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Casio Exilim EX-ZS10 review

Ben Pitt
15 May 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
128
inc VAT

We like the smart design but the ZS10's features and image quality are below par for the price.

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Specifications

1/2.3in 14.0-megapixel sensor, 5.0x zoom (26-130mm equivalent), 140g

We're easily won over by cameras in unusual colours, and the raspberry metallic finish on the ZS10 certainly hits the spot. It's also available in sky blue, pastel pink and more conventional black and silver finishes. The metal case is slim and stylish, and its 5x optical zoom starts at a super-wide-angle 26mm. Otherwise, it's business as usual for a budget compact, with a 14-megapixel sensor and a 2.7in, 230,000-pixel screen.

Casio Exilim EX-ZS10

Pressing the centre button on the navigation pad reveals a strip of icons down the side of the screen, but the ones shown are surprisingly unhelpful. There's access to photo and video resolutions, a shadow-enhancement feature and a simplified Easy Mode, but not to ISO speed, white balance, exposure compensation or continuous mode. In fact, there's no continuous mode anywhere to be found on this camera. Accessing other settings via the menu is long-winded, although it is possible to assign the left and right buttons to one of various functions for quick access.

It's not fast at taking photos, either, at around three seconds to switch on and shoot and the same time between shots. Focusing in low light was particularly slow, as there's no focus-assist lamp to help it identify subjects. At this price, it's disappointing that there's no orientation sensor – rotating portrait-shaped shots manually on a PC is a time-consuming process.

Casio Exilim EX-ZS10 back

The 720p video resolution and 28-minute clip lengths are welcome but videos were quite noisy. Photos taken in bright light were perfectly presentable, and the slightly vague fine details and soft corner focus made little impact at typical viewing sizes. Lens distortions were harder to ignore, though, giving wide-angle shots an unsightly bulge towards the centre of the frame. Noise became pronounced by ISO 200, and noise reduction glossed over textures such as foliage and skin but still failed to smooth over the noisiest of pixels. The result was that shots taken in medium-to-low light looked grubby when viewed up close, and faces looked like they'd been subjected to a botched digital makeover. Automatic settings were well judged to avoid camera shake, but at this price we expect image stabilisation to reduce the need for high ISO speeds.

The ZS10 isn't a disaster but other cameras around this price offer much better image quality.

Basic Specifications

Rating**
CCD effective megapixels14.0 megapixels
CCD size1/2.3in
Viewfindernone
Viewfinder magnification, coverageN/A
LCD screen size2.7in
LCD screen resolution230,400 pixels
Articulated screenNo
Live viewYes
Optical zoom5.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent26-130mm
Image stabilisationnone
Maximum image resolution4,320x3,240
Maximum movie resolution1280x720
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
File formatsJPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)

Physical

Memory slotSDXC
Mermory supplied14MB internal
Battery typeLi-ion
Battery Life (tested)190 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV
HDMI output resolutionN/A
Body materialaluminium
Lens mountN/A
Focal length multiplierN/A
Kit lens model nameN/A
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables
Weight140g
Size56x95x19mm

Buying Information

Warrantyone-year RTB
Price£128
Supplierhttp://www.amazon.co.uk
Detailswww.casioonline.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modesauto
Shutter speedauto
Aperture rangeF/3.2-8 (wide), f/6.5-16.3 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution)64 to 1600
Exposure compensation+/-2 EV
White balanceauto, 6 presets, manual
Additional image controlsnone
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus10cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, centre, face detect
Metering modesmulti, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, self-timer