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Hands on with the Casio Exilim EX-Z19: N-n-n-n-nineteen

Getting our hands on the Casio Exilim EX-Z19 has taken us on a trip down memory lane -- it's a 9.1-megapixel that's made us all nostalgic for '80s synthpop

In the week that MTV released every video ever shown on the channel to people in the States -- and people who know how to work a proxy -- we've revisited several of our favourite 80s synthpop landmarks. No doubt Casio was heavily involved in the creation of such classics as Paul Hardcastle's anti-war electro anthem Nineteen. Which brings us neatly to the Casio Exilim EX-Z19 camera.

It's a 9.1-megapixel point-and-shoot with a 3x optical zoom, which aren't really specs to shout about, but the price might have you literally head over heels. The Z19 certainly doesn't blind you with science: there's no optical image stabilisation, but face detection is joined by Casio's 30 Bestshot preset scene modes include the usual portrait, landscape, pet and the like, as well as more interesting scenes such as soft flowing water. A night portrait mode also allows you to snap your friends wearing sunglasses at night.

Just as video killed the radio star, for some reason Casio's taken a backwards step in its implementation of YouTube capture mode in the Z19. You still get the gaudy sticker on the front, but the handy dedicated video-record button seen on the last generation of Exilims is missing. The YouTube scene mode is itself buried at the bottom of the Bestshot menu.

Still, for your money you get an extremely solidly made little compact that will slide happily in and out of a pocket or handbag and won't leave you wishing for a photograph. It also features a 66mm (2.6-inch) widescreen LCD panel, on which you can play back images at high speed, scrolling through 100 images in 10 seconds.

The Casio Exilim Ex-Z19 is available now for around £99, which is cheap enough to cheer you up if you're the owner of a lonely heart. And yes, we know this Crave has been tenuous at best, but you try doing this every day. Right, we're off to watch some more Jan Hammer -- don't you forget about us, 'kay? -Rich Trenholm