Test review of the Fujifilm FinePix Z200fd digital camera
Fujifilm may be keeping quiet on the DSLR front, but it certainly isn’t averse to a regular refresh of its compact line. The Z200fd is one of its latest introductions, upgrading the Z100fd with a 10MP sensor, 5x optical zoom and large 2.7in LCD screen on the rear. Out of these only the pixel count has changed from the model it replaces, though new additions of Couple and Group Timers work with the face detection system to optimise people shots.
A 5x zoom lens is a boon on such a model, though starting at an equivalent 33mm means this could alienate wideangle aficionados. Getting it into such a small body is also an impressive feat, and at just 19.8mm thick the model’s compactness is a perfect match to its stylish outer.
Sliding the lens cover reveals the optic, which is located close to the top edge of the body – as with the Z100fd, this makes it rather easy to get a stray finger into the shot, if holding the camera with both hands. Operation otherwise is fine, with a small dial and two pairs of buttons facilitating all key functions. There’s also a dedicated button on the top for face detection, which, depending on how often it would be used, would probably work better as a customisable control.
Other features include an ISO range of 64-1600, sensor-based image stabilisation and plenty of scene modes. Wireless transfer of images is possible thanks to the infrared sensor located on the camera’s side, as is taking images for eBay via the Auction scene mode.
Despite an average resolution for the camera’s LCD screen, it’s remarkably responsive with no lagging as you move around the scene, while focusing is speedy, in both its standard and macro modes.
Something else that works well is face detection – particularly when the subject fills the frame and I was suitably impressed by how well it detected subjects side on, though at the same time it also seemed a little too keen on recognising random subjects as faces.
Image quality is fairly average. By far the main downside is the chromatic aberration that is noticeable on many images, though the lens also fails to maintain good sharpness towards the corners and edges of the frame.
Exposures are fine and in good light images are reasonably sharp, but as light levels drop, so does the camera’s ability to retain a reasonable amount of detail without softening the image too much.
It’s another case of a camera that performs well when the light is good, but less so when subject to trickier conditions.