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Fujifilm FinePix 4900Z Review

October 2000 | By Phil Askey


Review based on a production FinePix 4900Z

Radical. Futuristic. I heard several descriptions leveled at the 4900Z while at Photokina 2000 this year. Certainly when Fujifilm first hinted and then later announced the 4900Z a lot of people oohed and ahhed at the design. Echoes of SLR, yet modern looks and an attractive feature set. Officially the 4900Z is a replacement for last years 2900Z. In my mind it's much more of a camera than the 2900Z was.

The 4900Z is targeted at the "prosumer" market, those users who are looking for a digital camera with manual features and good image quality without having to spend a small fortune on digital SLR kit. The 4900Z specifications are impressive, a full 6x optical zoom, auto and manual focus, a 2.4 megapixel SuperCCD generating 4.3 megapixel images, full manual exposure options, majority of controls on the outside of the camera and a LCD viewfinder (0.556") (dubbed EVF; Electronic View Finder by Fujifilm) which means an "almost real" TTL view from your eye directly through the lens.


SuperCCD

The 4900Z has the same "Honeycomb" SuperCCD's found in the 4700Z. 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 4900Z 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 (it's definitely worked for the S1 Pro which features a 3.2 megapixel SuperCCD but less so for the 4700Z), the SuperCCD design does lend itself to higher sensitivity thus the 4900z has a lowest sensitivity of ISO 125 and highest of ISO 800. Interesting note is that Fujifilm have introduced the lower ISO of 125 with the 4900Z.

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this review (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Photographs of the camera were taken with a Nikon D1, images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (normally 1024 x 768 or smaller if cropped) image in a new window.

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This review is Copyright 2000 Phil Askey and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey.

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