Back in January I received an email from an industry insider, it contained a PDF product sheet for Fuji's latest digital cameras. One thing blew me away, "4.3 megapixels". Reading over and over again all I could see was 4.3 megapixels, design wise the cameras is similar to the 2700 but with some obvious improvements.
In February Fuji officially announced the 4700Z and the S1 Pro, then the SuperCCD resolution debate began. People were wise to note that Fuji's press releases always referred to the resolution as "a 4.3 megapixel image" not specifically the number of pixels on the CCD.
We'd also previously read press releases about how a 1.3 megapixel SuperCCD would return the same performance as a standard 2.1 megapixel CCD (difficult to believe..).
As it turned out the 4700Z has one of Fuji's new "Honeycomb" SuperCCD's, the major difference between a SuperCCD and standard CCD is the orientation of the CCD pixels. In a SuperCCD they're orientated in a diamond formation, turning this into a square image requires interpolation which generates a higher pixel count.
The Fuji 4700z has a 2.4 megapixel SuperCCD which generates a 4.3 megapixel image (2400 x 1800). This means that the cameras internal systems are processing those diagonally orientated pixels to generate the image... The jury is still out as to whether this is a good thing or not, the SuperCCD design does lend itself to higher sensitivity thus the 4700z has a lowest sensitivity of ISO 200 and highest of ISO 800 (typical digicams have sensitivities ISO 80 / 100).
I won't talk more at this stage about image quality (that's for later in the review).
From the front the 4700z looks the business, similar in design to it's older brother the 2700 but with a new pop-up flash design, metal covered lens system and circular LCD panel set between the cursor controls on the rear of the camera.
It also looks like Fuji have really thought about the ergonomics of this camera, controls are much more logical and changing modes and options is much easier.
Despite it's diminutive size the 4700z sports a 3x optical zoom lens, thanks to their amazing zoom mechanism first seen in the MX-1700 (shown out of its skin here on the right).