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Top of camera controls

The top of the F601Z is straightforward enough, the shutter release button surrounded by a mode dial. This dial selects the current record mode. The camera mode (record / play) is selected from a dedicated switch on the rear of the camera.

As you change the record mode selection on the top dial the small 'mode indicators panel' on the rear of the camera relays the selection by lighting the appropriate LED.

Record Mode Dial

Audio Record mode

In this mode the shutter release acts as the record / stop button of a voice recorder and you can take annotations limited only by the space available on your SmartMedia card. In the case of a 128 MB card this provides the amazing capability to record 4 hours of audio. Audio is recorded as a WAV file at 8 kHz, 8-bit (64 kbps).

Movie Clip mode

Record movie clips in AVI (Motion JPEG) format with audio. Just like the S602Z the F601Z has a significantly better movie clip capability than other digital cameras. Not only does it allow you to record 15 fps video at 640 x 480 (VGA), but that you can record movies limited only by the amount of storage space available. On a 128 MB SmartMedia card you could record a non-stop movie of 3.5 minutes at 640 x 480 or 8.5 minutes at 320 x 240.

 • 320 x 240, 15 fps with audio (unlimited length)
 • 640 x 480, 15 fps with audio (unlimited length)

Auto Record mode

Camera automatically controls exposure and white balance, you cannot override white balance, no exposure compensation or flash modes. The only menu options are to enable the self-timer length, enable voice memos, continuous mode, macro focus and image size / quality. This is the camera's point-and-shoot mode. Minimum shutter speed is 1/4 sec.

Scene Position Auto Exposure

Each pre-programmed automatic scene exposure mode is selected by moving the 4-way controller left or right. The currently selected mode is displayed at the bottom of the live view.

Portrait Uses large apertures to create soft backgrounds (narrow DOF). Colour tuned for natural skin tones.
Landscape Uses the smallest possible aperture to create a large depth of field. Flash cancelled.
Sports Attempts to keep shutter speed as high as possible for shooting movement. Auto flash or forced flash only.
Night Portrait Gives priority to slowest shutter speeds (up to 3 seconds). Flash can be used to produce a 'slow sync' flash effect.
40-frame cont. Shoots only at 1280 x 960, can take up to 40 frames at approximately 1.3 frames per second.
Manual Record mode

Fully automatic exposure mode with more creative options, you can change exposure compensation, white balance, sensitivity (ISO equiv.), metering, sharpness, flash compensation, manual focus over what is available in auto record mode. New to the F601Z (not previously available on the 6800Z / 4700Z etc.) are the ability to choose from Programmed Auto exposure, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual exposure modes.


Rear of camera controls

The back of the F601Z has been simplified since the 6800Z rather extravagant use of an illuminated circular LCD in the center of its 4-way controller. Now we have a simple group of buttons at the top right and two other buttons just above the LCD monitor. Fujifilm has also chosen to go with the easier to use joystick style 4-way controller which proved to be surprisingly easy to use (as you can 'nudge' it rather than pressing). Note that the joystick also has a fifth function of menu selection and confirmation.

Buttons

Flash Open

Mechanically releases the camera's pop-up flash. This also automatically engages one of the flash modes (unless the current shooting mode does not allow it).
BACK

Back

Cancel menu / step backwards through menu options.
 

MENU/
OK
Menu / OK

Pressing the MENU button enters the menu for the current camera mode. Once in menu mode the same button is used to select menu options or confirm settings.
Zoom Telephoto / Playback magnify

Press the 4-way controller up to zoom the lens towards maximum telephoto focal length of 108 mm (equiv.). In play mode pressing the 4-way controller this way engages playback magnification (up to 18x).
Zoom Wide / Playback magnify

Press the 4-way controller down to zoom the lens back towards its wide angle position of 36 mm (equiv.). In play mode pressing the 4-way controller this way steps out of magnify mode.
DISP Display mode

Selects different LCD monitor display modes:

Record mode Play mode
 • Live view with info
 • Live view with info and grid
 • LCD monitor off
 • Image display with basic info
 • Image display no info
 • Thumbnail display (3x3)
Power On / Off

Press this button once to power the camera on, once more to power it off. The button is set slightly countersunk to the LCD monitor cover so as not to be accidentally knocked when holding the camera.

Play / Record mode switch

Record mode

Extends the cameras lens if it is not already in the extended position. Prepares the camera for shooting depending on the selected record mode (position of record mode dial - top of the camera).

Playback mode

Displays the last image taken or the last image on the SmartMedia card. After ten seconds in playback mode the camera will automatically retract the lens.

 

P

Programmed Auto Exposure

Very similar to AUTO exposure except that in programmed auto exposure you have full access to all the normal manual controls, access to menus, exposure compensation etc. Minimum shutter speed is 1/4 sec.

S

Shutter Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will attempt to select the best aperture for a proper exposure. Selected shutter speed and calculated aperture is displayed on the LCD, select shutter speed by pressing the 4-way controller to the right (disengages zoom) then press up or down. If the exposure is outside of the cameras exposure range (for instance trying to take a shot at 1/500s in darkness) the aperture will appear in RED. Available shutter speeds (12 total):

• 2, 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000 sec

A

Aperture Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will attempt to select the best shutter speed for a proper exposure. Selected aperture and calculated shutter speed is displayed on the LCD, select aperture by pressing the 4-way controller to the right (disengages zoom) then press up or down. If the exposure is outside of the cameras exposure range the shutter speed will appear in RED. Minimum shutter speed is 1/4 sec. The LCD view changes to reflect the look of the final image at this exposure. Slightly disappointingly (although not surprising on a compact digital) there are only four selectable apertures:

• F2.8, F4, F5.6, F8

Just like other Fujifilm digital's the camera reports apertures such as F2.8 even at full telephoto. This is simply incorrect.

M

Full Manual Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above. Select shutter speed or aperture by pressing the 4-way controller to the right (disengages zoom) then press up or down. Note that in this mode there are a wider range of shutter speeds available:

• Shutter speeds: 2, 1.5, 1.3, 1, 1/1.3, 1/1.6, 1/2, 1/2.5, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/8, 1/10, 1/13, 1/15, 1/20, 1/25, 1/30, 1/40, 1/50, 1/60, 1/80, 1/100, 1/125, 1/160, 1/200, 1/250, 1/320, 1/400, 1/500, 1/650, 1/800, 1/1000, 1/1200, 1/1600 sec
• Apertures: F2.8, F4, F5.6, F8

SET Setup Menu

Setup menu is described later in this review.
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