The monitor screen may be larger than average, but it’s not particularly sharp at only 114,000 dots, and its viewing angle could be wider. However it is nice and bright, has a fast refresh rate, and is relatively glare-free even in bright sunlight. In common with the other models in the Exilim range, the Z1080 has a permanently-displayed on-screen menu which gives quick access to a range of often-used shooting options, including flash mode, AF mode, face detection setting, anti-shake mode, ISO setting, white balance and exposure compensation. As well as this, the functions of the left and right directions on the D-pad can be customised to provide instant control over a list of options, making the Z1080 extremely quick and easy to operate.
Although the Z1080 is designed as a point-and-shoot snapshot camera, it does have quite a wide range of useful features, including no fewer than 41 scene programs in Best Shot mode. It has several continuous shooting options including a three-shot burst mode with flash, a selection of AF modes including centre-spot, multi-spot and tracking AF, and of course the face recognition system. This has appeared before on several Casio cameras, and is certainly an amusing novelty. You can pre-program it with the faces of your friends and family, and it is supposed to recognise them in a group of other faces and focus on them as a priority. It does work, but in practice it is not particularly reliable.
Another feature that has also been seen on previous models is the YouTube video mode, which shoots VGA movie clips and encodes them in the H264 format used by the popular video sharing site. There is also a YouTube uploader program included in the camera’s supplied software. However if you’ve ever uploaded a video to YouTube you’ll know that you really don’t need any special video formats of uploader programs to use it, so this feature is also mostly a sales gimmick.
The camera also has a number of rather more useful features in playback mode, including resizing, cropping and rotating, brightness, white balance and colour adjustment, dynamic range boost, perspective correction and multi-image print layouts. Viewing recorded images is also very quick, with the capability to scroll through 100 images in 10 seconds.