Fuji Z33wp

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

View Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP Sample Photos
Read our Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP Review

Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP – Digital Camera Review
Review Date: 24/05/2010
Rating: Recommended,
Author: Joshua Waller

Fuji Z33wp

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
IS: Digital
Macro: 8cm
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.
Histogram: No
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

Fuji Z33wp

Box Contains:
– 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!).

Fuji Z33wp

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!).

Fuji Z33wp

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.”

Conclusions

Water

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.

Recommended!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.

Read more Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP Reviews: Gizmodo , DPInterface, Photoxels, Cameras.co.uk, Imaging Resource, Pocket-Lint

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13 Responses to Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP Waterproof Review

  1. Brandi says:

    I like the camera and its small design and its water proof! But my FLASH is not working and i dont understand why it takes the picture and doesnt flash ive only had the camera for about 4 months and it has been working fine until the flash stopped working!!!

  2. Brandi says:

    The flash on my camera isnt working?????????????

  3. Samantha says:

    mines stopped working too..what did u do brandi ???

  4. Maddy says:

    My flash stopped working aswell! the flash charging icon is shown, maybe our batteries are shot? What did you guys do?

  5. Garry Bailey says:

    Is it possible to switch the flash off within the menu.

  6. jessica says:

    i keep getting this error message saying …………. no firmware found…………………i have no clue how to fix this does anyone???????

  7. Michelle Dean Plunk says:

    I had my camera break with me only using approx 5 months. I read the paperwork in the box and called the 800 to be informed it has to be mailed in. I went online printed the form and mailed the camera back to FUJI with insurance and delivery confirmation. They sent me an automated email they received the camera 4 days after the delivery was made. Then I went to check status to have it show me owing $55 before they will fix it. (under warranty again) Then I called the number left a message for a return call to get a message that states for immediate results email me at such and such address so I emailed also. This was 12 days ago and still no response to the voicemail or the email.

    I emailed of my disgust to then get a form in the mail stating that the battery door was broken and not covered and the camera had water damage. Well funny how the battery at the house doesn’t have water damage that was inside the camera. (and I took pictures the day I mailed it of the paperwork I was sending) Finally a live person confirmed after looking at the camera they didn’t understand why that was put on my form and that multiple people look at the camera and that is why they have different results on the paperwork/status updates. WHAT A LOAD of Crap. (sorry) They are still telling us they will not fix the camera. Looked online to find numerous others having the same problem with the poorly designed camera door. The manager said if this was the case he would have numerous cameras returned and he would not fix without at least $22.00 and shipping so over $30 for my new camera that I haven’t had for a year that is CRAP.

    Now they are telling me they won’t even send my camera back unless I pay for the shipping providing them with a credit card. After researching others have done this to be charged a lot more than shipping. They have the worst customer service, they don’t honor their warranties and if they are going to exclude things from their warranty they need to list that on their warranty sheet. I could have taken this back to the store and I still have time to do a credit card dispute but it isn’t fair to the store if I can’t return it for them to lose on the sale when they don’t even have the product to show for the dispute! This is horrible and I am really upset that I have a camera I didn’t even hardly get to use.

    This was my first and LAST purchase from FUJI !!

    I have owned 3 Canons and they both work great still one being 13 years old and the only reason for purchase on this FUJI camera was waterproof. I will never stray from Canon and Nikon again. I don’t know what their customer service is like because their products don’t fail! FUJI has lost me and I will make sure others don’t have to go through what I do by letting them know how horrible this company is.

    Thanks for listening and hope this will save someone else from losing money on junk!

    Michelle

  8. Sarah says:

    i have had the camera since january 2010 i love it 🙂
    but a couple of months ago the FLASh stopped working is it possible that you would need to change the light in the camera?
    if so is it safe to un screw the camera to get into the midddle of it?

  9. cyndall says:

    I’ve had this camera for a long time now and it was working fine until for some reason when it turns on nothing comes up i can still here it take pictures but thats it nothing shows up the screen is black it wont be recognized in the computer.. i have no idea what has happened. i haven’t dropped it or anything

  10. James says:

    Had it for 1 year, flash just stopped working too – seems to be an issue with these cameras???

  11. alex says:

    i got a fujifilm water proof camera… green for Christmas im 13 years old… im in the swim club so i started taking pictures under water…i had my clothes on so i went down like a inch…then i went to my school dance right after took some pics in the dark gym it was fine…then all of a sudden the flash just stopped working! this was like an hour ago and im really upset! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

    -Alex

    PS:does anyone know what i should do?

  12. raych says:

    brought xp10 for snorkelling holiday 10 days ago, used it for 3 days and took about 25 pics. Tried to use 4th day no responce, on inspection appears water got inside, but casing shut properly. Casing to camera also has paint finish chipped.
    Very unhappy with quality of finish and also durability . Battery compartment cover very flimsy ,and no marks on other cameras i’ve had years. Was very careful with camera ,not dropped and only floated on top taking pics . Have now returned camera to Argos and got refund .
    Will definately not be buying another fugi

  13. Tom says:

    I also have a Fuji Finepix Z33WP camera and the flash is not working. I had it for a few months when I decided to use it in a pool. After swimming for a while I let it dry downloaded the pictures and then went to use it again and no flash. I am wondering if the capacitor on these are not very good and that is what is causing the flash problems……. Any thoughts?

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