The Fujifilm FinePix Z1000 EXR is the top model within the company’s style-driven ‘Z’ range of ‘fashion’ compacts. Small and slim enough to easily slip into a handbag or shirt pocket the Z1000 also comes with a range of useful technology usually associated with models further up the FinePix range. Indeed, while many ‘fashion’ tend to focus on outer appearance rather than internal specification, the Z1000 – on paper at least – looks to buck the trend with several notable and up-to-the-minute features such as built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and Fuji’s own EXR technology included straight out of the box.
The Z1000 is built around a 16MP 1/2in CMOS sensor that further benefits from Fuji’s proprietary EXR technology. Boiled down to its simplest terms, Fuji’s EXR sensor employs a unique pixel array that allows it to be adapted to suit particular shooting conditions. The important thing to note is that this is done at the actual image capture stage, rather than afterwards at the image-processing stage. In practical terms the Z1000’s on-board EXR technology offers you three unique shooting modes to choose from.
The first of these – ‘High Resolution’ mode – uses all of the 16m pixels individually to capture maximum detail in situations where light is plentiful. The ‘High ISO and Low Noise’ option, meanwhile, works by combining pixels to increase their effectiveness in low light. Last but not least is the ‘D-Range Priority’ option, which effectively splits the sensor into two, with one half of the pixels capturing highlight detail and the other capturing shadow detail. These are then combined to produce a single 6MP image with a greater dynamic range than would be possible at the full 12MP. If you’re not sure which EXR mode to use then the Z1000 offers an ‘EXR Auto’ mode that lets the camera decide for you.
Elsewhere, the Z1000’s other shooting modes are all of the fully automatic, point-and-shoot kind although there is a Program mode that does allow you to take control of some aspects, including White Balance and Sensitivity, for which the Z1000 offers a standard range of ISO 100-3200 – expandable up to ISO 6400 at reduced resolution. There’s also /-2EV of exposure compensation available should you need it. While manual control is generally desirable, we do think that its omission from the Z1000 is unlikely to upset too many users. In any case, given that the camera offers a total of 103 different ‘Shooting Patterns’, it should be able to find a suitable EXR/Scene mode combination for most situations.
In addition to its basic still capabilities, the Z1000 also offers a one-touch Motion Panorama feature, with which it’s possible to capture ultra-wideangle shots of up to 360 degrees simply by panning the camera in a predetermined direction with the shutter button held down. In addition, the Z1000 is also capable of 1080p Full HD movie capture at 30fps, complete with stereo sound and the capacity to zoom during recording.
On the front of the Z1000 is a 5x optical zoom that uses a folded-lens design to keep it housed within the camera body. In 35mm terms the Z1000’s zoom offers the equivalent focal range of 28-140mm, with a maximum aperture of f/3.9 at 28mm and f/4.9 at 140mm. The zoom’s reach can be increased to 10x if you want via the Z1000’s Intelligent Digital Zoom feature, although be warned that image quality does drop off fairly quickly the further you go into digital zoom territory. In addition, the Z1000 also benefits from sensor-shift image stabilisation technology to help keep images sharp at extended focal lengths and slower shutter speeds.
On the back of the Z1000 is a larger-than-average 3.5in LCD screen that offers a resolution of 460k-dots. This screen actually takes up all of the back of the camera, with no room left over for any physical buttons. Not that the Z1000 really needs any buttons anyway as it’s of the touchscreen variety, with the vast majority of the camera’s various features and functions accessed and controlled via the screen.
In addition to its EXR functionality and touch-screen control highlights, the Z1000 also offers a form of built-in WiFi connectivity. We should point out that this it’s not quite as comprehensive as that found in some digital cameras, and unlike Samsung’s implementation of the technology on models such as the NX20, it doesn’t let you upload your images directly from the camera or via email. What it does allow for though is the one-tap sending of images to either an Android or Apple iOS smartphone or tablet through a Fujifilm app. Once on your phone/tablet, you can then email them on or post them online.