Fujifilm Zoom Date
Point & Shoot

Fujifilm Zoom Date siblings: 1000, 1300 and 160S Review – By Ivan B. Palli

June 5, 2020

The first draft of this review was about the Fujifilm Zoom Date 1000 and the 1300. They’re basically the same camera except for their zoom range. Then, I received a Xmas present in the form of the Zoom Date 160S (after I casually dropped the suggestion to my sister) and it made sense to include it too as, again, all three are mostly the same camera except when it comes to the zoom. So, if you like compact cameras and want to hear about a few of the more compact options out there, get comfy and keep reading.

The Fujifilm Zoom Date family

The Fujifilm Zoom Date range is a rather extensive family of compact cameras by Fujifilm from the early 2000s, which makes them some of the newer film point and shoot you can find. Most of the models within the range share a boxy, somewhat minimalistic, but elegant design, mostly in silver though some models were released in those horrible champagne tones too. There’s also a great looking light blue Zoom Date 1000, most likely for the Japanese market only. The cameras in the range cover focal lengths starting at 24mm (the sought after Silvi f/2.8, find a review here) to 160mm and in terms of specs there is some variation as well, with some models having a more limited range of shutter speeds and narrower (even narrower, I should say) maximum apertures than the three I’m writing about today.

I’ve found a great resource about Fujifilm cameras in this blog. Although it’s written in Japanese, hovering over the main menu you’ll find one submenu called Fujifilm which takes you to several pages with what seems to be all cameras ever made by the brand. There’s a photo of every model and a few sheets with basic technical data. In this blog, the Zoom Date range is grouped under the name Silvi which I read somewhere it’s the Japanese word for selfie. This takes us back to the Silvi f/2.8 which sports two shutter buttons and a mirror on the front to help you take what once we called self-portraits. It seems that many models in this range are called Silvi in Japan and Zoom Date anywhere else but I don’t understand why because no other model has any dedicated feature for selfie-taking.

A self-portrait on the mirror

Speaking about selfies, the classic mirror self-portrait. ZD1000, Ilford Delta 3200.

First contact with the Fujifilm Zoom Date

I first came about the Fujifilm Zoom Date 1000 in late 2016. You can read a “5 frames with…” piece about it here at 35mmc, and look at some colour photographs I took with it. This Fujifilm was my second point and shoot and I mostly got it for its short end of the zoom which starts at 28mm (going to 100mm). This was somewhat of a contradiction since I’ve never been keen on wide-angle lenses. I guess that, since I got interested in compact cameras to take them on holidays, the 35mm lens on the Ricoh I already owned often seemed too narrow. In any case, after carrying the Zoom Date 1000 in my bag for a few months I began to fall in love with the wider angle of view.

Sometime later I could not pass on a rather cheap Fujifilm Zoom Date 1300 and its rather impressive 28 to 130mm zoom and, after learning about some of the other models in the range, I set my eyes on the 160S, this time more from a collecting (read GAS) point of view than anything else, although I also kind of fancied the long end of the zoom, especially in such a small body.

Three Fujifilm Zoom Date cameras

Looking good in the cabinet.

Three Fujifilm Zoom Date cameras

The design of the hand-grip is slightly different in each model.

The cameras themselves

As mentioned before these three members of the Fujifilm Zoom Date family are the same camera except for their lenses. While the ZD1000 and the ZD1300 start their zoom at 28mm going all the way to 100 and 130mm respectively, the ZD160S’ wider end is the more common 38mm with the other end of the zoom reaching 160mm. Apart from this they could be twins rather than siblings since all the other specifications are the same:

  • passive autofocus
  • shutter speeds of 1 second to 1/500th
  • the usual flash modes (off, fill-in, red-eye, slow synchro)
  • infinity focus
  • a macro mode that automatically extends the zoom to its maximum
  • possibility to use the self-timer to expose one, two or three consecutive frames.
  • date imprinting
LCD screen of Fujifilm Zoom Date cameras

The back is dominated by a large LCD screen. The ZD1000 lacks diopter correction.

The Super-EBC coatings on the lens, as well as a β€œmetallic body” (as read on the ZD1300’s brochure) set these three apart from other members of the range as somewhat higher-end models. The 1300 and 160S have also diopter adjustments on the viewfinder. One of their best features, though, is their size. The Zoom Date 1000 measures only 10.7cm wide, 6cm tall and 3.6cm thick, while the 1300 and 160S are just a few millimetres thicker, and none of them reach 200gr in weight. The 160S and either of the other two could be ideal travel companions, covering and angle of view from 28 to 160mm in less than 400grams, something I’d like to try one day.

