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Hands-on with the Casio Exilim EX-Z100: 100 per cent class

The Casio Exilim EX-Z100 is a supremely classy compact. It boasts a wide angle lens, large screen, 4x zoom and crams tonnes of features in a spiffy metal frame. What more could we ask?

You've got to hand it to Casio at the moment. Not content with debuting the frankly astonishing EX-F1 at CES 2008, our friends in Tokyo have backed up their 60fps machine-gun of a camera with a range of compacts that put the class in, er, Casio. We loved the super-skinny EX-S10, and first impressions suggest that the EX-Z100 will be another excellent compact camera.

We like that it has a 28mm wide angle lens, and not only but also a 4x zoom. The display is a whopping 69mm (2.7 inches) corner-to-corner, with an above-average 230,160 dots making up the onscreen image.

This 10.1-megapixel snapper sports a sleek metal body. The only design flourish on the minimalist front is a slightly flared ridge under the zoom collar rocker, which looks great. The metal accent on the top and ring around the lens are both lovely and shiny, but don't half pick up fingerprints.

The video button shoots H.264 video in 16:9 aspect ratio, which can be easily uploaded to YouTube via the bundled uploader software, a regular Exilim feature. Other features include Casio's handy-dandy onscreen sidebar, which places shooting options at your fingertips. The best shot scene modes are present and correct, while auto best shot takes all that arduous thinking out of the equation by guessing whether you're shooting close-ups, moving subjects, people, scenery, a night scene, or a night scene with people. What will they think of next?

How about a system that detects motion blur and snaps a picture the instant your subject turns their frown upside down, or stops moving, or your hands stop shaking? Check. It'll even detect when your face fills the frame if pointing it at yourself.

The Casio Exilim EX-Z100 is available online now for less than £150. -Rich Trenholm

Update: Read our full Casio Exilim EX-Z100 review