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Fujifilm FinePix Z33 WP review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £150
inc VAT

Inside it's just a basic compact camera, but it's cheaper than other waterproof cameras, and good enough for casual photography.


1/2.3in 10.0-megapixel sensor, 3.0x zoom (35-105mm equivalent), 110g

The FinePix Z33 WP is Fujifilm’s first underwater camera.

A year ago, there were only a couple of manufacturers making waterproof cameras, but now it’s a crowded market. Fujifilm’s is the least expensive to date, and although it doesn’t make any claims for being shockproof, as many of its competitors do, the curvy plastic shell seems robust.

It’s waterproof down to three metres, and suitable for snorkelling as well as general beach use, skiing and wet weather. It’s lighter, slimmer and more stylish than its competitors, but the small battery’s 200-shot life isn’t so impressive. Surprisingly, the battery will happily click into place when inserted the wrong way round, which could lead people into thinking that they have a faulty camera.

The back of the camera is a departure from previous Fujifilm designs, with two vertical strips of five buttons down the right side of the 2.7in screen. This means that the four-way navigation pad is arranged in an unusual T-shape, which took us a while to get used to. We’re pleased to see a dedicated video record button, but the video mode isn’t up to much. It has a basic 640×480 resolution, no zoom while recording, an auto-exposure that reacts in abrupt steps to changing lighting conditions and heavy image noise in low light – including most underwater scenes.

It was fairly quick to turn on and shoot, at 2.5 seconds, and its autofocus is acceptably fast. However, there was a delay of almost two seconds between taking a shot and the captured image appearing on the camera’s screen, which will frustrate anyone trying to take pictures in quick succession. We measured an average of 3.7 seconds between shots. The continuous shooting mode was barely any faster, capturing at 0.3fps. At least the SR Auto mode, which analyses scenes to select a scene preset automatically, didn’t slow the camera down any further, as it did on the Fujifilm FinePix S1500.

The Z33 WP fared a little better in our image quality tests. It displayed Fujifilm’s usual knack for flattering colours in a range of lighting conditions. The corners of photos were fairly blurry in wide-angle shots and the centre wasn’t razor-sharp, but detail levels were the right side of acceptable. Automatic exposures used well-chosen settings to balance blur against noise in low light, but the relatively gloomy f/3.7 maximum aperture and small sensor meant noise was visible even in brightly lit shots. Still, the noise-reduction processing helped the camera produce indoor photos that were good enough for posting online.

There are more affordable cameras that take better pictures more quickly, but the FinePix Z33 WP’s waterproof design is unique at this price. None of its flaws is critical and, as such, it’s a decent choice for causal snappers heading for the beach or ski slopes.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
CCD effective megapixels 10.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.3in
Viewfinder none
LCD screen size 2.7in
LCD screen resolution 230,000 pixels
Optical zoom 3.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 35-105mm
Image stabilisation none
Maximum image resolution 3,648×2,736
Maximum movie resolution 640×480
Movie frame rate at max quality 30fps
File formats JPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)


Memory slot SDHC
Mermory supplied 50MB internal
Battery type 3.7V 740mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 200 shots
Connectivity USB, AV
Body material plastic
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 110g
Size 60x92x21mm

Buying Information

Price £150

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed auto
Aperture range auto
ISO range (at full resolution) 64 to 1600
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 6 presets
Additional image controls none
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus 8cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, face detect
Metering modes multi, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer