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Unfortunately the superficial appearance is where the resemblance to the S770 ends, but it’s not all bad news by any means. The camera is attractively designed, and is available in black or red as well as the plain metallic finish shown here. Build quality is very good; the stainless-steel case is nice and strong with an excellent fit between all the body parts and controls. The battery-card hatch is a bit unusual in that it hinges lengthways rather than endways, but it is solid and secure when closed and hard to open by accident.
Turning the camera over reveals a 2.5-in LCD monitor which with 232k pixels is admirably sharp and has a good fast refresh rate. The control layout is fairly straightforward, but I did find one slight problem. There is a textured thumbgrip area on the back below the zoom control, but immediately below that is a button which toggles between still image and movie mode. It’s positioned in such a way that if you’re a spade-handed clod like myself it’s very easy to press accidentally, so I found myself often shooting movies instead of snapping pictures.
Despite its sophisticated appearance the X725 is a very basic camera, with a set of features typical of most low-end snapshot models. It has a simple three-section menu with the first section devoted to 29 scene modes. That seems a lot, but there are no real surprises. It has all the usual modes such as portrait, landscape, sports, snow, night scene ect. There is a mode called “Super Shake Free”, but as you might expect it’s just a high-ISO shooting mode, counteracting camera shake with fast shutter speeds at the expense of image quality.
Other picture adjustments include contrast, saturation and sharpness, as well as the usual B&W, vivid or sepia modes. There is the usual selection of metering modes (matrix, C/W or spot), centre or wide area AF, and adjustable flash intensity, but that’s pretty much your lot. One thing worth noting is that the date stamp function, which puts the date on all your pictures in large orange characters, is set to on by default, something I only discovered after I’d taken all my sample shots.