The compact digital camera race has evolved from a purely technological race to a broader one including aesthetics and design aspects. This is how Fujifilm's range of Finepix digital cameras has garnered a strong fanbase with its attractive blend of features and looks. Whether you're a loyal Fujifilm supporter or just searching for a new, trendy camera, stay with us as we introduce the new Fujifilm Finepix Z20fd.
The Z20fd's bright, bold and very blue exterior instantly caught our attention. Fujifilm does not just stop there and consumers have a choice of other equally bold colors such as jet black, wasabi green, hot pink or cherry red. Easy on the hands at 110g, the Z20fd retains sufficient heft to allow for a well-balanced handling experience. Though suitable for one-handed operation, we found ourselves fumbling for the shutter button at the top right, which really should have been located at the top center. Newly added on the Z20fd is a dedicated button for Movie mode.
Similar to the recently reviewed Sony Cyber-shot T300, the Z20fd utilizes a sliding lens cover that acts as the power switch too. Unfortunately, with no secondary power switch, one has to leave the sliding cover open to preview photos, leaving the lens unnecessarily exposed. Besides that, the Z20fd has the same contoured wave design as its Z10fd predecessor.
As with other compacts, the Z20fd's Auto mode suffices for basic point-and-shoot photography. With the added flexibility to tweak settings such as Anti-Blur, Flash and Face Detection, we found little fault with the Z20fd's imaging capability, which returned crisp and clear pictures for both indoor and outdoor shots. As a plus point, noise levels were also not too prominent on the Z20fd's highest ISO1600 settings.
On our resolution charts, the Z20fd performed adequately up to ISO400, with the sharpness suffering a slight dip from ISO800 onwards. Colors were found to be slightly lackluster, but you can choose the Vivid Colors mode to increase the contrast. As usual, we went on a shooting spree to test the battery life of the Z20fd and it lasted for approximately 100 images and 10 videos running at 1 minute each with moderate viewing time on its 2.5-inch LCD screen.
Performance aside, the Z20fd comes with a plethora of features, the better to appeal to the trendy crowd. Firstly, there's the integrated infrared connectivity, which while nice, is not as useful as having Wi-Fi connectivity as seen on the Nikon COOLPIX S52c. Next, although the Z20fd is not exactly the first to support in-camera editing for blogs, it still earned our thumbs up for having useful features such as in-camera editing and funky little stamps to add flavor to your pictures.
During our testing, we discovered a rather frustrating quirk with the interface. Once we were done with a specific setting, such as ISO settings, the camera exits us automatically from the menu, thus we had to click on the Menu button again should we wish to make further tweaks to other settings.
Whilst the Z20fd is primarily a camera and delivered on this with its high quality images, Fujifilm's design team took a step further in offering a number of trendy colors, coupled with a pleasant chassis design. In short, you'll be getting your money's worth at the recommended retail price of S$339 for an aesthetically pleasing compact digital camera that does a decent job on the photography front.