Considering that price, it’s hard to believe just how good the EX-Z75 actually is. For starters it’s a great looking camera. It has an all-aluminium body finished in an attractive brushed texture, with a polished bezel around the lens. As well as the silver version seen here it’s also available in black, blue or pink. The shape and style is clean and simple, with a round-ended profile and bevelled corners. The controls are laid out in an attractively high-tech looking pattern, but still manage to be logically positioned for easy operation. On the back is a large 2.6-in wide-format monitor which, while relatively low resolution at only 114k pixels still manages to be bright and very fast. Overall build quality is superb, and the fit and finish of the body panels and controls is very good. The card/battery hatch has a metal hinge. Despite its low weight and slender shape, the camera feels pleasantly solid and businesslike in the hand.
Performance has always been a strong feature for Casio cameras, and the EX-Z75 is no exception. It starts up in a little over 1.5 seconds and shuts down again in about the same time. The AF system is very quick, one of the quickest I’ve seen on a compact. In fact testing it alongside the Canon IXUS 75 it proved to be exactly as fast as that camera. It also focuses quickly and reasonably reliably in low light, although the lack of an AF assist lamp means it won’t focus in complete darkness. The flash range is about average for this type of camera at 3.5m, but frame coverage is excellent, and the flash will work in continuous shooting mode, although obviously is does run a bit more slowly. Without the flash, single-shot mode cycle time is an impressive 1.7 seconds, while in continuous shooting mode it can manage a shot every 1.1 seconds and keep this up until the memory card is full. In video mode it produces the now standard 640 x 480 resolution at 30fps, although it also has two lower resolution modes.
The camera is powered by a relatively small 700mAh Li-ion battery, the duration of which is claimed to be 260 shots, which seems reasonable. I took about 120 shots with it, and the battery indicator was showing two out of three bars when I was done. As for card capacity, thanks to the very low file compression, a 1GB card is enough for approximately 224 shots at maximum quality.
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