Casio Exilim EX-Z600 review: Casio Exilim EX-Z600

As an alternative to scanning, the EX-Z600, along with other Casio models, offers built-in color correction so you can shoot old photos--such as those prints you have stashed in a shoebox or an ancient photo album--so they can be restored. There's also a keystone correction feature to eliminate the odd angles that come from shooting flat objects such as old photos or buildings. While it's convenient to have this feature built in, there's little leeway for correction. Part of this process includes cropping the image, and while you'd still have to crop when correcting the perspective using an image-editing program, be prepared to lose part of your picture.

The Casio Exilim EX-Z600 is generally responsive, with respectable start-up time regardless of whether the camera is turned on using the power button or the direct record/playback buttons. It zips along quite nicely from shot to shot, although using the flash--with the exception of the special Rapid Flash, that fires three times in a little over a second--slows the time between shots to a laggardly 4.7 seconds. But there's minimal shutter lag, and under really dark conditions, the AF locks in pretty quickly. High-speed continuous shooting is almost instantaneous, although capture is limited to three consecutive frames. For more than three images, the capture rate slows to a little less than one frame per second.

While we applaud Casio's attention to trying to eliminate blurry photos with its various special modes, boosting the ISO often delivers such high noise levels that the pictures are almost useless for anything but small snapshots. Red-eye reduction is a mixed bag, although we were told that one subject's light blue eyes always produced red-eye regardless of the camera used.

We noticed minimal purple fringing in our test shots, though, and colors were generally realistically pleasing. The camera has a tendency to blow out highlights, but managed to capture decent detail on a dollar bill. Unfortunately, the detail capture was less than razor sharp.

But snapshooters who maintain control over noise by keeping the sensitivity lower than ISO 100 to ISO 200 and don't make huge prints will probably be satisfied with the Casio Exilim EX-Z600's capabilities, and its low price doesn't hurt.

Shooting speed
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Typical shot-to-shot time  
Time to first shot  
Shutter lag (typical)  
Casio Exilim EX-Z600
Canon PowerShot SD630
Fujifilm FinePix V10
Nikon Coolpix S5
Pentax Optio W10
Note: Seconds

Typical continuous-shooting speed
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Note: Frames per second

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