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When it comes to digital cameras, Casio is of course best known for its long-running and extensive range of ultra-compact 3x zoom models, such as the tiny but capable EX-Z85 or the stylish EX-S12. The market for this type of camera has shrunk over the past couple of years, and users are now demanding more features and versatility from their cameras, with options such as HD video, wide angle lenses and longer zoom ranges becoming must-have features. Casio has responded to these changing demands by launching a new model with all the latest features, the 12.1MP, 10z zoom Exilim EX-H10.

As more and more manufacturers move in on the wide-zoom compact market the competition to offer the greatest number of features in the most compact body and for the lowest price is becoming more intense. Models such as the Canon SX200 IS (£235), the Ricoh CX2 (£300), the Olympus mju 9000} (£180), the Samsung WB500 (£175) and of course the popular Panasonic TZ7 (£240) all offer broadly the same range of features, although as you can see the price does vary widely from brand to brand. Unusually for the normally lower priced Casio, the EX-H10 is one of the more expensive examples, currently selling for £245, however it does offer a lot of features for the money.

Compared to most of Casio's other cameras the H10 is fairly large, but compared to other wide-zoom compacts it's actually remarkably small. It measures 102.5 × 62.0 × 24.3 mm and weighs 164g body-only, making it the slimmest and lightest 10x zoom compact on the market, beating even the Olympus mju 9000. The body is mostly aluminium with some plastic trim, and the overall build quality is very good. The body shape includes a small finger grip on the front panel, and the crowded rear panel still has a little room for your thumb. The control layout is good, with large buttons, a nice rotary zoom control and a separate button to activate video recording. The H10 is available in silver, pink or the black finish shown here.

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October 16, 2009, 1:07 pm

IQ score of 8/10 seems about right for a compact camera, however there are a few points to IQ that didn't get mentioned in the review and are bleeding obvious from what I can make out of sample shots and camera's specification:

- there's visible edge preserving smooth type of noise control applied on even the lowest ISO settings. Small detail is pretty much lost with it so forget about printing small crops out of original JPeGs.

- Lens might be good compared to latest Samsungs you reviewed, it is still a rather slow performer with 3.2-5.7 at 24-240mm range compared to similarly priced Panasonics (even certain Canons), especially at the farthest focal points and overall sharpness at any focal distance hardly impresses.

- Dynamic range is really not improved at all with "Extra Lighting" feature. At best, it is what the name suggests, about +1E stop sensor sensitivity increase. Highlights will get burnt out even more but you'd get a bit more of shadow detail out in a visible range JPeG compression won't flatten out.

All in all, it seems a fairly reasonable compact camera and all this won't matter much to a casual user on a family picnic. Shame about the white balance, tho I'd guess that's something Casio can mend with a new firmware update. Still, no replacement for my aging TZ5 :( What I'm waiting/searching for is close to LX3's image quality (even if on smaller resolution sensor, anything over or around 5MB is plenty if it would mean noise is better controlled) all-in-one in a pocket friendly priced and sized package and a fast, medium range lens. Too much to ask for?

Take care and thanks for making my morning coffee time more bearable with all the new and interesting reviews ;)

Charles Stephens

October 16, 2009, 7:28 pm

I have to totally agree with miha! These high range compacts just cannot tick the right baxes,time the manufacturers lowered their aspirations and produced compacts that put iq as a priority.


October 17, 2009, 6:48 pm


Random question. Are there any compact cameras (or DSLRs) that come with an option for an external microphone?


October 21, 2009, 8:10 pm

Comparing this camera to a TZ5 is unfair, since the TZ5 a lot thicker and no where near as pocketable.

Cliff Smith

October 25, 2009, 8:34 am

Williamn - Some of the more advanced DSLRs that feature HD video recording can use external mics, specifically the Canon EOS 5D MkII, Panasonic Lumix GH1, Nikon D300s and D90, and the Pentax K-7. No compacts do though, at least as far as I know.

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