Fuji FinePix Z5fd: Ultracompact With Awesome Auto Controls

A sturdy build, quick performance, and useful advanced automatic features give this Fuji 6.3-megapixel ultracompact a big competitive edge.

Stylish and available in four colors, the Z5fd has a sliding front cover that acts as the power switch and also protects the lens and built-in fl ash. Geared toward auto-shooting, the camera features 12 scene modes, as well as a mode that takes a quick pair of shots—one with fl ash and one without—and lets you save the one you prefer. Its 3X zoom lens has a focal length of 36mm to 108mm, with a maximum aperture of f/3.5 on the wide end and f/4.2 when zoomed in. The Z5fd’s 2.5-inch LCD is flexible in that you can adjust its brightness and refresh rate.

In both daylight and flash shots, images were well exposed and exhibited realistic color. One serious problem, however, was the heavy processing that left visible noise in my images. At the camera’s maximum ISO setting (1600), this noise made images look more like pastel drawings than like photographs. But when it came to performance, the Z5fd excelled, with a boot-up time of 2.7 seconds, a 2.3-second recycle time, and a 1-second shutter lag.

Despite its image problems, the well-crafted Fuji Z5fd is a good buy with a set of features typically found in more expensive models.

Fuji FinePix Z5fd: $199.99 list

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