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Casio announces Exilim EX-ZR15 high-speed CMOS compact camera

By dpreview staff on Jan 9, 2012 at 19:32 GMT

Pre-CES: Casio has announced the Exilim EX-ZR15 high-speed compact camera. The EX-ZR15 features a a 7x, 28-196mm equivalent, F3.0-5.9 stabilized zoom lens and a 16MP CMOS sensor. Casio promises a responsive experience, quoting 0.99 sec startup, 0.13 sec autofocus and shot-to-shot times as low as 0.29 seconds. The camera also makes use of the fast readout from its CMOS chip to offer a range of multi-shot features, such as in-camera HDR, a blurred background effect and stitched-image wideangle function.

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Press Release:

New EXILIM Compact Digital Camera with More Advanced Shooting Functions

Enjoy Ease of Use with Start-Up Time of 0.99 Seconds and Time Between Photos as Short as 0.29 Seconds

Las Vegas, NV January 9, 2012 - Casio America, Inc., today announced the release of the EX-ZR15, a new addition to the EXILIM lineup of digital cameras. This new model is equipped with an array of shooting functions that set it apart from conventional compact digital cameras, including super-wide-angle shooting and a background blur function that makes the most of Casio’s original high-speed technologies.

The EX-ZR15 is powered by the EXILIM ENGINE HS, a high-performance engine that combines high-speed shooting and high-speed image processing. Further leveraging Casio’s high-speed technologies, the new EX-ZR15 compact digital camera significantly improves on operability and functionality. The new model boasts a start-up time of 0.99 seconds, 0.13-second high-speed auto focus, and time between photos as short as 0.29 seconds. The EX-ZR15 allows users to experience the pleasure of continuous shooting so no important moments are missed, even when using shooting modes that apply complex image processing needed for difficult scenarios, such as the HDR and HS night scene modes.

While the EX-ZR15 is a very compact digital camera, it is loaded with an array of powerful functions that make picture-taking even more fun, including a background blur effect that accentuates the subject and softens the background, and the new Wide Shot function that lets users create impressive super-wide-angle shots by panning the camera (equivalent to 17-mm wide-angle when converted to 35mm film format). Furthermore, the EX-ZR15 is equipped with a more advanced HDR-ART function that can create artistic images. The improved function now enables users to produce dramatic movies from everyday scenes.

Main Features of the EX-ZR15

EXILIM ENGINE HS with high-speed shooting and high-speed image processing

The EX-ZR15 incorporates the EXILIM ENGINE HS for high-speed shooting and high-speed processing. In addition to a multiple CPU and dual image processing circuits, the camera is equipped with a reconfigurable processor that delivers functional and performance flexibility plus high-speed processing based on Casio's latest technologies. With the engine, the EX-ZR15 is fast from the time the power is turned on until the unit is turned off, with 0.99-second start-up time, 0.13-second high-speed auto focus, 0.29-second minimum time between photos, and approximately 1.8-second shutdown time, making picture-taking virtually carefree. The EXILIM ENGINE HS also achieves functions that were simply impossible before, such as HDR-ART, which creates artistic photographs, and enables simultaneous movie and continuous still image shooting.

HDR technology faithfully reproduces images as they really appear

With Casio's HDR technology, each press of the shutter button actually takes several shots at different exposures and instantly combines them into a single image with a wide dynamic range. This minimizes washed out or overly dark areas, creating a photograph that captures all the rich tonal gradation of the scene just as it appears in real life. The HDR technology also reduces the blur caused by a subject's movements during continuous shooting, leaving only beautifully crisp, clear photographs.

HDR-ART function for creating artistic photographs is now available for shooting movies

The EX-ZR15 features Casio’s HDR-ART function for enabling anyone to create truly artistic photographs* at the press of the shutter button, unlike anything possible with conventional cameras before. The function works by combining continuous shots with differing exposures and performing highly precise image analysis to locally change levels of contrast and color saturation. Users can select from three different processing levels of art effects. The HDR-ART function can also be applied to movies shot by the user, allowing them to produce dramatic movies from everyday scenes.

