The Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR was released as part of Fujifilm's Spring collection of digital cameras in April 2011. It is available in red, blue, pink and black for £188.99.
Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR: Features
The Z900 debuts the new EXR CMOS sensor with an impressive 16 megapixels, which aims to offer high resolution, a wide dynamic range, high sensitivity and low noise. The camera is able to recognise 27 scenes automatically, then optimising the cameras settings. It will also detect whether a person is in shot, how much light is available and automatically set the white balance, focus, colour and tonality and you can even search through photos by scene type.
High Resolution mode is used in ideal lighting conditions, making use of the full 16 megapixel resolution available. High Sensitivity and Low Noise is great for dark conditions and shoots at 8 megapixels which are more sensitive to light. Dynamic range mode is designed to create an 8 megapixel image with detail in conditions where the scene is bright in some areas and dark in others.
The scene modes available are Portrait, Portrait Enhancer, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night (Tripod), Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Party, Flower, Text, Dog and Cat modes. There is also Motion Panorama 360 where you shoot 360 panoramas easily by just pressing the shutter button and sweeping the camera in one direction. The camera then stitches the image together.
The Z900 has Face Detection which optimises focus and exposure on your subjects face and it will even remove red-eye when detected. Up to 10 faces can be recognised in a photo with each face being able to be cropped and saved. With Auto release the shutter can be set to automatically release when it identifies your subject's face in shot.
Face Recognition allows the user to register eight people with their names in the camera and settings will be optimised when shooting them and you can even search by their name when viewing photos.
The Face Detection Self-timer automatically sets off after the number and position of faces in a scene are detected, snapping the photo at the right moment, with all the faces in focus and properly exposed.
There are two slightly unusual timers on the Z900, these being Couple Timer and Group Timer. Couple Timer waits till there are two faces close together and you can choose near, close up or super close up. Group Timer can be set to detect up to four faces, giving you and your friends or family time to get into shot.
Natural Light mode takes images without the flash in low-light conditions. If you are unsure whether to use the flash, choose Natural Light & with Flash and the camera will take two images, one with and one without flash.
Movies can be shot at 1080p and 720p full HD as well as 640 x 480 VGAs at 30fps with both stereo sound and optical zoom being available during recording.
16 megapixel EXR-CMOS sensor
5x wide-angle zoom lens (35mm equiv: 28 - 140mm)
ISO100 - 6400
3.5inch 460,000 pixel touch-screen LCD
A selection of high speed shooting modes
CMOS Shift Image Stabilisation
1600% wide dynamic range
360° Panorama mode
Full HD video recording
Mini HDMI port
Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR: Handling
The Z900 is an extremely stylish camera with a compact design with the 3.5 inch screen filling the rear of the camera simply adding to its good looks. There are just a few buttons on the camera, including a dedicated video button, shutter release/zoom rocker and home button. To switch the camera on you just slide down the front lens cover. Although a nice idea, if you are used to a camera having an on/off button you may accidentally record a video instead of switching the camera off.
The touch screen is responsive, although there were times it is necessary to press the buttons twice, but it is impressive how clean the screen keeps. It is excellently crisp and clear and the menus are easy to navigate. After switching the camera on it is ready to shoot within a couple of seconds and focusing is quick.
According to CIPA the battery is capable of 220 shots on one charge and there was no reason to doubt this during testing. 220 shots may not be enough to get you through a day of shooting and it may be ideal to carry a spare.
Continuous shooting allows up to 3fps (16mp), 6fps (8mp) and 12fps (4mp) shooting 3, 6 or 12 frames at a time, although image size is reduced to between 4 and 12 megapixels dependent on which mode is chosen. During testing I was able to get 9.2fps using the 12 frames at 12fps option and the full 3fps when using 12 frames at 3fps option.
Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR: Performance
The images produced by the Z900 are well exposed with good colour reproduction. The detail in the images is also good and is suitable for large prints, although detail is better towards the centre of the images, with them being a touch blurry around the edges. Macro images look OK but with a minimum focus distance of 9cm it is difficult to get close enough.
There is very slight noise in images at ISO100 which only marginally worsens through ISO200 and ISO400. At ISO800 there is signs that sharpness is being lost due to reduced detail but images produced are fine, which can also be said for ISO1600, although there is more noise than at ISO800. At ISO3200 and ISO6400 noise is clearly evident in images with some colours becoming blurry. On the whole, the Z900's 16.0 megapixel sensor handles noise extremely well.
ISO100, 1/7, f/4.9, 20mm (35mm equiv: 112mm)
ISO200, 1/12, f/4.9, 20mm (35mm equiv: 112mm)
ISO400, 1/20, f/4.9, 20mm (35mm equiv: 112mm)
ISO800, 1/50, f/4.9, 20mm (35mm equiv: 112mm)
ISO1600, 1/80, f/4.9, 20mm (35mm equiv: 112mm)
ISO3200, 1/150, f/4.9, 20mm (35mm equiv: 112mm)
ISO6400, 1/350, f/4.9, 20mm (35mm equiv: 112mm)
Below are examples using some of the scene modes available on the Z900. On the portrait with flash image there is the slightest hint of some red-eye left in one eye.
Portrait with flash, ISO800, 1/60, f/4.9, 22mm (35mm equiv: 123mm)
Auto white-balance gives great results in the majority of cases. Under our incandescent studio lighting the incandescent preset yields the better result, the AWB preset is good, but there is a warmer feel to the image. The fluorescent preset under the fluorescent lights gives a magenta cast in the image, with the AWB giving the better image.
Auto white balance - Incandescent light, ISO100, 1/14, f/4.5, 9mm (35mm equiv: 50mm)
The Z900 is a feature packed compact, well designed and good looking while being small enough to tuck into your pocket when going out with friends. It's let down by a short battery life and if you enjoy taking close-up macro images, the minimum focus distance of just 9cm means you can't get too close. Other than that, you have full HD video recording, 360° panoramic sweep mode and a 3 inch wide touch screen which are very welcome features on this camera.
The Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR has excellent features and good performance, and therefore comes recommended.
Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR: Pros
Full HD video recording
Camera is well designed
Touch screen is responsive
360° panoramic sweep mode
Good noise performance
Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR: Cons
Closest focus distance is just 9cm
Battery life quite low