Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (2023)

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Quick Review

Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera

Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (1)CameraQuickLook

Review Date

07/31/03

User Level

Novice to experienced amateur

Product Uses

Family / Travel / Special Events

Digicam Design

Point and Shoot

Picture Quality

High, 3.2-megapixelCCD

Print Sizes

4x6, 5x7,8x10

Availability

Now

Suggested RetailPrice
(At introduction)

$399

Introduction

ReviewLinks
Overview
PickyDetails
Design
Operation
Recommended Accessories
Sample Pictures
Specifications
Conclusion

Consumer electronics giant Casio has been one of the true innovators in theworld of digital photography, although their role is seldom recognized as suchby industry commentators and pundits. Their original QV-10 camera was the firstto include an LCD display panel, a feature that has become nearly ubiquitousacross the entire digital point and shoot camera marketplace. The swivelinglens first seen in the QV-10 also became more common among other manufacturers.

With the new Exilim series of ultra-thin, very compact digital cameras, Casiocontinues to innovate. The latest in the series is the EX-Z3, which boasts a3.2-megapixel CCD and a true, 3x optical zoom lens in its tiny dimensions. (Thelens being the same clever design developed by Pentax for their own Optio Smodel.) The Z3 also has no less than 21 preset shooting modes, making it a versatilechoice for just about any situation. It's tiny, quick on the draw, and veryflexible. - Read on for all the details.

Camera Overview

Rivaling some of the smallest digicams currently on the market, Casio's newExilim EX-Z3 is unabashedly tiny. Measuring 3.4 x 2.2 x 0.9 inches (87 x 57x 23 millimeters) and weighing just 4.8 ounces (135 grams) with the batteryand SD memory card, the EX-Z3 is a perfect match for small shirt pockets andpurses. Clearly meant to tag along to just about any destination, the EX-Z3is well-suited for travel, as it's not much bigger than a (thick) stack of creditcards. The built-in lens cover automatically opens whenever the camera is poweredon, and the lens telescopes outward in a matter of seconds, making it quickon the draw. With its 3.2-megapixel CCD, you can capture high resolution images,good for printing as large as 8x10 inches. (A lower resolution setting is perfectfor email attachments.)

The EX-Z3 features a 3x, 5.8-17.4mm SMC Pentax lens, equivalent to a 35-105mmlens on a 35mm camera. Maximum aperture ranges from f/2.6 to f/4.8, dependingon the zoom position, and remains under automatic control. Focus covers a rangefrom 1.3 feet (40 centimeters) to infinity in normal shooting mode, with a Macrorange from 2.4 to 19.7 inches (6 to 50 centimeters). This is the same lens aswe saw on the PentaxOptio S, and it shares the same capabilities and limitations. (Very compact,good sharpness in the center, but rather soft in the corners of the frame.)The EX-Z3 offers both manual and automatic focus control, and features a fixedInfinity setting as well. In manual focus mode, the central portion of the imageis enlarged 2x as an aid to focusing. A maximum of 4x digital zoom is availablein addition to the optical zoom, but keep in mind that digital zoom always decreasesthe overall image quality because it simply enlarges the center pixels of theCCD image.

For composing your shots, the EX-Z3 features a tiny,real-image optical viewfinder as well as a generous 2.0-inch, TFT color LCDmonitor (which takes up most of the back panel). The LCD monitor reports basiccamera settings information, including camera mode, the number of availableimages, focus mode, date and time, and battery power, among various other modeinformation. Additionally, it reports the selected aperture and shutter speed,whenever the Shutter button is halfway pressed. (So, though you can't controlthe actual exposure, you can at least get a good idea of what it will be, andwhether any exposure compensation is needed.) The Display button not only controlsthe amount of information on the LCD display, but also enables a small histogramfor checking exposure.

While tiny, the Z3's optical viewfinder is reasonably eyeglass-friendly, asits eyepoint is high enough that you can actually see all of it without mashingyour glasses against the back of the camera. Unfortunately, the Z3's opticalviewfinder is very "tight," showing only 73-77% of the frame, so you'llfind yourself relying on the LCD for any critical framing. The good news isthat the LCD shows essentially 100% of the final image area.

