Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fujifilm Finepix Z90 or This Time It Cost Me

I stand before you a sadder but wiser woman. I was lead down the path by the Fujifilm Finepix Z90. It was black, slim and cool to the touch.

FujiFilm Z90
I spun it around and liked what I saw, a three photo panorama mode that helps line up shots. A clear touch screen; or so I thought. On-screen shutter buttons. My fingers began to play and I couldn't stop. I didn't want to.

I forgot the prime directives. Never shop while stressed. Never walk near a photo isle of a department store when stressed. Soon I was tapping my way in and out of various modes.

Next thing I knew I was at the counter with a receipt in my hand. I bring my purchase home.

This is my test of outdoors in full sunlight:

It is not horrible. Just not great. Here are the specs:

  • Sensor size: 1/2.3-inch CCD or less than 25mm in size. Small. Really small.
  • 5X optical zoom, in this little bitty thing that is surprising.
  • Wide Angle Lens f=5.0 - 25.0 mm, equivalent to 28-140 mm on a 35 mm camera.
  • Video: AVI using Motion JPEG for a camera this size I'm okay with it.
  • Audio: Wave format but the microphone is right next to the zoom mechanism. Now you shouldn't use the zoom when you are recording but there are times when you gotta go for it. If you do and the sound is not louder than the zoom you will know about it.
For $149 it sounds like a deal. Wide angle, 5X zoom and able to fit in my wallet.

In practicality the touch screen does work but if you use the auto functions and depend on the auto focus you might not get what you expect.

For example, I recorded video thinking it was HD. It wasn't. The screen told me so but there was so many icons on the screen I missed it. I couldn't find the blankety blank video change mode until I went back to the manual and read the section.

That would be the manual on the CD. That manual is a work of minimalism technical writing. There is also a Quick Start Guide which will get you up and running but spends more time telling what not to do than what you can do.

You have to be extra careful not to have your hand in the recording. The lens is more toward the left side of the camera body where my hand is trying to find a place to hold onto the camera.

The f3.9 stop tended to blow out colors more than I thought it should. Shooting videos with this camera means that you will have to find the right mode for bright sun or any other lighting condition you do not want to leave to a pre-set mode.

Letting the camera decide that for you is not the way.

It should not be this much work. Even if you do know the right ISO setting there is only so much you can do with that teeny tiny sensor.

I'll keep it as my day to day camera. I need something I can carry. I shouldn't have bought it in the first place.

I'm thinking it is a diamond in the rough. I hope.

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