Steve's Conclusion

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Steve's SnapShotfuji_z700exr_450.jpg

  • 12-Megapixel Super CCD EXR image sensor 
  • Fujinon internal 5x optical zoom lens: 35mm equivalent of 35-175mm
  • 3.5-inch, 460,000 pixel Touch LCD screen
  • Dual Direction Interface
  • Touch Screen image capture
  • Sensor Shift image stabilization
  • Face Detection and Tracking
  • Face Recognition
  • 720p HD video capture
  • Quick uploading to Facebook and YouTube
  • EXR Auto (Scene Recognition auto)
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion battery
  • SD/SDHC memory card compatible

Pros
  • Great Image quality
  • EXR Auto mode produces best images
  • Sensor shift image sensor assists with handheld images
  • Easy touch screen interface
  • Excellent Performance
Cons
  • Flash is not very powerful
  • Disappointing battery life
  • Edge softness in indoor images
  • Wide end of zoom starts at 35mm
  • Mono Audio Recording
  • No HDMI output
  • Does not export any video without an adapter
Timing Test Results
  • Power up to first image captured = 4.0  seconds
  • Shutter lag when prefocused  = less than 1/10 of a second
  • Shutter lag with autofocus = 4/10 - 6/10 of a second
  • Shot to shot delay wo/flash = 1.22 seconds
  • Shot to shot delay w/flash = 2.80 seconds
  • Burst mode = 2.94fps (5 images)
  • All tests were taken using a 2GB Lexar Pro 133X SD memory card, EXR  Automode, Flash off and all other settings at the factory defaults unless noted otherwise.
Bottom Line
Fuji's FinePix Z700EXR is an incredibly stylish and powerful digicam. Featuring a 3.5-inch Touch LCD, 5x optical zoom lens, sensor-shift image stabilization and 720p video capture, its loaded with useful features. These features are matched by its great image quality and performance.  
Pick This Up If...
You are looking for a powerful digicam that you can easily take with you in a purse or pocket. This is also a good choice for anyone that is looking for a point and shoot that everyone in their household can use effectively.
Fuji's FinePix Z700EXR is an ultra-compact digicam sporting a 3.5-inch, 460,000 dot Touch LCD screen as the main feature. This screen has eliminated all of the controls from the back of the camera, only leaving the zoom and shutter controls on top. It also features and internal Fujinon 5x optical zoom lens with sensor shift image stabilization, Fuji's versatile and powerful Super CCD EXR imaging sensor, 720p HD video recording, face detection with face recognition and a user interface that changes with the orientation of the camera; similar to that of a smart phone. This powerful and stylish camera is available in 4 colors: Black, Silver, Red and Pink.

Fuji's Super CCD EXR imaging sensor allows it, or you, to choose its shooting mode between its highest resolution, increased sensitivity, or a higher dynamic range. This allows the camera to go one step further than any other brand of camera when it comes to their intelligent shooting modes. Just about everyone has cameras that will automatically choose the correct scene mode for the current situation, but the Fuji EXR Auto chooses the sensor mode on top of the scene mode to give you a more specialized setting.

Handling the Z700EXR is easy after a short adjustment period, if you are not used to using a touch screen similar to what you would find on a touch enabled cell phone. All of the camera's controls have been moved to the touch screen, only leaving the shutter release and zoom on top of the camera, although you can capture images by touching the LCD as well. At 3.5 inches, the Touch LCD is one of the largest and highest quality screens you will find on a consumer digicam with 460,000 dots of resolution. The screen itself is accurate and easy to use as long as the camera's processor is not working. If it is, the touch screen will not work until it finishes. It is very easy to see in all lighting conditions thanks to having 11 brightness adjustment settings. 

Looking at our outdoor samples, we can see that Fuji's EXR Auto shooting mode works as promised. These images show a well exposed image that has more contrast, more vibrant colors and more dynamic range than the images captured in manual mode. Using the 5x optical zoom lens, with a 35mm equivalent, to compose your images is incredibly easy. It supplies a descent wide end, but nothing spectacular, allowing you to capture a group portrait or fairly wide landscape. On the telephoto end the zoom will get you a little closer to your subject, but is it not enough to really get you up close to a distant object. The camera did an excellent job of controlling chromatic aberrations and barrel distortion, but we did see some noise in the dark, low contrast areas.

Our indoor images show us an image that is very sharp in the middle, but softens around the edges. ISO 100 through 400 provided us with acceptable amounts of noise, although the dark, low contrast areas show more than the rest of the image. Any ISO setting over 400 loses a great deal of sharpness and detail. Only ISO 800 will provide a descent looking print, and only if you keep it small. Assisting with your low-light shooting, Fuji has included a small flash with a range of up to 12.8ft. at ISO Auto. It was powerful enough to light our M&M man scene at ISO 100 from about 5ft. away. 

Portrait photography is very easy thanks to the camera's face detection technology. It detects and tracks faces with ease, producing an excellent exposure and realistic looking skin tones. Add the red-eye reduction flash and you do not have to worry about how your portraits will come out. We did see that the ISO levels were a little high, adding additional noise to the image while the camera was compensating for the backlit scene. The Z700EXR also helps keep your subjects in order, allowing you to tag and save your faces in the camera. Once a recognized face has been captured, the camera will automatically tag it for you, saving you a step when you automatically upload to Facebook or YouTube.

For those times when a single image just isn't enough, the Z700EXR gives you the ability to capture video with sound at 720p HD resolution. Our sample shows a descent exposure, fitting in between the highlights and shadows. In the low-light areas, you will see a noticeable amount noise that will really show up when watching on a HDTV. The zoom is not available while recording, but it can be set before hand. The built-in mic is very sensitive and picks all sounds around the camera. This results in a lot of background noise, so be careful where you position yourself when shooting. 

Powering the Z700EXR is a 3.7V, 700mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery. This small battery does not hold very much juice, leaving us short on completing our tests on a single charge. On a single charge, we were only able to capture 118 images and a few short videos before the battery was completely dead, falling way short of the 170 images that Fuji claims is possible by using CIPA testing standards. You will definitely want to have at least one spare battery with you at all times, which is an easy task thanks to the included quick charger.

Bottom Line - Fuji's FinePix Z700EXR is a head turning, 12-Megapixel digicam. Featuring a 3.5-inch touch screen with an orientation changing interface, it can easily be used vertically or horizontally while allowing you to capture images just by touching the screen. It also sports Fuji's EXR Auto mode and EXR imaging sensor, an internal 5x optical zoom, 720p HD video capture and Face Recognition, giving it an outstanding feature set. Our samples show the great image quality provided by the EXR system (except for the edge softness). The only drawback to the camera is the small battery, which only allowed 118 images. With a MSRP of US $279.95, this is a quality camera for the price. Another touch screen camera to look into is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX75 for $299.95

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.

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