Rob Clymo
22/11/2011 12:26 | By Rob Clymo, contributor, MSN Tech & Gadgets

Fujifilm Finepix Z900 EXR review

This compact offers great features and exceptional value for money.

Fujifilm Finepix Z900 EXR (© Fujifilm)

What is it?
Fujifilm Finepix Z900 EXR - a new feature-rich compact camera that delivers top performance at a reasonable price.

What's great
A wonderfully responsive touchscreen makes for a great user experience, the design oozes elegance and sophistication while the image quality it delivers is very good considering the price tag.

What's not
That touchscreen and the svelte lines might not be so great for people with big hands. Those vivid chassis colours might put some off, too.

The bottom line
This is a compact that raises the bar when it comes to offering a feature-rich package that bristles with high-tech functionality - all at a value-for-money price.

If you're looking for a compact that dishes out the style then the Fujifilm Z900 EXR looks irresistible from just about any angle. If you're also looking for something that stands out from the crowd then the range of red, blue, pink and black colour schemes shouldn't disappoint, either.

However, this is a camera that also has plenty of high-tech tricks up its sleeve to back up the show-stopping looks, including a touchscreen that is currently one of the best in the business.

In addition, the Z900 EXR is home to a new CMOS sensor that offers 16-megapixel backside illuminated performance, which helps to increase overall sensitivity and reduce noise in the images that it produces. This switchable sensor is able to change modes to suit different picture-taking scenarios.

It doesn't stop there, the Z900 EXR is full to the brim with innovative features that make it not only easy to use, but capable of capturing high-end shots and all within the space of a few taps of the screen.

The design is best described as minimalist, mainly because many of the controls are hidden behind that gorgeous 3.5-inch TFT touchscreen, which is great on the eyes thanks to it's 460,000 dots display. It's this screen that covers pretty much the entire rear of the compact, while a panel on the front slides down to reveal the off-centre 5x wide-zoom lens and a built-in flash.

Anyone who has previously owned the Fujifilm Z800 EXR will feel immediately at home as the physical attributes are similar to that model. However, inside the compact it's a completely different story.

Powering up the Z900 EXR takes no time, while neat on-screen menus list a wide variety of modes and features. Indeed, once you've played around with this compact for a while it feels remarkably simple to use compared to many of its touchscreen-operated rivals. Options are clear, concise and logical.

What's also nice is that there's a decent balance between auto modes and manual selections on offer, with the program mode enabling users to far greater control of their shots.

The camera has a raft of different modes that can easily cope with just about any situation you care to throw at it, while the sweep panorama option enables owners to simply create their own finely crafted panoramas.

Performance-wise, the Z900 EXR leaves a similarly positive impression with the ability to capture shots briskly thanks to the responsiveness of that sensor. You'll also find that the images produced are largely spot-on featuring crisp details and consistent colour across the range.

Of course, crank up the ISO settings and things will start to suffer somewhat, but for a camera that comes so keenly priced, the Fuji is generally very adept at delivering the goods.

Indeed, for a compact under the £200 mark there is an unexpected level of sophistication inside the sleek design. And, while touchscreen models have their detractors, the Fujifilm Z900 EXR is one fine example that might convince doubters that this could be the way forward for compacts.

Fujifilm Finepix Z900 is rated five stars out of five by MSN Tech & Gadgets (© Fujifilm)

Essential info
Megapixels: 16
Sensor: 1/2-inch EXR CMOS
LCD: 3.5-inch TFT touchscreen, 460k dots
ISO: Auto, ISO 100-3200 (6400 with boost)
Video: 1920 x 1080 (30fps)
Memory cards: SD, SDHC, SDXC
Weight: 151g (with battery)
Dimensions: 100.8mm x 59mm x 18.2mm
Price: £199