Background blur function lets users take impressive photographs like a single-lens reflex camera

Casio has employed its high-speed burst shooting technologies to create an original technique for processing the background scene of a shot like the soft blur effect attainable using a single-lens reflex camera, thereby accentuating the subject of the photo. 

Scenes come alive in their full expansiveness with the Wide Shot function

The EX-ZR15 combines continuous shots taken with high-speed burst shooting when the user is moving the camera, enabling powerful super-wide-angle shots. Users can choose wide-angle shooting modes equivalent to 17 mm or 21 mm.

Casio's Multi Frame SR Zoom maintains refined image quality to a maximum zoom of 14x

The wide-angle 28 mm, 7.0x optical zoom lens offers zoom performance equivalent to a maximum of 14x optical zoom with Casio's Multi Frame SR Zoom, which actually combines a number of still images to maintain the image quality needed for high-resolution photography.

Slide Panorama captures 360-degree panoramic image

The EX-ZR15’s high-speed burst shooting and automatic composite image functions allow users to create natural-looking panoramic images just by panning the camera across a scene.

Users can enjoy producing high-resolution Full HD movies

The EX-ZR15 enables beautiful high-resolution Full HD movies. Even while shooting a movie, users can take still 16-megapixel high-resolution images with high-speed burst shooting using the Still In Movie function, and can also use the optical zoom and continuous auto focus.

Premium Auto function produces beautiful photos with just a press of the shutter button

Premium Auto enables the camera to automatically analyze the scene being photographed - including distinguishing night scenes, back lighting, a blue sky, green trees or a sunset - as well as sensing any human faces in the frame, the movement and position of the subject, and whether a tripod is being used. It simultaneously optimizes settings for exposure, ISO sensitivity, focus location, photo blur correction, tonal range and color balance, and level of noise reduction. Images are analyzed pixel by pixel to apply different correction to people and backgrounds. Premium Auto delivers an advanced level of full auto photography, ensuring high quality photos with just a press of the shutter button.

The EX-ZR15 will be available in Black, White, Red and Gold and will ship in April for $329.99.

Casio Exilim EX-ZR15 Specfications

Price
MSRP$329.99
Body type
Body typeCompact
Sensor
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Other resolutions4608 x 3072, 4608 x 2592, 3648 x 2736 x 2560 x 1920, 2048 x 1536, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorExilim Engine 5.0
Image
ISOAuto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Uncompressed formatNo
File format
  • JPEG 2.3
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)28–196 mm
Optical zoom7×
Maximum apertureF3.0 - F5.9
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Face Detection
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusYes (Approx. 2cm to infinity (W))
Normal focus range50 cm (19.69)
Macro focus range2 cm (0.79)
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots460,800
Touch screenNo
Screen typeSuper Clear TFT color LCD
Live viewNo
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed4 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program AE
Built-in flashYes
Flash range5.20 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous shooting
  • Self-timer
Continuous drive3 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 seconds, custom)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (15 fps), 640 x 480 (30, 120 fps), 512 x 384 (30, 240 fps), 224 x 160 (480 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage included52.2MB
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (mini)
Remote controlNo
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-ion NP-110 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)325
Weight (inc. batteries)176 g (0.39 lb / 6.21 oz)
Dimensions102 x 59 x 27 mm (4.02 x 2.32 x 1.06)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone
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Comments

Total comments: 2
B64
By B64 (Jan 11, 2012)

How come that some other sites (e.g. LetGoDigital.org) had this introduction already in October 2011? I get the feeling that DPreview is heading more and more into a US-oriented website...

0 upvotes
stephtsf
By stephtsf (Jan 11, 2012)

Why 15 fps at 1280x720 ? Should have been 60 fps at 1280x720. This is a deal breaker for such so-called "high speed" camera. Deeply sorry.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 2