The Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP is the first waterproof digital camera from Fujifilm and claims to be the world's smallest 3m waterproof digital camera. Housed in a solid and colorful shell, the FinePix Z33WP can be submerged up to 3m (10 feet). At only 20.6 mm (0.8 in.) thin, this ultra compact digital camera can be easily carried in a jeans pocket or fashion purse though I suspect this stylish and fun-looking camera will be spending more time on the beach or in the pool.
The waterproofing is made possible by a case
that has only one opening: the Battery/SD memory card Cover, which has a rubber "pad"
to provide waterproofing protection. The cover slides
shut securely and requires that you push a switch before you can slide it open, i.e. there is no chance
of accidentally opening it underwater or of
it opening up inadvertently.
Interestingly, the terminal connector is also found inside this battery/memory card compartment, which means that everytime you want to transfer pictures from the camera to your PC, you'll have to access this compartment.
The lens is at top right (viewed from the front)
and so you need to be careful your left finger(s) do
not get in the way. Since there is already a waterproof glass cover protecting the lens, Fujifilm engineers have decided it is not necessary to have a lens barrier on the Z33WP.
The Fujifilm Z33WP is very attractive in its two-tone colors with chrome accents.
It is available in three, four or five different colors, depending on the country: Black, Green, Pink or Blue (also Yellow exclusively at Wal-Mart). There is
no hand/finger grip, so the use of
the wrist strap is highly recommended. However, there is no eyelet to fasten the strap tightly around
your wrist. The lens
never extends outside the body.
Startup is approx. 2 sec. Shot to
shot time averages at about 3.3 sec. (@ 3 shots in 10 sec.). The LCD screen blanks out for about 2 sec. after each shot. It can take up to 3 sec. to fully write a 3648 x 2736 (10M) image to memory card.
Colors: Black, Green, Pink, Blue or Yellow with two-tone colors and chrome
Looks: fun, sporty
Comfortable enough to hold and operate, though
can be slippery
Controls & FUNC. menu are easy enough
Buttons are on the small side
Ultra Compact: fits in a jeans pocket or
small fashion purse
Dimensions: 92.0 x 59.6 x 20.6 mm /
3.6 x 2.3 x 0.8 in.
Weight: 110 g / 3.9 oz. without battery
and media card
Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP Top View
(Mouseover image for an approx. of actual size)
The top of the camera has the Power button and
Shutter Release button. Both buttons are on the small
side. Improvement suggestion: a bigger
Shutter Release button.
Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP Back View
There is no optical viewfinder but there is a large 2.7-inch LCD monitor on the back of the camera with 230K dots resolution. The display is bright and clear and gains up only very slightly in low light. In good lighting, there is no practical shutter lag and AF is fast and precise. There is no AF-assist Illuminator but AF in low lighting is also pretty fast and precise, though it can take up to 1-2 sec. to lock in very low light. It is not possible to select where on the screen you want the camera to focus.
There are ten "buttons" at the back in two columns and five rows. It's a pretty clever arrangement and, although there is no unoccupied space, you can rest your thumb on the buttons to hold the camera without activating any of them. The buttons click in positively with just the right amount of tactile feedback.
Anti-Blur (Picture Stabilization) will select a high ISO and favors a fast
shutter speed so as to reduce blur
caused by camera shake and/or subject movement.
There are 21 shooting modes in all accessible thru the MENU/OK button: Manual (really, P), AUTO, SR (Scene Recognition) AUTO,
Natural Light & Flash, Natural Light, Underwater, Auction Mode, Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night (Tripod), Sunset, Snow, Beach, Museum, Party, Flower, Text, Anti-Blur, Successive Movie.
SR AUTO automatically analyzes and selects a scene mode: Portrait, Landscape, Night, Macro, Backlight Portrait, or Night Portrait.
You can record movies with monaural sound at either 640x480 or 320x240 pixels at 30fps. Successive Movie scene mode allows you to join a series of short clips into a single movie (max. length is 60 sec.). The table below gives an approx. of the number of movie minutes you can record.
MACRO allows you to focus as close
as 8cm (3.2 in.) at wide-angle.
Accessed in MENU.
Long Period: @ 0.3fps
Final 3: max. 0.6fps
Top-3: max. 0.6fps
The drive mode is not kept after each shot and when the camera is turned off.
Accessed in MENU
Once set, the Exposure Compensation
Indicator conveniently stays displayed
on screen until it is reset to "0".
Range: -2 EV to +2 EV (1/3 EV increments)
Note: the exposure compensation value
selected is retained even when the camera
is turned off (so remember to reset
to "0" after using it or the
next time you turn the camera on, your
shots may be over- or under-exposed).
Press this dedicated button to start/stop movie recording.
You cannot use optical zoom during recording. You can use digital zoom.
Besides acting as a Display button
to select whether info is displayed
on screen or not, this button also serves
as a "Back" button to back
out of MENU choices -- something like
the Cancel key on your computer keyboard.
A Framing Grid can be displayed.
Press and hold the DISP/BACK button down for about 2 sec. to toggle the camera in and out of Silent Mode
On the bottom of the camera is a plastic tripod socket placed at the very left edge of the camera. On the other side is the Battery / memory card / terminal connector Compartment. There is a small latch to secure the battery from falling when the door is opened. You might be able to change battery or memory card while the camera is mounted on a tripod.
Included in the box is a rechargeable Li-ion Battery NP-45, which takes about 110 min to recharge fully. Fujifilm rates the battery to be about 200
shots per charge, so a spare battery is highly
The Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP is small and the buttons are smaller still. You should definitely try it out before purchasing. Otherwise, it is very well designed and easy to use. Ultra compact, light and with a somewhat "organic" design, the Z33WP is one affordable digital camera I quickly grew fond of.