Casio EX-H5 Review

November 26, 2010 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Casio EX-H5 is an affordable travel-zoom camera, offering a 10x wide-angle zoom lens with a focal length of 24-240mm and a CCD-shift image stabilization mechanism. The 12 megapixel EXH5 boasts a headline grabbing battery life of 1,000 shots, a 2.7-inch LCD monitor, and 720p HD movies. The Engine 5.0 image processor increases operational speed by 30%, and there's an improved Dynamic Photo function and numerous Best Shot modes. Available in black, red and silver, the Casio EX-H5 retails at £149 in the UK, €199 in Europe and $199.99 in the USA.

Ease of Use

The metal and plastic bodied Casio EX-H5 is a simplified and crucially cheaper version of the company's higher-end EX-H15 travel zoom camera. Casio is describing the EX-H5 as a high speed - thanks to the incorporation of a new fifth generation Exilim Engine - high zoom compact camera (hence the 'H' in the model name). At £149 / $199.99 it's certainly a very reasonably priced option in its class, which also includes Panasonic's TZ series, Canon's PowerShot SX210 IS, Kodak's Z950 and Samsung's WB500 and WB650 models, to name but a few.

The EX-H5 boasts a zoom of the 10x optical variety, starting out at a wideangle 24mm equivalent in 35mm film terms, which should make it as adept at landscapes and group portraits as candid close ups from afar. Because of this broader than average 24-240mm focal range, like its similarly equipped competitors it's inevitably slightly wider in depth (29.1mm with protrusions, officially) and overall bulkier than cameras with more modest 3x or 5x zooms. The EX-H5 feels reasonably weighty for a pocket model too at 174g without the battery and optional SD/SDHC memory card inserted, and sturdily constructed also.

As well as including an extra helping hand to avoid blur in the form of CCD shift stabilization, the EX-H5 ticks most of the boxes for the latest must-haves in other areas, including a 12.1 effective megapixel resolution from a 12.39MP 1/2.3-inch square CCD and a 2.7-inch LCD with an average 230,400 dot resolution screen. There's also - of course - the now ubiquitous 1280x720 pixels HD movie recording.

To set it apart from the competition the EX-H5 includes a couple of the technologies that Casio has been pushing of late: a unique Dynamic Photo function that allows cutting and pasting from one image shot in continuous shooting mode to another, and an extra long battery life - here claimed to be a whopping 1,000 photos from a single charge. Impressive stuff, when the competition averages about 250.

Various artistic digital effects are selectable from within its comprehensive range of 42 Best Shot scene and subject settings - accessed by pressing the Set button and then selecting the BS icon - and applied to ape a watercolour, oil painting, sepia tinged print or crayon drawing. A gimmick perhaps, and yet the results are surprisingly effective, being of particular use to those of us not skilled enough to achieve similar in an image editing package.

Casio EX-H5 Casio EX-H5
Front Rear

From the front the EX-H5 appears smart if conventional in its design, our review sample coming in a rather fetching red. That lens starting at a wider than most 24mm equivalent is squirreled away and protected within the body when the camera is inactive, helping maintain as compact-as-possible dimensions for portability, top right of which is a small window for the self timer lamp / AF assist light.

Bottom left of the lens is a small pinprick housing the built-in microphone and above is a narrow window housing the integral flash. There's absolutely no hand-grip on the EX-H5 except for a pad of four small raised nodules at the rear, with the smooth and shiny front of the camera unadorned except for the Exilim logo. In truth though you'll want to use both hands to hold the camera as steady as possible when shooting.

On the camera's top plate the shutter release button is in turn encircled by a lever for operating the zoom, next to which we find a recessed, small, on/off button. Press this and the model powers up from cold in just over two seconds, lens extending to maximum wideangle setting from its storage position within the body. With a half press of the shutter release button the camera takes a brief moment to determine focus and exposure, AF point highlighted in green accompanied by a bleep of affirmation. Go on to take the shot and with no discernible shutter delay, maximum resolution images are committed to memory in just over a second, screen momentarily blanking out and then presenting a preview of the capture shot. That's commendably swift for this class of camera.

