Casio EXILIM Pro EX-P700 Review
Although there is some EXILIM family resemblance the P700 doesn't really look like any Casio that's gone before. Previous prosumer Casio's have been fairly big chunky cameras with large prominent hand grips. The P600 tries to be a compact camera like other EXILIM's but that design ideal is spoilt slightly by the rather ugly lens barrel / viewfinder surround. It's difficult to see a design flow with this camera, lots of elements appear to have been 'dropped' into any place they would fit, that said you can still 'get on' with the camera, after a while. The P700 also has one of the very fashionable (but quite impractical; you end up wiping it every five minutes) chrome bands around its middle.
Side by side
Below you can see the complete line up of $700 seven megapixel digital cameras available now (at the end of 2004). All of these cameras feature a 1/1.8" seven megapixel CCD sensor, have four times or better zoom lenses and manual control features. There's a clear split between the Casio, Pentax and Olympus and the larger Sony and Canon. The P700 is taller than all but the G6 but is about the same width and depth as the Pentax and Olympus, weight wise again it's fairly close between the three lightest cameras here.
(inc. batt & card)
|Casio Exilim EX-P700||98 x 68 x 45 mm (3.8 x 2.7 x 1.8 in)||299 cm³||261 g (9.2 oz)|
|Pentax Optio 750Z||100 x 62 x 42 mm (3.9 x 2.4 x 1.7 in)||260 cm³||254 g (9.0 oz)|
|Olympus C-7000 Z||102 x 59 x 43 mm (4.0 x 2.3 x 1.7 in)||258 cm³||254 g (9.0 oz)|
|Sony DSC-V3||120 x 63 x 72 mm (4.7 x 2.5 x 2.8 in)||415 cm³||401 g (14.1 oz)|
|Canon PowerShot G6||105 x 73 x 73 mm (4.1 x 2.9 x 2.9 in)||432 cm³||465 g (16.4 oz)|
In your hand
The P700 is comfortable enough to hold, there's just enough space on the back of the camera for your thumb to grip it firmly, the protrusion on the front of the camera provides a 'hook' for your finger and the relatively compact dimensions allow the bottom right corner to sit in the pad of your hand. The flash and macro buttons are just too far away from your thumb to be useful and some may find the on/off button (top of the camera) a little small.
|As with other EXILIM's the P700 has a large 2.0" LCD monitor with 115,200 pixels. In use outdoors it proved to be bright enough to see although it probably would have benefited from an anti-reflective coating. Here showing the rather amazing (and rather over the top) EX Finder View which provides a graphical overview of settings and exposure (click here for a diagram).|
There's nothing particularly exciting about the P700's viewfinder, it's the typical optical tunnel type found on almost all compact digital cameras. Not something you'd use on a regular basis but perhaps useful to people who aren't used to using the LCD to frame or in low light situations. Looking through the eyepiece there are no center-of-frame target marks or parallax error correction lines. The viewfinder has no dioptre adjustment. The two lights beside the viewfinder indicate auto focus status, camera startup / writing and flash charging.
Battery & Storage Compartment
The P700 has a combined battery and SD compartment located in the base of the camera. The battery used is the NP-40 Lithium-Ion rechargeable which provides 1230 mAh at 3.7 V (4.5 Wh), it's held in place by a small clip so the battery won't drop out when you open the door.