Casio Exilim EX-Z60 Review
Review Date: August 21st 2006
The Casio Exilim EX-Z60 is a very slim and stylish compact digital camera, measuring less than 2cms thick and with a brushed all-metal finish. With a 6 megapixel sensor and 2.5 inch LCD screen, the EX-Z60 sits in the middle of the Casio range. Standout features include no less than 33 different scene modes, which should cover most situations, an electronic image stabilisation system called Anti Shake DSP, and a Quick Shutter mode which turns off the camera's auto-focus system so that you can take a shot more quickly. The Casio EX-Z60 also offers a 3x zoom lens equivalent to 38-114mm, battery life of 180 shots, an RGB histogram and an uncluttered layout. So can the Casio Exilim EX-Z60 stand out from the crowd of point and shoot compacts? Read the latest PhotographyBLOG review to find out.
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The Casio Exilim EX-Z60 has a 6.37 megapixel, 1/2.5 inch CCD that delivers 6.0 effective megapixels. There are a range of image sizes (2,816 x 2,112; 2,816 x 1,872 (3:2); 2,304 x 1,728; 2,048 x 1,536; 1,600 x 1,200; 640 x 480) and 3 different quality levels (Fine, Normal, Economy). Images are recorded as JPEGs. The camera's 3x optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 38-114mm lens on a 35mm format camera. There is also a 4x digital zoom should you feel the need to use it. The camera has just 8Mb of built-in memory, but also supports SD Memory Cards or Multi-Media Cards (not supplied).
The Casio Exilim EX-Z60 offers an Auto exposure mode plus 33 different scene modes in the Best Shot menu. Easy Mode allows you to take good photos in every situation without having to check presets - it effectively limits the menu choices that you can make. The maximum aperture is f3.1 (wide) – f4.4 (tele) and the shutter speed range is 1/2000 - 1/2 secs (maximum of 4 secs in Night Scene mode). There are 4 ISO speeds ranging from 80 to 400 and an Auto option. There are 6 different White Balance presets to choose from (Daylight, Overcast, Shade, DayWhite Fluorescent, DayLight Fluorescent and Tungsten), plus an Auto setting and Manual White Balance. The camera offers exposure compensation in ± 2 in 1/3 EV steps.
The Casio Exilim EX-Z60 has a normal shooting mode, Self-timer (2 secs. or 10 secs. and a Triple option) and 4 different Continuous modes - Normal Speed (0.8fps), High Speed (3fps, but only at Normal quality) and Flash Continuous. There are 8 filter effects (black and white, sepia, red, green, blue, yellow, pink, purple). Sharpness, Saturation, Contrast and Flash Intensity can all be altered from -2 to +2. Anti Shake DSP is an electronic image stabilisation system designed to prevent blurred images, whilst Quick Shutter turns off the camera's auto-focus system so that you can take a shot more quickly (just 0.002 seconds if the flash is off).
There is a choice of 3 different metering systems - Multi pattern, Center weighted and Center spot. The camera uses a Contrast Detection Auto Focus system, either Spot or 9-point Multi, and offers a selection of different modes (Auto Focus, Macro mode, Auto Macro, Pan Focus, Infinity mode, manual focus). The Macro setting allows you to focus on subjects that are as close as 10cms at the wide-angle lens setting. There is an AF assist lamp to help achieve focus in low-light situations. The built-in flash offers 5 different modes (Auto Flash, On, Off, Red eye-reduction, Soft Flash) and has a range of 0.1 to 3.7 meters (W) and 0.6 to 1.9 meters (T). With the Rapid Flash function, three photos are taken with flash in the space of just one second.
To compose your images, you can use the LCD monitor - there is no optical or electronic viewfinder. The Casio Exilim EX-Z60 has a 2.5 inch TFT LCD Display which has 115,200 pixels. The Casio Exilim EX-Z60 supports the DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) and PictBridge printing standards, and it connects to a computer via USB 2.0. You can use the Button Customizer to assign one of five functions to the EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z1000 cursor keys (exposure compensation, white balance, ISO speed, metering and self-timer). The EX-Z60 has an RGB Histogram in both shooting and playback modes. Also when the shutter release button is pressed down half-way, an onscreen exposure warning is activated which draws your attention to under or over exposed areas.
The Casio Exilim EX-Z60 can record movies at 640 x 480 pixels (high quality) and 640 x 480 pixels (normal quality) at 30fps or 320 x 240 pixels at 15fps, all with sound. Movies are recorded in the AVI (Motion JPEG) format. The length of the video is only limited by the size of the memory card that you are using. You can also cut and edit your movies in the camera. As this is a Casio camera, the time can be set for 162 cities in 32 time zones.
The Casio Exilim EX-Z60's dimensions are 95.2 (W) x 60.6 (H) x 19.8 (D) mm, and it weighs 118g without the battery and storage card fitted. The camera is powered by a Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery, which has an approximate battery life of 180 shots. There is a plastic tripod mount in the left of the bottom of the camera.
Finally, the standard box kit contains a Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery, Battery Charger, USB cable, AV Cable, Hand Strap, and a CD-ROM containing the full User Guide (PDF), USB driver, Photo Loader and Photohands software (but only Photo Loader for Macintosh). Note that you can only store 2images at the highest quality JPEG setting on the 8Mb built-in memory. You will therefore need to invest in some memory cards to store your images on.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Casio Exilim EX-Z60 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.