The EX-H5's zoom is fast to respond, though its adjustments and transitions are accompanied by a rather loud mechanical buzz; still it powers through its 24-240mm equivalent focal range in just less than two seconds if you keep a finger on the 'trigger'. The fact that the zoom is operated by a control placed in this position has another advantage: it leaves room at the top right of the camera back (where a zoom rocker switch might otherwise be located) for a dedicated video record button for the 720p movies, recorded at 1280x720 pixels at 30fps in the AVI format.

The 2.7-inch LCD on the backplate is merely average in terms of size and resolution, but in the absence of an optical viewfinder it is at least bright and clear in terms of visibility. Swallowing up most of the available space, the remaining controls are ranged in a row top to bottom on the right. We've already mentioned the convenience of the one touch video record button - although, scandalously, the optical zoom isn't accessible in this mode - beneath which is another button for switching to stills capture.

Casio EX-H5 Casio EX-H5
Side Front

Under this again is a familiar control pad, with a 'Set' button at the centre for implementing chosen menu options. With the pad marked 'Display' at its 12 o'clock setting and featuring Flash control at six o'clock, operation is again straightforward. Users get a choice of the usual flash settings, including red eye reducing option, along with a soft flash setting.

Press that central 'set' button meanwhile and a toolbar of essential shooting functions appears on the right hand side of the screen, running top to bottom. Again, as a time saver this conveniently avoids having to dip into the menu folders proper and search for basic options. From the top we have the ability to determine image quality and pixel count, flash (again) and focus options (AF, macro focus, infinity focus and even a manual option: the latter presenting a histogram and an adjustable focus distance of between 50cm and infinity).

AF modes are further adjustable between intelligent AF, spot, multiple area and AF tracking. Next down the toolbar are the Continuous Shooting options, with Normal, 4fps, 10fps, Flash and Off, then choices of self timer between 10 and two seconds and a further kind of self timer bracketing option that fires three consecutive shots with an interval of a second between each. Unfortunately there's no quick way to adjust either the ISO speed or Exposure Compensation without having to dip into the Menu system.

Beneath the EX-H5's control pad are two buttons, one for Playback and a smaller one for deleting images. The Main menu mode and the 'BS' (BestShot) scene and subject modes are accessed from the Set onscreen column of icons. The photo thumbnail illustrated Best Shot modes govern all the familiar subjects from portraits and self-portraits through pictures of autumn leaves, fireworks, flowers and food, plus backlight and high sensitivity modes joining the yet-more-creative Art Shot modes mentioned at the outset of our review. We even get help here with taking ID photos for passports, photographing business cards and presentation boards, along with a pre-record movie function for anticipating action sequences.

Casio EX-H5 Casio EX-H5
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

The Main menu has three sub folders that can be tabbed between: Record, Quality and Set Up. Within the Record menu photographers can switch between 4fps and 10fps continuous shooting modes, turn Anti Shake on or off, and call up a nine zone compositional grid to practice the 'rule of thirds'. Within the Quality folder as expected resolution of both stills and video can be adjusted to suit the intended end purpose. It's under the 'quality' heading that we also find the means of manually adjusting exposure (+/- 2EV), white balance, ISO (ISO64-3200), metering (multi zone, centre weighted or spot) plus applying a palette of colour filters to variously warm or dampen the image.

In the Set Up menu, users have the ability to turn Eye-Fi connectivity on, should they have a suitable Eye-Fi media card loaded that will provide automatic wireless uploading whenever they come within reach of their desktop PC or laptop. Otherwise operational sounds, start up visuals and time stamps can be governed in this mode as expected, though like us you're probably most likely to access it to format the card in use and quickly delete all the images contained therein.

While operationally, that's about it for the EX-H5, on the camera's right hand flank next to a lug for attaching a wrist strap we find a protected port for a single yet dual purpose AV/USB output. No HDMI here for hooking the camera directly up to a flat panel TV though, which is slightly disappointing as this is fast becoming a must have feature, even for modestly priced compacts such as this.

The base of the camera meanwhile features a slightly off-centre plastic screw thread for attaching a tripod, just next to a shared compartment for the battery and memory card. Whilst we didn't get close to the 1000 images the company promises in terms of battery life, the camera did manage over 800 shots before needing to be recharged. So, the upshot is that this is a camera you could take away on holiday for a week and not have to worry about having to constantly charge the battery every day.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5Mb.

