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Casio Exilim EX-Z90 review: Casio Exilim EX-Z90

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The Good Good build quality and finish; fairly inexpensive.

The Bad Poor-quality lens; low-resolution continuous-shutter mode; no zooming while shooting movies; awkward controller.

The Bottom Line Either our Exilim EX-Z90 had a duff lens or Casio's spending too much on gadgets and not enough on glassware. The 'continuous shutter' tech in this camera is barely related to the real thing in Casio's high-speed models. Overall, it's a very disappointing camera

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The 12.1-megapixel Exilim EX-Z90 compact camera with 3x zoom offers a 'dynamic photo' mode, Casio's 'continuous shutter' technology and an intelligent autofocus system that can work out what to focus on and how to adjust the exposure to match. It's all wrapped up in a neat little metal body. That doesn't look like too bad a deal for around £150.

Baffling autofocus
This intelligent autofocus isn't so easy to figure out, though. What is it actually doing? According to the blurb, it recognises all sorts of different subjects -- not just human faces. Sure enough, when this mode's switched on, the camera's AF markers dart around the scene and pick out different subjects according to where you point the camera. Why? What has it 'recognised'? Is it what you wanted? It could well be clever, but it's hard to be sure without knowing what it's doing, why and whether it's making any difference.

At its minimum focal length, the EX-Z90's lens does a decent-enough job. Colours are good, exposures are fine and the high-ISO quality's not bad for a compact, either (click image to enlarge)

Casio's also enhanced its dynamic-photo mode. With this, you can shoot a moving subject and get the camera to extract it from its background and place it against a new one. Previously, you had to shoot two photos, with one being just the background on its own. Now, as long as the background has a plain, even tone you only have to shoot one. You get a collection of 'dynamic photo' images on a CD in the box, too.

The dynamic-photo mode has some novelty value, as has the 'make-up' mode, activated via a menu at the bottom of the on-screen control panel. This adjusts the focus and exposure, smoothes skin and softens shadows.

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