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Casio Exilim EX-Z1000
- Sharp pictures, Great scene modes, Looks good
- .8 shots per second continuous shot mode
This camera is a good choice if you want a high resolution compact camera, combining style, size and image quality into a single package.
Price$ 849.00 (AUD)
With a 3X optical zoom, a slim silver chassis and a standard array of features, the Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 appears to be just a regular camera. That is until you glance at the specification sheet and realise it actually sports a gigantic 10.1 megapixel sensor; the biggest we have ever seen in a compact model. The end result is sharp, clear pictures which, while not the best we've seen, were certainly impressive.
With such a high resolution sensor we were expecting some impressive performances from the EX-Z1000 from Imatest, and we were not disappointed. With a score of 1554 in the sharpness test, the sensor lived up to expectations, producing sharp, defined pictures with no colour fringing or blurring to speak of. Some previous Casio models we've looked at have boasted similarly impressive sharpness scores, but let themselves down in other areas, however the EX-Z1000 did no such thing. Imatest revealed minimal levels of undersharpening and a chromatic aberration score of 0.71% which is more than acceptable. At this level it does have a minor impact on the pictures, but not enough to be a concern.
The EX-Z1000's other results, while not as impressive as the sharpness score, were solid nonetheless. Its score of 9.32 in our colourchecker test is a very decent performance. Colour balance overall was quite good and colour issues were minimal: Reds and blues suffered the most inaccuracy while greens and yellows suffered less.
In our final Imatest test for image noise, one previous Casio camera, the Exilim EX-Z600 stunned us with a score of .37%; lower than any other compact we'd seen. The Z1000 wasn't quite at that level, but its more than acceptable .57% result was slightly below average. We encountered no noise in our pictures at these lower ISO settings, and even at the higher settings this camera scaled well.
In addition to its very solid performance in our imaging tests, the EX-Z1000 faired well in our speed tests as well. With a shutter lag of just under .1 of a second and a 1.6 second shot-to-shot time, it's a fairly speedy machine. The 1.4 second startup time was even more impressive, meaning you're up and running extremely quickly.
We thought the EX-Z1000's feature set was competent, but nothing special. It sports the usual array of white balance presets, ISO settings up to 400 (scene modes can extend the ISO settings higher), over 30 scene modes and exposure compensation. There are a few nifty extras however, such as the ability to use burst mode with the flash and the ridiculously cool 'illustrated' scene mode, which takes shots as though they are painted. The burst modes however were a bit of a disappointment. The speedier of the two takes three shots in just under half a second, but the continuous burst mode takes a much less impressive .8 shots per second.
The EX-Z1000 retains the common Casio credit card sized design, albeit with a dull chrome body and rounded edges. Like most Casio's this is a very aesthetically pleasing unit. The body is a mostly metal construction, and felt quite sturdy and is very solid. The screen is also a noteworthy feature, taking up a massive 2.8 inches of real estate. In reality, part of this is occupied by the side menu, so it really is only 2.5 or 2.6 effective inches, but it is an impressive looking LCD.
The camera has a single directional pad along with menu and scene buttons. On this model Casio has implemented an excellent side bar, which can be accessed at the touch of a button, and grants control over all the main imaging options without having to navigate the main menu.
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