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Casio launches EX-Z300, EX-Z250 & EX-Z85

By dpreview staff on Aug 20, 2008 at 16:54 GMT

Casio has launched the 10.1MP EXILIM EX-Z300, 9.1MP EX-Z250 and EX-Z85. Both Z300 and Z520 have 3.0” LCDs and 4x (28mm - 112mm equiv) zoom lenses. Apart from Image Stabilization, Noise and Moiré reduction, these two cameras have features such as Makeup function, Multi-Motion Capture and an advanced Night mode. The EX-Z85, with a smaller 2.6” LCD and 3x (38 - 114mm equiv) zoom lens, has features such as Face Recognition, Auto Shutter and an Easy mode for beginners.  

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Press Release:

Casio releases three new Exilim digital cameras

EX-Z300 and EX-Z250 Features New Imaging Engine for Superb Photography;
EX-Z85, a Stylish New 9.1 Megapixel Camera

DOVER, NJ, AUGUST 20, 2008Casio America, Inc., in conjunction with it’s parent company, Casio Computer Co., Ltd. today announced the release of three new high-profile additions to its EXILIM family of digital cameras. The 10.1 effective megapixel EXILIM Zoom EX-Z300 and the 9.1 effective megapixel EXILIM Zoom EX-Z250 both deliver beautiful high resolution images and outstanding functionality made possible by a new Casio imaging engine for high speed image processing. The 9.1 effective megapixel EXILIM Zoom EX-Z85 camera features a stylish design and is packed with the kind of innovative features users have come to expect from Casio.

EX-Z300 and EX-Z250 combine high resolution and high speed image processing to produce beautiful photos of people and night scenes

Thanks to Casio’s new EXILIM Engine 3.0*, these two cameras produce beautiful image quality with low noise and moiré. Both are high resolution models, boasting excellent resolving power and offering precise, smooth rendering of images. The image processing speed and power of Casio’s new engine make possible entirely new functions that deliver fantastic photos of people’s faces, night scenes and other subjects that have challenged photographers for years. These cameras automatically detect and correct for difficult situations, such as night scene photography where camera shake could be a problem, or backlit subjects where faces often come out too dark. This all means that users get great, well-balanced photos of family and friends against any background with no more worry than it takes to press the shutter button.

These cameras also feature a Makeup function that creates beautiful photographs of people’s faces: high end image processing can smooth skin and soften facial shadows caused by sunlight. The photographer gets to choose to apply such image processing at one of twelve levels, from weak through strong, and can shoot while checking the results of the effects in the LCD monitor. At last, a camera that brings out all the beauty of the human face, creating images worthy of holding onto for a lifetime.

EXILIM Zoom EX-Z85 — 9.1 effective megapixel camera with stylish design

The EX-Z85 comes with a Face Recognition function that can detect the presence of up to 10 people’s faces and then give priority to the faces of pre-registered people for correct focus and exposure, and an Auto Shutter function, which automatically takes a photo the instant camera shake ceases, as well as a Movie button that lets users easily record widescreen movies. The design of the focus frame and the color of the menu screen can be customized in accordance with each user’s wishes.  The EX-Z85 delivers high performance with a compact, stylish look.

“We are proud to welcome three new additions to the EXILIM family of sleek and attractive digital cameras,” said Bill Heuer, Vice President of Casio’s Digital Imaging Division. “The new EXILIM engine for high speed image processing takes these point-and-shoot digital cameras to a new level of functionality.”

The three new cameras will be available at retail in October in the following colors:  The EX-Z300, MSRP $299.99, will be available in silver, black and pink; the EX-Z250, MSRP $249.99 will be available in silver and black and the EX-Z85, MSRP $179.99, will be available in brown and orange. 

EXILIM Zoom EX-Z300 and EX-Z250 — Two high quality digital cameras with excellent functionality that allows users to take beautiful pictures of people’s faces and night scenes

One model with 10.1 effective megapixels and the other with 9.1 effective megapixels
The two new cameras are the 10.1 effective megapixel EX-Z300 and the 9.1 effective megapixel EX-Z250. Thanks to Casio’s original image processing technologies, these cameras achieve an extremely precise, smooth rendering of high-resolution images, reducing a great deal of noise in pictures taken at high sensitivity levels. This is the result of Casio’s pursuit of the beautiful image quality that users expect from cameras with very high resolution.

28mm wide angle, 4X optical zoom lenses
These lenses zoom from 28mm to 112mm (35mm film camera equivalent). Users can enjoy a wide range of shooting options, from wide angle photography that is convenient when shooting large objects or many people in a small space, to telephoto shooting which brings distant subjects close.

New functions that take advantage of the high speed image processing of Casio’s newly developed EXILIM Engine 3.0:

Handheld night scene:           
The cameras can automatically detect night situations where there would normally be camera shake if a tripod wasn’t used. Users get clear, bright photographs of both people and night scenes as the camera compensates for camera shake.

