Casio Exilim EX-Z80 review
I don't usually do reviews, but i had 3 casio cameras and looked into many more over the last several years. I was never particularly happy with any of them but kept them because i WAS happy with the movie mode due to the compression which allows 2 hours straight of movie recording on a 2 gig card. But the still were never better than acceptable, and that was with only maybe one shot out of 3. The noise in the details mad for pics that even when viewed screen size just never looked right. On a fluke i tried a Z80 after it caught my eye in a store. I wasn't even looking for a camera. But at 1/2 the price i paid for my last casio i figured it was worth the 14 day trial which the store manager offered to me w/o the usual restocking fee. I took it home and after looking at just a handfull of pics and videos i immediatly knew it was a huge departure from what casio had been producing in the last several years. The pics looked completely different as tho they were from a different brand of camers. to be more specific, they looked like what canon typically used to produce in thier elph series before they went downhill, but with all the state of the art things such as 8.1 MP and a killer movie mode with the new H.264 codec. One look at the movie quality and i realized it was by fat the best i ever saw in any non dedicated movie cam, and maybe as good as some of those !
in any case, at $159 i consider this camera a ridiculous value. Even at twice the cost it is because no other P&S camera i'm aware of takes such great pics and video and with no need for manual control and user experience. If you are a novice and just want extrememly good pics w/o having to learn photograpy, this will give you far more than you could ever ask for. If you're a hobbiest, you may get results as good as anything in the P&S category, but you may be unhappy without a lot of manual control because people like that want more than just perfect results. They want to have control whether or not it gets them better results. This is the first camera i have ever been totally satisfied with and more, and it's also about 1/2 the cost of any other i've had ! I cannot for the life of me see how anyone familiar with what P&S cameras typically produce on average could possibly be less than thrilled with the results this camera produces. By the way, tho i'm not a hobbiest or photographer in any sense, i've had my share of digital cams and i'm not easily satisfied.
low light is it's only weakness. BUT, this is the weak point for ANY camera. Some are better than others and this one is probably about average. Nothing special in this regard, but ok. However, you won't find anything thats better in low light and still matches this one for movies and normal light stills, which for most people are far more important anyways.