Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 Review

Ultra Compact

Picture
Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 Ease of Use 9
Features 8
Movie Mode 8
Build Quality8
Colours 8
Photo Quality 8
Style 8
Lowlight 8
Macro 8
Value for Money 8
10 Megapixels
3x Zoom
2.8 inch LCD Screen
92 x 58.4 x 22.4mm
139g

Overview

The Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 is a pocket sized digital camera. If its megapixels you are after then you will be impressed by the fact the Exilim EX-Z1000 is a ten megapixel model. On top of this it offers all the standard features you would expect this type of camera to offer. It is fairly straightforward and with its metal body it is a well made point and shoot digital camera. It could appeal to anyone looking for a pocket sized camera, but the extra megapixels are likely to be a big draw to many. The camera also offers anti shake.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

10
3x
2.8 inches
92 x 58.4 x 22.4mm
139g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

6cm
No
No
Lithium-ion Rechargeable
SD/MMC

Image Quality

On the whole I was impressed by the quality of the photos I was able to take with the Exilim EX-Z1000. Running through the images starting with the outdoors scenic type shots I can see that the colours are strong and the images are also sharply focused. One downside is that some of the blues appear to have more than a hint of purple.

Using the first shot as an example the bricks and tiles on the roof of the building in the centre of the picture are in sharp focus. As you move away from the centre of the photo focusing levels are retained to a high degree. The sky and green foliage highlight the vivid colours the Exilim EX-Z1000 is capable of producing. As far as the purple tinting goes evidence of this can be seen in the colour of the dark blue boat. The camera copes with the glare of the sun well and is able to bring out plenty of detail in the lighter areas of each shot such as the boats themselves.

The second outdoor photo shows that when the zoom is not in use the Exilim EX-Z1000 finds focusing harder. This is something that can catch digital cameras out. At full zoom in outdoor photo three focusing is back on course. One other point worth making is that there are signs of purple fringing. Purple fringing is the addition of a thin purple line at the edge of an object. This is noticeable around the edges of one of the geese in the second outdoor shot and on the edge of a boat in outdoor shot three. It is rare to see this in a digital camera with only a three times optical zoom lens.

Looking at the outdoor portrait the colours are stronger than I am use to seeing. I quite like this effect as it adds extra warmth to the shot in my opinion. It also adds some life to the shot. Others may feel this is overdone.

The indoor portrait is a big success. The image is sharply focusing and the camera handles red eye far better than the majority of digital cameras I have tested. Likewise the indoor shot of beer bottles taken in more or less complete darkness is also well focused and quite bright considering the conditions.

The macro shot is about average in terms of sharpness and brightness. Again there is a hint of added purple in places.

In my test for higher ISO ratings I am used to seeing a level of deterioration in picture quality. With this camera it is very noticeable and one of the poorer efforts I have seen.

Shutter Lag and Recycling Times

I was able take a single photo in 0.37 seconds and five photos in 11.17 seconds. The time taken for a single photo is slightly above average. The time take for five photos is average.

I always run the test a number of times to make sure there are no freak results. The Exilim EX-Z1000 did seem to be more than a little inconsistent. The fastest time I managed to clock was 0.27 seconds and the slowest 1.71 seconds. There was also a mixture of other times. It is difficult to explain exactly why this is, but it could suggest the camera can find it difficult to focus quickly from time to time.

You can compare this camera to other models by taking a look at the Shutter Lag Comparison Table.

Features

The three times optical zoom lens has a focal length equivalent to 38 to 114mm in 35mm format. This is supported by 4x digital zoom. The lens aperture works in a range of F2.8 Wide to F5.4 Tele.

For composing images there is a large 2.8" LCD screen. The screen has a number of options allowing you to tailor it to your own requirements. This includes changing the information displayed and increasing brightness levels. The screen is made up of around 230,400 pixels.

The built in flash unit has a maximum range of 3.6m. This falls to around 1.9m when the zoom lens is in use. The flash modes available are Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, High Power Flash, Soft Flash, Red Eye Reduction.

The Exilim EX-Z1000 offers one of the widest selections of scene modes available. The scenes are portrait, scenery, portrait with scenery, children, sports, candlelight portrait, party, pet, flower, natural green, autumn leaves, soft flowing water, splashing water, sundown, night scene, night scene portrait, fireworks, food, text, collection, auction, backlight, anti shake, high sensitivity, pastel, illustration, cross, monochrome, retro, twilight, id photo, old photo, business cards/documents and white board. In case this is not enough you can also create your own scenes. When you use a scene mode the camera understands the type of photo you are about to take. It can then use what it considers to be the optimum settings for the shot.

Other useful features include colour filters (black and white, sepia, red, green, blue, yellow, pink and purple) and controls for sharpness, contrast and saturation. A histogram is available too.

For when you would like to appear in the shot there is a self timer. The timer can be set to either a two or ten second delay. You can also make a selection where the camera fires off three quick shots at the end of a ten second delay.

