Review: Fuji Finepix Z1 Digital Camera

It’s been a long time coming. I am making a new pact to go through everything I own (tupperware, wardrobe brands, electronics and products I use) and reviewing them thoroughly so that I pass on my horrible experiences and you don’t have to waste money on something I did.

This is a review of my almost 4-5 year old camera called the Fuji Finepix Z1 Digital Camera.

Why are you reviewing an old camera, FB?

I am not going to spend a lot of time on it, because it IS fairly outdated, but just in case some of you may end up wanting to pick up the camera for a song but are hesitating, here’s my no-holds barred review.

There ARE newer versions out, so don’t be disassuaded

I should mention that they have a lot of newer versions of this Finepix out that I have no reviewed. Hello? Fuji? Can you send me a couple to review from a real non-professional photographer’s point of view for free? 😛

Basic Specs, please!

Memory card included: XD Olympus 512MB. It holds a LOT of photographs and I never ran into my limit until I travelled to NYC and starting snapping pictures of everything that moved.

This sucked and still sucks for me because my Dell laptop and my HP Mini Netbook only takes SD cards, and not the smaller, supposedly superior XD cards. Whatevs.

Megapixel: 5 MP (I say if you can afford it, a camera with 10 MP is the ultimate, and the highest you should consider going. Anything higher than 10MP and you better be blowing up those shots on huge frames)

Weight: 140g (very light, the weight of a Blackberry)

Size: Like a deck of cards. Literally.

More specs can be googled, or found here.

Looks 9/10

It’s pretty darn cute. Super slim and the reason why I bought it (I wanted a slimmer, not so bulky camera to tote along)

I docked a point for not having cute colours.

Camera wear & Tear 10/10

After 4-5 years, I guess there’s something to be said about how long my Finepix had lasted in terms of durability.

Nothing broke, which is incredible because I am a hard person on my stuff.

Even the screen stayed scratch free, as it is a GLASS screen, and not a screen you can dig your finger into and leave marks all over.

The on/off button and cover for the camera also didn’t break.

See, the camera also opens with a single hand movement by bringing the cover of the camera down with one finger and I would expect that part to break first because of how many times I am opening and closing it.

This feature worked fabulously when you are on the way, and you just want a quick snap, but don’t want to fiddle with finding the ON/OFF button. I will miss this feature the most in all the subsequent cameras I will ever buy.

Li-Ion Battery Wear & Tear 5/10

I guess I can’t expect all batteries to last forever.

But this one charges, and then dies within half a day of touring the city, turning it on and off, zooming and snapping pictures.

It used to last the whole day.

You can replace it if you wish, but getting the damn thing out is a feat in itself. You have to remove the little XD card, then shake the camera until the battery falls out.

Quality of photos & video?

Not bad. I mean, it’s not professional. But even by regular standards (now), they suck. Most cameras in the price range I paid for this camera 4 years ago, are at least 8MP on today’s market. I paid around $400 CAD I think?

I do notice a difference even posting pictures in general because they tend to look kind of blurry and very pixel-y. Very fuzzy.

This is because it is a 5MP camera, with very low zoom (the zoom is actually a fake digital zoom, not the REAL camera or optical zoom) so it sucks butt.

The difference between digital and optical zoom is that the digital zoom is what I consider to be a fake zoom and easily replicated in Photoshop, as it just zooms in on a part of a scene or picture, but keeps the same amount of pixels.

Optical zoom however is the real zoom everyone should look out for. The camera is REALLY zooming in on the subject and you will see a little lens pop out of the camera as a result.

With that being said, it was good enough for regular every day use.

I even forgot it had video capabilities. I could have been video blogging all of this time!

Charging it

This is what I truly, truly, TRULY hated about this camera. (Can you tell?)

To charge it, you MUST use the dock it comes in.

You put the camera on the dock, plug it in and let it charge. If the camera moves JUST SLIGHTLY off the dock on an angle, it stops charging.

So annoying. And you have to pack so many things – the dock, the cable, the transfer cord.. drives me mad.

And to move the pictures off my camera, I must again, put it on a dock and plug it into my computer to get it to read — but to be fair, this is more of a laptop problem than the camera, but still… since it’s an XD card, I can’t just pop it into the SD-only reader on my laptops.

General Everyday Use?

If you have littler fingers, this is a great camera for you. If you have man hands, fuggedaboudit. Go buy a real camera.


Very, VERY easy to use. The W/T button at the top is very easy to use. The other buttons are few, and far between (simple is best) and I never found a problem with knowing which button was to turn off the flash etc.

Close to NIL manual adjustments for you photographer-types, no adjusting of aperture or any of that other stuff, which was perfect for me as I don’t care about any of that.

Ease of buttons
Very, VERY easy to use. Turning this thing on and off is a beauty. Literally, one hand is required to open and close the camera, as well as to take a shot.

I loved this, because I’d have the camera open and taking a shot before BF got even 1 in. I was at least 3 seconds ahead of the curve.


A nice starter camera, or one for younger kids/teens who aren’t picky about picture quality.

It was a nice camera for what it was used for — taking some pics here and there of friends, family, sights.. and a little video once in a while.

But while I think this is a great starter camera, there will come the day that you wish that you had more megapixels (like 8MP) and at least a 3x zoom.

Those are things I compromised on many years ago because of size and price, but nowadays, you can pick up a digital camera around the same size as this (or smaller!) with a lot more features packed into it.

But now they do have the Z3 and all the other subsequent versions of this camera. I really liked it, save for the awful dock thing that drove me mad.

Want to know what else I’ve reviewed?

Check out my FB Features – Technology, or FB Features for all the things I’ve reviewed like books, products.. you name it.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.