Fujifilm FinePix Z90 Review
Not only do Fujifilm design cameras that are high specification and bursting with innovative features, they also design sexy little cameras that burst with innovative features. The FinePix Z90 is one such camera with its elegant design, 3 inch touch-screen, motion panorama mode and film/photo editing in camera. Housing a 14 megapixel CCD, 5x optical zoom and useful shooting modes such as digital image stabilisation and scene recognition, the slim Fujifilm FinePix Z90 will appeal to users who enjoy point and shoot simplicity in a camera that can be placed in a pocket even if it's switched on. The Fujifilm FinePix Z90 costs £139.99 / $169.95 and is available in pink, black, silver, red, blue or purple.
Ease of Use
The large metal lens cover has a double benefit for the Fujifilm FinePix Z90 because it not only protects the lens but it also removes the need for a power button on the top of the camera. Sliding it down reveals the lens in the top left corner of the body with the slim-line flash located in the centre.
There is a downfall to all this, though. A dedicated video button has been placed on top of the camera for easy video shooting and this is a great idea but the problem we found was that as we finished shooting, we instinctively pressed the button on the top of the camera because it's in the same location as 99% of power buttons on other cameras. We were left with countless bits of video on the memory card of our hands, pockets and on one occasion, nostrils.
Another infuriating problem with the Z90 is if you accidentally leave the camera on, it goes into hibernate. Not a bad thing in itself but there's no way of waking it unless you switch the camera off and back on. It would be great to just be able to half press the shutter or press the camera shooting button.
To add to the reduction of buttons, the Fujifilm FinePix Z90 has a 3 inch touch-screen for all your main operations. In fact the only buttons on the back are the shooting and playback buttons which you press to toggle between taking pictures and looking at the ones you've already taken. The zoom is wrapped around the shutter which means there's a vast amount of space on the back which is simply not doing anything. It's used as a thumbrest when not pressing buttons and we feel that this is a more ideal place for the video button to be placed.
Program mode is the most versatile mode for general picture taking and to get into this mode or any other, press the top left symbol on the screen. It opens up 8 different options and is a sort of virtual command dial. There's the usual settings of program, scene modes, SR auto, auto and panorama but there's also other features that are exclusive to a touch-screen such as touch & shoot and touch & track. Touch & shoot is a simple operation whereby you touch the screen, the camera focuses on that point and automatically takes a picture. Touch & track will also lock onto the area you touch on screen but it will only lock focus regardless of where you move the camera or if the subject moves.
Along with flash and self-timer options, the button for the main menu also lines the left side of the screen. This is where you change other shooting features such as ISO, white-balance and resolution. Finepix colours are also in the main menu because the finepix button has been removed on the Z90. Even though the finepix button has been removed from the Z90, the menu is clear and extremely easy to use. The icons are thankfully large so even the fattest fingers won't press the wrong key.
The Fujifilm FinePix Z90 is a good build quality with a metal exterior and large, robust plate covering the lens when it's not in use. The battery door is plastic but has no bending or play in it. It feels weighty but not too heavy which we really like because it gives the impression of sturdiness. The only area that lets it down is the plastic tripod bush. However, with the digital image stabiliser there should be little use for a tripod unless setting the flash to slow synchro.
Inside the battery compartment the lithium ion battery sits next to the memory card. The Fujifilm FinePix Z90 takes SDXC cards which have ultra high capacities up to a theoretical size of 2Tb. For some reason Fuji have designed a battery and battery bay that allows insertion either way. Unfortunately the battery only works when inserted one way which makes it frustrating when loading it in and getting it the wrong way round. The touch-screen is very responsive, much better than some others that we've tried.
The Fujifilm FinePix Z90 features a 5x optical zoom which stretches from 28 - 140mm in 35mm terms. It's a standard focal range on a regular camera but the good thing about the Z90 is that it's all internal. In these cases, the lens will have an angled mirror behind it - like a periscope has - and the sensor will be placed either at the bottom of the camera facing up or the side of the camera facing across. The zoom function then moves across or up the camera body. Even though 28mm is generally classed as a standard wide setting these days, we found that at that setting, the camera suffers badly from barrel distortion.