The Casio EX-H5 produced images of average quality during the review period. The Casio EX-H5's main drawback in terms of image quality is noise, with ISO 200 showing some noise and slight blurring of detail. The noise and loss of detail get progressively worse as you go from ISO 400 to 800, with the fastest settings of 1600 and 3200 being practically unusable.

The Casio EX-H5 handled chromatic aberrations fairly well with some limited purple fringing effects appearing in high contrast situations. The 12 megapixel images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpen setting and either require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you should increase the in-camera sharpening level.

The night photograph was poor, with the maximum shutter speed of 4 seconds not allowing you to capture enough light for most situations. Macro performance is also below par, only allowing you to focus as close as 7cms away from the subject. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure. Anti-shake works well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range.


There are 7 ISO settings available on the Casio EX-H5. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

ISO 64 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso64.jpg iso100.jpg

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso400.jpg

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso1600.jpg

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)


Focal Range

The Casio EX-H5's 10x zoom lens offers a versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples:



focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg


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 a little 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)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Casio EX-H5 handled chromatic aberrations fairly well during the review, with some purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg


The Casio EX-H5 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 7cms 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

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg


The flash settings on the Casio EX-H5 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 (24mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (240mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (240mm)

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)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg

Red-eye Correction

Red-eye Correction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg


The Casio EX-H5'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)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Anti Shake

The Casio EX-H5 has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results. As you can see, with anti shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti shake turned off. This feature really does seem to make a difference and could mean capturing a successful, sharp shot or missing the opportunity altogether.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length Anti-Shake Off (100% Crop) Anti-Shake On (100% Crop)
1/2 sec / 24mm antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg
1/2 sec / 240mm antishake2.jpg antishake2a.jpg

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Casio EX-H5 camera, which were all taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1280x720 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 10 second movie is 23.3Mb in size.

Product Images

Casio EX-H5

Front of the Camera

Casio EX-H5

Front of the Camera / Turned On

Casio EX-H5

Isometric View

Casio EX-H5

Isometric View

Casio EX-H5

Rear of the Camera

Casio EX-H5

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

Casio EX-H5

Rear of the Camera / Turned On

Casio EX-H5

Rear of the Camera / Set Menu

Casio EX-H5

Rear of the Camera / Main Menu


Casio EX-H5

Top of the Camera

Casio EX-H5
Bottom of the Camera
Casio EX-H5
Side of the Camera
Casio EX-H5
Side of the Camera
Casio EX-H5
Front of the Camera
Casio EX-H5
Front of the Camera
Casio EX-H5
Memory Card Slot
Casio EX-H5
Battery Compartment


The Casio EX-H5 travel zoom camera offers merely average image quality and a rather no-frills feature list, but the simple design and most importantly an enticing price tag make it hard not to recommend to the family users that it's clearly targeted at.

Offering a 10x zoom lens with a versatile focal range of 24-240mm in such a relatively small and compact camera is a real boon to your creativity, and outweighs the slight negative of slightly wider and heavier physical dimensions. Just a couple of years ago you would have to buy an enthusiast-targeted bridge model to get anything like the lens reach offered here - now a mere £150 / $199 buys a simple to operate pocket point and shoot that offers similar range.

It does seem shortsighted however that the optical zoom isn't accessible when filming video - especially considering it's one of the camera's main selling points - but then the mechanical buzz of the lens' operation would undoubtedly be picked up if it was. The EX-H5's lens is much noisier in operation than on competing models, such as Canon's PowerShot SX210 IS, and is one of the few black marks against Casio's big zoom Exilim, the other being the lack of an HDMI output for painless connection to a HDTV set..

The other major negative is the rather disappointing still image quality, with noise and smearing of fine details rearing its ugly head at the relatively slow ISO speed of 200, so-so macro and night modes, and rather too much evidence of chromatic aberrations in high-contrast lighting. It's fair to say that if image quality is of paramount importance for you, then the Casio EX-H5 isn't a great fit.

That doesn't mean that you should write this camera off entirely though. If you shoot most of your photos in good light, then the combination of that broad focal range, high resolution, 720p movies and a decent battery life help to ensure that the Casio EX-H5 should be on the list of anyone looking for an able travel companion that can return decent enough results with the minimum of fuss and prior knowledge. And that amazing price-tag can only help convince you...