The EX-Z3 offers automatic exposure control, which keeps things simple fornovice users, but allows for little control by more sophisticated photographers.Shutter speeds range from 1/2,000 to one second, which means you'll need touse the flash for shooting in low-light conditions. An On/Off button on topof the camera powers the camera on, and a sliding switch selects either Playbackor Record mode. To determine exposure, the camera uses a multi-pattern meteringsystem, which takes exposure readings from areas throughout the frame and thendetermines the best overall exposure. In keeping with its basic point &shoot design, there are no options for center-weighted or spot metering. Youcan increase or decrease the exposure from -2 to +2 exposure equivalents (EV)in one-third-step increments, either by pressing the right and left arrow keysin Record mode, or through an option in the LCD menu. An ISO adjustment offersan Auto setting, as well as 50, 100, and 200 equivalent settings. White Balanceoptions include Auto, Daylight, Shade, Incandescent, Fluorescent, and Manualsettings, which handle most average lighting conditions.

Although you can't control exposure directly, the EX-Z3 does offer 21 preset"scenes" for specific shooting situations, through the Best Shot modeoption of the Record menu. Scene modes include Portrait, Scenery, Portrait withScenery, Coupling Shot, Pre-Shot, Children, Candlelight Portrait, Party, Pet,Flower, Natural Green, Sundown, Night Scene, Night Scene Portrait, Fireworks,Food, Text, Collection, Monochrome, Retro (sepia), Twilight, and Register Favorites(which lets you register favorite images and save them as presets).

(Video) Casio Exlim Digicam Review

Most of the scene modes are self-explanatory, but a couple call for furtherexplanation. In Coupling mode, the camera lets you combine two separate imagesof people into one. For example, you could take one image of a friend in frontof some scenery, and then have your friend take another image of yourself (onopposite sides of the frame). When shooting in this mode, the camera splitsthe screen in half, with the active half brighter than the inactive one. Afteryou've shot the first image, a translucent copy of that image remains, makingit fairly easy to line things up so the background will be in the same orientationfor both shots. After the second image is shot, the camera combines the twoimages into one so that both subjects are in the shot. Playing with this feature,I was surprised to find that it worked better than I expected. There's alwaysa very slight seam down the middle of the image, but if you're careful liningthings up, it's hardly visible. Pre-Shot mode is a bit of a variation on theCoupling mode, and a good choice for those instances when you need someone elseto take a picture of you. (Think vacation pictures.) This mode lets you setup the framing and then hand off the camera to another person to capture theshot. First, you frame the background you'd like to have, and then press theShutter button. A ghost-like image of the background remains on the monitor,helping the other person to line you up in the shot and capture the backgroundyou had in mind.

The EX-Z3 also features a Movie mode, which records moving images with soundfor a maximum of 30 seconds per movie. Movies are recorded at the 320 x 240-pixelresolution setting, and the actual length of recording time will vary dependingon the amount of available memory space. A Self-Timer mode provides either atwo- or 10-second delay between the time the Shutter button is pressed and whenthe camera actually takes the picture, allowing you to get into your own shots.An X3 Self-Timer setting takes three consecutive self-timer images in rapidsuccession, with a 10-second shutter delay before the first. The camera's flashoperates in either Auto, Off, On, or Red-Eye Reduction modes, and is rated aseffective to approximately 7.5 feet (2.3 meters), a figure that matched my owntest results fairly well.

The EX-Z3 stores images on SD / MMC memory cards, and also features 10 megabytesof internal memory. Since the camera does not come with a memory card, I stronglyrecommend picking up at least a 32- or 64-megabyte card at purchase, so youwon't miss any shots due to lack of memory space. A USB cradle also comes withthe camera, and provides quick connection to a computer for downloading images.The cradle also provides in-camera battery charging for the NP-20 lithium-ionbattery pack. An AC adapter is included for the USB cradle, but the camera itselfdoes not have a DC-In terminal. Since the EX-Z3 does not accommodate AA batteriesin any form, I also highly recommend picking up an additional battery pack andkeeping it freshly charged. A software CD loaded with multi-language Casio DigitalCamera Software and a detailed instruction manual comes with the camera, andprovides minor editing tools and image organization utilities. (I applaud theinclusion of an electronic version of the manual, but really think thatnot including a full printed instruction manual with cameras is a disserviceto consumers.)

