Fujifilm FinePix Z30 Digital Camera Review

The Z30 Hardware

The front of the camera, as shown in Figure 3, has a sliding panel that covers the lens. When you slide the panel open to reveal the lens, the camera starts.  It produces a melodic sound, a small light on the front illuminates, and the LCD screen comes to life. Closing the lens panel turns the camera off.  The flash is located on the top of the sliding panel. The lens does not extend from the body of the camera when in use. Rather, you will see no movement in the lens at all.

When we first got the camera, it made a clicking noise whenever it was turned on. We removed and reinserted the battery, and tried a different memory card, but the sound persisted. Although it was not terribly loud, it was very obvious. If we had purchased the camera, we might have immediately returned it to the store. However, since Fujifilm sent it to us for review we continued to use it to see if the sound worsened. The sound was there consistently for the first 12 days of use. Then, to our amazement, it completely disappeared. We have been using the camera for over a month now with no reoccurrence of the mystery sound.

The 2.7-inch LCD screen has a 230,000-pixel resolution. There is a slight graininess to the screen. While not enough to be disturbing, the screen is simply not as crisp and clear as some others that we’ve seen. As shown in Figure 4, the screen extends all the way to the left side of the camera, and the buttons take up the remainder of the back of the camera. This can be problematic because it leaves no place to put your fingers while holding the camera to take a picture.

Fujifilm FinePix Z30 Digital Camera ReviewFigure 4: The back of the camera.

Adding to that problem is the fact that the lens is offset to the side of the camera, as shown in Figure 5. This means that not only may you struggle to find a way to hold the camera, but occasionally a finger will wind up in the shot if you are not careful.

Fujifilm FinePix Z30 Digital Camera ReviewFigure 5: The front of the Z30 with lens cover open.

The camera controls are two columns of buttons are located to the right of the screen, as shown in Figure 6. These buttons are rubberized, which actually give a them a nice feel, but it also adds to the toy-like quality of the camera. Overall, the buttons are too small and too close together. Only the Menu button is easy to find since it is a little rounded on the right side and there is a slight bump in the camera (see Figure 7) that helps guide your figure to it by touch.

Fujifilm FinePix Z30 Digital Camera ReviewFigure 6: The navigation buttons.

Fujifilm FinePix Z30 Digital Camera ReviewFigure 7: A bump in the side.

The buttons are (from top to bottom), W & T for zoom control, Delete & Playback, Macro & Flash, Self-Timer & Menu/OK, and Display/Back and Movie Mode. You will notice that four of the buttons have red arrows on them. These double as 4-way directional controls. Three of these directional buttons are on the right column of buttons. Since they are not arranged in the typical 4-way cross layout, using them can be a bit problematic. You always have to look at the keypad and find the small red arrow to determine the right button to press.

Author: Sandy Berger

Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up's Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.

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