with flash and one without so you get to choose the best.
The portrait mode.
The portrait mode with flash.
The portrait in program mode.
The portrait in program mode with flash.
Portrait mode adds a little more light to the face probably using dynamic range boosting technology and the skin tone has a warmer glow. The flash has balanced out the skin tone and filled in the shadows. In portrait mode, the flash appears to be a fraction stronger than the program mode image with flash.
Face detection locates the formation of eyes, mouth and ears in a scene.
Fujifilm FinePix Z10fd: Focus and metering
When face detection is turned off and the camera is in manual mode, the AF selection is enabled in the menu system. You can choose from two options which are centre and multi. Centre mode will only focus on the centre of the image regardless of the positioning of your subject which can cause out of focus images if you're not careful. Multi will scan the frame for contrasting subjects near the centre of the frame and lock onto it. It'll only do this when you've pressed the shutter release halfway down though, so you don't have to worry about it happening all the time.
Face detection was pioneered by Fujifilm and was principally used in printing services before some bright spark decided to put it in a camera. It works by analysing the image and triangulating the formation of eyes, mouth and ears. It then focuses on that formation and you see a green box form around your subject's face.
If you have more than one person in the frame, the green box will focus on the person nearest to the centre of the frame and white boxes will form around the others.
There aren't any overriding metering modes on the Z10fd which may be just as well with all the other features you have to play with.
Fujifilm FinePix Z10fd: Noise test
The Fujifilm website has been known to boast about the camera's amazing low light operability only to be torn to pieces in our noise test area. No such boast with the Z10fd which may be due to the fact that it's capped at ISO1600.
It all starts off well with both ISO64 and ISO100 giving really nice results. ISO200 shows a really small amount of noise creeping through on the grey tile but it is very mild and only seen at full magnification. This wouldn't be a problem when looking at 6x4 pictures you've printed. This acceleration in noise can be seen slightly at ISO400 when viewed at 30% size (fit to screen). It really only starts to let the picture quality down at ISO800 when the detail in the petals begins to deteriorate.
ISO1600 has a really bad result with a fully changed cast on the image as though a haze was put over the lens. Meanwhile the petals look practically smooth with lack of detail and purple/green blobs show on the tiles.
The ISO64 test.
The ISO100 test.
The ISO200 test.
The ISO400 test.
The ISO800 test.
The ISO1600 test.
Fujifilm FinePix Z10fd: Verdict
This camera isn't going to win any awards for either innovation or design. However, there are some people out there that think this weird shape is attractive. One such person is Liz, a friend of mine who recently bought one. When I asked her what she thought, she told me that she was amazed at how easy it was to use.
She works as a Scenes of Crime Officer and uses a Nikon D70 DSLR for her work. She said: "It's good to not carry around a huge camera all the time and this does what I need it to do without me needing to think about the end result too much." This is an indication of the easy to use menus and she has a point. Plus she works in the police so can't lie. It's the law or something.
I found the camera very good to get along with. The images are good quality, sharp and boasting decent detail from the 7Mp sensor, which by today's standards are relatively low.
Gadget Granny says:
"I got to play with the Fuji Z10fd at the weekend and it was really easy to use. Not only could I find my way around the menus easily, but it explained what each mode meant. I got some great pictures of the grand kids and my dog."
Fujifilm FinePix Z10fd: Plus points
Easy to use
More pixels doesn't necessarily mean a better picture
Good overriding features
Improvement on noise control
Fujifilm FinePix Z10fd: Minus points
Unusual design has necessitated longer feet at one end
Slow continuous shooting
Fringing in low contrast areas
The Fujifilm FinePix Z10fd costs around £74 and is available from Warehouse Express.