Basic Features

  • 3.2-megapixel CCD.
  • Real-image optical viewfinder.
  • Large, 2.0-inch color TFT LCD monitor.
  • Glass, 3x, 5.8-17.4mm SMC Pentax lens, equivalent to a 35-105mm lens ona 35mm camera.
  • 4x digital zoom.
  • Automatic exposure control, plus 21 preset Scene modes.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/2,000 to one second.
  • Maximum aperture of f/2.6 to f/4.8, depending on lens zoom position.
  • Built-in flash with four modes.
  • SD/MMC memory card storage, though card not included.
  • 10 megabytes of internal memory.
  • Power supplied by one NP-20 rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack.
  • Software CD loaded with Casio Digital Camera Software and instruction manualfor Macintosh or PC.
  • USB cradle for quick connection to a computer and charging of the camera'sbattery.

Special Features

  • Movie with sound mode.
  • Two- or 10-second Self-Timer for delayed shutter release.
  • Macro lens setting.
  • Manual focus option and Infinity fixed-focus setting.
  • White balance (color) adjustment with six modes, including a manual (custom)option.
  • Sensitivity adjustment with three ISO equivalents and an Auto setting.
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility.
  • Photo Album utility with USB cradle.

Recommendation

The EX-Z3's tiny dimensions and user-friendly interface should make it a popularoption for anyone frequently on the go. The camera's point-and-shoot style shouldappeal to novices, while the 21 preset shooting modes give the camera more exposureversatility than most standard point-and-shoot designs. A 3.2-megapixel CCDdelivers high quality images, good for printing or distributing via email. Whenit comes to downloading images, the EX-Z3's USB cradle makes it easy, and providesa few unique image management tools as well. An excellent choice for novicephotographers, the EX-Z3's small size and well-rounded feature set should alsoappeal to more experienced photographers looking for a fun "take anywhere"camera for snapshots.

Design

Thin, compact, and always ready to shoot, Casio's new EX-Z3 digital camerais fun, user-friendly, and a sure bet for consumers with active lifestyles.Its sleek, smooth styling is free from any extreme protrusions except for thelens, which telescopes outward when powered on. Measuring 3.4 x 2.2 x 0.9 inches(87 x 57 x 23 millimeters), the EX-Z3 fits well into small shirt pockets, hippockets, and evening bags. With the battery and memory card, the EX-Z3 weighsjust 4.8 ounces (135 grams). Because the small size might be a little difficultfor larger hands to hold onto, a thin wrist strap is included for some securityif the camera slips through your fingers. The camera's built-in, shutter-likelens cover means you can stash the camera in a pocket and go, without worryingabout scratching the lens. (Or losing a lens cap.)

Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (2)

The front of the camera features the lens, flash, optical viewfinder window,self-timer lamp, and tiny microphone. A shutter-like, retractable lens coverprotects the lens whenever the camera is powered off, sliding quickly out ofthe way when the camera is turned on. The lens then telescopes out from thecamera body a bit less than an inch into its operating position. When poweredoff, the front of the camera is flat with only a thin raised finger grip, sobe sure to keep the wrist strap securely around your wrist when holding thecamera.

Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (3)Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (4)

The left side of the camera is smooth, with only a shiny silver strip runningdown the center of the panel. The right side of the EX-Z3 features only theeyelet for attaching the wrist strap.

Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (5)

(Video) Casio Exilim EX ZS26 ZS770 sample image Casio Exilim EX ZS26 ZS770 sample photo

The EX-Z3's top panel is mostly flat, although a small ridge protrudes fromthe surface on the right side. The Shutter and Power buttons are located onthis ridge, the power button recessed flush with the surface to help preventaccidental actuation when the camera is carried in a pocket.

Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (6)

All of the EX-Z3's controls are on the rear panel, along with the optical viewfindereyepiece and large LCD monitor. At the top of the panel is the Mode switch,which selects between Playback and Record modes. Lining the right side of therear panel are the Zoom, Menu, Set, and Display buttons, along with a Multi-Controllerin the center. In addition to navigating menu screens, the Multi-Controlleraccess a number of camera functions, depending on which arrow keys are pressed.The EX-Z3's optical viewfinder is quite small, with a moderately high eyepointfor eyeglass wearers. Two LED lamps on the right side of the eyepiece reportcamera status, such as when focus is set, the flash is charging, the camerais writing to the memory card, etc. (A full listing of the light patterns andtheir meanings is in the instruction manual.)

Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (7)

The EX-Z3's bottom panel is flat and smooth, featuring a metal-threaded tripodmount, the Cradle connector jack, and the memory card and battery compartment.(Kudos to Casio for using metal for the tripod socket, rather than the morecommon plastic.) A sliding door protects the memory card and battery compartment,and slides out before opening. Inside, the battery and SD/MMC card slots lineup side by side. Though the battery compartment is too close to the tripod mountto allow quick battery changes while shooting with the camera on a tripod, Idoubt this will be much of an issue with the camera's users, given the camera'shighly portable design.

The accompanying USB cradle provides quick connection to a computer, in-camerabattery charging, and limited file management options. The AC adapter and USBcables plug in to the designated jacks on the back of the cradle. Across thecradle's front are the Photo and USB buttons, as well as two battery chargestatus LEDs. When the camera is in the cradle, pressing the Photo button startsan automated slide show of the images on the memory card. (You can adjust theslideshow parameters via the Playback menu, including which images to display,the interval between successive frames, and how long to leave the show running.)The USB button connects the cradle to the computer, launching Casio's softwareif you have it installed, so you can download images.

Camera Operation

The EX-Z3's user interface is very straightforward, with only a few externalcontrols and an easily navigable LCD menu system. For standard point-and-shootoperation, the most basic features such as flash, focus mode, and zoom are allaccessible via external controls. An external switch controls the main operatingmode, and the camera's LCD menu system is simple to navigate when you do haveto enter it. Three menus are available in Record mode, two in Playback, delineatedby subject tabs at the top of the screen. The arrow keys of the Multi-Controllerscroll through each selection, and the Set button in the center of the pad confirmsany changes. It shouldn't take much more then half an hour to become familiarwith the camera setup, even without the manual, as it's fairly intuitive Noviceusers may require an hour or so to become comfortable though.

External Controls

Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (8)
Power Button
: This tiny button, located on the top panel next to the Shutterbutton, turns the camera on or off.

Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (9)
Shutter Button
: To the right of the Power button on top of the camera, thisbutton sets focus and exposure when halfway pressed, and fires the shutter whenfully pressed.

Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (10)
Mode Switch
: Crowning the camera's rear panel, just above the topright corner of the LCD monitor, this sliding switch selects Record or Playbackmodes.

Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (11)
Zoom Toggle Button
: Located in the top right corner of the back panel, thisbutton controls the optical and digital zoom in any record mode.

In Playback mode, this button lets you zoom in on captured images, or selectthe index display mode to quickly scan the images stored in the camera's memory,nine at a time.

(Video) Casio Exilim EX-Z77 Digital Camera Review

Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (12)
Menu Button
: Just below the Zoom button, this button activatesthe LCD menu display in Record and Playback modes. Pressing this button alsocancels the menu display.

Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (13)
Multi-Controller and Set Button
: Centered vertically on the camera's rearpanel, this four-way rocker button features arrows pointing up, down, left andright. In the center is the Set button, which confirms menu settings. In anysettings menu, the four arrow keys navigate through menu options, highlightingselections.

In Record mode, the up arrow key accesses the Macro, Infinity, and Manual focusmodes. The down arrow cycles through the available flash modes, including Auto,Off, On, and Red-Eye Reduction. The right and left arrow keys adjust the ExposureCompensation, unless specified otherwise through the settings menu.When thecamera is in manual focus mode, the right and left arrows adjust the focus setting,and exposure compensation can only be set via the Record menu.

In Playback mode, the right and left keys scroll through captured images. Whenan image has been enlarged, all four keys pan around within the view. When viewingimages normally, the down arrow displays the delete menu, with options for deletingthe current file or all files. During normal playback display, the up arrowactivates the Album setting menu, for creating photo albums of captured images.You can choose a layout option, background color, text style, usage (Web, Print,or View), or let the camera automatically set up the album. (This option isalso included in the accompanying software, and can be setup on a computer.)This is a pretty nifty camera feature, one that I've not seen anyone but Casiomarket. (Some of their earlier cameras had Album options as well.) The abilityto turn a camera full of pictures into a web-ready photo album with no computerintervention at all is pretty impressive!

Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (14)
Display Button
: Directly below the Multi-Controller, this button cyclesthrough the available LCD displays in each mode. In Record mode, pressing thebutton once displays the image with a full information display, while a secondpress adds the histogram to the display. A third press displays the image areaonly, and a fourth press disables the LCD altogether.

