The FinePix Z700 EXR is the latest of Fujifilm's compact camera range to utilise the company's advanced Super CCD EXR sensor, a technology first introduced last year with the launch of the excellent FinePix F200 EXR compact. This unique sensor design has three different modes of operation offering the choice between the full resolution of a 12-megapixel sensor, superior dynamic range or improved high-ISO noise control.
The results from the F200 were impressive, and the same sensor technology has since appeared in several more of Fui's high-end models, including the brilliant S200 EXR super-zoom, and the F70 EXR and F80 EXR advanced compacts. The Z700 EXR marks the first time the EXR sensor has been used in one of Fuji's slim compact range of point-and-shoot fashion cameras, and it is combined with other advanced technology to produce what is undoubtedly one of the smartest ultra-compact cameras on the market.
The Z700 is a slim and attractive ultra-compact designed to appeal to the style-conscious buyer who is looking for a versatile but easy-to-use camera. It measures 98.1 x 59 x 20.3mm and weighs 158g fully loaded, possibly a bit on the heavy side but certainly slim enough to fit in a shirt pocket. It has a slide-down front panel concealing a 5x zoom lens equivalent to 35-175mm, while on the back it has a huge 3.5-inch touch-screen monitor with a resolution of an impressive 460,000 dots, double the resolution of most compact camera screens.
It is available in a range of four colours; silver, red, the inevitable pink and the shiny gloss black shown here. The build quality is excellent, and despite the camera's slim profile it is pleasant and comfortable to handle, although the skinny frame of the monitor and the slippery surface of the gloss finish make it hard to grip securely with sweaty fingers.
As well as the 12-megapixel EXR sensor, the 5x zoom lens and the huge high-res touch screen monitor, the Z700 also features sensor-shift image stabilisation and HD video recording, which is a pretty decent specification by any standard, however the most impressive thing about the Z700 is its price. It has the style, build quality and features of an advanced luxury compact, and from any other manufacturer one might expect to pay close to £300 for this level of style and sophistication, but Fujifilm is managing to knock these things out at £160, which is practically budget-camera level.