The Casio Exilim EX-Z750 is a stylish ultra compact digital camera. It is a seven megapixel camera with a three times optical zoom. It differs from the typical ultra compact camera as it has a number of extra features including fully manual exposure. As well as taking advantage of these controls you can use the Exilim EX-Z750 as a straightforward point and shoot camera as well. Therefore this type of camera may appeal to families who are looking for the convenience of ease of use and portability and also have someone who would like to have access to the more advanced features.
I managed to produce a number of very pleasing images with the Exilim EX-Z750. All the test photos turned out well and there are no shots that can be classed as disappointing.
For me there were two photos that really stood out. These are the indoor and outdoor portrait shots. It is not often I am in a position to really praise the indoor portrait, but I think in this instance high praise is certainly merited. In both photos it is the lighting that really works in my opinion. Both photos are not only well lit, but also have a very warm feel to them. With the outdoor portrait this is no mean feet considering the picture was taken in the middle of December when it is hard to produce this type of photo without a cold, dull feel. The sharpness of the indoor portrait is also worthy of a mention.
Staying indoors the shot taken of beer bottles in more or less complete darkness also produced a strong result. The camera manages to focus well despite the very dark conditions. This shot is also well lit.
The close up test is another to produce a pleasing result. The image is sharp and is another to show correct lighting levels.
The outdoor scenic type shots are of a similar standard to many I have taken. I like the colours here as well and the camera handles the contrast between the lightest and darkest areas well too.
This section of the review has been updated in December 2005. I would like to thank Paul-Henri Cahier for his help in resolving a number of focusing issues I had previously had with the is camera.
Shutter Lag and Recycling Times
Shutter lag is the time it takes to take each picture. A constant criticism of digital cameras is the delay in between clicking the shutter button, the picture being taken and also the camera being ready to take the next picture. From a pure shutter lag view the EXILIM EX-Z750 took a picture and recorded it in 0.15 seconds. This is an extremely fast time.
In terms of recycling times I was able to take five pictures in the space of 7.53 seconds. That works out at a rate of 1.5 seconds per picture. I am not claiming that this is the most scientific tests, but it should give you an indication of the recycling speed of the camera. Again this is a fast time. My test is carried out indoors under standard conditions and it is possible that you would see better results outside.
As well as a fully automatic mode there is the widest variety of scene modes that I have come across. These modes are referred to as Best Shot and they help you to take the best possible shot for a range of different photo opportunities. I counted thirty in all covering just about every eventuality. The list is portrait, scenery, portrait with scenery, children, sports, candlelight portrait, party, pet, flower, natural green, soft flowing water, splashing water, sundown, night scene, night scene portrait, fireworks, food, text, collection, backlight, anti shake, pastel, illustration, cross, monochrome, retro, twilight, id photo, business cards and documents and white board. You can also create and save your own Best Shot settings.
The three times optical zoom has a focal length equivalent to 38 to 114mm in 35mm format. This is enhanced by an eight times digital zoom feature. For close up photography there is a macro mode that lets you get within ten centimeters of the subject.
The LCD screen is 2.5". This is a large size. There is also an optical viewfinder. This can come in handy on very bright days and when the light is low.
The built in flash unit has a range of 2.9m. This falls to around 1.6m when the zoom lens is in use. You can set the flash to automatic, red eye reduction, always on and always off. There is also a facility that lets you vary the intensity of the flash.
For when you would like to appear in a photo there is a self timer that can be set to either two or ten seconds. You can also set the timer to fire off three shots in quick succession. Before taking a shot the contrast, sharpness and brightness levels can be adjusted. Continuous shooting is also available.
You can shoot TV quality movies at a resolution of 640x480. These can be recorded at a rate of 30 frames per second. The duration of each movie is only limited by the capacity of the memory card and battery. There are also Best Shot movie modes for portrait, scenery, night scene, fireworks, backlight and silent. The silent movie mode even shoots in black and white and is slightly speeded up to make it look like an old fashioned silent movie.
Casio provides all the necessary cables and software to connect the Exilim EX-Z750 to a computer, television set and a PictBridge compatible printer.
Fully manual exposure is available allowing you to set the shutter speed and aperture. Apertures are limited to a choice of f2.8 of f4 though. Shutter speeds can be set in a range of 60 - 1/1600 seconds. You can also select aperture and shutter priority.
Other more advanced settings include exposure compensation (-2EV to +2EV (in 1/3EV steps), ISO equivalents (50, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400) and metering (Multi-pattern, centre weighted, spot). There are six white balance settings (sunny, cloudy, shade, florescent 1, florescent 2 and tungsten). There is also a custom white balance setting.
Ease of Use
This is an area where the Exilim EX-Z750 scores very highly indeed. Casio really make the most of the large 2.5" LCD screen. Their menu systems are the largest, clearest and easiest to read that I have come across. The design of the menus is well thought through too. There are very few buttons to get to know and you should have no problem getting to grips with the camera.
You can pick up a Exilim EX-Z750 for around £225. This compares to around £240 for a Nikon Coolpix 7900, £265 for a Canon IXUS 7000 and £270 for a Sony DSC T7. When you consider the features available on this camera this is a very good price.
The Exilim EX-Z750 is a stylish digital camera with a metal body. I like the design and the build quality is good too. It fits well in the hand. It is a typical shiny rectangular model, but Casio have managed to squeeze in a viewfinder as well as a 2.5" LCD screen on the back of the camera. It has dimensions of 89 x 58.5 x 22.4mm. This places it in the ultra compact category. It weighs in at around 127g.
Batteries and Memory Cards
Power is supplied by a rechargeable lithium ion battery. Casio supplies both the battery and charger with the Exilim EX-Z750. Also supplied is a cradle that you place the camera in for recharging.
The camera has 8.3mb of built in storage. I was able to take only three shots before the internal memory became full. This is poor and it is an area where I really think Casio should do better. Therefore you will need to pick up a memory card to go with the camera. It is compatible with SD and MMC memory cards. Click here to save money on SD cards.
Points I like:
Design and build quality
Overall ease of use
Great menu layout
Very fast shutter response
Where it is not so hot:
Very small internal memory
After sales support
The Casio Exilim EX-Z750 has everything you could possibly need in an ultra compact digital camera. It really does have a very strong set of features. I was particularly impressed by the quality of the indoor shots.
Casio EXILIM EX-Z750 Front View
Casio EXILIM EX-Z750 Back View
Casio EXILIM EX-Z750 Top View
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