Lighting function:                  
When blue skies are washed out, or when faces are dark because subjects have their backs to the light, these cameras are able to automatically detect such situations and select just the right balance between light and dark. Washed out and overly dark areas are controlled, allowing for a natural tonal range to be reproduced, so both people and backgrounds are evenly exposed.

Makeup function:                 
When users want to smooth facial skin, or reduce the depth of facial shadows in sunlight, etc., they can apply image processing from a relatively low level 1 right through to a high level 12, all the while checking the effect of the processing level chosen in the LCD monitor. The higher-end model EX-Z300 also has a “Makeup button” that allows effects to be applied with one touch.

Multi-motion:
Just as if multi-exposure had been used, the EX-Z300 (only) can take a series of shots of a moving subject and combine them in a single photo (image size must be set to 3 megapixels.)

CCD shift stabilization:
Camera shake is compensated for by the mechanical movement of the imaging element in the camera. Of course, both cameras also incorporate Anti Shake DSP, which reduces photo blur due to moving subjects by raising the camera’s sensitivity and allowing faster shutter speeds.

EX-Z300 comes with HD Movie function, which enables high definition (1280x720 pixel) movie recording:
The EX-Z300 comes equipped with a high definition movie recording function, which allows beautiful movies with an image size of 1280 by 720 pixels to be recorded with just a push of the Movie button. They also feature the H.264 video standard, which records beautiful, high quality movies in highly compressed video files.

iTunes-compatible H.264 video:
Both cameras use the H.264 video standard, which utilizes the AAC audio codec widely used in Apple’s iPod and other mobile devices.

Large, high definition 230,000 pixel 3.0 inch LCD monitor:
These cameras use a large, clear 3.0 inch LCD monitor. The high contrast screen produces sharp, bright images that can be viewed easily from any angle, and the monitor’s high brightness means that it can be easily viewed even when the surrounding light is bright.

EXILIM Zoom EX-Z85 — Stylish 9.1 effective megapixel digital camera

Compact 9.1 effective megapixel camera with 3X optical zoom
This high performing model with 9.1 million effective pixels takes high definition photographs. It features a stylish design contained within a compact size. Body measurements for the EX-Z85 are 3.53” wide by 2.04” high by .75” thick.

EX-Z85 features focus frames and menu screens that can be customized according to users’ preferences

Focus frames: 
In addition to the usual rectangular focus frame that is indicated on the LCD monitor, users can choose from frame designs featuring a heart shape or a butterfly, for example. When the scene is properly focused, a clear heart shape is displayed, and when the scene is out of focus the heart shape breaks up. This makes it easy to see when the picture is in focus, and users will enjoy it, too.

Menu screens:
Users can choose their preferred option from six different colors (black, chocolate, cinnamon, rose, sky blue and olive) as the color for the menu screens.

Auto Shutter function on the EX-Z85 shoots automatically when the subject smiles or when there is no blur
Using blur detection technology, the EX-Z85 can automatically take a photo the instant that hand shake or subject movement stops, even without the need to push the shutter button. This reduces photo blur caused by the movement involved in pressing the shutter. The camera will also automatically release the shutter at the moment of a smile or the moment subject blur ceases in a panning shot. A shot can also be taken the moment the user’s face fills the frame when taking a self-portrait.  

EX-Z85 records video in iTunes-compatible H.264 video standard
The camera uses the H.264 video standard, which utilizes the AAC audio codec widely enjoyed in Apple’s iPod and other mobile devices. It also enables recording of movies in an attractive wide-screen format. The camera also features a Movie Button that makes movie recording a snap.

EX-Z85 features automatic face recognition or face detection functions
The Face Recognition function in the EX-Z85 allows users to detect the presence of up to 10 people’s faces, and then, prior to shooting, the camera automatically recognizes the pre-registered face or faces that should be most clearly photographed, and gives those faces priority for correct focus and exposure.

Easy Mode makes it simple for beginners to operate the EX-Z85
The settings menu in the easy mode has been pared down to just three items — flash, self timer and image size — making it easy for even beginners to understand and use.

EX-Z85 features a 2.6 inch widescreen LCD
This camera comes with a highly visible 2.6 inch widescreen display. Information on camera settings is displayed in the “Control Panel” on the right hand edge of the screen, so settings can be changed quickly and easily.

* EXILIM Engine 3.0: This is an image processing module that packages a new, dedicated high speed image processing CPU (central processing unit) with the high performance CPU used to date. Digital cameras are constantly developing and evolving new levels of “beautiful imagery” and “convenient shooting functions.” This new module quickly processes complex images, making it possible for customers to shoot and view wonderful photos with simplicity and ease.

