Review Price £64.98
The Z70's overall performance has good points and bad. It takes approximately four seconds to start up and be ready to take a picture, which is a bit on the slow side, but the shot-to-shot time of approximately two seconds is isn't too embarrassing. It doesn't have a continuous shooting mode as such, but it does offer a three-shot burst mode shooting one frame a second.
Unfortunately the autofocus system is painfully slow, taking over a second to focus even in decent light, and also not terribly reliable. It often fails to focus unless there is a lot of high-contrast detail in the focus area, in situations where most other cameras would have no problem. It is even slower and more unreliable in low light, and frequently fails completely once the light drops to the sort of levels often found in pubs and clubs, surely a major problem for a camera aimed at a younger demographic. It has no AF assist lamp, so it's virtually useless in very low light.
Fortunately the overall image quality is quite good, although even here it does have a couple of problems. Exposure is generally accurate and reliable, and colour rendition is bright and well saturated. Dynamic range is very poor, with almost no shadow detail on my usual test shot, and the Z70 has no contrast-boosting feature. The overall level of detail is good, and the compression in fine mode is low enough to preserve most of it, but the lens does suffer from pronounced barrel distortion at wide angle, as well as visible chromatic aberration at the edges of the frame.
Noise control on the other hand is better than average, with good picture quality at 400 ISO and light grain-like noise at 800 ISO. The maximum 1600 ISO is not so good, but I've seen a lot worse from ore expensive cameras.
Considering its low price the Fujifilm FinePix Z70 offers good build quality, ease of use and plenty of style, along with acceptable picture and video quality and some useful and unusual features for online photo and movie sharing. Performance is adequate, although the poor low light focusing is a handicap. If you're looking for a fashion camera on a budget you could do a lot worse.
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