Three different aspect ratios are on offer. These are the normal 4:3, plus 3:2 and 16:9. An aspect ratio of 3:2 means that the photo will fit perfectly on a 6 x 4" print and the image will not need to be trimmed at all to fit the paper. 16:9 is ideal for shots you plan to view on a wide screen television.

Focusing options include auto focus (selectable between spot, 9 point multi), infinity mode and manual focus. For close up shots the Exilim EX-Z1000 can focus from 6cm away in macro mode.

There are a number of more advanced features you can use to influence the way a photo will look. These include exposure metering (Multi-pattern, centre weighted, spot), exposure compensation (-2EV to +2EV (in 1/3EV steps)) and white balance (overcast, daylight, shade, tungsten, day white fluorescent, daylight fluorescent and manual). ISO sensitivity can be set to auto, 50, 100, 200 and 400. In anti shake mode this can be increased to ISO 800. With high sensitivity Best Shot mode this goes up even further to ISO 3200.

Shutter speeds are set automatically by the camera. They work in a range between ½ second to 1/2000 seconds. In night mode the camera can use a shutter speed of up to four seconds.

Four types of continuous shooting are available. The first allows you to take photos until the memory card is full. The next takes three high speed photos. The third takes three high speed photos with flash. The fourth is difficult to explain! It takes two pictures. One is a normal picture. The second is a small area of the scene blown up to twice its normal size by digital zoom. Therefore you get the full picture plus a selected area of the photo in a second, separate photo.

After a photo has been taken you can add up to 30 seconds of voice memo to it. Images can be trimmed and smaller copies can also be made.

Movies can be recorded with sound. Zoom can be used before a movie is recorded but not during the recording process. The maximum resolution is 640 x 480 pixels and the top speed of a movie is thirty frames per second. A rare feature that Casio has added is that the Exilim EX-Z1000 allows you to make a still print from a movie. Be aware that the quality of these prints is not that good.

Casio supplies all the cables and software necessary to connect the Exilim EX-Z1000 to a computer, PictBridge compatible printer and a television set.

The camera can also be used as a voice recorder without any pictures being taken.

Ease of Use

I have always felt that Casio digital cameras were straightforward and easy. With the Exilim EX-Z1000 I think Casio have in fact improved this area further. They have achieved this by adding a number of key menu options down the right hand side of the LCD screen. If you do not want them there it is possible to stop them from being displayed. This innovation makes it very easy to find and amend a setting. I like this idea. When you do need to dip into the menu system it is well presented and simple to use.

Cost

You can pick up a Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 for around £250. This compares to around £255 for a Sony DSC T30, £205 for a Olympus MJU 810 and £185 for a Pentax Optio A10.

There are no ten megapixel consumer digital cameras to compare against. Therefore I have gone for other pocket sized models with a high number of megapixels. Based on this I would say the Exilim EX-Z1000 is fairly priced.

Style

There is not that much to report when it comes to style. The Exilim EX-Z1000 is a pretty typical pocket sized digital camera. It has a rectangular shape and the edges are rounded. It is available in silver and black.

Dimensions are 58.4 x 22.4mm and the camera weighs 139g.

Batteries and Memory Cards

A rechargeable battery (NP-40) is used to run the camera. Casio supplies both a battery and charger with the Exilim EX-Z1000 as standard. They estimate you should be able to take around 360 shots before the battery needs to be recharged.

8mb of memory are built into the camera. I was only able to take three shots before the memory was full. This is poor in my view as it does not even allow you to take a fair number of test shots. Before you can really use the camera you will need to pick up a high capacity memory card to go with the camera. It is compatible with SD cards.

Click here to save money on SD cards.

Points I like:

Indoor photos
Overall ease of use
Features

Where it is not so hot:

Very small internal memory

Summary

I can see the Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 being a very popular camera. With ten megapixels, a pocket sized design and a host of features it is likely to turn a lot of heads. The picture quality is not quite top drawer, but is comfortably above average.

Casio EXILIM EX-Z1000 Front View Casio EXILIM EX-Z1000 Front View

Casio EXILIM EX-Z1000 Back View Casio EXILIM EX-Z1000 Back View

Casio EXILIM EX-Z1000 Top View Casio EXILIM EX-Z1000 Top View

Sample Menus

Casio EXILIM EX-Z1000 record menu Casio EXILIM EX-Z1000 focusing

Casio EXILIM EX-Z1000 setup menu Casio EXILIM EX-Z1000 quality menu

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Read Review: Sony DSC TX55 Review

Panasonic DMC FX90 Rating 79/100

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Panasonic DMC FX70 Rating 79/100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC FX70 does not quite match up to the picture quality I am used to seeing from Panasonic digital cameras. It does have a lot of other plus points, but if you are looking for true clarity in your photos there are better pocket cameras around.

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Related Pages

Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 Review Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 Specification Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 Sample Images Casio Digital Cameras

Review Date

July 2006

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