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Conclusion - Pros

  • Good resolution and good results (see below)
  • Comprehensive feature set with real photographic control
  • Wide selection of scene modes
  • Excellent user interface
  • Excellent all-metal construction
  • Good white balance
  • Very compact
  • Low luminance noise at lower ISO settings
  • Big screen
  • Very responsive operation, very low shutter lag
  • Fast focus
  • Advanced MPEG-4 movie mode
  • More customization options than normal in this class of camera
  • Good battery life

Conclusion - Cons

  • Images at default settings over-sharp, over-contrasty and over-saturated
  • Macro mode doesn't get as close as some competitors
  • Some problems with exposure in wide dynamic range scenes
  • Visible color noise at ISO 400
  • Mediocre burst mode
  • Very under-powered flash
  • Screen difficult to see in bright light
  • Have to use the docking cradle to charge battery and use AV output

Overall conclusion

Given that the majority of ultra-compact 7 megapixel cameras share the same CCD sensor, have similar lenses and processors, and have enough pixels that any small differences in resolution and noise will only be visible when you produce big enlargements, it is perhaps unsurprising that they produce very similar results when printed at 'normal' sizes. Where the differences do show is in areas such as exposure, color and dynamic range, and often choosing between one model and another comes down to little more than personal taste. Handling, design and 'add on' features are also important when attempting to choose one model over another, and in this latter area the EX-Z750 is a clear winner.

It's a surprisingly rewarding camera that manages to squeeze a lot of features into its tiny body, and - just as importantly - makes using the wealth of controls and features as easy as possible given the lack of surface area for extensive external buttons or switches. It's fast, easy to use, and reliable, with very few focus or exposure problems (save for the occasional metering error in scenes with lots of contrast or large areas of sky). In the final assessment the EX-Z750 has a bigger feature set than any of its pocket-sized competitors and has a very impressive movie mode with some pretty advanced options thrown in for good measure.

On the downside there are only two serious problems - the ludicrously over-processed appearance of shots taken at the default settings (something you can at least fix by tweaking the sharpness, contrast and saturation) and - more seriously - the woefully underpowered flash. Pocket cameras like this are used in social situations requiring flash, making the poor performance all the more unfortunate. So, if you want a camera that allows you true control in a very compact body, there can be no other choice, and if you rarely use flash you'll find little to complain about. In fact I'm going to stick my neck out here and - even with the underpowered flash - put my money on the Casio EX-Z750 as the best ultra-compact 7 megapixel on the market today for the serious photographer. Perfect? No. Very impressive? Certainly.

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