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Fujifilm FinePix E900 Optics


Lens

Zoom
A useful 4x optical zoom range, with pretty good performance, though high distortion at full wide angle.

32mm
128mm
7.6x Digital Zoom

The FinePix E900 zooms over the equivalent of a 32-128mm range, offering slightly more telephoto than is typical for its class. Details are sharp and well-defined at wide angle in the center of the frame, though there's quite a bit of corner softness present. (See the discussion on corner softness further below.) There's also some coma distortion present. The 7.6x digital zoom results in an effective 30.4x zoom, but results in strongly degenerated quality and resolution, with very soft details.

Macro
A small macro area with good detail and high resolution. Flash overexposes significantly.

Standard Macro Macro with Flash

The FinePix E900's macro setting performs well, capturing a small minimum area of 2.39 x 1.79 inches (61 x 46 millimeters). Detail and resolution are both very good, though there's a moderately high amount of softening in the corners from the lens. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode.) The flash had a little trouble throttling down for the macro area, resulting in a strong overexposure over most of the frame, with a shadow from the lens in the lower left. (Plan on using external lighting for your closest macro shots with the E900.)

Distortion
Moderate barrel distortion, though no visible distortion at telephoto.

This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel--usually at wide angle) or inward (like a pincushion--usually at telephoto). The FinePix E900's 0.8% barrel distortion at wide angle is average among the cameras I've tested, although I personally feel that this level is too high. At the telephoto end, however, there's not even a pixel of barrel or pincushion distortion.

Barrel distortion at 32mm is 0.8%
Virtually no distortion at 128mm.

Chromatic aberration
Moderately high at wide angle, with a moderate effect on images at edges. Less visible at telephoto.

Wide: moderately high, top left @ 200% Wide: fairly bright, top right @ 200%
Tele: quite low, top left @200% Tele: quite low, top right @200%

Chromatic aberration is rather high at wide angle, showing about 4-5 pixels of bright coloration on either side of the target lines. However, at telephoto, the effect is much less noticeable, both in the number of pixels and the brightness. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)

Corner Sharpness
Some blurring in the corners of the frame, particularly at full wide angle.

Wide: strong blurring in all four corners. Wide: sharp at center.
Tele: slight softening in corners compared to center. Tele: slightly soft at center.

The FinePix E900 produced soft corners at both wide angle and telephoto lens settings, though the effect was most dramatic at full wide angle.

Viewfinder

Coverage
Optical viewfinder tight and skewed to the lower right. Very good accuracy from the LCD monitor.

32mm eq., optical viewfinder 128mm eq., optical viewfinder
32mm eq., LCD monitor 128mm eq., LCD monitor

The FinePix E900's optical viewfinder was quite tight, showing only about 80% frame accuracy at wide angle, and about 76% at telephoto. However, the LCD monitor showed actually a little over 100% frame accuracy, though my standard measurement lines were just out of frame in the final shot.