Casio Exilim EX-750 Review
The Z750 has fairly comprehensive white balance controls, with six presets (daylight, cloudy, shade, fluorescent 1 and 2, incandescent) and one manual (custom) setting in addiition to the default Auto mode. In our tests outdoor white balance was excellent, very difficult to fool. Indoors the results below pretty much reflect our real-world findings; not to much trouble with fluorescents but a distinct warm tone to shots under incandescent (tungsten) lighting (though the Incandescent preset produces perfectly neutral results). Interestingly the Z750 is the only camera I think I've ever seen that allows you to change the white balance setting on a JPEG image after it has been saved. Unlike similar options for RAW files, however, this feature applies a color correction to the saved JPEG, and so can only work with the processed data. The results vary from very impressive (when the white balance of the saved file is only slightly wrong) to almost pointless (it cannot return an orange-tinted incandescent shot to anything approaching normality), but it's a novel feature in a camera loaded with them.
Outdoor - Auto WB
|Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red 1.9%, Blue -0.5%
|Incandescent - Auto WB
Red 6.1%, Blue -11.0%
Of all the Z750's features the flash performance is by far the most disappointing. Color is fine (there is a slight tendency to warm skin tones, but this is generally considered a good thing), but the output is so pitifully low that - even with the ISO set to auto (which maxes out at ISO 200) - you have to be very careful if you want to avoid completely underexposed (and very noisy) flash shots. Our skin tone test had to be shot at wideangle (we'd normally zoom in) as we couldn't get a bright enough result at the 5 feet or so away you need to be to get the head and shoulders into the frame. If you use flash a lot then you need to be aware that the results will be fine if your subject is close, but not if they're more than a couple of metres away. We also found red-eye to be a real problem in most shots. When shooting within the flash range both exposure and color are very reliable, and focus - in very low light - excellent at distances up to about 1.0m, thanks to the AF illuminator.
Slight warm tone, well exposed
Excellent color,good exposure
The Z750 has a dedicated macro mode that works at all focal lengths, but - as is normal in cameras such as this - is most effective towards the wide end of the zoom. This provides a minimum focus distance of around 10cm giving you an area of just under 8cm across to work with - hardly class-leading but fine for occasional close-up snaps. Inevitably there is some distortion at the wide end of the zoom, but it's not too strong (mainly because compared to many of its competitors, the Z750's macro mode doesn't actually allow you to get very close). There is also a little Chromatic Abberation (CA) visible towards the edges of the frame in macro mode (this is much harder to see in 'normal' shots).
|Wide macro - 79 x 53 coverage
39 px/mm (980 px/in)
Corner softness: Average
Equiv. focal length: 38 mm
|Tele macro - 109 x 72 coverage
28 px/mm (713 px/in)
Corner softness: Average
Equiv. focal length: 114 mm
Barrel and Pincushion Distortion
Whilst there is measurable distortion at the wide end of the zoom (around 1.1%), it is no worse than most compact 3x zooms. It certainly doesn't have a significant impact on real-world shots. Edge sharpness is actually pretty good for a camera in this class and there is barely noticeable (0.3%) barrel distortion at the long (114mm equiv.) end of the zoom range.
|Barrel distortion - 1.1% at Wide angle
Equiv. focal length: 38 mm
|Barrel distortion - 0.3% at Telephoto
Equiv. focal length: 114 mm
Here for visual comparison are three identical shots taken at 50, 100, 200 and 400 ISO settings in our studio. Although the ISO 50 and 100 results are pretty clean (they have relatively low luminance noise), the effects of noise reduction at ISO 200 are fairly obvious, and at ISO 400 there is a distinctly 'blotchy' appearence to the mid-tones and shadows. Usable, and no worse than most of its competitors, as with all cameras in this class, we'd recommend using the EX-Z750's ISO 400 setting only when you really have to.
|ISO 50 100% crop||ISO 100 100% crop|
|ISO 200 100% crop||ISO 400 100% crop|
Specific Image Quality Issues
With all ultra-compact zoom cameras there is always going to be some compromise between image quality and portability, and the EX-Z750 is no exception. On the positive side exposure and focus are generally very good, though - as with many similar models - there is a tendency for the metering to be fooled by scenes with very high contrast or too much sky, something not helped by the high default contrast (see below). Aside from the slightly higher than average per-channel noise (which produces distinct blotchiness in shadow areas) at higher ISO's and the issues mentioned below, there is little to complain about here.
