The Fujifilm Z1000EXR is a thin, compact touchscreen camera with a 5x optical zoom lens. It sits at the top of Fuji's Z-series compact camera line, with a sliding front that covers the camera's folded optics lens. Similar to the TX-series of Sony cameras, the Z1000EXR's sliding front door protects the lens when the camera is off. The camera features a rounded profile, with a strap eyelet on the side of the camera.
The Z1000's color pallette is also quite stylish, with green and gold options that set it apart from the pack. It's control scheme is almost entirely touch-based, with no physical keys on the back of the camera. The only physical controls are actually the zoom toggle, shutter release, as well as power, playback, and movie record buttons all located on the top plate of the camera.
Users can access the mode and shooting menu on the Fuji Z1000EXR by pressing the "MENU" icon on the bottom left of the screen while the camera is activated. This lets you choose from one of 15 menu options, arranged in an on-screen grid. These options include the typical shooting setting menu options, such as image size, quality, white balance, color modes, and dynamic range options.
In the upper right corner of the screen while in live view, users can tap the mode icon to access the camera's shooting mode menu. This will let you choose from one of several modes, including the camera's EXR automatic processing types. The menu layout is simple to learn and navigate, with every icon featuring a text explanation at the bottom, so there's few times where you'll see an option and not know what it does instantly.
Almost everything about the Z1000EXR's control scheme seems designed to replicate the functionality of your typical smartphone camera application. The camera uses on-screen touch-sensitive icons both during live view and when accessing the menu, giving you a simplified version of your typical camera menu. The lack of physical controls does inhibit quick navigation on most touchscreen-controlled cameras, but the icon and grid layout on the Z1000EXR and some of Samsung's new touchscreen cameras is certainly aiding usability on such cameras.
The real highlight of the Z1000EXR is the ability to use the company's EXR Auto mode, which automatically utilizes a number of exposure programs that cross-process images and get a better final image. These include options that extend dynamic range, improve low light shooting, or better compensate for blur due to camera shake.
The Z1000EXR's body comes it at around 18mm thick by CIPA standards, with a sliding front door that hides the lens when not in use. The camera has a very rounded profile, with a flat left side and a rounded edge where the right hand holds the camera. It doesn't feature much in the way of ergonomics or functional handling features, but it's a stylish design and the camera is small and light enough to be held in one hand easily.
The back side of the camera is mostly dominated by the 3.5-inch touchscreen display, but there is a bit of real estate on the right side of the back for the thumb to rest on. This doesn't provide much in the way of grip, but it gives you at least a little area to pinch the body safely so that you're relatively safe from dropping the camera.
Tapping the upper left icon while in live view brings up the Z1000EXR's shooting mode menu. From here users can choose from EXR auto, program automatic, scene position, panorama, natural light, natural & flash, full automatic, and touch EXR automatic mode. The EXR modes involve Fuji's proprietary cross-processing software, which usually involves combining multiple images to improve the ultimate image quality of the final image in some specific way.
The Fuji Z1000EXR includes a normal automatic exposure mode, program automatic mode, and EXR automatic modes. The full automatic mode mostly just exposes brightness evenly, while the program auto does the same except lets the user override some camera settings if they wish. The EXR auto modes enhance the final product in a couple of different ways, with options to extend dynamic range, improve resolution and sharpness, or combine high ISO images to reduce noise more effectively.
The video mode on the Z1000EXR is pretty basic, but allows users to record regular videos in 1080/30p, 720/30p, or VGA/30p video with stereo sound. There are also options for high-speed video capture, with VGA/80fps, 320x240/160fps, and 320x112/240fps video speed options. The VGA option is the most useful, as the faster options are so cropped and low quality that it's difficult to get much usable video unless you're shooting a very specific subject in a very brightly lit setting. The camera lets you use the zoom function while recording video as well, though this does result in some wonkiness in the video as focus readjusts.
The camera includes a dedicated video record button on the top of the camera, placed just beside the shutter release on the top plate of the camera. There's not much control over the video recording besides the choice of resolution, but that's to be expected on most point-and-shoot cameras.