In playback, there's lots to do. In fact, Fujifilm have added what seems like more features to the playback menu than the shooting menu. It's here that you'll find new image search and photobook assist modes. They're located down the side of the screen. The image search is denoted by a pair of binoculars and the photobook assist by a book. Pictures can be flicked through using the arrows on the right of the camera screen or by swiping your finger across the screen in the same it you'd preview images on a smart or android phone.
|Memory Card Slot
The Fujifilm FinePix Z90 is a nattily designed camera with modern, clean lines and an interesting layout. The touch-screen, while eliminating the need for loads of buttons, offers lots of options and access to different modes and some people could worry that it looks a bit cluttered. We also found that to get a clear view of the entire screen to see all the buttons, our fingers crept over the edge of the camera and hung over the lens.
We like the build of the Fujifilm FinePix Z90 the most, it's a solid, weighty unit with some good advanced offerings such as the SDXC compatibility. We feel that this is a camera suited to young families or simple point and shooters with its ease of use and features more geared up for recording special moments such as holidays or birthdays. However, we think the younger generation will also appreciate the modern design and will enjoy impressing friends when it gets pulled out for a snap on a night out in town.
In the box is a lithium ion battery and charger, driver software and quick start guide to get you shooting straight away. The full manual is on the disc that comes with the camera. There's also a wrist strap to prevent you from dropping the Z90.
All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 14 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 3.5Mb.
Considering that the Z90 is an entry level model, Fujifilm have made sure that the low ISO performance is very good. There's no problem with coloured noise or indeed salt and pepper noise in any parts of pictures taken at ISO 100 and a satisfactory result comes from all pictures up to and including ISO 400. Sure, a little bit of noise starts to creep in at this stage but it's tolerable. It starts to get really noticeable at ISO 800 with green blobs covering dark and mid-tone areas. By ISO 1600, the problem has exacerbated and edge definition is starting to falter. However, comparing ISO 1600 results to ISO 3200, there's a big difference so hats off to the noise reduction software. Black and shadow areas of pictures are bright purple at the top setting with green invading mid-tones and only the bleached whites escape it.
ISO 100 (100% Crop)
ISO 200 (100% Crop)
ISO 400 (100% Crop)
ISO 800 (100% Crop)
ISO 1600 (100% Crop)
ISO 3200 (100% Crop)
The Fujifilm FinePix Z90's 5x zoom lens provides a focal length of 28-140mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.
The processor and focus system work very well and pictures that are produced from the Fujifilm FinePix Z90 are nice and sharp but they definitely get a little boost using an editing suite such as Adobe Photoshop.
Original (100% Crop)
Sharpened (100% Crop)
Chromatic aberration (CA) does have a tendency to show itself in high contrast areas, usually when white is on a dark colour as opposed to the other way around.
Example 1 (100% Crop)
The Fujifilm FinePix Z90 has a macro facility with a close focusing of approximately 9cm. Centre sharpness is excellent while out towards the edges the image starts to become more blurry. On our sample picture of the memory card there appears to be a little pincushion on the vertical and bottom edges of the card.
There are 4 flash modes on the camera and they're accessed via the direct button on the screen to the left. Light spread is weighted towards the centre of the frame with some vague vignetting at the corners, even more so in the top right and bottom left. The darkness dissipates as the lens zooms in to its full telephoto range but it's still present to a degree.
Flash Off - Wide Angle (28mm)
Flash On - Wide Angle (28mm)
Flash Off - Telephoto (140mm)
Flash On - Telephoto (140mm)
The camera does have a tendency to give red-eye if the red-eye reduction is switched off and flash is enabled. However, we found that the red-eye reduction feature on the Fujifilm FinePix Z90 works very well and eliminated all of it in the picture.
|Flash On (100% Crop)
Red Eye Reduction
Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)
The night scene on the Fujifilm uses a slow exposure to get as much information as possible from a dark scene. However, even late at night we found that the camera used a higher ISO rating and a shutter speed of around 1.5 seconds. The white-balance doesn't cope very well either and in our test the pictures came out a bit too warm.
Night Shot (100% Crop)
This is a selection of sample images from the Fujifilm FinePix Z90 camera, which were all taken using the 14 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.
Sample Movie & Video
Front of the Camera
Front of the Camera / Turned On
Rear of the Camera
Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed
Rear of the Camera / Shooting Menu
Rear of the Camera / Shooting Menu
Rear of the Camera / Image Playback
Rear of the Camera / Playback Menu
Rear of the Camera / Image Search
Top of the Camera
Side of the Camera
Side of the Camera
Front of the Camera
Front of the Camera
Memory Card Slot
So let's take a look at what Fujifilm have achieved with the FinePix Z90: They have well made, slim, good-looking camera that takes good pictures and harbours some interesting technology such as the touch-screen and new panoramic stitch system. New users and young people will like features such as the face recognition and because of it's slim line build and good looks, it will be a staple requirement in a pocket or handbag on a night out.
