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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP


   

Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP Review

Review Date: Apr 1, 2009

Category: Point-and-Shoot

Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP
Choose your color: Blue | Green | Pink | Black | Yellow

HANDLING & FEEL

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.

STYLE
- Colors: Black, Green, Pink, Blue or Yellow with two-tone colors and chrome accents.
- Looks: fun, sporty
   
FEEL
- Comfortable enough to hold and operate, though can be slippery
- Controls & FUNC. menu are easy enough to use
- Buttons are on the small side
   
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
- 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
- Takes 1 rechargeable Li-ion Battery NP-45 3.7V 710mAh
   
SPEED OF OPERATION
- Startup and LCD turning on in about 2 sec.
- Shot to shot time averages 3.3 sec.
- No practical shutter lag in good lighting
   

Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP Top View

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 Z33WP Back View

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.

Video Storage Capacity
(h m s)
Internal
(50MB)
1GB
VGA
640x480
30fps
56s
18m 13s
QVGA
320x240
30fps
1m 29s
28m 51s

 

SD Memory Card Storage Capacity (approx. # images)
Quality
Pixels
Internal (50MB)
1GB
10M F
3648 x 2736
10
202
10M N
3648 x 2736
20
402
9M 3:2
3648 x 2432
23
451
5M
2592 x 1944
40
779
3M
2048 x 1536
62
1222
2M
1600 x 1200
78
1520
0.3M
640 x 480
321
6234

As the above chart shows, at 10M Fine, only 10 images can be saved into the Internal Memory. We recomend that you purchase at least a 1GB SD memory card.

FUNCTIONS ACCESSIBLE BY CONTROL BUTTONS (clockwise starting from the Zoom Button)
- Zoom: It takes about 2 sec. to zoom from wide-angle to telephoto (I counted 9 steps).
- Selector (Arrow) buttons: UP=Delete, RIGHT=Flash, DOWN=Self-timer, LEFT=Macro
- Playback
- MENU/OK
- Display / Back
- Movie
   
MACRO
-

MACRO allows you to focus as close as 8cm (3.2 in.) at wide-angle.

 

 

CONTINUOUS SHOOTING
-

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.
   
EXPOSURE COMPENSATION
- 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).
   
MOVIE
-

Press this dedicated button to start/stop movie recording.

-

You cannot use optical zoom during recording. You can use digital zoom.

 

 

DISP/BACK
- 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.
   
SILENT MODE
- 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 recommended.

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.

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