Ultracompact cameras are everywhere. It seems as if nearly every camera manufacturer is cramming a 6-plus-megapixel CCD and an inexpensive lens into a tiny case and putting it on the shelves. Without exceptional quality or a unique feature, it's easy for these small cameras to get lost in the crowd. Casio's 7-megapixel Exilim EX-Z700 is one of those lost cameras, a solid and small shooter that simply lacks the wow factor.
Though not as sleek as other Casio cameras, the Z700's flat, rectangular body comes in five different colors so users can accessorize. It feels comfortable and well-built in the hand; weighing 5 ounces and measuring just 0.8 inch thick, it can fit comfortably into most pockets. Its few buttons are laid out comfortably and can be easily manipulated, even by large thumbs.
The EX-Z700 comes with the same handy features as the rest of Casio's Exilim cameras. Casio's Best Shot modes offer users more than two dozen different scene presets, including the auction-photo-optimizing eBay mode. Digital image stabilization helps reduce shake and blur when using the camera's 38mm-to-114mm-equivalent lens, though it shouldn't be confused with the more-effective optical or mechanical image stabilization offered by some other camera makers. The camera maxes out at ISO 400 sensitivity, leaving it somewhat underequipped for low-light or high-speed shooting. The Z700's 2.8-inch LCD screen is quite bright but washes out very easily. Since the display leaves no room for an optical viewfinder, users are forced to use the LCD whenever framing a shot, regardless of the lighting.
Despite a few quirks, the S770's performance was very good. The camera powers up in just 1.2 seconds and can take a shot every 1.5 seconds thereafter. With the onboard flash enabled, shot-to-shot time increases to a still satisfying 2.7 seconds. Shutter lag measured a speedy 0.4 second in bright light and just 1 second in dim light. Burst mode was decent, pumping out 55 full-resolution images in 70 seconds for a rate of 0.8fps.