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If you are planning to go on a scuba diving holiday or just want something to take pictures without worrying about getting water into your camera, then you may want to take a look atFujifilm’s new waterproof camera, the FinePix Z33WP.

As the WP suggests, the camera is waterproof and is so up to three meters in depth. While this is hardly going to get down to the subterranean depths of Jacques Cousteau, it least it means that you will be able totake some pictures of you and a friend messing around on your jetbikes.

The camera comes in a range of colours (blue, green, pink, yellow and black), some may even match your beach towel. and for around £160, it isn’t going to break the bank.

Looks-wise, it is quite fashionable for something that can be taken underwater. And as it is waterproof, this would explain why theUSB port is accessible only by opening up the battery and memory card lid.


At the back is the display and navigation pad. The pad is just a five by two grid of buttons, suitable waterproof themselves. The left, right, up and down buttons double up fro other functions which may throw a few people getting to grips with how the thing works. But once that’s figured out it is rather easy to play with.

The camera itself is a 10-megapixel affair with a 3x optical zoom. the optical zoom is internal, so nothing pops out when you zoom in on a subject and that means that it can maintain the waterproof nature of the camera.

There are a variety of shooting modes. One such mode is the “natural light with flash” mode. This can take two pictures, one with and one without flash so you can compare the two and choose the one you like best. The flash itself can help improve shots taken in natural light.

As for the memory card format, the Z33WP only accept the SD/SDHC format. Other Fujifilm camera used to accept the xD format, so it won’t be able to use cards in that format.


It is quite a cheap camera so expect there to be a few limitations. While it is advertised as a 10-megapixel camera the definition felt a little shy of that supposed resolution. The pictures look a little soft on display on a computer screen and printing on anything more than a 10 by 8 inches and you will notice.

When checking out the fine detail of shots you have taken, the zoom function can take up to 15 seconds to reach full magnification, which can be rather annoying.

In playback mode the transitions between shots can be rather jerky. Couple this with the slow and somewhat noisy zoom and the appeal starts to diminish.

Overall, it is a good camera to take to the beach and not have to worry about getting wet or full of sand, but for this convenience you have to put up with a few disappointments in operation.

Rating: 7:10

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Specifications

Number of effective pixels

10 million pixels

CCD sensor

1/2.3-inch CCD

Storage media

Internal memory (approx. 50MB) / SD / SDHC

File format

Still image : JPEG (Exif Ver.2.2 ) Movie : AVI (Motion JPEG ) (Design rule for Camera File system compliant / DPOF-compatible)

Lens

Fujinon 3x optical zoom lens, F3.7 (Wide) – F4.2 (Telephoto)

Lens focal length

f=6.3 – 18.9mm, equivalent to 35 – 105mm on a 35mm camera

Focus

Auto focus (Centre)

Focus distance

Normal: Wide: Approx. 60cm / 2.0ft. to infinity Telephoto: Approx. 60cm / 2.0ft. to infinity Macro: Wide: Approx. 8cm – 80cm / 3.2in.- 2.6ft. Telephoto: Approx. 60cm – 3.0m / 2.0ft. – 9.8ft.

Shutter speed

(Auto mode) 1/4sec. to 1/1000sec., (All other modes) 3sec. to 1/1000sec.

Aperture

F3.7 – F8.0 (Wide) F4.2 – F9.0 (Telephoto)

Sensitivity

Auto / Equivalent to ISO 64 / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 (Standard Output Sensitivity)

Exposure modes

Programmed AE

White balance

Automatic scene recognition Preset: Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm white), Fluorescent light (Cool white), Incandescent light

LCD Monitor

2.7-inch, Approx. 230,000 dots, TFT color LCD monitor, Approx. 97% coverage

Self-timer

Approx. 10sec. / 2sec. delay, Couple Timer, Group Timer

Video Output

NTSC / PAL selectable

Digital Interface

USB 2.0 High-Speed

Power source

NP-45 Li-ion battery (included)

Dimensions

92.0 (W) x 59.6 (H) x 20.6 (D) mm / 3.6 (W) x 2.3 (H) x 0.8 (D) in. (excluding accessories and attachments)

Weight

Approx. 110g / 3.9oz. (excluding accessories, battery and memory card)

Digital Zoom

Approx 5.7x

Shooting modes

SR Auto, Auto, Natural Light, Natural Light & with Flash, Manual, Anti-blur, Successive movie SP: Underwater, Auction, Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night (Tripod), Sunset, Snow, Beach, Museum, Party, Flower, Text

Movie recording

640 X 480 pixels, 30 frames/sec. 320 X 240 pixels, 30 frames/sec. With monaural sound, AVI format (Motion JPEG)

Playback

Face Detection (with Red-eye removal), Slideshow, Trimming, Trimming for blog, Playback type, Multi-frame playback (with Micro Thumbnail), Sorting by date, Image rotate, Voice Memo

Voice memo

Up to 30 sec. WAV format