In Playback mode, the first press displays limited image information, whilea second press increases the information displayed and includes a histogram.A third press disables the information overlay and the histogram.

Record-Mode Display:
Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (15)TheEX-Z3 has three Record mode displays, shown at right. The first displays theimage area and a fairly comprehensive information overlay, including resolutionand quality settings, flash mode, camera mode, etc., and the aperture and shutterspeed whenever the Shutter button is halfway pressed. The second mode adds asmall histogram, for double-checking exposure. The third mode shows the imagearea only, with just the focus/exposure brackets displayed in the center ofthe screen.

Playback-Mode Display
Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (16)InPlayback mode, you can use the EX-Z3's zoom control to zoom in or out on animage, or show an index display of the captured images on the memory card. Pressingthe "W" side of the zoom level when you're already viewing a thumbnaildisplay takes you to a calendar view, which groups images in the camera's memoryaccording to the date they were captured on. The Display button controls thelevel of information displayed over the image, and accesses a histogram displayas well.

Camera Modes and Menus

Record Mode: In Record mode, the camera can capture still images ormovie files. Exposure remains under automatic control, but the Best Shot optionof the LCD menu system offers 21 preset shooting modes for more difficult situations.Pressing the Menu button displays the following three submenus and options:

  • Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (17)RecordMenu
    • Record Mode: Sets the record mode to Snapshot, Best Shot, orMovie. Within Best Shot mode, 21 preset scene modes are available, includingPortrait, Scenery, Portrait with Scenery, Coupling Shot, Pre-Shot, Children,Candlelight Portrait, Party, Pet, Flower, Natural Green, Sundown, NightScene, Night Scene Portrait, Fireworks, Food, Text, Collection, Monochrome,Retro (sepia), Twilight, and Register Favorites (which lets you registerfavorite images and save them as presets).
    • Self-Timer: Activates the Self-Timer shooting mode, with shutterdelays of two or 10 seconds. An "X3" setting records three self-timerimages in rapid succession, after a 10-second shutter delay. (Great foravoiding problems with eye-blinks, etc.)
    • Size: Sets the image resolution to 2,048 x 1,536; 1,600 x 1,200;1,280 x 960; or 640 x 480 pixels.
    • Quality: Sets the JPEG compression level to Fine, Normal, orEconomy.
    • EV Shift: Increases or decreases overall exposure from -2 to+2 exposure equivalents (EV) in one-third-step increments.
    • White Balance: Adjusts the overall color balance of the scene.Options include Auto, Daylight, Shade, Incandescent, Fluorescent, andManual.
    • ISO: Adjusts the camera's light sensitivity, options are Auto,or 50, 100, or 200 ISO equivalents.
    • Digital Zoom: Turns the 4x digital zoom on and off.
    • Review: Turns the instant image review function off. If on, theimage is displayed post-capture on the LCD screen for a few seconds.
    • L/R Key: Sets the left and right arrow keys to control eitherRecord Mode, Exposure Compensation, White Balance, ISO, or the Self-Timer.An Off setting renders the keys without function.
  • Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (18)MemoryMenu: This menu lets you specify a handful of camera settings tobe remembered whenever the camera is powered off. Options are Record Mode,Flash, Focus, White Balance, ISO, Digital Zoom, and MF Position.
  • Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (19)Set-UpMenu
    • Beep: Turns the camera's beep sounds on or off.
    • Startup: Sets which image appears on the LCD monitor when thecamera starts up. If turned off, no image appears.
    • File Numbering: Designates whether the camera continues numberingfiles from card to card, or resets file numbering with each new memorycard.
    • World Time: Allows you to set the time for another city, sothat you can display the time in London, for example, on the LCD monitor.A full list of cities is in the manual.
    • Date Style: Cycles through available date formats.
    • Adjust: Sets the camera's internal date and time.
    • Language: Changes the menu language to one of 10 options. (English,French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, and three otherAsian-looking languages I don't recognize.)
    • Sleep: Turns the Sleep function off, or sets the camera to goto sleep after 30 seconds, or one or two minutes.
    • Auto Power Off: Turns this feature off, or sets the camera toshut off after two or five minutes of inactivity.
    • Format: Formats the SD or MMC card, erasing all files (even protectedones). Also can format the camera's internal memory.
    • Reset: Resets all camera settings to their defaults.

