Casio Exilim EX-Z120 review
I purchased the Casio Exlim EX-Z120 on February 1st and returned it on February 5th. It is quite unfortunate that I had to return it, I feel that this camera is an excellent buy in all areas except for image quality.
My previous (and still current) camera is the Canon Powershot S45 and after taking a ton of family pictures I found myself looking for another camera. Some of the features I was looking for that I didn't like about the S45 were:
- A faster full or half press lag (the S45 has about a 1.2 second lag)
- A camera that uses AA batteries, not proprietary
- A smaller form factor
- A better navigation cursor
- Less red-eye
Kids are the main use for this camera, tons and tons of pictures of our three children on the go everyday. We take pictures under all types of conditions and we really want a great point-and-shoot camera. The Best Shot feature of the Casio intrigued me and I figured it would help set the camera up for some of the different lighting situations we find ourselves in with our children (swimming, little gym, low light, fast action, you name it).
The Casio is well built and feels solid. It is easy to hold in your hands but if you're going from a bigger camera to a smaller camera it takes a while to get used to the smaller form factor. The LCD is nice and big but a little blurry compared to the one on my S45. I didn't get a chance to see the LCD in direct light.
The full and half lag time on this camera is great but I wasn't expecting the camera flash recharge rate to take as long as it did. Features were good on this camera but one that I didn't realize I wanted till I missed having it was the auto-rotation feature of the S45 when you take a picture with the camera rotated.
The Best Shot feature was nice but it seamed like there should be more options available. I found myself taking most of my pictures with on the plain-jain snapshot setting.
The image quality is what made me return this camera. The sharpness and color of the images was on par if not better than the S45, however the images were noisy and grainy. It took several comparison photos between the Casio and the Canon for me to finally put my finger on what I didn't like about the images. After doing some research and testing I found that the higher the ISO setting the more noisy the picture. Keeping the ISO at 50 to keep the noise down defeated the purpose of a point and shoot.
I really liked this Casio and I wish the image quality was good enough for me to want to keep it. With kids on the move it's unrealistic to use the red-eye reduction features of digital cameras and I use iPhoto to remove red-eye. The images were noisy enough where the red-eye removal tool in iPhoto didn't clean up all the red-eye.
If you are the type of person that looks at HDTV and says "what's the big deal" or are upgrading from a 1MP camera this might be a good option for you but if you're used to very good image quality you might want to reconsider.
As an aside, I wish the full manual came in paper form and not PDF on a disc.