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Casio Exilim EX-Z850 Review

April 2006 | By Simon Joinson


Review based on a production Casio Exilim EX-Z850

Announced just before PMA in February 2006 - almost exactly a year to the day after the camera it replaces - the EX-Z850 is Casio's latest ultra-compact flagship model, offering a huge feature set in a very slim, all-metal body. The EX-Z750 was very well received when it was launched, and remains to this day the most highly-specified 7MP ultra-compact on the market. The EX-Z850 doesn't change the basic formula much but does offer a raft of small improvements; there's an extra megapixel, a couple new Best Shot modes, improved screen brightness, a more powerful flash (with some extra modes) and a movie light. As is becoming standard on this type of camera the Z850 also includes a 'high sensitivity' mode, with up to ISO 1600 on offer.

  • 8.12 Megapixel CCD
  • 3x optical zoom lens
  • High speed start up and operation
  • 2.5-inch TFT super-bright screen and optical viewfinder
  • MPEG-4 movies at up to 640x480 / 30fps
  • 34 Best Shot scene modes
  • 440-shot battery life (CIPA standard)
  • In-camera special effects
  • Post-shot white balance and exposure adjustments
  • Aperture priority, shutter priority and manual exposure options
  • EX button for fast access to shooting controls
  • White LED light enables both still images and movies to be taken in low light conditions and acts as an AF assist light

Casio EX-Z850 vs EX-Z750 (main differences)

 

Casio EX-Z850

Casio EX-Z750
Effective Pixels 8.0 million 7.2 million
Max image size 3264 x 2448 3072 x 2304
Best shot modes 34 29
Flash

• Built-in
• Modes: Auto, On, Off, Soft Flash, High Power Flash, Red eye reduction
• Range: 0.1-4.3m (wide) 0.5-2.4m (tele)

• Built in
• Modes: Auto, on, off, red-eye reduction
• Range: Wideangle: 0.4 - 2.9 m, Tele: 0.4 - 1.6 m
Sensitivity • Auto (Max ISO 1600 when using 'Anti-Shake' or' High Sensitivity' BEST SHOT modes)
• ISO 50
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400

• Auto (50-400)
• ISO 50
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400

Mode dial positions Auto, A, S, M, Best Shot, Movie, Movie Best Shot, Audio Auto, M, Best Shot, Movie, Custom Movie, Movie Best Shot, Audio
Battery life (CIPA standard) 440 shots 325 shots
Other • Brighter screen
• Flash continuous mode
• 'Anti Shake' DSP
• White LED light (AF illuminator)
 

Casio EX-Z850 Key specifications

Street price • US: $359
• UK: £250
Body Material Metal
Sensor • 1/1.8" CCD
• 8.32 million total pixels
• 8.1 million effective pixels
Image sizes

• 3264 x 2448
• 3264 x 2176 (3:2)
• 2816 x 2112
• 2304 x 1728
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480

Movie clips

• 640 x 480 HQ @ 30fps
• 640 x 480 Normal @ 30fps
• 320 x 240 LP @ 15fps
• Limited by the memory card and the battery life

Lens

• 38 - 114 mm (35 mm equiv) 3x optical zoom
• F 2.8 - 5.1
• 3x optical zoom / 8x digital zoom

Shutter speeds • 60 - 1/1600 sec in Shutter Speed Priority and Manual Exposure modes
• 1/2 - 1/1600 sec in Program AE mode
• 1 to 1/1600 sec in Aperture Priority mode
Focus • Contrast Detection AF
• Auto
• Macro
• Pan Focus
• Manual Focus
• AF area: spot, multi, free
Metering • Multi-pattern
• Center-weighted
• Spot by CCD
Shooting mode

• Still
• Still with audio
• Continuous Shutter (normal and high speed, flash continuous, zoom, multi)
• 34 BEST SHOT modes
• AE compensation +/- 2.0 EV in 1/3EV steps

Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 50, 100, 200, 400
White Balance

• Auto
• 6 modes
• Manual

Image parameters

• Saturation (5 levels)
• Contrast (5 levels)
• Sharpness (5 levels)
• Color filter effects (B & W, Sepia, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Pink, Purple)

Continuous • Normal speed
• High speed
• Flash continuous
• Zoom,
• Multi
Flash

• Built in
• Modes: Auto, on, off, red-eye reduction, soft flash
• Range: Wideangle: 0.1 - 4.3m, Tele: 0.5 - 2.4m

Storage • SD/MMC Memory Card
• 8.0 MB internal memory
Viewfinder Optical
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 115,200 pixels
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• Cradle
Power • NP-40 lithium-ion rechargeable battery
In the box*

Casio Exilim EX-Z850
Strap
• NP-40 lithium ion battery
AC power cord
• AV cable
USB cable
USB cradle
• AC adapter
Software CD ROM (inc. Photo Loader and Photohands)

Other features

• Self timer 2 or 10 secs, triple self timer
Date stamping
Keystone correction (playback mode)
Real time RGB histogram
Playback image editing functions (inc white balance and brightness corrections)

Weight (exc batt) 130 g ( 4.6 oz)
Dimensions 89 x 58.5 x 23.7 mm (3.5 x 2.3 x 0.93 in)

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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This article is Copyright 2006 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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