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Hands-on with the Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z1080

A 10-megapixel compact with YouTube capture and upload mode, the Casio Exilim Zoom Ex-Z1080 is solid and well styled

Oh Casio. We liked the Exilim EX-Z1200 a lot, but we weren't sure about the lower-specced EX-V77. We've just got our hands on the Exilim EX-Z1080, the latest 10.1-megapixel compact coming our way from Casio. First impressions are that this is a nicely put together snapper, and we're wondering if this solidly built and chunkily styled model is the camera to stand out from the compact crowd.

The big sticker on the front trumpets YouTube mode. If you're into shooting grainy video of people doing embarassing things and posting it to the Internet for the world to see and that person to get fired/dumped/into a spiral of depression, then you'll be aware of the phenomenon that is YouTube. The Z1080 comes complete with YouTube Capture Mode, first seen on the Exilim EX-Z77. We were bored by that camera's undistinguished specs, but we have higher hopes for the Z1080.

Actual camera specs are fairly standard: 3x optical zoom, equivalent to 38-114mm on a 35mm film camera. In our book that means putting 'Zoom' in the name is rather cheeky, but hey. One interesting number is the maximum light sensitivity of ISO 6,400, which is a dizzyingly high number for a compact and could lead to hideous noise. We'll be testing this ISO setting carefully, along with Casio's claim of 7 frames per second in burst mode, in our review -- coming soon, cats and kittens.

YouTube mode is a fancy name for a 30fps VGA movie mode, and even though it's far from unique our first impression is that the Z1080 handles video with aplomb. Videos and pictures can be viewed on a 66mm (2.6-inch) widescreen LCD display.

The Ex-Z1080 is available in grey, black, blue or pink -- for the ladies -- for around £160. -Rich Trenholm