The Casio Exilim EX-Z300 is a mid range digital camera. It is just about small enough to fit into a pocket. It has 10 megapixels and a 4x wide angle zoom lens. There are a few extra options that are standard with effects such as colour filters and the ability to adjust sharpness, saturation and contrast.
Why Buy The Casio Exilim EX-Z300
The main attractions include HD quality movies, image stabilisation and ease of use.
96.9 x 57.6 x 23mm
Image Quality - See Sample Images Below
Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light
The Exilim EX-Z300 gets off to a good start. It handles the glare from the sun well enough, although some detail is lost from the lightest areas of the boats. The brickwork of the building is showing in sharp focus and focusing is more or less maintained as you move out towards the edges of the photo.
There is not too much to report here. As far as scenic shots go the Exilim EX-Z300 should be able to produce decent photos without hitting the highest levels.
As with the second outdoor shot the camera manages to deliver an acceptable photo when the lens is zoomed into its maximum capacity. Focusing does start to fade in the most distant area of the photo on the right hand side.
I am happy with the levels of sharpness in this photo. The overall standard is better than that achieved by some of the lower cameras in this series. Focusing levels remain high as you move out towards the edges as well.
This photo was taken using a white balance setting of shady. This helps to add some extra warmth to the photo and reduce the harshness of the colours. The photo works well and you should have no problem producing standard outdoor portraits with this camera.
With the flash turned on indoors some of the colour is washed out of the photo by the lighting. The light is evenly spread, but other cameras are able to temper the amount of flash light used resulting in more vivid colours.
Although this photo was taken indoors I should point out that the lighting was still bright. So window lit portraits should be good, but don't expect to be able to take great photos without flash once lighting levels fall.
Macro, Colours and Noise
The macro test shot is not a bad effort, but the Exilim EX-Z300 has to be at least 15cm away from the subject before it can focus. Therefore my test shot has been heavily cropped. If one of your main interests is close up shots then you are advised to look elsewhere.
In some of my test shots the colours are not as vivid as I'm used to seeing from other brands. This is not necessarily a bad thing as some people prefer softer colours.
When you increase the ISO settings picture quality starts to show signs of noise, as I would expect it to. The good news is that the colours do not break up, but there are some signs of purple fringing on the edge of reflective objects.
Aside from the distant macro shot I would say the Exilim EX-Z300 produced a standard set of test shots. Nothing stands out as being poor, but at the same time nothing reaches out and grabs you to say this camera could be exceptional.
The Exilim EX-Z300 is a simple, unfussy digital camera. It is rectangular, with rounded edges. You can buy it in a variety of colours.
Shutter Lag Times
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time
Ease of Use
As with other Casio Digital Cameras in this series the menus are well laid out and you should be able to find what you are looking for. There are less buttons and controls on the back and top of this camera than on most digital cameras.
Points I Like
Ease of use - HD quality movies
Where it Could Improve
Weak macro mode
I managed to get along quite well with the Casio Exilim EX-Z300. It is able to take a decent snapshot in most situations. This camera does not come cheap though. If you like the idea of being able to shoot short HD quality movies you can justify the price tag. Otherwise you might find better value for money elsewhere.
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