Fujifilm FinePix 4900Z Review
Timings & File Sizes
Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2400 x 1800 JPEG image @ NORMAL compression (around 750 KB per image).
File Size Notes: All file sizes are an average of three files. As is the case with JPEG it's difficult to predict the size of an image because it will vary a fair amount depending on the content of the image (especially the amount of detail captured). For example, take a photograph of a fairly empty wall and you'll get a small JPEG, take a photograph of a bush with a lot of detail and you'll get a larger image. File sizes here are closer to the later, the larger size of file you should expect.
Symbols: ~ = roughly / approximately.
|OFF to REC||3.5||Lens extension delays start|
|OFF to PLAY||2.0||Busy appears, image about 0.5 sec later|
|REC to OFF||3.5||Lens retraction delays off|
|PLAY to OFF||0.5||Lens not extended|
|PLAY to OFF||3.5||Lens extended|
|REC to PLAY||0.5||Busy appears, image about 0.5 sec later|
|PLAY to REC||0.8||Lens already extended|
|PLAY to REC||3.8||Lens not extended|
|PLAY: Image to Image 2400 HI||12.0|
|PLAY: Image to Image 2400 FINE||1.4|
|PLAY: Image to Image 2400 NORMAL||1.0|
|PLAY: INDEX thumbnail view||<1.0||Full page of 9 thumbnails displayed|
|PLAY: Zoom-in||<1.0||Virtually instant (full zoom takes 9 sec)|
|Auto Focus LAG||0.3 - 1.4||Dependent on focus subject *|
|Shutter Release LAG||0.1||Very, very fast *|
|Total LAG||1.0||No pre-focus, one complete press *|
|OFF to SHOT TAKEN||3.8||Switch on + Press shutter release|
* LAG times are often misunderstood and so are described below:
Auto Focus LAG is (roughly) the amount of time it takes the camera to autofocus (a half-press and hold of the shutter release button), this timing is normally the most variable as its affected by the subject matter, current focus position, still or moving subject etc. This timing is an average.
Shutter Release LAG is the amount of time it takes to take the shot after autofocus, this timing assumes you have already focused (half-pressed the shutter release) and now press the shutter release button all the way down to take the shot. This timing is an average.
Total LAG is the total time it takes (not just the two above added together) if you haven't pre-focused, that is no finger touching the shutter release button, press it all the way down in one movement, this new timing is how long it'd take if you were in one of those spur-of-the-moment situations. This timing is an average.
The 4900Z is fast, especially if you turn off image review the live preview display just flickers slightly as you take the shot, almost indiscernible. Because flushing of images happens in the background you can easily click-click-click the shots off. Focus lag is also deceiving, sometimes there's a definite wrzzz-wrzzz noise as the focus hunts, other times there's hardly any lag at all (depends on the subject and available light). Shutter release lag was also impressive for a camera which must display the viewfinder image using an LCD (as our timings are taken by pressing the shutter release when we see a symbol appears on a special timer, time is read from the taken image).
A footnote here, despite having a lens which must extend it's surprisingly quick. Other digital cameras with just 3x optical zooms taken almost twice as long to extend as Fujifilm's 6x zoom on the 4900Z, that can make the difference between getting and not getting the shot.
File Flush Timing
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to "flush" the image out to the SmartMedia card (when the green activity light stops flashing). The estimated number of images per 16 MB SmartMedia card is given as a guide to beginners (as that's what's bundled with the camera). Note that storage of images happens "in the background" and doesn't stop you taking the next shot.
16 MB SM card
|Store 2400 x 1800 HI TIFF||13.7||12,721 KB||1|
|Store 2400 x 1800 FINE JPEG||4.1||~1,600 KB||9|
|Store 2400 x 1800 NORMAL JPEG||3.0||~750 KB||21|
|Store 2400 x 1800 BASIC JPEG||2.1||~300 KB||53|
|Store 1600 x 1200 FINE JPEG||2.6||~780 KB||20|
|Store 1600 x 1200 NORMAL JPEG||2.2||~320 KB||50|
|Store 1280 x 960 FINE JPEG||2.3||~560 KB||28|
|Store 1280 x 960 NORMAL JPEG||1.7||~260 KB||61|
|Store 640 x 480 NORMAL JPEG||1.5||~70 KB||220|
The table below defines the speed (frames per second) and maximum number of shots which can be taken in a row before the camera makes you wait (measured as "wait before restarting") for space to become available in the internal buffer. Test performed in Continuous mode with shutter speed > 1/125s.
|Image Type||Frames per sec
||Max no. of frames||Wait before restarting|
|2400 x 1800 FINE JPEG||5.0||5||16.0 sec|
|2400 x 1800 NORMAL JPEG||5.0||5||9.8 sec|
|Store 1600 x 1200 FINE JPEG||5.0||5||11.1 sec|
|Store 1280 x 960 FINE JPEG||5.0||5||8.9 sec|
|Store 640 x 480 NORMAL JPEG||5.0||5||5.9 sec|
As you can see, the limitation here is the size of the 4900Z's frame buffer before the images are converted to whichever JPEG size / quality you have selected. Whichever mode producing a surprisingly fast 5 frames per second (the fastest so far for a consumer grade prosumer digital camera, previously held by the Olympus C-3030Z at 4.1 frames per second). The time you have to wait after the maximum 5 frames varies depending on output file size (combination of image size and quality), for trade off purposes 1280 x 960 FINE or 2400 x 1800 NORMAL look like the best bet here. Obviously you don't have to shoot all 5 frames, if you only shoot 2 or 3 then the "wait before restarting" time is reduced.
The 4900Z uses the same small NP-80 Lithium-Ion battery (4.1 Wh) seen on the MX-2700, MX-2900 and the Kodak DC4800. It's small size and use of Lithium assists the lightweight feel of the 4900Z, unfortunately it's just not powerful enough for such a big camera with high power requirements (remember the viewfinder is an LCD, when you're using it alone you're still draining the battery). Fujifilm claim 100 shots with the LCD, I'm not sure what mode they were using but I couldn't get more than 60-80. Battery life was not fantastic and any owner of the 4900Z would almost definitely need to buy a second battery.
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