Fuji Z700EXR Review

The Fuji Z700EXR is a 12-megapixel point and shoot camera featuring Fuji’s popular EXR sensor technology. The Z700EXR offers a 3.5″ wide touchscreen display in 16:9 format, a 5x optical zoom and is capable of capturing HD video at 720p.

To see how well this casual shooter handles, read on.

Fuji Z700EXR Key Features

  • 12 Megapixels
  • Sensor-shift Image Stabilization
  • 5x Optical Zoom (35-175mm equivalent)
  • 3.5″ Touchscreen LCD
  • ISO 100-3200
  • 720p Video Capture

Fuji Z700EXR Handling, Ergonomics and Control

The Fuji Z700EXR is an attractive camera with respect to its design.  The absence of buttons, aside from a power button, shutter release and zoom rocker on top, gives it a very sexy and sleek look.  Couple this design with the slider panel on the front of the camera, and it immediately drew comparisons with the Sony Cyber-shot TX7 for me.

The downside to making comparisons to the Sony TX7 is that the TX7 is a smoother camera in both its design and controls.  While the interface on the Z700EXR is mostly polished and the responsiveness of the touchscreen is certainly above average, Sony has got the best interface for compact touchscreen camera that I have used to date.

That said, the Z700EXR offers a respectable touchscreen, albeit at half the resolution of the Sony TX7.  Making changes to shooting modes is a breeze on the Z700EXR by simply tapping on the active mode icon in the top-left corner and choosing a new setting.

The ability to tap-to-shoot will be an attractive feature for some.  And, it should be, because it works quite well.  Once the tap-to-shoot mode is active, you can touch any part of the screen, the camera will focus on that part of the scene and then capture the image.  It’s really as easy as it sounds.

The startup time on the Z700EXR was very disappointing.  Several times, I pulled the camera out of my pocket with the intention of grabbing a quick shot.  However, after waiting a few seconds for the Z700EXR to power up, the photo opportunity had passed.

The shooting modes were mostly automated, as you would expect from such a consumer-oriented camera.  The EXR modes are supposed to help you get more out of the sensor, based on the scene at hand.

Resolution Priority gives you the most detail out of all 12 million pixels on the image sensor. High ISO & Low Noise is geared toward night shots, and cuts the resolution in half in an effort to minimize noise. D-Range Priority is supposed to expand the dynamic range of the camera and prevent blown highlights or too dark of shadow sections in contrasty scenes.

Some of the shooting modes work better than others on the Z700EXR.  The EXR modes worked ok, I guess.  I wasn’t wowed by the effects of using them the way I had previously been with the F200EXR.  And that seems to be the trend with others’ impressions about the Z700EXR as well.  I’m not sure what Fuji put in the EXR sauce for the Z700, but they probably need to go back to the old recipe instead.

I tended to find myself resorting back to Manual mode, which is not the manual mode we all know.  It’s more like Program Auto (at best) and probably closer to the kind of Auto you get from the little green camera setting on most other cameras.  So, don’t be intimidated by the “Manual” setting when using the Z700EXR.  It just lets you do things like adjust exposure compensation if you so desire.  If not, it stays fully automatic.

And, again, I’ll reiterate how well the tap-to-focus setting worked.  It was so easy to use that even a 2-year-old will “get it.”

Fuji Z700EXR Image Quality

Image quality is not too bad with the Z700EXR, although not quite as good as we’ve seen in some of the previous Fuji EXR cameras.  As with most point and shoot cameras you’re going to want to keep images at as low of an ISO as possible.  But you should still be ok for 4×6 prints if you keep it under ISO 800.

One thing you’ll see below, is that the limitation of the shutter speed can affect low light and long exposure images.  The longest  shutter speed is only 4 seconds.  And, as a result, the images below at ISO 100 and ISO 200 were under-exposed.

Below are a handful of images captured with the Fuji Z700EXR.  Feel free to download any of these sample images for your personal inspection (not for republication).  You can get the original files by right-clicking on any of the images and choosing “Save link as…”


ISO 100


ISO 200


ISO 400


ISO 800


ISO 1600 (full resolution)


ISO 1600 (EXR Low Light Priority at half resolution)

Fuji Z700EXR Accessories

Fuji NP-45 Battery – The Z700EXR comes with one of these rechargeable lithium-ion batteries; however, if you’re going to be away from power for an extended period, you can pick up spares.

Memory cards – I’ve used the basic Kingston SD cards in the Z700EXR, which worked just fine. No need to go all out on fast memory cards with the Z700EXR. Cheap cards from reputable brands will work just fine. The Z700EXR is compatible with all SD and SDHC cards – but not SDXC cards.

Memory card reader – If you don’t own a memory card reader, they make transferring images to your computer a world faster. I highly recommend picking one up with the Z700EXR. They’re cheap and big time saver. Lexar makes a good card reader for about $15.

Conclusions

So, the Fuji Z700EXR is a decent camera – particularly considering the touchscreen and the pricepoint under $250.  While I prefer the functionality and overall performance of the Sony Cyber-shot TX7, the Z700EXR is a decent alternative for those not wanting to spend quite as much on a touchscreen compact.

The Fuji Z700EXR is available from Photography Bay’s trusted retail partner, B&H Photo, at the following link:

Fuji Z700EXR at B&H Photo

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