Casio Exilim EX-Z750

18 Aug 2005

Product: Digital camera
Price: €500
When it comes to squeezing more features into smaller cameras Casio has done an exceptional job with the EX-Z750. A mind-numbing range of shooting options and creative controls, not to mention its mammoth 7.2 megapixel CCD, are packed into its tiny chassis, meeting the needs of both casual snap shooter and serious photographer.

The camera might be small but it still finds the space for a 2.7in LCD screen. Unlike many of its competitors in this ultra-compact class, it also boasts an optical viewfinder. This is important because even the best LCD screen struggles to be seen in bright sunshine so it’s nice to have the traditional alternative for framing your shots. Personally, I wouldn’t buy a camera without one.

Comfortable to handle with the controls neatly arranged to the right of the screen, the Z750 uses a small wheel for selecting shooting modes. Below it are the push and press controls for other camera functions. There are dedicated buttons for both camera and playback — so there is no mistaking which mode you’re in — and it’s all topped off with a recessed power button, just so you don’t confuse it with the larger shutter button that you click for taking your pics. Wrapped around the latter is a tiny lever for working the 3x manual zoom with your index finger when you’re in manual mode. All very user-friendly and intuitive.

Digging deeper into the shooting options you will be regaled with a staggering set of choices. For those who find the multiple options a little overwhelming, it’s worth remembering there is also a basic snapshot mode that lets the camera take care of everything automatically from focusing to aperture. The intermediate stage after this is to use the menu to select an appropriate setting for different shooting modes, ranging from portrait to fireworks. You can also step through a wide range of white balance presets, which adjust the colour temperature of your pictures depending on the lighting conditions.

We’re still at the tip of the iceberg. There are complete manual overrides that enable you to choose and set shutter speeds and aperture giving you full creative control over your pictures.

Neat extras include the ability to enhance photos in-camera with brightness and white balance adjustments. Its ability to take movie clips is also impressive though the measly 8.3MB onboard memory means that you’ll have to buy an additional memory card.

So how does it perform? Boot up time between shots is faster than most, which is crucial if you crave the ability to shoot off the cuff when something takes your fancy. Picture quality is excellent with bright and vivid colour saturation, and battery life was good. According to Casio you’ll get around 400 shots before you have to plug it in for a recharge.

An excellent camera that skilfully appeals to a wide range of photographers, none of whom will be disappointed by its features and performance.

By Ian Campbell