Fujifilm Z70 review

Review Date : Thu, 9 Sep 2010

Author :

Fujifilm Z70 front
Fujifilm Z70 front Fujifilm Z70 top Fujifilm Z70 back

As the latest camera in Fujifilm's unconventionally styled Z series, the Z70 is aimed at younger users looking for something a little different its basic specifications entirely befit its modest price tag.

Pros: Video button, large shutter release button, style
Cons: Barrel distortion at wideangle, various image quality issues

Fujifilm Z70 features

The Fujifilm Z70 has a 12.2MP CCD sensor, which captures images and video, while the 5x optical zoom lens offers a range of 36-180mm. The rear is dominated by a 2.7in LCD screen with a fairly standard resolution of 230,000 dots, and while a 1280x720p HD movie mode is offered, a HDMI output is not.

A button on the rear of the Fujifilm Z70 has been provided for the direct uploading of images and videos to Facebook and YouTube. In addition to this, the playback menu hosts an impressive number of editing features such as converting movies to black and white, applying lighting correction, and trimming footage down, while images may be cropped to particular aspect ratios or have their colours changed.

Power is provided by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, while all images are recorded onto either SD or SDHC memory cards.

Fujifilm Z70 build and handling


Powering up the camera is done by sliding the lens cover down, which unveils both the lens and a small flash. This happens is good time, as does powering down. The menu system is also clear with regards to its various options, and the camera is about as responsive as we would expect.

Sadly the same cannot be said of the Fujifilm Z70's focusing system, which requires struggles when the scene lacks contrast and sufficient brightness. This is true of many similar compacts, but a side-by-side comparison with other budget compacts shows them to perform far better here.   

While the shutter release button on top of the model is generously sized, the design of the camera otherwise impedes quick operation. For example, the buttons on the rear of the camera are contoured to fit into one rectangular block. There's little separation between them, and the left and right menu pad buttons are situated on a raised area while the up and down buttons are on a slight depression. This would be particularly problematic in low light, were it not for the backlighting which illuminates some of these options.

On the other hand, the movie functionality has been implemented particularly well. A small button next to the shutter facilitates one-touch recording, while the three recording options state exactly how much footage may be recorded at each setting. 

While the optical zoom may also be used throughout video recording, the speed at which the lens travels means that it takes some time for the camera to find focus once it stops zooming. Together with the noise from zooming the camera's optic, this can make the end result a little underwhelming.  
 

Fujifilm Z70 image quality

On the whole, image quality is fair. Colour is generally faithful, although it does tend to be a little on the muted side.

Similarly, while white balance is good, it is often a little too warm. The camera's metering system can be relied upon to provide good exposures, although as with many similar compacts highlight detail is easily lost in high-contrast situations as the scene exceeds the dynamic range of the sensor.

The Fujifilm Z70 manages to capture a fair amount of detail, which includes a reasonable amount of shadow detail, though images on all sensitivities are characterised by a coarseness which results from noise and noise reduction.

Sharpness is well maintained to the edges and corners of the frame, with just a slight drop regarding with regards to the latter, while vignetting is minimal at wide aperture.

There is a fair amount of chromatic aberration, including some purple fringing, although this is largely confined to the edges of the frame. The most significant aberration with regards to the camera's optic is pronounced barrel distortion, visible at the 36mm wideangle.

Verdict

The Fujifilm Z70's headline features, together with its design and the bold colours option in which it is available, leaves no doubt as to the market at which the Fujifilm Z70 is targeted. While its image quality is satisfactory, the camera as a whole is perhaps better to suited to those who envisage having fun shooting, editing and uploading photos and video, rather than to those who simply want a compact that will take everyday pictures.


Compact Camera Reviews

Price as reviewed

£95.00

Scores

Scores
Design 16/20
Image Quality 15/20
Performance 16/20
Value 18/20
Features 16/20
Overall Score 81%

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