Playback Mode: This mode allows you to review captured images on thememory card, erase them, protect them, set them up for printing, play them backin a slideshow, or set up photo albums. Pressing the Menu button displays thefollowing options:

  • Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim EX-Z3 Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications (20)PlayMenu
    • Slideshow: Activates an automatic slideshow of images on thecard. You can set the image interval time, select images to appear inthe slideshow, or designate how long the slideshow plays.
    • Calendar: An interesting function on the EX-Z3, the calendaroption displays images on the memory card in a calendar format composedof thumbnails. Each day block shows the first image taken on that date.
    • Favorites: Lets you select images to be saved as favorites,as well as edit the favorite list. Images selected as favorites are notshown in the normal playback display, and are copied to the camera's internalmemory.
    • DPOF: Selects images for printing, or removes the print markdesignation.
    • Protect: Write-protects individual images or all images onthe memory card, also removes protection.
    • Rotation: Rotates the currently displayed image in 90-degreeincrements.
    • Resize: Changes the size of captured images to 1,280 x 960or 640 x 480 pixels.
    • Trimming: Allows you to crop captured images and save a newcopy.
    • Alarm: Allows you to set up the camera as an alarm clock.
    • Copy: Copies files between the built-in memory and the SD/MMCcard.
  • Set-Up Menu: Displays the same Set-Up menu as in Recordmode.

In the Box

Packaged with the EX-Z3 are the following items:

  • NP-20 rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack.
  • USB cradle.
  • Cradle AC adapter
  • USB cable.
  • Wrist strap.
  • Software CD.
  • Basic manual and registration information.

Recommended Accessories

(Video) Casio Exilim Series of Digital Cameras

  • Large capacity SD or MMC memory card.
  • Additional NP-20 lithium-ion battery pack.
  • Small camera case.

Recommended Software: Rescue your images!
Just as important as an extra memory card is a tool to rescue your images whenone of your cards fails at some point in the future. I get a lot of email fromreaders who've lost photos due to a corrupted memory card. Memory card corruptioncan happen with any card type and any camera manufacturer, nobody's immune.A surprising number of "lost" images can be recovered with an inexpensive,easy to use piece of software though. Given the amount of email I've gottenon the topic, I now include this paragraph in all my digicam reviews. The programyou need is called PhotoRescue, by DataRescue SA. Read our reviewof it if you'd like, but download the program now, so you'll have it.It doesn't cost a penny until you need it, and even then it's only $29, witha money back guarantee. So download PhotoRescuefor Windows or PhotoRescuefor Mac while you're thinking of it. (While you're at it, download thePDF manual and quickstartguide as well.) Stash the file in a safe place and it'll be there when you needit. Trust me, needing this is not a matter of if, but when... PhotoRescueis about the best and easiest tool for recovering digital photos I've seen.(Disclosure: IR gets a small commission from sales of the product, but I'd highlyrecommend the program even if we didn't.) OK, now back to our regularlyscheduled review...

Specifications

See camera specifications here.

Picky Details

Cycle times, shutter lag, battery life, etc. can be found here.

User Reviews

Sample Pictures

See my sample pictures and detailed analysis here.The thumbnails below show a subset of our test images. Click on a thumbnailto see the full-size photo.

Outdoor
Indoor Flash
Indoor

House
Musicians
Macro

Davebox
Resolution
Viewfinder Accuracy

Test Results

In keeping with my standard test policy, the comments given here summarizeonly my key findings. For a full commentary on eachof the test images, see the EX-Z3's "pictures" page.

As with all Imaging Resource product tests, I encourage you to let your owneyes be the judge of how well the camera performed. Explore the images on thepictures page, to see how EX-Z3's images compareto other cameras you may be considering.

