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Fuji FinePix Z5fd

>> Friday, January 30, 2009

The Z5fd is stylish looking, with a well constructed metal body. When opened, its sliding front cover turns the camera on to expose the 3X zoom lens and built in flash. A small number of buttons puts essential controls at the photographer's fingertips. These buttons also provide one touch activation of a face detection mode and a digital anti blur mode that boosts the shutter speed and ISO setting to capture sharper automatic shots.

Another function button on the camera provides quick access to quality, ISO, and color settings. Not every feature gets a quick access button, however exposure compensation and continuous shooting modes are among those that don't.

You have to go into the main LCD menu to use them. The Z5fd is oriented toward automatic shooting and provides just 12 scene modes, in addition to natural light and natural light + flash modes.

The latter takes a quick pair of shots, one with flash and one without, and lets you save the one you prefer. The 3X zoom lens offers a 35mm equivalent focal length range of 36mm to 108mm, with a maximum aperture of f/3.5 on the wide end to f/4.2 when zoomed in.

It's an average range, with no especially noteworthy capabilities. In most situations, Z5fd's 2.5 inch LCD viewfinder works well and presents a sharp, clearly visible image. You can adjust not only the display's brightness but also its refresh rate, making your own choice about which is more important a smooth view or battery stamina.

The LCD even has an internal sensor that automatically adjusts the display's gain in low light so that you can see what you're photographing. In bright light it's still fairly easy to use as a viewfinder. Like many of Fujifilm's recent cameras, this model incorporates IrSimple connectivity, which lets you beam images to, and receive them from, compatible devices. IrSimple hasn't been broadly implemented in imaging devices, but it can be a handy way to exchange photos with friends who also have Fujifilm cameras.

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