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 3.5
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 3
Value for money 4.5

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Casio EX-H5 from around the web. »

It seems every manufacturer has a super-zoom compact in their range. They have grown in popularity due to the flexibility the large zoom range offers while the compact size means it can be slipped into a pocket out of harms way easily. These attributes make this kind of camera perfect for taking on holiday, or as a camera to keep by your side at all times. This Casio is priced at £149.99 and is aimed at those looking for that flexibility in a compact, easy to use package.
Read the full review » »

Answering the call to provide consumers with an affordable compact camera that still packs a punch, Casio has created their Exilim EX-H5. This inexpensive digicam boasts some appealing features for a camera of its size, including 12-megapixels, a 10x optical zoom lens with wide 24-240mm equivalent zoom range, 720p HD video recording, and a plethora of useful exposure modes.
Read the full review »


Number of Effective Pixels 12.1 million
Image Sensor   1/2.3-inch square pixel CCD
Total Pixels 12.39 million
File Format Still Images JPEG (Exif Version 2.2, DCF 1.0 standard, DPOF compliant)
Movies AVI format, Motion JPEG, IMA-ADPCM (monaural)
Audio (Voice Recording) WAV format (monaural)
Internal Memory 24.5 MB *1
Recording Media SDHC Memory Card, SD Memory Card *2
Number of Recorded Pixels Still Images 12M (4000 x 3000), 3:2 (4000 x 2656), 16:9 (4000 x 2240), 8M (3264 x 2448), 5M (2560 x 1920), 3M (2048 x 1536), VGA (640 x 480)
STD / LP Movies 640 x 480 (30 fps) / 320 x 240 (15 fps)
HD Movies 1280 x 720 (32 fps)
YouTube™ 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Recording Capacity (Maximum Image Size Setting) Still Images Built-in Memory Approx. 3 shots (Fine) / ca. 6 shots (Normal) / ca. 9 shots (Economy)
SD Memory Card 1GB *3 Approx. 122 shots (Fine) / Approx. 234 shots (Normal) / Approx. 350 shots (Economy)
Movies Recording Time Max. recording time per file: 29 min.(YouTube™: max.10 min)
Built-in Memory Approx. 9 second (HD)
SD Memory Card 1GB *3 Approx. 6 min. 51 second (HD)
Operating Speed Start-up Time *4*5 Approx. 1.7 second
Shutter Release Time Lag *5 Approx. 0,010 second
Playback Speed *3 Approx. 0.1 second / image
Shooting Interval *3*6 Approx. 2.0 second intervals
Normal Speed Continuous Shooting *3*6 Approx. 1.4 second
4fps Continuous Shooting *7 Approx. 4 frames per second
10fps Continuous Shooting *8 Approx. 10 frames per second
Flash Continuous Shooting Speed *9 Approx. 3 frames per second
Lens / Focal Length Construction 11 lenses in 10 groups, including aspherical lens
F-number F3.2 (W) to F5.7 (T)
Focal Length   f = 4.3 to 43.0mm
35mm Film Equivalent Approx. 24 to 240mm
Zoom Ratio Optical Zoom 10X
Digital Zoom 4X (40X in combination with optical zoom)
HD Zoom Max. 62.4X @VGA
Focusing Focus Type Contrast Detection Auto Focus
Focus Modes Auto Focus, Macro Mode, Super Macro, Infinity Mode, Manual Focus
AF Area Intelligent, Spot, Multi or Tracking
AF Assist Lamp Yes
Focus Range *10 (From Lens Surface) Auto Focus Approx. 15cm to Infinity (W)
Macro Approx. 7cm to 50cm (W) (from 1st zoomlevel)
Super Macro Approx. 7cm to 50cm
Infinity Mode Infinity (W)
Manual Focus Approx. 15cm to Infinity (W)
Exposure Exposure Metering Multi-pattern by CCD
Exposure Control Program AE
Exposure Compensation -2EV to +2EV (in 1/3EV steps)
Shutter Type   CCD electronic shutter, mechanical shutter
Shutter Speed *11 Auto 1/2 to 1/2000 second
Night Scene (BEST SHOT) 4 to 1/2000 second
Aperture *12 F3.2 (W) to F7.5 (W) *13, auto
White Balance Auto WB, Daylight, Overcast, Shade, Day White FL, Daylight FL, Tungsten, Manual WB
Sensitivity (SOS/REI) *14 Still Images Auto, ISO64, ISO100, ISO200, ISO400, ISO800, ISO1600, ISO3200
Movies Auto
Other Recording Functions Image Stabilization Mechanism CCD-shift image stabilization
Make-up Mode Yes, (12-level steps)
Landscape Mode Yes (Vivid Landscape: 2-level steps / Mist Removal: 2-level steps)
Lighting Yes
BEST SHOT   Yes: 41 scenes
Dynamic Photo Yes
Multi-motion Image *15 Yes
Art Shot Yes
YouTube™ Capture Mode Yes
Voice Recording Yes
Face Detection Yes
Auto Shutter Yes
Self-timer 10 seconds, 2 seconds, Triple Self-timer
Built-in Flash Flash Modes Auto, Flash Off, Flash On, Soft Flash, Red Eye Reduction
Flash Range Normal: Approx. 0.2 to 4.2 m (W), approx. 0.5 to 2.4 m (T)
Continuous Shooting: Approx. 0.4 to 1.8 m (W), approx. 0.5 to 1.0 m (T)
Flash Charge Time Approx. 6 seconds
Monitor Screen 2.7-inch TFT color LCD, 230,400 dots (960 x 240)
Timekeeping Functions Date and Time Recorded with image data
On-image Time Stamp Function Yes
Auto Calendar To 2049
World Time 162 cities in 32 time zones, city name, date, time, daylight saving time
Input/Output Terminals   USB/AV port (PAL/NTSC)
USB Hi-Speed USB compatible
Microphone Monaural
Speaker Monaural
Power Requirements Rechargeable lithium ion battery (NP-80) x 1
Battery Life Number of Shots (CIPA) *16 Approx. 240 shots
Continuous Playback (Still Images) *17 Approx. 4 hrs. 10 min.
Continuous Movie Recording Time *18 Approx. 1 hrs. 50 min.
Continuous Voice Recording Time *19 Approx. 4 hrs. 10 min.
Dimensions (Excluding Projections) 103.5 (W) x 59.4 (H) x 29.1 (D) mm
Thinnest part: 24.4 mm
Weight (Including Battery and Memory Card) Approx. 174 g
Bundled Accessories Rechargeable lithium ion battery (NP-80), lithium ion battery charger, AC power cord, USB cable, AV cable, strap, CD-ROM, Reference Manual

