Casio Exilim EX-Z30 review
The following is from a beginners point of view after 3 months of ownership.
The battery is fantastic, I've used similar ultra-compact Canon's and I'd guess that battery lasts nearly double the amount of time.
As long as you obey the correct distances Macro mode gives what I think are excellent results.
Video recording is reasonable for a camera of this type. You can use optical zoom before you start, but it's locked once you are recording where only digital zoom is available.
A huge plus is the BestShots feature and Rudi's bestshot editor (http://get.to/bestshots). If you are a beginner you will need to sink a bit of time into finding out what settings do what and experimenting - but that's all part of the fun and the results will be your reward. Once you have set everything up selecting BestShots for certain situations is quick and easy.
The underwater set looks great, It's expensive (actually more than the camera costs) but if you go on beach holidays it looks like it would be great fun. Come next summer i'm not sure i'll be able to resist! (http://www.exilim.co.uk/specials/underwater/)
Digital zoom isn't much good. Although for a camera this size 3x optical zoom is about as good as you'll get so this isn't a real complaint.
Full wide angle (35mm equivalent) gives moderate to heavy barrel distortion(blurry in the corners). I've begun to tap the zoom in 1 notch to give around 40-45mm equivalent. It's a slightly smaller frame but eradicates the problem. See www.pbase.com for examples.
Auto white balance for indoor shots gives a blue tinge far too often(especially when using flash). This can be fixed via manual white balance or setting up your own indoor bestshots.
I feel that in general the camera has a tendancy to under-expose leading to generally dark shots both indoors and out. However this is better than the other way around and again can be compensated via Bestshots or paint shop pro afterwards.
The speaker for playback of voice recording and video's is very quiet & it has no volume control. If the file is played back on my PC the noise level is fine so it's not the mic.
A small lip around the lcd would be nice to help prevent scratching, it's quite exposed. This is nit picking I guess.
Given the choice again I would go for a Canon but this is a fine camera as long as you spend a bit of time working around it's faults. No camera is perfect, especially when they are as small as this.
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