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Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z100 review

Verdict:

Review Date: 27 Jun 2008

Price when reviewed: inc VAT

Reviewed By: Ben Pitt

Our Rating 2 stars out of 5

Casio's EX-Z100 has some desirable features packed into its smart metal body.

The lens has a 4x zoom that starts at a wide-angle 28mm. Behind it is a 10-megapixel sensor and on the back there's a 2.7in LCD with a 3:2 aspect ratio. This provides room next to the preview image for a strip of quick-access settings, including three new Auto Shutter modes. Smile detection waits until the subject smiles before taking a photo. It works better than other systems we've seen as it's a little quicker off the mark and is easier to override. Two other modes capture a photo automatically at the best time to avoid blur but didn't work well in our tests.

The camera took less than two seconds to switch on and take a picture. Subsequent shots were variable, though, sometimes taking a picture as soon as it could after we had pressed the shutter button, and at other times ignoring the shutter button. Focusing was extremely quick at around half a second, which makes us wonder why Casio still insists on including a Quick Shutter option, which saves time by taking an out-of-focus shot. However, our biggest concern is that, even with Quick Shutter disabled, the Z100 often failed to lock on to subjects at the widest zoom setting.

Automatic settings were well judged in bright light, but indoor shots used ISO 200 or lower and excessively long shutter speeds until we set the Anti Shake menu option to Auto. This boosted ISO speeds to 800. Although this resulted in blotchy colours, the pictures weren't a write-off. Skin tones were variable; some shots seemed undersaturated while others had a slight colour cast. They looked great under the flash, though, and colours were hard to fault for other types of subjects.

There's plenty to like, but the EX-Z100's focus problems are too serious to ignore.

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