Casio EZ-P700 kicks butt

A small camera in a big camera's category, the EZ-P700 is one of the smallest cameras in this class. Don't be fooled however, it packs a host of features sure to satisfy the most enthusiastic amateur photographer.

Our personal favourites were the variety of bracketing and high speed capture functions, which allowed multiple shots to be taken in very small periods, providing frame by frame analysis of a specific action (such as a golf swing). You can also take the same shot only with 4 or 5 different predetermined settings in a range of fields such as contrast, saturation and sharpness. Whilst this does allow you to take a great shot with the right settings with minimal fiddling, we found there was little difference between many of the shots. A wider scope of variation would have made this tool more useful.

It packs in all the other standard features expected of a prosumer level camera, including manual aperture, shutter speed, white balance and flash controls. There is also a "best shot" setting, which allows you to choose from a list of predetermined configurations by selecting the picture that best looks like your intended result. You can also save your own configuration, which is great if you regularly shoot in the same environments.

One big negative is that the P700 does not support the RAW format, offering only JPEG and TIFF file formats. As this format has become more prolific, many of its competitors now utilise it, so it is surprising they did not include it. Pictures are taken at 7 megapixels, and they are as good as most other models in this range. They do suffer a little compared to the 8 megapixel cameras in this category, but for many the price difference is more than worth it.

Casio definitely did not intend this as a video camera, offering only 320X240 video at 15 fps. It does have unlimited video recording (many cameras limit the length) however it suffers from the long load and save times that seem to plague many Casio models. These load times also crop up at random during other functions, which can be a little off putting as well.

It comes with both direct printer and television connection, which is handy for showing off your work, and more impressively comes with a remote out of the box. This offers both recording and playback controls, and is only standard across Casio and Canon ranges at this stage.

The camera itself looks great. It has a solid, stainless steel exterior, and feels sturdy without being overly heavy. One of its big selling points is that it combines most of the features of a high end professional camera into the body of a more compact model. Almost small enough to fit comfortably in the pocket, it is tiny when compared with many similar models.

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