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Back in April last year I reviewed the Casio Exilim EX-Z80, at the time the smallest and lightest ultra-compact digital camera on the market. Casio has now launched a replacement model sharing the same 19mm-thick 100g body but upgrading the sensor from 8.1 to 9.1 megapixels. Not too surprisingly they've called it the EX-Z85.
There are a couple of even thinner cameras on the market now, including the 16.4mm Sony DSC-T700 and the newly-announced Canon Ixus 100 IS, which beats the Casio by a whole 0.6mm, but at 89.7mm long and 51.7mm tall the Z85 is still one of the smallest cameras around, and with a price of around £100 it is less than half the price of either of those two models.
Despite its tiny dimensions the efficient control layout and textured thumbgrip give the Z85 surprisingly good handling. The 2.6-inch monitor screen leaves room for four decent-sized buttons and a conventional round D-pad, with a separate button to activate the video recording mode. The zoom control is a rotary bezel around the shutter button, and is quick and responsive. The only slightly fiddly control is the power button, but at least it won't get switched on accidentally.
The body is all aluminium, and despite the low weight the camera feels solidly robust. It is available is a wide range of metallic colours, including blue, brown, orange, green, black, two shades of pink and the plain silver finish shown here, although not all colours may be available in all territories. All the colours are finished in a pleasant brushed texture, with chrome and steel highlights.
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