You can also find the ZD1000 and 1300 disguised under the Rollei brand, as the Rollei Prego 100-WA and the Prego 130-WA with some cosmetic differences.

Another of the things I really like about the Fujifilm Zoom Date cameras is the menu implementation, Γ  la digital point-and-shoot. Next to the big LCD screen on the back, you’ll find the typical four arrows surrounding a menu button with which you navigate all the camera functions. Even better, the screen lights up in green when powered up, and in a beautiful orange when changing the settings, allowing you to do so when the light’s not great.

LCD screen of Fujifilm Zoom Date camera

The screen lights up in green when the camera’s on.

LCD screen of Fujifilm Zoom Date camera

The green turns into orange when changing the settings.

In my bag

After a couple of trial rolls, I took the Fujifilm Zoom Date 1000 in a number of Sunday outings for the following months after purchase and I liked the results more and more. I found it to be the perfect camera for such family excursions, whether a stroll in Edinburgh or a visit to one of Scotland’s many castles.

Steeple in the fog in Edinburgh

Foggy Edinburgh. ZD1000.

Glamis Castle

Glamis Castle at 28mm. ZD1000.

I also took it with me to the hospital when my wife went into labour. My default black and white film for point and shoot cameras (definitely for these three, you’ll soon see why) is Kentmere 400 with the DX code hacked to 800 so all the monochrome photos I’ll show will have been taken with this film.

Woman holding a newborn

My sister holding my newborn daughter. ZD1000.

Glamis Castle grounds

Glamis Castle grounds. ZD1000.

I put the ZD1300 to its paces after we moved to Italy in late 2017. I had the chance to properly explore the surroundings of my wife’s village, a place I had been to many times before but never for long enough to do anything else than to take a casual snapshot. This time I had the chance to walk around the myriad paths that criss-cross the mountain behind the village and, I must say, some of those paths climb rather abruptly!

A derelict building

My favourite ruined house along the path during golden hour. ZD1300. Rollei Variochrome.

View of a valley at sunset

The valley at sunset. Weird flare and some ghosting. ZD1300. Rollei Variochrome.

The small and light Zoom Date 1000 and 1300 proved perfect for a few hours walking up and down. I’ve put more colour film through the 1300 than I have the 1000, including a roll of Rollei Variochrome slide film, the results of which I really like.

Mountain view

The slide looks much better than the scan. ZD1300. Rollei Variochrome.

The Fujifilm Zoom Date 160S is too recent an addition to the collection so I’ve only had the chance to run one roll through it. I finished the roll over one weekend, in two beautiful, cristal clear and freezing mornings back in January. I took a stroll around the biggest park here in Madrid, Casa de Campo, which has replaced the Italian mountains as my photographic escape. With this roll I tried to use the lens zoomed in as much as possible and I quite liked the experience as it forced me to look differently at a place I’ve become rather familiar with.

The moon over some trees

Zoomed all the way to 160mm. ZD160S.

Woodland scene

A fun exercise to look for compositions with a long zoom. ZD160S.

The good things

As any camera out there, these three late offerings from Fujifilm are not perfect but they can produce excellent results if you take into account their limitations and put up with their shortcomings. These are some of the things I like most about them:

  • Small, compact design and lightweight.
  • Easy implementation of shooting modes.
  • Screen lights up, perfect for shooting in low light.
  • Nice, elegant design.
  • Flexible range of shutter speeds and DX code (50-3200).
  • Newer than most (ZD1000 introduced in July 2001; 1300 from mid 2002; 160S, March 2003).

Now, I haven’t mentioned anything about image quality because I believe that 90% of the cameras will do at least a decent job when it comes to taking a photograph, certainly those from the late 90s and early 2000s. As mentioned, no camera is perfect so there’s always a compromise to be made.

View of a village in a valley

Zoomed in at 130mm. ZD1300. Rollei Variochrome.

Shortcomings

These are quite relative of course, and in fact, I could call some of them good things too (vignette, everybody?), but some are widely understood as undesirable, at the very least they’re less than ideal, and they would be the limitations I mentioned:

  • Slow lenses: ZD1000 f5.8- f10.5; 1300 f5.8- f11.5; 160S f5.8- f12.5.
  • Fuzzy corners at wide-angle.
  • Noticeable vignette at wide-angle.
  • Lack of exposure compensation.
Traquair House

Medieval fair at Traquair House. Slightly fuzzy corners at 28mm.

