Casio Exilim EX-Z50 review
Casio follows up its successful pocket-sized Exilim digital camera series with the improved EX-Z50, and it shows. The higher capacity lithium battery is welcome for longer use. Other than some cosmetic alterations to the styling and controls, the original Exilim footprint remains the same, which works to the advantage Casio Exilim user.
What more can I say about my new, 5 MP Casio Exilim EX-Z50? I was already happy with the 4 MP EX-Z4. But I wanted the benefits of the enhanced lithium battery, and more, the 5 MP CCD chip, which guaranteed excellent 8X10 color photos, although I seldom print photos that size. But it's nice having the 5 MP capacity when you want it. I use the EX-Z50 as my carry-around digicam but still want the best capability possible. There is now little incentive to invest in a 6, 7, or 8 MP portable, pocket-size digicam. Yet I remember telling myself that with my 3.1 MP pocket digicam and then with the 4 MP EX-Z4. Nonetheless, for a pocket portable digicam for everyday use, the 5 MP is in my opinion as much megapixels as one will really need, even usable for business use. The bigger megapixel sizes are truly appropriate for the SLR digicams and digicam photographers who are looking for more professional digital photography.
The photos from the EX-Z50 are good, but probably would look better coming from a better printer than the one I use. My printer is good, but uses the typical three-color ink cartridge whereas the five-color ink printers reportedly print much better photos. Just bear in mind that the number of megapixels is not the total story. The size of the CCD chip makes a difference because a bigger chip size allows for correspondingly bigger photo pixel elements. Bigger pixel elements capture more light. A 5 MP CCD chip which is physically larger than a smaller 5 MP CCD chip will capture more light and hence deliver better clarity and resolution and less artifacts. This assumes the same quality in lenses and internal processing electronics. Casio EXILIM's Pentax lens quality certainly helps in this respect.
Casio follows the digital camera trend of designing into the internal processing electronics program the so-called, 'best photo' scene attribute. This allows digicam users to select the appropriate program, such as close-up, scenic, night-time, sunsets, even fireworks displays. The camera does the rest by electronically selecting the appropriate ISO, speed, and aperature setting, taking the guesswork out of the operator's hands. This is good news for aspiring digital photographers. But purists and traditionalists may decry this evolution of digital cameras to the point where it is no longer an art, but one where digital photographers are systems managers of computerized digital cameras, which do all the work for the photographer. No matter where you stand, there is no substitute for imaginative photo composition, and that can come solely from the photographer himself or herself.
I read from several EXILIM digicam users that the LCD screen shows too much yellowish tint. I sometimes see some of that but mostly indoors and I think the artifical indoor lighting plays a major role in that. Outdoors the LCD looks fine to me. Otherwise the LCD is okay.
I gave the EX-Z50 a 4.0 for ease of use because this it is not a simple digicam to use and not the best choice for first-time digital camera photographers, who might find it overwhelming and desire a simple, point-and-shoot digicam. It is entirely appropriate for experienced amateur digicam photographers. I believe Casio designed the EXILIM series for serious digicam users, amateur and professional, not casual, infrequent users. The EXILIM EX-Z50 will give sterling service for anyone who uses it, but those who take frequent digital photos will obtain the most benefit from it.
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|Dec 4, 2004|