We’ve just published our review of the new Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP – an ultra compact waterproof camera with a 10 megapixel sensor, 3x optical zoom lens and 2.7″ screen, the camera is available in numerous colours: black, blue, gold, pink and green, for £88 (in black) and takes SD cards (It may even be available for less from the Fuji Refurb shop) and is one of the cheapest all-in-one waterproof cameras – but is it any good?
“The FinePix Z33WP is a little camera that likes a lot of action, ideal for those who love the great outdoors. Designed to withstand the elements, the FinePix Z33WP is waterproof to depths of 3 meters for up to as long as two hours. It’s perfect to take with you on a snorkelling holiday or just for use in the sea. This 10 Megapixel snapper features advanced technologies such as Scene Recognition AUTO and Picture Stabilisation to ensure you get the best possible action shots.” Source: Fujifilm
Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP – Digital Camera Review
Review Date: 24/05/2010
Author: Joshua Waller
Specifications / Features:
10 megapixel CCD sensor
3x optical zoom lens (35 – 105mm eq)
2.7″ LCD screen (230k pixels)
Waterproof to depths of 3M for up to 2 hours
Movie mode (640 X 480 pixels, 30 frames/sec) with sound
Face Detection technology with automatic red-eye removal
Digital Image Stabilisation: reduce blur from handshake
Blog Mode for posting images on the web (further details below)
ISO: Auto, ISO 64 / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600
Shooting / Scene modes: SR Auto, Auto, Natural Light, Natural Light & with Flash, Manual, Anti-blur, Successive movie SP: Underwater, Auction, Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night (Tripod), Sunset, Snow, Beach, Museum, Party, Flower, Text
Image sizes available: 10M Fine, 10M Normal, 9M 3:2, 5M, 3M, 2M, VGA.
Exposure bracketing: No
Optical viewfinder: No
Manual WB: No
Battery: NP-45 Li-ion battery
Built in memory: 50MB
Memory Storage: SD/SDHC
Size / Weight: 92.0 (W) x 59.6 (H) x 20.6 (D) mm, 110g
– Z33WP Digital Camera
– Lithium-ion battery NP-45
– Battery charger BC-45 (wall charger)
– Hand strap
– USB cable for the FinePix Z33WP
– CD-ROM Owner’s manual
Box contents / Memory Cards: Average box contents, a case and a large SD / SDHC memory card is highly recommended. Fujifilm also sell an official silicon case that can help avoid scratches and help you keep a tighter grip of the camera (there’s also a float strap, and action jacket!).
Battery life: Battery life is rated as 200 shots (according to CIPA standards) – I managed to take around 130 photos before the battery went flat. The battery is charged using the provided wall charger.
Speed: The camera switches on and can take it’s first photo in just under 2.0 seconds. Continuous shooting is slow at just under 2 seconds between shots. Shot to shot time is quite slow taking around 3 – 4 seconds between shots. Focus speed seemed quite quick. Shutter response seems almost instant at less than 0.1 seconds.
Ease of use / Menu: It’s quite easy to use – the menus are fairly straightforward – although the buttons don’t necessarily help as the layout takes some time to get used to. The lack of mode dial or mode button means that the mode must be selected inside a menu and the video mode starts automatically when you press the video button (rather than just switching to the video mode) so it can cause some confusion. The Natural & Flash shooting mode takes two photos, one with flash, and one without, this can be useful to get more natural photos but also ensures you don’t accidentally miss the shot by taking a photo without flash – as far as I’m aware this feature is unique to Fujifilm cameras (although please correct me if I’m wrong!).
Ergonomics and buttons: The camera scratches easily, and is also dropped easily due to lack of hand grip. The buttons on the back aren’t particularly easy to use either. The camera doesn’t appear to be as strong as the marketing would like you to believe – mine has a cracked plastic corner – and I even managed to crack the screen when dropping the camera. (The newer model, the Fujifilm FinePix XP10, looks to be a vastly improved model in this aspect – offering improved controls, plus additional toughness!). One thing I found a little annoying was the fact that it’s possible to put the battery in the wrong way round, this often led to me wondering why the camera didn’t work.