Traquair House detail

The corners improve when zoomed in.

Point and shoot love

Since I got my first point and shoot camera in 2016 I’ve really fallen in love with them. All my photography is made with vintage cameras between 50 and one 100 years old and, as much as I enjoy the whole process of shooting with them, walking about with an autofocus, auto-everything camera was quite a revelation.

View of Dean Village

Dean Village, Edinburgh. ZD1000.

I found they’re also great for taking opportunistic photos of my main subject, woodlands, whenever I happened to be in a forested area with the family. In fact, I’ve come to include the Fujifilm Zoom Date siblings (and other point and shoot) in the array of cameras I use for my photography. Even using them on a tripod, which I always carry when I’m on my own, it’s a breeze, and not having to think about exposure? Absolute bliss! Corner to corner sharpness and all-round perfection has its place, just not in my own work, for the most part.

Woodland scene

Scone Palace Gardens. ZD1000.

Woodland scene

Early morning in Blackford Hill, Edinburgh. ZD1000.

Village with mountains in the distance

Pretty good job shooting into the Sun. ZD1300. Fuji Superia 400.

Mountain view

ZD1300. Rollei Variochrome.

Brodick Castle

Brodick Castle, Isle of Arran. ZD1000.

Two Fujifilm Zoom Date

The Macro mode on the ZD160S.

Final thoughts on the Fujifilm Zoom Date

All in all, the three Fujifilm Zoom Date siblings are some of my favourite cameras in my collection. The image quality is there even though my scans and processing might not show it fully.

You won’t find a lot written about any of the Fujifilm Zoom Date cameras with other models taking the limelight like the Klasse, the Tiara or the Natura. Being a bit of a contrarian I tend to favour the underdog, the un-hyped, the cheap too. Prices for these three Zoom Date models are all over the place, the ZD1000 selling from anywhere between 15 to 70 quid, but if you’re patient you can get any of them for the lower end. They are not rare but they’re not ubiquitous either, especially the 160S (or 160EZ) which seems to appear less often for auction. If you find any of these three for a reasonable price, I’d say: get it!

Thank you to Hamish for publishing this rather long review. If you’re curious about my photography, go to Instagram @ivanbpalli, or @ivan.b.palli; or to my Facebook page.

Support 35mmc

For as little as $1 a month, you can help support the upkeep of 35mmc and get access to exclusive content over on Patreon. Alternatively, please feel free to chuck a few pennies in the tip jar via Ko-fi:

Become a Patron!

Learn about where your money goes here.
Would like to write for 35mmc? Find out how here.

13 Comments

  • Reply
    john g
    June 5, 2020 at 10:57 am

    This was a great article to read. Nice photos too. At least I know I’m not alone in my appreciation for this little Fujifilm gem. I’ve used a Zoom Date 1300 for several years now and agree with most of your sentiments. I see yours also produce a bit of a dreamy ‘glow’ in bright light. While the image quality and features are on par with many cameras of the day, one of the things that really sets the Zoom Date apart from others is the superior mechanics. Unlike every other point & shoot I have (quite a few 28mm wide zooms) this thing is VERY smooth and quiet. Along with the funky LCD screen this feels almost like a digital camera. It’s a great camera to use if you don’t want to be self conscious about a clunky shutter or grinding motor noise when shooting in a public place.

    • Reply
      Ivan B. Palli
      June 7, 2020 at 4:02 pm

      Thank you, John. It’s true about how quiet and smooth this camera is, I didn’t think about mentioning it in the review. I guess since I mostly take photos of trees on my own I don’t pay a lot of attention to the noise. Regarding that glow, I really had not noticed it, but looking at the photos now I think I can see what you mean, so yet another good think about the camera! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Paul Mulherin
    June 5, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    A fantastic and honest review of these brilliant little Fuji cameras!

    I too own both the ZD 1000 and the ZD 1300 (although I bought the latter in a fit of GAS a couple of years ago and still haven’t run any film through it yet)!
    My ZD 1000 however has been *very* well used and I love it. Due to its diminutive size it has accompanied me on many an adventure and even survived (just) a complete deluge of rain when I brought it to Kendal Calling music festival last year! The LCD elements went a bit funny with the condensation but then it was fine again once it had dried out and still works perfectly now. πŸ™‚

    I’ll try and dig out some pics and upload onto my Flickr account then update this post accordingly…

    • Reply
      Ivan B. Palli
      June 7, 2020 at 4:07 pm

      Thanks a lot, Paul! They’re truly pocketable cameras, especially the ZD 1000 with the lens going flush with the body. My ZD 1300 got a crack on one of the screen corners which I have no idea how it happened, and the frame numbers are missing some lines, making it difficult to know how many photos are left, but other than that it still works great. Looking forward to seeing some of your results!

