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Casio Exilim EX-Z2000 review: Casio Exilim EX-Z2000

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The Z2000 has a large display, with some peculiar flaws

The Z2000's new 'art' modes are quite neat, though. Well, the oil-effect one is at any rate. The crayon effect is less impressive, and the watercolour effect looks like there's too much water and not enough colour.

Generally, though, the Z2000's pictures aren't bad. They're bright, colourful and crisp, the 5x zoom is sharp, and the lens maintains its definition quite well even at the edges of the frame and at full zoom.

Cum on feel the noize reduction
But, even at the minimum ISO, the effects of the Z2000's rather crude noise-reduction processes are obvious. Vegetation, brickwork, human hair and all sorts of other textured surfaces slip in and out of existence as the camera tries to guess at what's detail and needs enhancing, and what's noise and needs covering up. Casio's not alone, though. Every other camera maker also struggles to get any kind of quality out of these tiny 14-megapixel sensors.

The test chart reveals that the Z2000 applies pretty heavy sharpening, and this gives high-contrast detail extra clarity. The lens isn't bad either, with good edge-to-edge sharpness and not much distortion (click image to enlarge)

There are other disappointments too. The 460,800-pixel display is big and sharp, but the brightness changes when you press the shutter release halfway down, and, if you're shooting into the light, any bright areas in the scene create huge white streaks across the screen.

The 720p movie mode is pretty limited, too -- you can't take advantage of the autofocus or zoom while you're filming. There ought to be a separate labelling system for cameras with this limitation.

For the price, the Casio Exilim EX-Z2000 offers good features and build quality, but it has its share of flaws and limitations. The real problem, though, is that it just doesn't have any standout features or qualities. It's competent but charmless.

Edited by Charles Kloet

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