Casio EX-Z800 Review
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The Casio EX-Z800 is a good example of just what you can get these days at the entry-level end of the market, offering compact dimensions, a versatile wide-angle lens, large LCD screen and HD movie recording. Unfortunately below-par image quality and the over-simplified user interface detract from the Z800's overall appeal, especially for more experienced users.
The Z800's 4x, 27-108mm lens is versatile enough, covering everything from wide-angle landscapes to head and shoulder portraits, and mechanical stabilisation helps to ensure that most of your shots will be sharp. We have reviewed other comparably sized compacts with bigger zoom ranges though, so it's worth looking around if you need a longer focal length. The 2.7 inch LCD screen is adequate enough for a 2011 camera, while the HD movie mode has been improved on previous Casio compacts with the ability to use the zoom lens during recording and a handy one-touch record button.
Ease-of-use is fine for beginners, with the Z800 doing virtually all of the heavy lifting if so required, but the need to almost constantly dip into the rather convoluted dual menu system slows things down for more experienced users looking for greater control. It takes no less than 8 button presses, for example, just to change the ISO speed, something that absolute beginners may never actually do, but which the rest of us will find frustrating.
Image quality is also only satisfactory, with noise and loss of detail at relatively slow ISO speeds, a limited maximum shutter speed of 4 seconds, and a disappointing 8cm macro mode. This isn't the camera to buy if you're looking for the best ever image quality, especially when used in low-light conditions, but the EX-Z800 does produce well-exposed and accurate photos that will please the majority of its target audience.
Which leaves us with a well-built, compact but ultimately unremarkable camera that benefits most from its budget price-tag of £125 / $150. With current street prices currently coming in at even less, we can recommend the Casio EX-Z800 as a simple but effective point and shoot for all the family.
|Ratings (out of 5)|
|Value for money||4.5|