  • Color: Overall, I felt that the Z3 missed the mark justslightly in the color department, largely due to its tendency to produce moderatecolor casts under most light sources. The manual white balance setting wasclosest to accurate under artificial lighting, and the auto and daylight optionstypically did best outdoors, but still produced somewhat warm color balancesmost of the time. Under household incandescent lighting, the auto white balancesetting was unusable, the incandescent option resulted in a rather warm image,but the manual setting resulted in an image with better than average color.At the end of the day, not a bad performance, just not one of the best either.
  • Exposure: The Z3 had a tendency to overexpose its shotsslightly, even in the studio. Outdoors , under harsh sunlight, the cameracaptured good-looking midtones, but at the expense of highlight detail, showinga somewhat limited dynamic range. On the Indoor Portrait (without flash),exposure was good, requiring only the normal +1.0 EV of exposure compensationthat that shot typically requires. On my "Davebox" test, the Z3had some trouble distinguishing the subtle pastel tones on the Q60 target,only distinguishing tones up to the"C" range.
  • Resolution/Sharpness: It started showing artifacts in thetest patterns at resolutions as low as 600 lines per picture height, in bothhorizontal and vertical directions. I found "strong detail" outto at least 1,050 lines vertically and 1,100 horizontally. (This is one areawhere the Z3 seemed to do better than its close rival, the Pentax Optio S:Casio's image processing seems to be better at preserving fine detail andavoiding artifacts than does Pentax's. Both cameras show significant softnessin the corners of the frame though, a product of the lens design they share.)
  • Closeups: The Z3 performed well in the macro category,and captured a tiny minimum area of only 1.53 x 1.15 inches (39 x 29 millimeters).Resolution was high, with pretty good detail in the dollar bill. The coinsand brooch were soft due to the shallow depth of field at the very short shootingdistance. There was quite a lot of softness in the corners of this shot, extendingdown the entire left side of the frame. (This is generally the rule, ratherthan the exception in super-macro shots with digicams, due to curvature offield in their lens systems at close focusing distances.) Additionally, exposurewas slightly dim, but overall color was good. The Z3's flash had trouble throttlingdown for the macro area, and overexposed the shot, so plan on using externallighting for any real closeup shots.
  • Night Shots: The Z3's full automatic exposure control andmaximum exposure time of 1 second somewhat limit its low-light shooting capabilities.(Note that the 1 second exposure time is only available in night shootingmode, the normal limit on shutter time is only 1/8 second.) Images were usableat the 1 foot-candle (11 lux) light level, with the ISO 100 and 200 settings.Since that's the equivalent of average city street lighting at night, thecamera should work OK for city night scenes, but expect to use flash for close-upsubjects that might move during the exposure.
  • Viewfinder Accuracy: The Z3's optical viewfinder was verytight, showing approximately 73 percent frame accuracy at wide angle, andabout 77 percent at telephoto. The LCD monitor proved much more accurate,showing about 100 percent at wide angle and about 99 percent at telephoto.Given that I like LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible,the Z3's LCD monitor is essentially perfect in that regard.
  • Optical Distortion: Optical distortion on the Z3 is ratherhigh at the wide-angle end, where I measured approximately 1.2 percent barreldistortion. (Average is about 0.8%, still much too high, IMHO.) The telephotoend fared much better, as I measured a 0.1 percent barrel distortion. Chromaticaberration surprisingly low, as there's relatively little color around thetarget elements. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringearound the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)There's a good bit of softness in the two left-hand corners of the frame,although it didn't seem to be nearly as severe as with the House poster shotabove.
  • Battery Life: Because it didn't have an external powerterminal that would work in all operating modes (the camera will only operatein playback mode when connected to external power via its cradle), I couldn'tconduct my normal explicit power measurements. I did find that it runs fora bit over an hour and a half in both playback and record modes with a fullycharged battery. This is shorter than most full-sized cameras, but surprisinglygood for a subcompact model. (As always though, I highly recommend purchasinga second battery at the same time as the camera, and keeping it charged asa spare for longer outings.)

Conclusion

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The obvious competition for the Exilim Z3 is the Pentax Optio S, which I reviewedpreviously. I felt that the two cameras are likely to appeal to slightly differentmarkets. The Z3 is more oriented to pure point & shoot novice users, withmore scene modes, including some truly clever innovations like the "Coupling"mode that lets you and a friend snap photos of each other in front of the samescene, yet end up in the same photo together. While the Optio S is also veryeasy to use in full-auto mode, it does offer more exposure control options thandoes the Z3. I also felt that the Optio had a slight edge in color renditionand image quality, while the Z3's image processing seemed to preserve fine detailsomewhat better. (Ultimately, the two cameras have similar strengths and weaknessesoptically, since they both use the same lens.) Overall, I'd give the nod tothe Z3 for novice-oriented features, and to the Optio for color quality. Bothare nice products though, good choices for anyone looking for a very compact,take-anywhere camera.

