Casio Exilim EX-Z55

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Casio Exilim EX-Z55

Pros

  • Good looking, very small, large LCD

Cons

  • Needs external card reader or cradle to transfer photos to PC

Bottom Line

The Exilim EX-Z55's slim shape and big LCD make a winning combination for quick, anytime snap-shooting.

Would you buy this?

The tiny Casio Exilim EX-Z55 is immediately attractive. About the size of a deck of cards, it's easy to pack along for any occasion. Its brushed-silver metal body and nicely machined control buttons give it a solid feel in the hand and support smooth operation. Since the back of this 5 megapixel Exilim is nearly entirely covered by a 2.5" LCD, the control buttons have to be small. But even people with large hands and fingers will find them easy to work with.

Photos produced by the EX-Z55 were nearly as good-looking as the camera itself. It had above-average sharpness and exposure accuracy. Colour was generally good, though all the photos we took had a slight brownish tinge to them. This effect makes your shots look a bit warmer than they would if taken by most other digital cameras; although good for portrait work, the results don't faithfully reproduce what you photographed. Fortunately, the camera includes manual white balance calibration, along with the usual list of white balance presets.

We liked this camera's quick shutter release. Whether taking outdoor shots or flash portraits, we noticed almost no shutter lag.

The EX-Z55 has one useful feature that Sony left off its Cyber-shot T series: an optical viewfinder. Sometimes, in very low or very bright light, an optical viewfinder helps you compose your shot faster and more easily than you could with the LCD.

The EX-Z55 lacks manual-exposure modes and a burst-shooting mode (a feature that nearly all digital cameras have), but it has multiple scene modes, including one for combining two shots into one. The camera's manual focus equals those we've seen on many advanced cameras. For greater accuracy, it magnifies the image while you change the focus.

Most of the Exilim's controls reside in its menu system. Overall, the menus are well labelled and easy to read in any light. The camera also provides text prompts for some control icons, plus brief descriptions and sample images for its many scene modes.

Casio provides no standard camera-to-PC connectors (such as a USB socket) on this model. To move your photos to a PC or printer, you must remove the SD Card and use an external card reader, or connect the camera to the included docking station.

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