When compared to the output of a genuine 5MP camera the difference becomes apparent. Edges are soft, bright colours appear blurred, blotchy and indistinct, and there is an overall lack of fine detail in all images. More concerning than this, the Z1 has some of the worst purple fringing that we’ve seen on a recent camera. ISO performance isn’t bad, with usable images at 800 ISO, but while actual noise isn’t a major problem as speeds increase, there is a corresponding decrease in detail and image quality.
The news isn’t all bad however. Exposure and focusing are quick and accurate, and reproduction of skin tones is very good, and as long as images are printed out no bigger than 6 x 4in snapshot size the results would be perfectly acceptable. This could be a price worth paying for a camera that looks this good.
There can be no doubt that the FinePix Z1 is a great looking camera, and it will appeal to the fashion conscious social photographer. It has extremely fast performance, is easy to use and sufficiently robust to survive living in a handbag or coat pocket. It’s just a shame that the image quality doesn’t live up to the Z1’s gorgeous exterior.