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For as inexpensive as this camera is, I was expecting the photo quality to be much worse. Instead the Z33 actually takes very good photos at and below ISO 200. There's visible noise at all but the lowest ISO if you closely examine your photos, but it doesn't become much of an issue until ISO 400, where you pick up some yellow blotching. The mix of noise and reduction is good enough to keep most fine detail, though. It isn't until ISO 800 and above that subjects get really soft and smeary and the yellowing becomes more noticeable. Your best bet is to stay at ISO 400 and below, so you'll either need a lot of light or will need to use the flash.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
The macro mode on this camera is only capable of focusing at 3.9 inches from the subject. Regardless, the camera is capable of capturing some sharp shots with fine detail.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Though it's not a wide-angle lens, there's visible barrel distortion at the camera's widest position (top). At just 3x, the long end of the zoom doesn't display any pincushion distortion. There was noticeable purple fringing in high-contrast areas on some of my test shots, but it was within a normal range for this class of camera.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Colors are nice and natural-looking, if not terribly accurate. White balance is quite good, too. Photos were occasionally underexposed, but it's easily remedied by either adjusting in camera or with basic photo-editing software.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
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