The Fujifilm Finepix Z900 EXR is a style-driven mid-range ultracompact. Priced at around £200, it occupies the top spot within Fuji’s ‘Z’ range of slimline EXR compacts, above the older Z800 and Z700 models released last year.
With a minimal number of physical buttons and a generous 3.5-inch touchscreen, the 16-megapixel Z900 will doubtless appeal to young, smartphone-savvy casual photographers looking for something a bit more substantial and advanced, that can outperform the built-in camera in their iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S2, Nokia N8 and suchlike.
On paper, the Z900 appears to have all the right attributes. It’s smart, stylish and packs plenty of resolution. Add to this some unique shooting modes, solid movie recording abilities and some interesting slow-motion capture modes and it’s easy to see its appeal. The big question is whether it all ties together into a neat, value-for-money package. As we’re rather fond of saying in these parts, let’s take a closer look and find out.
At its heart the Z900 uses a 1/1.2-inch backside-wired CMOS EXR sensor with an effective resolution of 16.2 megapixels. This represents a fairly substantial upgrade over the 12-megapixel Super CCD chip that was found in the Z800, and is a sure sign of the growing popularity of backside-wired CMOS sensors.
In fact, Fuji now uses exactly the same CMOS EXR sensor in all of its recent EXR models – including the recently reviewed Fujifillm HS20 superzoom and the Fujifilm F550 EXR advanced travel-compact. This EXR sensor uses a unique triple-layer pixel array that allows the sensor to optimise for resolution, sensitivity or dynamic range, depending on the scene it’s faced with.
The Z900's EXR sensor is paired with Fujifilm’s own dual-core image processor that allows the Z900 to shoot continuously at 3fps at the full 16MP right up to 12fps at 4MP. Sensitivity, meanwhile, stretches from ISO 100 to 6400.