Additional images

Casio EX-Z300 and EX-Z250 specifications

  Casio EX-Z300 Casio EX-Z250
Sensor

• 1/2.3" Type CCD
• 10.34 million pixels total
• 10.1 million effective pixels

• 1/2.3" Type CCD
• 9.30 million pixels total
• 9.14 million effective pixels

Image sizes

3648 x 2736, 3648 x 2432 (3:2), 3648 x 2048 (16:9), 3072 x 2304, 2304 x 1728, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480

3456 x 2592, 3456 x 2304 (3:2), 3456 x 1944 (16:9), 3072 x 2304, 2304 x 1728, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480

Movie clips

1280 × 720 (HD, 24 fps), 640 × 480 (STD, 30 fps), 320 × 240 (LP, 15 fps)

848 × 480 (WIDE, 30 fps), 640 × 480 (STD, 30 fps), 320 × 240 (LP, 15 fps)

File formats

• Stills: JPEG (Exif Version 2.2), DCF 1.0 standard, DPOF compliant
• MOV format, H.264/AVC, ACC (monaural)

Lens • f= 4.9 to 19.6mm
• Approx. 28 to 112mm
• F2.6 (W) to 5.8 (T)
• 7 lenses in 6 groups, including aspherical lens
• f= 4.65 to 18.6mm
• Approx. 28 to 112mm
• F2.6 (W) to 5.9 (T)
• 7 lenses in 6 groups, including aspherical lens
Image stabilization CCD-Shift
Conversion lenses No
Digital zoom 4x
Focus • Contrast Detection Auto Focus
• Auto Focus, Macro Mode, Pan Focus, Infinity Mode, Manual Focus
AF area modes Spot, Multi or Tracking
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance Approx. 10cm to 50cm (W) : Approx. 15cm to 50cm (W)
Metering Multi-pattern, center weighted, spot
ISO sensitivity Auto, 64,100, 200, 400, 800,1600,3200
Exposure compensation -2EV to +2EV (in 1/3EV steps)
Shuttter speed 1/2 to 1/2000 second
Aperture F2.6 to F7.0 F2.6 to F7.7
Scene modes

• BEST SHOT Included: 39 scenes
• AUTO BEST SHOT
• YouTube™ Capture Mode Included
• Face Recognition Included
• Auto Shutter Included
• Voice Recording Included
• Make-up Shot
• Handheld Night Scene

White balance Auto WB, Daylight, Overcast, Shade, Day White FL, Daylight FL, Tungsten, Manual WB
Self timer 10 seconds, 2 seconds, Triple Self-timer
LCD monitor • 3.0-inch wide TFT color LCD (Super Clear LCD)
• 230,400 dots (960×240)
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• AV out
Storage SDHC Memory Card, SD Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, MultiMediaCardplus compatible
Power

Rechargeable lithium ion battery, lithium ion battery charger, AC power cord

Weight (no batt) 130 g 119 g
Dimensions 3.81” (W) x 2.27” (H) x .91” (D) 3.81” (W) x 2.26” (H) x .78” (D)

Casio EX-Z85 specifications

Sensor

• 1/2.5" Type CCD
• 9.30 million pixels total
• 9.14 million effective pixels

Image sizes 3456 x 2592, 3456 x 2304 (3:2), 3456 x 1944 (16:9), 3072 x 2304, 2304 x 1728, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480
Movie clips 848 × 480 (WIDE, 30 fps), 640 × 480 (STD, 30 fps), 320 × 240 (LP, 15 fps)
File formats • Stills: JPEG (Exif Version 2.2), DCF 1.0 standard, DPOF compliant
• MOV format, H.264/AVC, ACC (monaural)
Lens • f=6.3 to 18.9mm
• Approx. 28 to 112mm
• F3.1 (W) to 5.9 (T)
• 7 lenses in 6 groups, including aspherical lens
Image stabilization CCD-Shift
Conversion lenses No
Digital zoom 4x
Focus • Contrast Detection Auto Focus
• Auto Focus, Macro Mode, Pan Focus, Infinity Mode, Manual Focus
AF area modes Spot, Multi or Tracking
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance Approx. 10cm to 50cm (W)
Metering Multi-pattern, center weighted, spot
ISO sensitivity Auto, 64,100, 200, 400, 800,1600,
Exposure compensation

-2EV to +2EV (in 1/3EV steps

Shuttter speed 1/2 to 1/2000 second
Aperture F3.1 to F5.6
Modes • BEST SHOT Included: 30 scenes
• AUTO BEST SHOT
• YouTube™ Capture Mode Included
• Face Recognition Included
• Auto Shutter Included
• Voice Recording Included
• Easy
White balance Auto WB, Daylight, Overcast, Shade, Day White FL, Daylight FL, Tungsten, Manual WB
Self timer 10 seconds, 2 seconds, Triple Self-timer
LCD monitor • 2.6-inch wide TFT color LCD 114,960 dots (479×240
• 114,960 dots (479×240)
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• AV out
Storage SDHC Memory Card, SD Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, MultiMediaCardplus compatible
Power Rechargeable lithium ion battery, lithium ion battery charger, AC power cord
Weight (no batt) 100 g
Dimensions 3.53” (W) x 2.04” (H) x .75” (D)
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