The Fuji Z1000EXR offers a few continuous burst modes, though capacity is fairly limited, with the ability to record a maximum of 12 frames at each of the camera's three continuous speeds. The fastest speed on the camera is the 12fps SH burst rate, though it's merely one 12-frame burst. The other speeds (5fps and 3fps for the H and continuous speeds respectively) are slower, but not much changes otherwise, as they have the same maximum capacity.
Playback on the Z1000 is fairly robust, with the same on-screen touchscreen icon layout as when shooting images. The one big difference is pressing the "MENU" on-screen icon now brings up the playback menu instead of the normal shooting mode menu, with more options. This also the menu where you'll find the camera's wireless transfer functionality, including various ways in which to integrate it with smartphone platforms.
There's limited options for in-camera editing, with the Z1000EXR letting users apply face recognition, face detection, auto red-eye removal, and face retouch filters. Users can also crop, edit, resize, rotate, search for, mark for upload, or favorite images, in addition to the wireless transfer modes and typical slideshow and photobook applications.
The Fuji FinePix Z1000EXR maxes out with a resolution of 16 megapixels at a 4:3 aspect ratio. Users can also select from 12-, 8-, 6-, 4-, and 2-megapixel versions, with the 6- and 2-megapixels shots being cropped 16:9 images. The camera only shoots in the JPEG file format, with the option to save images in either fine or normal JPEG compressions.
The Fuji Z1000EXR features standard contrast detection through-the-lens AF, with the option to use single, continuous, and subject tracking AF modes. Users can use the back touchscreen to focus on a particular area or lock in focus by half-pressing the top shutter release button. The camera can focus in the center of the frame, automatically select an area to focus on, or focus by "touch and track."
The Z1000EXR meters for exposure automatically, utilizing its through-the-lend 256-zone metering system. The camera doesn't allow you to exposure in more specific ways, but you can adjust exposure on a compensation scale of +/- 2 stops in 1/3-step increments. The camera has a limited aperture range to select from, with a maximum aperture range of f/3.9-4.9 and minimum aperture range of f/6.2-8.0. This is better than most point-and-shoot cameras that merely utilizes various neutral density filters to block incoming light, without physically changing the size of the aperture.
The ISO range on the Z1000EXR extends from 100-6400, with the user able to select any whole-stop setting within that range. The camera also lets you set ISO to automatic, with several modes that set a hard cap on what sensitivities the camera can select from. The capped auto options include 3200, 1600, 800, and 400, letting you restrict how badly noise will affect the final image. The camera's EXR automatic mode can also be set to utilize a high ISO and counteract the resulting noise by combining multiple images.
White balance settings on the Z1000EXR include six presets, automatic, but no manual white balance capture that we can see. It may be located in another menu or the model we saw at CP+ 2012 in Japan may have been a pre-production unit, but it's possible that manual white balance capture has been excluded on the Z1000. The camera's presets do cover a fairly wide range, though, with three fluorescent light settings, incandescent, fine, and shade settings.
The Z1000EXR utilizes a sensor-shift stabilization method of correcting for subject blur due to camera shake. This will physically move the image sensor to account for the motion of the camera body during exposure. Fujifilm doesn't claim any specific efficacy with the Z1000, but we'll test the effectiveness of the stabiization when we get the camera into our labs for a full review.
The Z1000EXR camera includes a small variety of camera picture effects, which Fuji calls film simulation modes. These basically apply filmic effects similar to those that you'd get if you shot with a roll of Fuji film, including Velvia, B&W, sepia, and PROVIA options. The camera can also apply some minor edits in playback mode through the edit feature, but they're fairly limited in scope.
Wireless Transfer Functionality
The Z1000EXR lets you upload photos via WiFi in a number of ways, including directly to an Android or iOS smartphone. This lets you theoretically upload photos to social sharing sites and the like from wherever you are, as long as you have the camera and smartphone handy. We weren't able to try the feature at CP+ on our respective phones (international data rates are not exactly what you'd call cheap), but the application to receive the photos will be free when the camera is released.
