Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 Review
Review Date: July 10th 2006
The Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 is one of the very few compact digital cameras currently available which offers 10 megapixels. Recently 6 megapixels seems to have become the de facto standard for a lot of newer models, but Casio have decided to buck the trend and squeeze 10 megapixels onto the EX-Z1000's 1/1.8 inch sensor. Other standout features include a large 2.8 inch LCD screen, all-metal body, no less than 37 different scene modes, which should cover most situations, and Anti Shake DSP, an electronic image stabilisation system. The Casio EX-Z1000 also offers a 3x zoom lens equivalent to 38-114mm, battery life of 360 shots, and the ability to cut and edit movies in the camera. The 10 megapixel resolution is the obvious headline grabber for the EX-Z1000, but can Casio deliver good image quality with such a small sensor, and does the rest of the camera meet expectations? Find out now by reading our latest review.
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The Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 has a 10.37 megapixel, 1/1.8 inch CCD that delivers 10.1 effective megapixels. There are a range of image sizes (3,648×2,736 / 3,648×2,432 (3:2), 3,648×2,048 (16:9), 2,560x1,920, 2,048×1,536, 1,600×1,200, 640×480) 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. When the digital zoom is activated, images with resolutions from VGA up to a maximum of 5 megapixels can be stored in the central area of the CCD chip and projected by the relevant zoom factor, without any detail being lost. Depending on the resolution you choose, this lets you achieve a zoom factor of between 1.4x and 1.7x. The camera has just 8Mb of built-in memory - it is not supplied with an SD Memory Card or Multi-Media Card.
The Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 offers an Auto exposure mode plus 37 different scene modes in the Best Shot menu. The maximum aperture is f2.8 (wide) – f5.4 (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-Z1000 has a normal shooting mode, Self-timer (2 secs. or 10 secs. and a Triple option) and 4 different Continuous modes - Normal Speed (1.2fps), High Speed (3fps, but only at Normal quality), Flash Continuous and Zoom Continuous, which enables you record two photos at the same time when you press the shutter release once (one complete image and a selected detail). There are 8 filter effects (black and white, sepia, red, green, blue, yellow, pink, purple). Sharpness, Saturation and Contrast 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 and offers a selection of different modes (Auto Focus, Macro mode, Auto Macro, Pan Focus for movie only, Infinity mode, manual focus). The Macro setting allows you to focus on subjects that are as close as 6cms 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 3.6 meters (W) and 0.4 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-Z1000 has a 2.8 inch TFT LCD Display which has 230,400 pixels with with 4-level brightness adjustment. The Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 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 Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 can record movies at 640 x 480 pixels (high quality) and 640 x 480 pixels (normal quality) at 25fps or 320 x 240 pixels at 12.5fps, 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-Z1000's dimensions are 92 (W) x 58.4 (H) x 22.4 (D), and it weighs 139g without the battery and storage card fitted. The camera is powered by a Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery, which has an approximate battery life of 360 shots. There is a plastic tripod mount in the centre of the bottom of the camera, next to the USB cradle socket which is used to connect the camera to your computer, TV or printer, and to recharge the battery.
Finally, the standard box kit contains a Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery, USB cradle, AC adaptor, USB cable, AV Cable, 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 2 images 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-Z1000 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.