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Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP Review
Date: Apr 1, 2009
Wednesday, Mar 11, 2009 - Here's what you can expect to find in
- FinePix Z33WP (Blue)
- No memory card [Fujifilm sent me a 1GB Fujifilm SD
Card for the review]
- Li-ion Battery NP-45 3.7V 710mAh
- Battery Charger BC-45W
- Wrist Strap
- USB Cable (no A/V Cable)
- Printed Documentation: Basic Manual
- Software CD: Software for FinePix BZ Version
5.41 for Windows and Macintosh; Owner's Manual
The Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP is an ultra compact digital camera that looks very stylish, fashionable and is sealed against dust and water, making it a good choice for those with an active lifestyle. Its low affordable price also means you can put one in the hands of your kid and you've got a perfect vacation gift that he or she can take to the beach and swimming pool. It is ultra compact, so it can be easily slipped into a shirt or Jeans pocket.
Fujifilm rates the FinePix Z33WP's waterproof and dustproof performance as equivalent to IP68. Normally, IP68 means that the equipment is hermetically sealed. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that produces no harmful effects.
The Owner's Manual has a long list of dos and don'ts and basically recommends that: the camera be submerged not more than 3 m (9.8 ft) and for not more than 2 hours consecutively; not to submerge in hot water such as a hot spring bath [no mention of heated swimming pool]; not to dive with the camera [the shock of hitting the water can damage it]; not to leave the camera on the hot sand [sand can get into the speaker and microphone]; not to expose the camera to direct sunlight for long period [the heat of direct sunlight can damage it]; that the oils from sunscreen lotion may discolor the camera; not to use soapy water, detergent or other cleaning liquid to clean the camera; and that the waterproof sealing material might need to be replaced once a year to maintain the camera's water resistance.
Phew! That's a long list, but all common sense really. What it means is that you are supposed to handle and take care of this camera as you do any other digital camera. The Z33WP is not shockproof. Only thing extra on this model is the waterproofing. As such, the Z33WP is for the casual active user, not for those into extreme sports.
I like the "buttons" on the back of the camera. It's really a hard plastic skin with square bumps. I can place my thumb on it without actually pressing any button. But when I do need to press a button, it is easy and the button clicks positively with a nice tactile feedback so you know you've done it. The whole design has a somewhat pleasant "organic" feel to it.
There is no mechanical image stabilization and the shutter release button is quite small which can make it rather challenging at times to hold the camera rock steady. Best results are obtained in the bright outdoors where the camera can use a shutter speed fast enough to negate camera shake.
For those who like to update their blog or Facebook with pictures, the Auction scene mode allows you to combine four consecutive shots in a single 640x480 pixels image for uploading to the Web. There are also 12 in-camera editing functions: Aspect Ratio, Brightness, Contrast, Color, Sepia, Illustration, Painting Effect, Miniature Effect, Zooming, Drop Shadow, Diagonal Crop, and Face Mosaic.
Soaking the camera in fresh tap
water for 10 min.
Here is a 10 min soak in fresh water, requisite after each water adventure. Shake off the water, wipe the camera and lens dry, and it is immediately good to go!
One thing you have to be careful when using the camera in the water is
that water droplets will inevitably get splashed onto the lens and just one water droplet on the
lens will result in a foggy patch on your picture. Wipe or shake the
water droplets off the lens before taking pictures again.
I personally find it pretty difficult to obtain good underwater pictures in the ocean or in the swimming pool, but your experience may be different. I guess you need lots of light and crystal clear water, two preconditions to any successful underwater photography. Using flash underwater just seems to result in glare.
The wrist strap that comes with the Z33WP unfortunately does not
have an eyelet to fasten the strap tightly around
your wrist. If you are going to take this camera underwater, on the boat or skiing, it is just too easy to accidentally let
go of the camera -- and watch it sink to the bottom
of the ocean floor or crash onto the deck of the boat. I strongly recommend that you purchase a strap with an eyelet (and it can be from a different compact camera model and brand). [I use the wrist strap with eyelet that comes standard with the Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR.]
There is an optional Floating Strap FS-FXZ33 that keeps your camera afloat in case you should drop it in the water. A floating camera is easier to retrieve than one that has sinked to the bottom of the swimming pool or sea bed.
The outer surface of the camera is not scratch-resistant, so if you want to keep your Z33WP shining for a long time to come, we recommend the optional durable protective Silicone Jacket SJ-FXZ33 which protects your Z33WP against scratches and small bumps while still allowing you to control the camera functions.
The FinePixViewer software is one of my favorite
because all the information is contained in one
screen. Each image's filename is clearly visible
and you do not need to launch another window to
view the EXIF info. You can also do basic image
editing, re: auto adjust, manual adjust of brightness, saturation, hue, contrast, sharpness, sepia, B&W, correct red-eye.
A Basic Manual in how to setup and operate your camera is provided in print. The Owner's Manual is now on the CD, which means you can't carry it with you, but on the other hand it is easily searchable.
The Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP is a fun and stylish digital camera that produces good images with point-and-shoot simplicity.
Recommended for the casual active user who wants to take pictures in inclement weather or loves to spend time in the swimming pool, on the beach or boating. It is well designed, colorful and should turn heads wherever you use it. Walking into the swimming pool or ocean with this digital camera is sure to elicit amazement from those around you.