The Fuji Z1000EXR features a 1/2-inch backside-illuminated CMOS EXR image sensor. The EXR sensors are a little different than your standard CMOS sensor, with a slightly different pixel arrangement (instead of the normal Bayer pattern) in order to facilitate Fuji's processing engine. The sensor features a native resolution of 16 megapixels, though Fuji doesn't provide effective/gross numbers on that. The final JPEG produced is approximately 15.9-megapixels of data.
The camera's main method of control is via the rear 3.5-inch 460k-dot resolution touchscreen. The interface and menu have all been designed specifically with touchscreen control in mind, and that's primarily how you access the menu, shooting mode, playback options, and system settings. The only physical controls on the camera are for changing modes, zooming, releasing the shutter, and turning the camera on and off. The screen is fairly bright, and the resolution is high enough that most small text and fine image detail is readable. The touchscreen functionality is responsive, but the icons themselves are large enough that it's rare to touch the wrong option by accident.
The camera features a noticeable flash built into the front of the camera, revealed when the front cover is slid down to open up the camera's lens. The flash is not particularly powerful, even by point-and-shoot standards, with a maximum effective range of just 9.8 feet. Due to the folded optics of the lens, which don't telescope out from the body, the flash actually is more useful on the macro end, with a minimum effective distance of just 10 centimeters. When zooming all the way in the camera's flash range changes to between one meter (40-80cm in macro mode) and 6.9 feet. There's little flash control on the camera, though there are options for reducing red-eye.
The camera doesn't feature much in the way of input/output ports, but it does include mini-HDMI and USB ports on the left side of the camera, behind small plastic doors. The camera has limited playback options that utilize these ports, with the camera only coming with a USB cable and no A/V cable of any kind.
The Z1000EXR uses a Fuji NP-45A battery pack, which is a typical rechargeable, removable Lithium-ion battery. It has an external charging cradle that plugs into a wall outlet, with a Fuji-supplied rating of approximately 220 shots. Fuji's website doesn't state whether that's by their own standard or CIPA, however.
The Fuji Z1000EXR uses the standard SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, with the cards slotting into a dedicated compartment on the bottom of the camera. This compartment is also where the battery is housed, and it slides open from the body similar to other Fuji cameras. It feels fairly flimsy, however, so you'll want to be careful when you are inserting and removing batteries and cards.
The Fuji FinePix Z1000EXR is the top of the line Z-series camera in Fuji's 2012 compact camera lineup, relying exclusively on a rear 3.5-inch touchscreen display. With a smartphone-style menu, 16-megapixel image sensor, EXR processing, 5x optical zoom lens, and built-in WiFi functionality, it certainly brings a lot to the table.
Without knowing price on the camera yet, it's difficult to say how well it stacks up against similar WiFi-enabled competition on the market. Competitors from Samsung, Kodak, and the like are integrating with social networks via smartphone in a similar way, however, so it falls right in line with where the rest of the market is heading.
The camera itself has a responsive touchscreen, bright display, a number of creative scene and EXR processing modes, and a 16-megapixel backside-illuminated image sensor that should be quite competitive with the market at large. We're not usually enamored with cameras that are exclusively controlled via touchscreen, but the move to a smartphone-esque grid layout of icons certainly eases that complaint somewhat.
The Z1000EXR has plenty of shooting options and style to match, but we'll have to get the camera into our labs for a full review to know for sure how good it is. As soon as we get the camera in we'll have a more in-depth review, but with a spec sheet this robust we'd be disappointed if the head of Fuji's Z-series doesn't live up to expectations.
Meet the tester
TJ is the Executive Editor of Reviewed.com. He is a Massachusetts native and has covered electronics, cameras, TVs, smartphones, parenting, and more for Reviewed. He is from the self-styled "Cranberry Capitol of the World," which is, in fact, a real thing.
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