Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP 10.0 MP Digital Camera - Pink Reviews
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Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP 10.0 MP Digital Camera - Pink

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Waterproof Camera with average image quality

Aug 15, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Very Good

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Battery Life:
  • Photo Quality:
  • Shutter Lag

Pros:Waterproof, (relatively) inexpensive, compact.

Cons:Image quality is only average.

The Bottom Line: Great for that Tropical Vacation on the beach or anywhere you want to take a camera into the water.

I just came back from a vacation in Hawaii and bought the Fujifilm Z33WP at the last minute before we left on the trip.  It's main advertised virtue is that it's waterproof to 10 feet and I wanted a relatively inexpensive camera to take snorkeling.  I took it into the ocean multiple times and it functioned like a charm, getting hundreds of shots and movies from on and below the water that would not have been possible with an ordinary camera. I never got down to 10 feet underwater, but was typically having the camera anywhere from 3-4 feet below the surface. Obviously, if you are going to be scuba diving you would want a different camera.

The camera is sealed other than the lone door which covers both the rechargeable battery, USB jack, and the SD memory card.  The door, in turn, has a rubber gasket which prevents water from getting into the vulnerable portions of the camera.  The door and gasket do their job, but there is a seam around the door which water will get into and may get into the battery compartment if you open the door when there is water in the seam.  I would use a paper towel to blot up any water in the seam before opening the compartment. I would also recommend rinsing the camera thoroughly with fresh water if you have taken the camera into the ocean to avoid any chance of salt getting into the battery compartment. Fine sand also may be a problem if it gets on the rubber gasket and prevents a good seal.

The camera comes in four colors, lime green, navy blue, pink, and black. It is very small and compact, perhaps a little too small for me as the buttons are quite tiny, especially the on/off button.  The shutter button is larger, but has a concave shape with minimal travel and does not give very good tactile feedback.  On the back, next to the viewscreen are 10 additional buttons to control zoom, menu selections, flash, movie, macro mode and self timer.

The camera is set up primarily as a point and shoot device. It has presets for more than a dozen situations, but I pretty much just left it on Auto. It has a flash which will give acceptable indoor shots up to maybe 8 feet away.  It has face recognition which works most of the time when the subject is facing the camera and is not too far away. The camera also has a manual mode which allows exposure compensation, ISO adjustment from 64-1600.  There is a short lag when taking pictures, about a half second if you prefocus by holding down the shutter button half way.  Battery life seems quite good, you can easily get 200 shots or more on a charge if you don't use the flash.  Generic replacement batteries are readily available online.

The pictures I took were average in quality. My wife's Canon SX110 and my old Panasonic DMC-FZ20 take sharper pictures.  The dynamic range and contrast of the Fuji were also worse.  On dry land, given a choice, you would only use this camera to take snapshots.

Underwater, the picture quality again is average. The underwater images came out rather blue, even with the camera shooting mode set for "underwater."  Using some photo editing software I was able to get a much more pleasing color balance.

Movies underwater turned out nicely (albeit with the same bluish tinge).  The movie resolution is 640x480 or 320x120.  Even at the higher resolution the motion appeared quite smooth.  On a 2 gigabyte memory card the camera will record about 33 minutes of high resolution movies.

Overall, while this is not the highest quality camera available, it is a relatively inexpensive camera that has the ability to take pictures underwater. If you are need that capability and don't want to spend a fortune, then this is definitely a camera to consider.

Recommend this product? Yes

Amount Paid (US$): 160
This Camera is a Good Choice if You Want Something... Easy Enough for Anyone to Use

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Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP 10MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom (Pink)
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