FujiFilm FinePix Z900EXR review

Upgraded, stylish touchscreen compact digital camera
Photo of FujiFilm FinePix Z900EXR
£229.99

FujiFilm has always included a smart range of chic, compact digital cameras with new technologies in its repertoire, and last year’s attractive FinePix Z800EXR was one of the brightest in the constellation. This year’s upgraded FinePix Z900EXR is a bid to go one better in the eyes of the style-conscious crowd.

There’s no denying the Z900EXR’s striking design, with a deliciously curved sliding faceplate at the front in bold shades of electric blue, bubblegum pink, flaming red or jet black. It’s even slimmer than its predecessor (101x59x18mm), and weighs a mere 151g with battery and SD memory card installed, so it’s perfect for slipping into a pocket or handbag.

New and improved
Round the back of the camera, you’ll see there’s no room for any controls apart from a Home button at the right edge. The space is entirely taken up by a 3.5in, 16:9 widescreen LCD touchscreen with a resolution of 460,000 pixels.

One major improvement over the previous model is the ability now to shoot Full HD movies (1080p rather than 720p) at 30fps using the ‘instant record’ button on the top, and then play them back instantly on a big-screen display via the HDMI port on the side – there’s even a ‘high speed’ option to view in slow motion.

And that’s not all that’s been improved. There’s a completely new sensor – the BSI (‘Back Side Illuminated’) EXR CMOS sensor – which has a 16-megapixel resolution, and allows you to choose between three EXR capture settings: High Resolution (HR), Wide Dynamic Range (DR) and High Sensitivity and Low Noise (SN). If you’re not entirely sure which option to go for, just opt for the new EXR Auto mode or one of the host of individual settings which have their own icons on the screen.

Good touchscreen, noisy zoom
Popular choices will almost certainly include the 360-degree panorama shot, Touch and Shoot (tap on your target on the screen and you instantly focus and click), Touch and Track (keeping moving subjects in frame and sharp) and the Face Recognition ability to ‘remember’ up to eight people you’ve already snapped.

The 28-140mm 5x optical zoom functions smoothly (and can be used during movie shooting, although it struggles a bit at the top end) but the sound the zoom makes is very noticeable in video clips. Although the ISO limit has been extended to 6400, it’s unlikely you’ll ever use that setting as the best still results are up to 800. Daylight colours are especially vibrant, and focusing is swift and sharp – but one constant annoyance is the rather stiff faceplate, which is easy to open but awkward to close. As there’s only a small ridged area on which to rest your thumb, this isn’t the most comfortable of cameras to hold, and you have to keep checking your left finger hasn’t strayed in front of the lens.

Company: FujiFilm

Website: http://www.fujifilm.co.uk/

Contact: FujiFilm on 0844 553 2322

Positives
  • Much improved EXR sensor.
Negative
  • Tricky to hold comfortably.

Verdict

The FujiFilm FinePix Z900EXR is undoubtedly an improvement over its predecessor, with a revamped sensor, Full HD movie capability and some fun touch screen options - but it's not the easiest to hold and the zoom could be less noisy.