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Casio Exilim EX-Z700 review: Casio Exilim EX-Z700

Casio Exilim EX-Z700

Will Greenwald

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3 min read

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.

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6.8

Casio Exilim EX-Z700

The Good

Quick and responsive; solid build.

The Bad

Heavy fringing; left edge of images are blurry; should not default to Quick Shot mode.

The Bottom Line

The Casio Exilim EX-Z700 is a solid ultracompact camera, but there are better choices out there.
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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.

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.

The Z700 also offers Quick Shot mode: when you press down fully on the shutter release, the camera takes a photo without bothering to focus. Unfortunately, this feature, enabled by default, is of dubious value. You might snap dozens of shots very rapidly, but when you get home to edit, e-mail, or print them, they'll be nothing but grainy blurs. Instead, press the shutter release down halfway until it achieves a focus lock, then take the shot. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you have the rhythm down, you'll be taking quick, focused photos.

The camera's otherwise clear images had a few irritating flaws. Colors were reproduced well, and fine details could be easily spotted in our subjects, except on the extreme left side of our photos, which suffered from blurring and distortion. The distorted area is only on the left edge; it can be easily cropped, but it's a bother. This lens issue also manifests in significant purple fringing on the edges of near-white objects.

For a camera that can reach only ISO 400, photos are surprisingly noisy. Grain starts to appear at ISO 200, and at ISO 400, it becomes a sparkly glaze that distorts green objects.

The Casio Exilim EX-700 is an unremarkable point-and-shoot camera that doesn't excel at anything, though its performance and size make it great for quick snapshots. If you can afford them, the Canon PowerShot SD800 and the Sony Cyber Shot DSC-T10 offer superior image quality in the same pocketable size for a slightly higher price.

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6.8

Casio Exilim EX-Z700

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 7Image quality 6
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