Image Quality: Images can be good – under the right conditions, and when the camera’s on the right settings – getting this right can sometimes be difficult so I found we had a number of shots that weren’t as good as expected. We would recommend keeping the lens clean at all times, set the exposure compensation to -1/3 or -2/3 to avoid over-exposure, and experiment with the modes to find the one that best suits the kind of photos you take, or just leave the camera on SR Auto (Scene Recognition Auto), although be aware that flash photos often boost the ISO setting unnecessarily.
Noise / IQ Issues? Some purple fringing – some overexposure – I’d recommend setting the exposure compensation to -0.3 (1/3) or -0.7 (2/3) to help getting more vivid, colourful photos with less overexposed areas. It’s also important to keep the front lens element clean, as it’s very easy to put your finger on it, especially as there is no lens cover.
Video: VGA, 30fps, with sound. Optical zoom is not available while filming, but can be set before filming.
Anything else interesting? Blog mode with editing functions “Add an artistic dimension to any picture recorded in your camera with a choice of special effects. Transform any image into an illustration or painting, or you even make your picture look like a miniature model! The edited image is set to VGA (640×480 pixels) or QVGA (320×240 pixels) ready to upload to your blog quickly & easily.”
Image Quality: The Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP can take good photos and for it’s intended purpose as a waterproof snapshot digital camera it does a decent job – but getting the best results might take some effort – as it has quite a low hit rate compared to other cameras. The camera has a tendency to overexpose – and any marks on the lens can result in strong ghosting. I also noticed some vignetting / darkened corners and some purple fringing. Noise was occasionally a problem – most noticeably indoors in low light. When pictures were good – colour was very good with good saturation and fairly good detail – however bright skies were often overexposed. 7/10
Everything else (the camera as a whole): The camera has VGA video, no wide angle, some awkward buttons and controls, and only digital image stabilisation, but overall the camera is quite good, and offers a compact camera that’s waterproof to 3 metres at a very low price. The 2.7″ screen is quite good, and the camera has a number of features and options that help you if you are a beginner such as the Scene Recognition Auto mode, although best results may be found by choosing the mode manually. The camera looks good, and is available in a number of stylish / bright colours. 8/10
Value for Money: The Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP is available for £88 in a number of colours – and at this price it is one of the cheapest waterproof cameras available – alternatives such as the Pentax WS80 (£119), Olympus 6010 (£169), Sony Cybershot TX5 (£279), Canon Powershot D10 (£199), Panasonic FT2 (£300), and Samsung WP10 (£159) are often much more expensive – although the level of waterproofness?, toughness and features of the cameras also varies. The newer version of this camera, the Fujifilm FinePix XP10 is available for £129. 9/10 Excellent.
Conclusion: Whilst I was a little disappointed by the image quality – I was impressed by the cameras compact size, the stylish colours, waterproof features and low price – one of the main reasons why I bought it in the first place. If you don’t put a priority on image quality, and just want something you can take with you for a quick swim or holiday, then the Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP would make a good choice. If you want better image quality and don’t have another camera, then you might be better off looking at some of the other cameras available. Overall, I feel that the price and features outweigh the negatives, and would Recommend this camera.
Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP Rating: Recommended (8/10)
Check for the latest prices on Amazon UK
What I Like:
– Excellent price
– Waterproof to 3 metres
– Good image quality (when the right conditions are found)
– Good 2.7″ screen
– Compact and stylish design
What I Don’t Like:
– No focus assist lamp
– Battery can be put in the wrong way round
– Vignetting / Purple fringing
– Scratches easily
View our Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP Sample Photo Gallery
Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP is available from Amazon UK.