FAQs

Why is my exilim camera not working? ›

Bad or drained batteries can prevent your camera from turning on. If the battery does not work or is missing, you can replace it. The Casio Exilim EX-270 requires a NP-20 Lithium Ion Battery - Rechargeable or the Ultra High Capacity version. Be sure that the battery terminals are clean before replacing the battery.

When did the Casio Exilim EX Z35 come out? ›

Launched in February 2010 , Casio Exilim EX-Z35 is a 12.0MP Ultracompact camera with a 1/2.3-inch (6.17 x 4.55 mm ) sized CCD sensor and 3.0x zoom 36-107 mm F3.

What year did the Casio Exilim camera come out? ›

Exilim is a brand of digital cameras introduced in 2002 by Casio.

What is the price of exilim camera? ›

Casio Cameras Price List in India
CameraPriceAvailable From
Casio Exilim EX-ZS10 14MP Digital Camera₹28,837Jun, 2018
Casio Exilim Zr1100 Digital Camera₹89,189Jul, 2016
Casio Exilim EX-H5 Point & Shoot₹7,795Mar, 2014
Casio Exilim EX-ZS5 Point & Shoot₹4,795Mar, 2014
1 more row

Why does my camera keep not working? ›

Restart Android and Clear RAM

One of the easiest ways to fix camera errors is to reboot your phone immediately. Just like we choose to restart a computer when we face unknown problems. Sometimes it works because your phone will perform better by automatically clearing RAM (Random-access memory).

Why did Casio stop making cameras? ›

The plunge of the point-and-shoot camera made Casio exit the business. No one was interested in point-and-shoot cameras, and even fewer people were interested in a small camera manufacturer.

Is the Casio Exilim waterproof? ›

Waterproof. The camera meets the IEC/JIS Protection Class 8 (IPX8) and Protection Class 6 (IPX6) waterproofing standards. The camera can be used underwater up to 10' (3m) for 60 continuous minutes.

What are the oldest Casio watches? ›

The Casiotron QW02 was the first watch released by Casio. The early 1970s was a period of technological change that saw a switch from mechanical to quartz timepieces. With a solid position in the calculator industry, Casio decided to enter the business field of timepieces.

How do I connect my Casio exilim to my phone? ›

On the smartphone, tap the camera's name (SSID) you want to pair with. This establishes a Bluetooth wireless connection between the camera and smartphone. The camera name (SSID) will be displayed after you enter the Wireless Mode on the camera and select “Pairing”. On the screen that appears, check the “Device” item.

How do I charge my Casio Exilim camera battery? ›

Using the USB cable that comes with the camera to connect it to a computer's USB port will supply power for charging the battery. If you want to use USB cable power to charge the battery, do not turn on the camera after connecting to a computer. Charging is not performed while the camera is on (green back lamp lit).

What is the price of Casio Exilim 14.1 megapixel digital camera? ›

Casio Exilim EX-ZS5 Point & Shoot price in India starts from ₹4,795.

What are cameras so expensive? ›

Generally, DSLR cameras are costly due to the use of expensive materials in their sensors and processors. These components, similar to those found in smartphones and computers, are vital for the camera's functionality, and the miniaturization of these components adds considerably to the cost.

How much do good cameras cost? ›

The starting price of a new full-frame camera with a larger sensor is $2,000 and other high-end point-and-shoot cameras cost $1,300. Examples of professional DSLR cameras that cost approximately $3000 include the Canon 5D MKIV, Nikon D850, and Sony A7R III for only the camera body.

When did the Casio Exilim EX-ZS5 come out? ›

Casio EX-ZS5 Overview

Launched in January 2011 , Casio Exilim EX-ZS5 is a 14.0MP Ultracompact camera with a 1/2.3-inch (6.16 x 4.62 mm ) sized CCD sensor and lens. What is this?

How much is Casio Exilim EX Z55? ›

The Z50 will be priced (£329 ($399) and the Z55 will be £349 ($449).

What year did the Casio digital watch come out? ›

In 1974, Casio released their first digital wristwatch, called the CASIOTRON.

When did the Casio watch come out? ›

1974 – Casio's First Watch Is Released

This first product was called the Casiotron and it sold like wildfire. The watch was innovative and trendy, with a small computer screen that allowed the wearer to not only accurately tell the time, but also tell the date too.

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