Casio Exilim EX-Z57
Editor's note: This review is based on our evaluation of the Casio Exilim EX-Z55, this model's predecessor. This model is nearly identical; the exceptions are its slightly larger LCD and lack of an optical viewfinder.
At some point, you have to figure that the dominant digital photography trends of smaller cameras, bigger LCD screens, and more megapixels will reach a critical point, and we'll be left with some sort of tiny 12-megapixel monocle. Until that day arrives, we'll have to settle for models such as Casio's 5-megapixel Exilim EX-Z57 digital camera, a highly portable snapshot camera with a 2.7-inch LCD that's as bright as it is large. Though the Z57's lack of manual features and poor outdoor imaging can be frustrating at times, the camera delivers pleasing indoor results and acceptable shot-to-shot performance.
The centerpiece of the Z57's design is its 2.7-inch LCD screen, which takes up most of the small camera's back and, thus, seems even bigger. With this model, Casio dropped its predecessor's comically small and essentially useless optical viewfinder. Casio crams all of the buttons on the 5.6-ounce Exilim Z57 to the right of Screenzilla but organizes them logically despite their cramped layout. Though the camera lacks ports to charge the battery and download photos directly, the included dock accomplishes both tasks seamlessly.