Fujifilm FinePix Z100fd
Stylish, slim compact camera
- Stylish design, minimal shutter lag
- Noise issues, lack of colour options hurts accuracy, irritating menu structure
A decent but still somewhat disappointing compact, the FujiFilm FinePix Z100fd produces decent pictures at low ISO settings. It's hampered by an annoying interface and some image quality issues.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
If Kermit the Frog is to be believed, it ain’t easy being green. However, we believe the FujiFilm FinePix Z100fd would disagree. This extremely stylish chrome/green camera features great build quality and an attractive design, making it ideal for fashion-conscious buyers. Unfortunately, it does have a few issues, including a poorly laid out menu system and lower than average image quality.
The menu structure was our single biggest problem with this camera. It has a very simple set of controls with no function wheel and most of the work is done with the five-way directional pad. While this helps keep things centralised it also means all the scene modes are cluttered in a single list with the menus. So to access any of the shooting options such as exposure or white balance you have to navigate through multiple scene modes; there are no shortcuts or hotkeys. It was incredibly frustrating having to use six or seven clicks just to change the exposure during our testing.
There were also a few image quality issues. The sensor is 'only' 8 megapixels, which isn’t low by any stretch of the imagination but it is towards the bottom end of what compacts offer these days. Shots were a little soft, although they’ll be more than adequate for regular-sized prints. Chromatic aberration was somewhat prominent and caused a fair amount of purple fringing but this is pretty standard for a compact with a tiny lens like this one.
Noise was also an issue. Even at ISO 200 there was some chroma-speckling and by ISO 400 the colourful graininess was quite prominent. There was some obvious detail loss at this level and ISO 800 and beyond were even worse. We wouldn’t recommend going above ISO 200 unless you’re not particularly concerned with the output.
Colour balance was decent but the lack of a custom white balance option or different colour modes (vivid, natural etc.) hurt the overall accuracy in some shooting situations. Photos taken outdoors looked pretty good using automatic white balance but in our indoor chart shots some primaries were quite pale and somewhat over-saturated.
In our speed tests the results were mixed. The camera had a tiny shutter speed of 0.04 seconds, but time between shots was just over three seconds and its start-up time was similar.
While its performance in our other tests wasn’t stellar, the Z100fd certainly gets full marks for design. We love how this camera looks. Its colourful front and slide-down lens cover are both extremely stylish and the square design is sturdy yet slick. It feels weighty but will easily slip into a pocket or small bag. The 3in display is also relatively impressive.
Features wise the unit is a little scant, but it has the basics. Face detection is included along with sensor-shift image stabilisation to help keep the shakes from ruining your shots. It also has a 5x optical zoom.
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