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Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR Digital Camera Review

Daniel Bell reviews the feature filled Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR digital camera, which boasts the brand new 16.0 megapixel EXR sensor.

|  Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR in Compact Cameras
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Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR front open

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 front closed

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.

Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR top

Key Features

  • 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 rear

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 battery

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.

Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR wide-angle   Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR full optical zoom
Wide-angle, ISO400, 1/640, f/6.2, 5mm (35mm equiv: 28mm)   Full optical zoom, ISO200, 1/300, f/8, 25mm (35mm equiv: 140mm)
Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR digital zoom   Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR macro
Digital zoom, ISO200, 1/320, f/8, 25mm (35mm equiv: 140mm)   Macro, ISO100, 1/18, f/3.9, 5mm (35mm equiv: 28mm)

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.

Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR ISO100 Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR ISO200 Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR ISO400 Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR ISO800
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)
Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR ISO1600 Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR ISO3200 Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR ISO6400  
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.

Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR portrait with flash   Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR landscape
Portrait with flash, ISO800, 1/60, f/4.9, 22mm (35mm equiv: 123mm)   Landscape, ISO200, 1/640, f/7.1, 6mm (35mm equiv: 34mm)
Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR landscape with building   Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR sport
Landscape with building, ISO100, 1/420, f/3.9, 5mm, (35mm equiv: 28mm)   Sport, ISO200, 1/900, f/4.6, 10mm (35mm equiv: 56mm)

Below are examples of shooting with the camera in Dynamic Range Priority and High ISO & Low Noise Priority modes.

Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR High dynamic (1600)%   Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR High ISO and low noise
High dynamic 1600%, 8mp, ISO400, 1/1000, f/6.2, 5mm, (35mm equiv: 28mm)   High ISO and low noise, 8mp, ISO1600, 1/10, f/3.9, 5mm, (35mm equiv: 28mm)

Shooting panoramic images is simple and effective, with just once simple press of the shutter release and sweeping the camera 360°.

Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR 360° motion panorama
360° motion panorama, ISO200, 1/500, f/7.1, 6mm (35mm equiv: 34mm)

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.

Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR Auto white balance - Incandescent light   Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR Incandescent preset - Incandescent light
Auto white balance - Incandescent light, ISO100, 1/14, f/4.5, 9mm (35mm equiv: 50mm)   Incandescent preset - Incandescent light, ISO100, 1/12, f/4.5, 9mm (35mm equiv: 50mm)
Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR Auto white balance - Fluorescent light   Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR Fluorescent preset - Fluorescent light
Auto white balance - Fluorescent light, ISO100, 1/4, f/4.5, 9mm (35mm equiv: 50mm)   Fluorescent preset - Fluorescent light, ISO100, 1/4, f/4.5, 9mm (35mm equiv: 50mm)

For some extra creativity in your images there are four film simulations available, each with examples below.

Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR Provia/Standard   Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR Velvia/Vivid
Provia/Standard   Velvia/Vivid
Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR Black & White   Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR Sepia
Black & White   Sepia

Video Mode

Below is a video shot at full 1080p HD. Optical zoom can be used during recording, for an example video please visit the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.

Value For Money

The Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR is currently available for £188.99. Other cameras with a 16 megapixel sensor and 5x optical zoom to consider are the Canon PowerShot A3300 IS at £119.99, Sony Cybershot W570 at £148.00, Sony Cybershot WX7 at £208.99, Fujifilm FinePix AX350 at £84.99 and the Fujifilm FinePix JX350 at £94.99. Other cameras featuring a touch screen are the Kodak Easyshare Touch M577 at £110.00, Samsung SH100 at £102.49 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS37 at £174.00.

Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR: Verdict

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

FEATURES Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR

Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR: Specification

Price £188.99
Optical zoom 5x optical zoom, 5 - 25mm, (35mm equiv: 28 - 140mm), f/3.9 - 4.9
Resolution 16.0 megapixel
Sensor size 1/2 inch
Sensor type EXR CMOS
Max image size 4608 x 3456
Aspect ratio 4:3
Focusing system Single AF/Continuous AF (EXR AUTO, Movie)
Focus points Centre / Auto area/Touch & Track(Touch & Track mode)/Portion of touch (Touch EXR Auto mode, Touch & Shoot mode)
Focus type TTL contrast AF
Focus distance 9cm
File types JPEG
ISO sensitivity ISO100 - 6400
Metering system Programmed AE, Manual
Metering types TTL 256-zones metering Multi
Exposure compensation ± 2.0EV, 1/3EV step
Shutter speed range 4 - 1/2000 seconds
Frames-per-second 3 / 6 / 12fps
Image stabilisation CMOS shift type
Movie mode 1920 x 1080 pixels / 1280 x 720 pixels/ 640 x 480 pixels (30 frames / sec.) with stereo sound Optical zoom can be used.
Monitor 3.5-inch wide, approx. 460,000 dots, TFT Colour LCD monitor, Touch, approx. 100% coverage, aspect ratio 16:9
Media type SD / SDHC / SDXC
Interface USB 2.0 High-Speed,  HDMI Mini connector
Power NP-45A Li-ion battery
Box Contents Li-ion battery NP-45A
Battery charger BC-45C
Plug adapter
USB cable
Hand strap
Owner's manual
Size 100.8 mm x 59.0 mm x 18.2mm
Weight 151g (including battery and memory card)

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Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR SEARCH

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Photographs taken using the Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR

Sherman Tank "Havoc", vets parade WeymouthHalf TrackVets day at WeymouthRufus CastleBeautiful doorRoyal PythonBrightI minute sunsetSunsetMorningRhododendronLeft

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