Casio EXILIM EX-Z3 Review
The EX-Z3 continues the EXILIM tradition of being extremely thin, especially when you consider the size of the lens which extends out of it. Having said that it's not quite as thin as the Pentax Optio S which uses the same lens, the difference seems to be the EX-Z3's two inch LCD monitor which adds a few millimeters (the Optio S has a flush fitting LCD monitor). Or perhaps Pentax said, "sure you can have the lens, just don't make a camera thinner than ours!" Joking aside, the EX-Z3 is very pocketable and lightweight with clean lines, good build quality and a reliable long lasting feel.
Side by side
As noted above the Optio S is slightly thinner than the
EX-Z3 but there's very little difference in size between the two. Although
the cameras are based around the same lens system they are certainly not
based on the same chassis, all other items in the camera are in different
places, even the lenses are at different heights. Fully loaded (ready
to shoot) the EX-Z3 weighs 146 g (5.1 oz) compared to the Optio S at 116
g (4.1 oz), this difference is probably down to the use of aluminium for
the body of the Optio S.
In your hand
Despite its thinness I found the EX-Z3 easy to grip, it does have a small finger grip on the front which helps orientate the camera. At the back the LCD monitor dominates the entire rear, it's all you can see once you've grabbed the camera. Casio do have a knack for tactile design, the EX-Z3 is no exception, all controls and surfaces feel solid and look good.
What can I say about the EX-Z3's LCD monitor other than the obvious, it's huge. A two inch LCD monitor looks big on most digital cameras, on a tiny pocketable digital camera like this it simply dominates. I'm sure the large LCD monitor will become a selling point for this camera. While the LCD is big on size it's not big on pixel count, with just 85,000 pixels it can look blocky and slightly rough compared to the high resolution 1.5" units we're used to using. The LCD monitor provides 99% frame coverage.
It goes without saying that this ultra compact digital camera doesn't have much in the way of a viewfinder, more of a pinhole to squint through. I admit I'm being a little cruel, there isn't a single ultra compact digital camera with a good viewfinder. The EX-Z3's viewfinder has no dioptre adjustment, no parallax correction lines (for close shots) and no center cross or brackets. The viewfinder offers just 75% frame coverage (which is pretty terrible).
The two lights beside the viewfinder indicate the following:
|Green Steady||Good AF Lock|
|Green Flashing||Can not AF Lock|
|Red Steady||Flash is charged, will be used for next shot|
|Red Flashing||Flash charging|
|Green & Red Flashing||Writing image to SD / MMC card|
Battery & Storage Compartment
|Carla... by lickity split|
from Beautiful caucasian female faces
|Lunar New Year Fireworks by Michael L NYC 99|
|Vatican Basilica by wam7|
from Street lights
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has a the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.
Voyager is a waterproof smart light stick you can control entirely from your phone. The light has already blown past its $300K funding goal on Indiegogo.
2018 is the last year Photokina will take place during the traditional end-of-September dates. In 2019, Photokina will take place from the 8th to the 11th of May.
The Canon IXUS 50 (known as the SD400 Digital ELPH in North America) was one of a string of high-performing, pocketable PowerShots of the mid-2000s. In this week's throwback Thursday, Barney casts his mind back to 2005.
A close look at the EOS 6D II's Raw files suggest its dynamic range has taken a significant step backwards compared with the company's recent DSLRs. We look at how much difference this might make for your photos.
With a full-production review unit in our hands, we've got over 100 production samples from the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II to share.
Need a break from your day? Kick back and watch the making of a somewhat unconventional mojito filmed on Canon's new EOS 6D Mark II.
The Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens can turn any room into a camera obscura, projecting the view from your window onto the walls of your room.
Adobe just released version 2015.12 of Lightroom CC, adding support for several new cameras and lenses, and baking in several important bug fixes while they were at it.
In this interview, Chiara Marinai, photo editor for VanityFair.com, explains exactly what she looks for in new photographers and photo submissions. Take notes.
Massive corporation P&G is being sued by a Cincinnati photographer for serious copyright violations. If the courts rules against P&G, the company could pay as much as $75 million in damages.
Snapchat's camera-equipped 'Spectacles' aren't so difficult to get anymore. You can now pick up a pair through Amazon for $130.
A group of thieves has made away with tens of thousands in camera gear through a carefully orchestrated scam through Venmo and Facebook Marketplace.