But let's face it, it's only got really good new technology when compared against the Z70 which the Z90 is replacing. Notable differences are the touch-screen, higher resolution, one-touch video, “tap and shoot” and tagging for auto upload to Facebook and YouTube. Looking at it from the point of view of how good it is against the older model then Fujifilm have done a lot to the Z90. Probably because the camera looks so nice and has a good build quality to it, it's easy to think that it's got a higher market placing than the reality of it being a £100 compact. Looking at the Fujifilm FinePix Z90 from that perspective, while it's no ground breaker, the features it has are actually quite advanced.
Areas that we feel that the Fujifilm FinePix Z90 fails on are the battery being able to be inserted either way around but only working one way. We also don't like the video button being where it is. It looks too much like a power button and we found our memory card was littered with a few seconds of video as we thought we'd switched it off followed by a curse as realisation dawned, then the video ending.
If you're young, new to photography or simply want a camera that looks expensive without the actual real life expense, then the Fujifilm FinePix Z90 can provide that for you. The touch screen will make it look like a smart phone which are very on trend and the sleek design will impress your friends. If this is you, then check the Fujifilm FinePix Z90 out.
|Ratings (out of 5)
|Value for money
Reviews of the Fujifilm FinePix Z90 from around the web.
The FinePix Z90 is an affordable slim-line compact with a host of features. Read our What Digital Camera Fujifilm FinePix Z90 review to see if its a bargain or not...
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Fujifilm has released the FinePix Z90 following on from the successful FinePix Z70. With its built-in You Tube and Facebook features and modern styling, the FinePix Z90 brings social networking to the budget end of Fuji's compact camera market.
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|FinePix Z90 / Z91
|Number of effective pixels*1
|14.2 million pixels
|1/2.3-inch CCD with primary color filter
|Number of recorded pixels
|Approx. 6.8x (up to approx. 34x , with 5x optical zoom)
|F3.9 / F6.2 (Wide) F4.9 / F8 (Telephoto)
(from lens surface)
|Auto / ISO 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200
|TTL 256-zones metering
|Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night (Tripod), Sunset, Snow, Beach, Party, Flower, Text, Potrait enhancer
|Digital image stabilization
|-2.0EV - +2.0EV 1/3EV step
|(Auto mode) 1/4sec. to 1/2000sec., (All other modes) 4sec. to 1/2000sec.
|Automatic scene recognition
|Approx. 10sec. / 2sec. delay, Couple Timer, Group Timer
|Auto flash (i-flash)
Effective range : (ISO AUTO)
|Red-eye removal OFF : Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro.
Red-eye removal ON : Red-eye Reduction Auto, Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro.
|3.0-inch wide, approx. 230,000 dots, TFT color LCD monitor, Touch, approx. 96 % coverage, aspect ratio 16:9
|1280 x 720 pixels / 640 x 480 pixels (30frames/sec.) with monaural sound
|SR AUTO, Face Detection, Auto red-eye removal, Framing guide, Automatic LCD brightness adjustment, Frame No. memory, Touch & shoot, Auto, Tracking, Motion panorama, Natural Light, Natural Light & with Flash, Program
|Face Detection, Photobook assist, Image search, Erase selected frames, Slide show, Auto red-eye removal, Protect, Crop, Resize, Image rotate, Mark for upload, Multi-frame playback, Dual image display, Favorite, Panorama
|PictBridge, Exif Print, 35 languages selection, Time difference, Silent mode
|NP-45A Li-ion battery (included)
|95.4(W) x 56.9(H) x 20.1(D) mm / 3.8(W) x 2.2(H) x 0.8(D) in.
(Minimum depth : 17.45 mm / 0.7in.)
|Approx. 133g / 4.7oz. (excluding accessories, battery and memory card)
Approx. 150g / 5.3oz. (including accessories, battery and memory card)
|0°C - 40°C
|10% - 80% (no condensation)
|Guide to the number of available frames for battery operation
|Approx. 220frames (AUTO mode)
|Li-ion battery NP-45A
Battery charger BC-45B
|Li-ion battery NP-45A
Battery charger BC-45W
HD Player HDP-L1