Fujifilm's advanced Z900 EXR model boasts a large touchscreen display and a back-illuminated sensor. The What Digital Camera Fuji Z900 EXR takes a closer look at whether image quality is up to scratch...
Performance and Image Quality
Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR review – Performance
Almost all of the Z900 EXR’s controls are accessed through its touchscreen, where buttons are large enough to be pressed comfortably and respond well to the touch. This extends to the Touch EXR Auto shooting option which swiftly focuses on and captures the subject of the user’s choosing.
The menu system also makes excellent use of colour and graphics to illustrate the camera’s functionality, while the controls helpfully rotate when the camera is alternated between landscape and portrait positions. Overall, there’s little to fault with both the camera’s graphic user interface and the operation of its touchscreen controls.
Despite a slightly tardy start-up time, the camera does an excellent job to quickly bring subjects into focus, and continuously focuses as the camera is moved or as the zoom is operated. There’s no shutter lag once the shutter release button has been depressed, and the camera is ready almost immediately for another image to be taken.
The screen suffers from some visibility issues in bright sunlight, although this problem is common to all such compacts. With a 460k-dot resolution, though, it does a great job to show scene details clearly in more balanced conditions, and makes light work of checking focus post capture.
Fujifilm FinePix Z900 EXR review – Image Quality
Image quality from the Z900 is a mixed bag. At the camera’s default settings images lack a little vibrancy and contrast, with slightly flat colours and washed out results, although adjustments to these parameters can be made in-camera. During the test the camera’s metering system performed well, even when faced with difficult conditions, although it did have a tendency to overexpose when not faced with a balanced combination of highlights, midtones and shadows. Thankfully the camera’s Auto White Balance system is a little more reliable.
Slight distortion is noticeable at the wideangle setting of the camera’s optic, although the camera’s processing engine straightens the majority of this out. Similarly, some chromatic aberrations are visible throughout images too, although not to the point where it’s a problem.
In terms of details, close-up viewing shows images to be affected by image noise reduction and other processing artefacts, leaving a texture where there should be fine details. This is the case even on lower sensitivities, which is a shame, but if you’re not looking at images at their full size you’re unlikely to notice. High-ISO results, however, are noticeably better than those from similar compacts, with night-time images shot at ISO 800 and above retaining excellent detain and less noise than expected. Presumably, this is the result of the combined benefits of Fujifilm’s EXR technology and a back-illuminated sensor structure.