Recording Functions

Image Stabilization Mechanism

CCD-shift image stabilization

Make-up Mode

Dedicated Button  (12-level steps)

Landscape Mode

Dedicated Button  (Vivid Landscape: 2-level steps / Mist Removal: 2-level steps)

Handheld Night Scene


Lighting Function




Yes: 38 scenes

Dynamic Photo


Multi-motion Image*9


YouTube™ Capture Mode




Voice Recording


Face Detection


Auto Shutter




10 seconds, 2 seconds, Triple Self-timer

Built-in Flash

Flash Modes

Auto, Flash Off, Flash On, Soft Flash, Red Eye Reduction

Flash Range*4

Approx. 0.7 to 11.5ft (W), approx. 1.6ft to 6.5ft (T)


Monitor Screen

3.0-inch TFT color LCD (Super Clear LCD), 230,400 dots (960 x 240)


Timekeeping Functions

Date and Time

Recorded with image data

On-image Time Stamp Function


Auto Calendar

To 2049

World Time

162 cities in 32 time zones, city name, date, time, summer time


Input/Output Terminals


USB/AV port


Hi-Speed USB








Power Requirements

Rechargeable lithium ion battery (NP-90) x 1


Battery Life

Number of Shots*10
(CIPA Standards)

Approx. 1000 still images

Continuous Playback
(Still Images)

Approx. 11 hr.

Continuous Recording
(Voice Recording)

Approx. 21 hr. 30 min.


Dimensions (Excluding Projections)

4(w) x 2.5(H) x .96(D) in.

Thinnest part: .87 in.


Weight (Excluding Battery and Accessories)

Approx. 5.8 oz.


Bundled Accessories

Rechargeable lithium ion battery, lithium ion battery charger, AC power cord, USB cable, AV cable, strap, CD-ROM

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