  • Reply
    Thang Nguyen
    June 6, 2020 at 6:38 am

    Coincidentally, I own the Zoomdate 1300, Rollei Prego 130wa and the Zoomdate 160EZ. I did do some research and found out there’s also a Silvi Fi version which I believe is the same as the Zoomdate 1000. The Rollei Pregos are re-badged versions of the Fuji Zoomdate as you said with subtle improvements, the Rollei’s buttons are a little more clicky, the camera is also a tad more quiet and zooming is a tiny bit quicker. The Zoomdate 1300 and 1000 are the top of the line in the Silvi lineup with a price tag of (52000 yen and 45000 yen), hence both have metal shells. The price of the Silvi F2.8 is going too high on eBay despite that it’s a lower class and only costs 40000 yen at release and has a plastic shell like the 160EZ which costs 47000 yen. The 3 you have including the Silvi F2.8 have zooming and variable flash.

    • Reply
      Ivan B. Palli
      June 7, 2020 at 4:34 pm

      Thanks, Thang! Apart from the Silvi Fi, which came out in 2003 as the last iteration of the model according to the blog I mention in the post, you can find it also as Silvi 1000 with three different coloured shells, silver, light silver and metallic blue. Incidentally, I’ve seen a couple of examples in black, one of them was sold recently on the auctions site. I guess that model is missing on the blog, as I don’t think anybody would go to the trouble of re-painting such a low-value camera. It’s interesting to know about the slight differences between the Fuji and the Rollei named versions, I’d always assumed that re-badged cameras were exactly the same as the originals. And, yes, prices for the Silvi f2.8 are rather silly…

  • Reply
    gorpalm
    June 7, 2020 at 12:35 am

    Dang I didn’t know there was a 1300 in the mix with the super-ebc lens too. Got the other two models. Never went anywhere near the 160s’s long-end because the results from the 1000 at 100mm was disappointingly cushiony soft, but looking at your long-end 160s shots, I’m frankly, surprised.

    They’re an enjoyable set of cameras to use – Really elegant, light, small, silent, accurate exposure, takes people-pleaser photos.

    • Reply
      Ivan B. Palli
      June 7, 2020 at 4:49 pm

      Well, it was the Super-EBC coatings that prompted me to get this trio after I discovered the Zoom Date range, as it seemed they made them a bit special. Regarding the long end of the ZD 1300 (and the 160S, for that matter) it is a bit soft, but that’s to be expected, I think. In any case, I don’t think they look terrible by any means. Having scanned the negatives by myself it is difficult to gauge how much sharpness is lost by the scanning as opposed to printing them in the darkroom which is what I’d do, ideally, so I do apply a bit of sharpening to compensate. And I agree with you, they’re really enjoyable cameras to use. Thanks for reading!

  • Reply
    gorpalm
    June 7, 2020 at 12:45 am

    Oopsy I meant “1300” not “160s” when talking about the your long-end results with the former.

  • Reply
    Jive
    June 8, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    I found one of these (the 160s) in my parent’s closet a year ago. It used to be their vacation camera, so of course I asked if I could have it. There’s still a roll of film in there I should get developed.

    • Reply
      Ivan B. Palli
      June 9, 2020 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Jive. That’s a lucky find! And with some forgotten photos in it is even better. Hope you enjoy the camera!

  • Reply
    Ali
    June 16, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    Just picked up a 1000 for 50p in a junk shop. In mint condition. Going to use it to practice my developing skills in 35 meg as my mate has just gifted me his enlarger. I’m going into the shower room with a safe light and a gas mask!! If I don’t get into developing my own prints again I’ll never get to it. Thanks for the inspiration. Lovely shots and lovely blog. Ali Warner @Aliwarnerphotography on Insta. X

    • Reply
      Ivan B. Palli
      June 22, 2020 at 1:36 pm

      Thanks a lot, Ali! You got quite the bargain! I’m starting to print as well after a couple of years just shooting and scanning. Enjoy your darkroom!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.