Compared to... Samsung NV10

Although 10 MP cameras are starting to make their way into most manufacturers' product lineups, at the time of testing we only have one obvious competitor camera; the Samsung NV10. This too is a slim metal-bodied compact with a 10MP sensor. We have included comparisons at each camera's lowest ISO setting (Casio: ISO 50, Samsung: ISO 100) and at ISO 400; the highest ISO setting you can set manually on the Z1000.

Note: The Z1000 has two Best Shot modes that offer a higher auto ISO setting; Anti Shake (ISO 800) and High Sensitivity (ISO 1600). The lack of manual control meant it proved impossible to shoot the studio scene at ISO 800 or 1600, though we did manage to get a shot at ISO 3200 (by turning the lights off altogether). ISO 3200 uses pixel-binning to produce a very low resolution image which you can see by clicking here.

Studio scene comparison (Casio Z1000 @ ISO 50, Samsung NV10 @ ISO 100)  

  • Casio Exilim EX-Z1000: Program mode, ISO 50, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation.

  • Samsung NV 10: Manual mode, ISO 100, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance.
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Casio EX-Z1000
Samsung NV10
ISO 50, 1/100 sec, F3.8
ISO 100, 1/200 sec, F3.8
4,067 KB JPEG
4,477 KB JPEG

Putting aside comparisons for a moment let's take a look at the Z1000's output. For one thing it is surprisingly good; lots of fine detail and little evidence of noise or excessive noise reduction. It is typically over-processed; the default sharpening and contrast is very high (too high for my liking), though you can control these in-camera, and cameras such as this are designed to give 'punchy' prints out of the box. The lens - though hardly 'pro' quality - is clearly a pretty good edge-to-edge performer (the lack of biting sharpness is the reason for the excessive in-camera sharpening), and color - though a touch vivid for my tastes - is very accurate - much more so than the dayglo Samsung image. It's interesting to note that the Samsung (which has a different - though similarly-specified sensor) has higher noise and a hint of noise reduction artefacting (on the watch face). It is also obvious that the NV10's optics aren't a patch on the Z1000, though it's also obvious Samsung isn't using anywhere near as much software sharpening than Casio.

Overall a pretty impressive performance, and one that bodes well for the rash of new cameras appearing with (we presume) the same sensor. I'd personally turn down the contrast and sharpening, but for a camera in this class the output is excellent.