Casio EX-Z1 Review

4.0
July 1, 2009 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 10 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5Mb.

The Casio EX-Z1 produces images of above average quality. The biggest issue is noise and loss of detail at relatively slow ISO speeds. The 1/2.3 inch, 10.1 megapixel sensor recorded noise-free images at ISO 64-200, but there's some noise and slight softening of detail at ISO 400. ISO 400 shows a little more noise, and ISO 800 and 1600 are signficantly worse, with obvious loss of fine detail, colour desaturation and even more noise. The Casio EX-Z1 handled chromatic aberrations very well, with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations and generally at the edges of the frame. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure. The night photograph was poor, with the maximum shutter speed of 4 seconds not being long enough for most after-dark shots, resulting in under-exposure. Macro performance is disappointing, allowing you to focus as close as 15cms away from the subject. The images were soft straight out of the Casio EX-Z1 at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting. Significant barrel distortion is evident at the wider-angle focal lengths.

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Casio EX-Z1. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

ISO 64 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

Sharpening

Here are two 100% Crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level to suit your tastes.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

File Quality

The Casio EX-Z1 has 3 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

10M Fine (4.94Mb) (100% Crop) 10M Normal (2.46Mb) (100% Crop)
   
10M Economy (1.63Mb) (100% Crop)  
 

Chromatic Aberrations

The Casio EX-Z1 handled chromatic aberrations excellently during the review, with just a small amount of purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Casio EX-Z1 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 15cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Casio EX-Z1 are Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Soft Flash, and Red Eye Reduction. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (35.5mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (35.5mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (106.5mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (106.5mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Auto setting or the Red Eye Reduction caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Correction

Red-eye Correction (100% Crop)

Night

The Casio EX-Z1's maximum shutter speed is 4 seconds in the Night scene mode, which isn't good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 4 seconds at ISO 64. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

compact, beginner, 2.7 inch LCD, 10 megapixel, 3x zoom, casio, casio z1, ex-z1, Casio EX-Z1, z1, exz1

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