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It’s been a while since I’ve seen a Casio camera. The last one I reviewed was the excellent ultra-slim EX-S770 back in January, so when I opened the box of the EX-Z1050 there was a moment of embarrassed silence. You know that feeling when you run into someone you haven’t seen for several years, and you’re rather surprised to discover that they’ve put on about ten stone in weight? I experienced exactly that feeling. I was expecting another ultra-slim fashion camera, along the lines of the EX-S770 or Z75, so by comparison the Z1050 seems, well, kind of fat.
That’s a bit unfair really, because in fact the Z1050 measures just 91.1 x 57.2 x 24.2mm and only weighs 125g, so by comparison to anything but another Casio it’s actually a very compact and lightweight camera. It’s only a couple of millimetres larger than the tiny Canon IXUS 70 that I reviewed last week, and is exactly the same weight. I’ve always been impressed by the style and elegance of Casio’s Exilim cameras, and the Z1050 has lots of both. The camera body is strong but lightweight aluminium, and is available in black, blue, pink or silver. I assume that the test sample I have here is supposed to be the silver one, but to be honest I’d have described it as more of a bronze colour.
Casio has been making digital cameras longer than almost anyone else in the industry, and its Exilim range of compact cameras are highly competitive, going head-to-head with Canon’s market-leading Digital IXUS range. The Z1050 costs around £175, which compares well with other 10MP models, such as the Canon IXUS 900 Ti (£269), Pentax Optio A20 (£198), the Samsung NV11 (£269) or even other ultra-compacts such as the 7MP Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX30 (£234).
The Z1050 is a fairly straightforward snapshot camera, so the control layout is very simple and uncluttered. The zoom control is a rotating bezel around the shutter button, leaving plenty of room on the back for a thumbgrip. The overall shape fits quite neatly into the hand, and although it would possibly benefit from some sort of grip on the front of the body it doesn’t make that much difference.