Stylish yet solidly built, the Fujifilm FinePix Z1 has an internally zooming lens that keeps it thin and pocketable. This 5-megapixel ultracompact also houses Fujifilm's fifth-generation Super CCD HR sensor and new RP processor, which have given the Z1 outstanding low-light shooting capabilities. However, the Z1 keeps its feature set basic. It lacks a continuous-shooting mode and manual controls, and even its scene-mode selection is minimal. If that doesn't bother you, this snapshot camera will give you competitive performance and photo quality, especially when the lights are low.
This svelte 89-by-56-by-18mm camera's minimalist design makes it a joy to use. With the Fujifilm FinePix Z1, there are no power switches, mode dials, or control wheels required: slide open the front-panel cover to power up the camera and reveal the focus-assist lamp, the electronic flash and the lens. You can purchase the Z1 in one of two colour schemes: a matte-black-and-chrome finish (pictured in Images) or plain silver. It's a solid-feeling camera with an all-metal body. The lens doesn't extend from the Z1 while zooming through its range -- zooming and focusing are done internally. There are only two main modes, Photo and Movie, selected by a sliding switch atop the camera next to the shutter release.
Other functions are available via a minimal collection of buttons next to the big 64mm (2.5-inch) LCD, each of which does two or three jobs. You'll have to go into the menu system to reach scene modes and functions such as white balance and exposure compensation, but Fujifilm cuts down on menu-surfing time by dividing your options into a main menu and a function menu accessed via a separate button. However, it's annoying that the menu system closes each time you change a setting -- if you want to make more than one selection, you have to keep reactivating it.