The Fujifilm Finepix Z200fd promises to be the ultimate point and shoot camera. But can the compact from Fujifilm muscle in on the more traditional choices from Canon and Nikon? We get snapping to find out.
At just under 20mm thick (it’s actually 19.8mm) the Finepix Z200fd is slim, but not as slim as other point and shoots we've seen recently. The front is adorned by a gloss finish - available in black, black and red, silver and for the confident out there, pink, while the rest of the model (back and sides) are in silver.
Protecting the non-protruding lens is a sliding cover than awkwardly slides diagonally rather than horizontally or vertically and you get the feeling it’s so as not to be the same as Sony or Olympus rather than for any real reason.
The back offers a 2.7-inch screen that is bright and clear with the all the usual buttons positioned in the usual places. As with virtually every other camera we are seeing at Pocket-lint, that means a d-pad that allows you to access the flash, macro and timer modes as you would expect plus a central menu button. There isn't anything that breaks the usual mould here.
The Z200fd offers a 10-megapixel sensor and a 5x optical zoom meaning you've got plenty of scope to get in on the action either at the time of taking the picture or in editing software afterwards.
Get past the design and the camera offers plenty of features including image stabilisation and face detection. New to the mix are two new self-timer modes, Couple Timer and Group Timer, the premise is that the technology stops those dodgy extended arm shots. Using the face detection technology (which works very well), the camera won't take the photo if it senses a face is out of the frame, so you'll always be sure to squeeze everyone in.
The results work well and all you just have to make sure that someone standing close by isn't going to run off with your camera. Of course you have to ask how stupid you have to be to miss a 10 second wait, but it's a nice feature if you find yourself on holiday with no one to help you out.
Another nice touch is Fujifilm's Intelligent Flash system, which sets the power output to achieve natural foreground illumination with balanced background exposure for more natural looking photos.
If you can't decide whether to use a flash or not, Natural Light plus Flash mode takes two photos one after another, one with flash and one without. Both photos are then displayed side by side for quick comparison so you can choose and keep the one you prefer.
When it comes to image quality, the Z200fd performed poorly struggling to create sharp pictures even with the use of a flash. Images came across as soft on most occasions with noise levels surprisingly high. Colours are also on the pale side even though we had clear blue skies on our test shoot.
There are plenty of features to impress when you look at the Z200fd on paper. While features like the face detection work very well the image quality doesn't stand up to what you would expect.
Couple that with a design perhaps fatter than you would expect and you're left feeling disappointed. This is a case of "nice try, but fell at the final hurdle", trouble is, that hurdle, picture quality, is a big one.