The Fuji FinePix Z1 was about as small as a standard deck of cards (less than 0.7 inches thick). Despite its small size, the digital camera featured a 5.1-megapixel CCD, a 2.5-inch LCD monitor and VGA movie capability.
The FinePix Z1's battery left some room for improvement. This 3.6-volt aftermarket battery (like its OEM counterpart) stored enough energy for approximately 170 shots.
Here you can see the xD Picture Card has also been removed from the now empty battery compartment.
Here's a look at the FinePix Z1 with the strap removed. In this image you can also clearly see the Tri Wing tamper-proof screws used to secure the outside casing.
At the top of the camera's sideplate is an infrared port, an unsupported feature on this model.
The FinePix's two topside controls are also visible. The first is the Mode Switch. If set to the right the camera is placed in Photography Mode. Moving the switch to the left prompts the camera to change to Movie (video) Mode operation.
The FinePix Z1's speaker (positioned behind the four slot cutouts) is located opposite the strap side. At the top of image you can also make out the three slots positioned over the unit's microphone. This speaker/microphone combination enabled recording and playing back videos.
Fuji supplied an AC adapter that provided 5-volts of DC power. To the right of that DC port, which appears to the far left in this image, were ports for connecting the cradle either to a television (using the A/V out port) or a computer (using the mini-B USB port to the far right).
Normally it's best to disassemble delicate electronics using the appropriate tools. In this case, the Klein 32-bit tamper-proof bit set I ordered to assist in dissecting this digital camera proved all too large. So, I turned to a trusty Dewalt 1/16-inch drill bit to remove the Tri Wing fasteners.
Some half-dozen Tri Wing fasteners must be removed before the FinePix Z1's case can be opened. The Tri Wing screw located above the cradle connection socket (at the center of this image) was no match for the titanium-coated drill bit.
The actual CCD is located on the back of the main system board, or at least the side that faces the camera's rear casing. The FinePix Z1 features a CCD manufactured by Analog Devices. You can see it here, clearly labeled with white lettering, in the top left corner.
CCD stands for charge-coupled device. The CCD plays a critical role in picture quality and color reproduction.
The Fuji's flash is powered by a large capacitor (the dark black cylinder positioned in the middle of this photograph). To the immediate left of the actual flash (top-center) sits the camera's self-timer lamp.
With three more Philips head screws removed, the controls (4-direction button, playback and photo mode buttons, Menu/OK button and zoom switch, among others, slip free of the rear case.
On the left is the circuit board that actually transmits the buttons' signals to the main board; on the right are the actual external buttons themselves.
This rubberized switch activates the digital camera's electronic shutter when depressed. The black cap sat just underneath the camera's shutter button and plugged in to the main system board at its opposite end.
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By Erik Eckel
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...