Ever since the digital revolution hit compact cameras, the industry has tended to divide its PR campaigns between the semi-pro who likes loads of features and technical advances, and the style-conscious who like cool exteriors and all operating controls as simple as possible.
There are no prizes, therefore, for guessing which camp the Z10fd falls into, as Fujifilm has designed this FinePix model as a slimline (91.2 x 56.55 x 18.75mm), lightweight (a mere 110g) and eye-catching accessory in seven attractive colours: the names say it all (Hot Pink, Wave Blue, Red, Midnight Black, Wasabi Green, Moss Green and Sunset Orange).
Operationally, it couldn’t be more basic. Switch on and off by sliding the lens cover at the front, and at the back virtually all functions are performed via two circular ‘rocker’ controls. All shots are previewed through the 2.5-inch LCD screen and the compartment in the base houses the SD or xD Picture Card memory card and the battery.
If you had any lingering doubts about whether this camera was specifically targeted as a teen machine, then they will be instantly dismissed when you look at some of the new extras included in the menus. The most notable of these are the Auction mode which will group a series of pictures ready for upload to eBay and the Blog mode which will shrink the size of your images ready to be uploaded to such popular chat and sharing sites as FaceBook, MySpace or YouTube.
In addition, the 16 scene modes contain options like Night, Museum, Snow (all snowboarders say ‘Yay!’), Beach and of course Party. To further enhance the party spirit, there’s an automatic Face Detection facility which will identify up to 10 faces in the frame, focus on them and balance the lighting conditions. Red-eye can be corrected either before you take the picture or immediately after it, so you don’t have to rely on fiddly graphics packages, and an Anti-Blur mode uses a fast shutter speed to reduce camera shake.
The Intelligent Flash option lets you decide whether or not using natural light is preferable as you can even take a combo of Flash and Natural Light and then make your your mind up after seeing the results. There’s a maximum ISO 1600 sensitivity and you have the benefit of 7.2 megapixels of detail, plus 3x optical zoom. Photos can be viewed on the LCD either singly or up to 100 at a time, though the latter isn’t recommended if you suffer from headaches following the party the night before.
The only pointless addition to the technology is the irSimple function which enables you to beam your photos via infra-red to another camera. As this only works with another camera using the same irSimple system, and you’ve already got a supplied USB cable to link up directly to a PC, why the need for such old-fashioned connectivity?
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