Contrast, saturation, sharpness
As I worked through the 1000 or so images produced in the process of testing the EX-Z750 I was struck time and again by how 'over the top' the results produced by the default settings are; too contrasty, over-sharpened and with garishly bright colors (if you want to see how garish they can get take a look at this full size image). I was therefore relieved to discover that tweaking the image parameters allows you to produce significantly less processed-looking, more 'photographic' results, especially important if you want to do any post-processing. By turning the three parameters (saturation, contrast and sharpness) down to -1 (something I'd recommend doing pretty much permanently) or even -2, you get results with less visible noise, better dynamic range (highlight retention) and less obvious sharpening halos. Why Casio chose to set the defaults to such an extreme is probably a reflection of their estimation of the potential market for this kind of camera than a desire to produce the most pleasing result. It's a pity, but at least it's a problem you can get around.
|100% crop||100% crop||100% crop|
|Default settings||Saturation -1
Noticeable purple fringing is present to some degree in all shots containing very bright (especially overexposed) areas, and in many shots it's very pronounced. It's not enough to mar shots in most circumstances, but wideangle shots on bright days can produce very strong fringes at the boundaries where bright and dark areas meet. It is considerably worse at the edge of the frame. We also found a little corner softness (also visible in this image), though compared to the Canon SD500, for example, it's not a significant problem.
|100% crop||38 mm equiv., F8|
|Patrick Finds Inner Peace by ecastellon|
from Your best photo of the week!
|Forks by Kukla|
from Arranged everyday objects
Calumet UK and Wex Photographic, two of the biggest photography retailers in the United Kingdom, are going to officially merge tomorrow.
macOS High Sierra came out today, but if you use a Wacom tablet you need to wait a few weeks before you upgrade. According to Wacom, they won't have a compatible driver ready for you until "late October."
Do you think a $3,000 Canon 80D video rig can compete with an $80,000+ Arri Alexa setup? Well it can't, but check out this video anyway to see how the rigs compare.
Seven simple rules to make sure you get the most out of your next photography outing.
Vitec, the company that owns popular accessory maker Manfrotto, has just acquired JOBY and Lowepro for a cool $10.3 million in cash. The acquisition adds JOBY and Lowepro to Vitec's already sizable collection of camera gear brands.
A master drone pilot has captured one of the most incredible (and highly illegal) drone videos we've ever seen by flying around, inside, onto, and under a moving train.
Intel just debuted their 8th generation desktop CPUs, and the lineup packs a performance boost for 'content creators' that photo and video editors might be intrigued by.
Canon is developing a 'Free Viewpoint Video System' that will turn real life sports games and events into immersive 3D interactive experiences. It's video game-like camera control IRL.
A veteran photojournalist, Rick Wilking secured a spot in the path of totality for the August solar eclipse. While things didn't quite pan out as predicted, an unexpected subject in the sky and a quick reaction made for a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
The new iZugar 3.25mm F2.5 super fisheye lens offers an insane 220-degree angle of view. That means it can basically see behind itself... good luck keeping your feet out of the shot.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll remember that time you took a picture of the frozen pizza baking directions.
A Craigslist poster has discovered the worst possible way to photograph a car: taking pictures of pictures displayed on a cracked and scratched up smartphone screen.
With the iPhone X coming out soon, the title probably won't last, but the iPhone 8 Plus is officially the best smartphone camera DxOMark has ever tested, and the iPhone 8 is second.
Kodak's new Facebook Messenger chatbot is trying to bring back the 'Kodak Moment' by digging up your old social media photos and trying to sell you prints and custom coffee mugs.
Affinity Photo for iPad was touted as "the first full blown, truly professional photo editing tool to make its way onto the Apple tablet." This update makes it that much more convenient.
Yashica has released a new teaser video, and this one claims they'll be releasing an "unprecedented camera" in October on Kickstarter. Ready... set... speculate!
Storage solutions company Synology has just released its very first 6-bay NAS tower. Combined with the DX1215 expansion units, it can hold and control up to thirty drives.
We're always expanding our collection of product overview content, and we've just added videos for the Canon EOS 6D Mark II, the EOS Rebel SL2 and EOS M6.
The venerable Canon PowerShot G1 was announced seventeen years ago this week, marking the start of a line of enthusiast-focused compacts that's still alive and kicking.
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.