The Imaging Resource
Casio Exilim EX-Z750 Digital Camera
|Casio Exilim EX-Z750 Digital Camera|
Digital Camera Design
|Excellent, 7.2-megapixel CCD|
|Excellent, sharp 11x14s|
Suggested Retail Price
The Casio Exilim EX-Z750 is one of the latest offerings from a company with a long history of innovation in the digital camera field. They promise the "Unexpected Extra" in their products, and the Casio EX-Z750 lives up to that billing, with 31 special shooting modes (including modes to capture and straightening images of white boards, business cards or other documents -- perfect for business or school note-taking). Compact, well-constructed, and stylish, the Casio Exilim EX-Z750 is a great "bring along" camera for casual outings, business, or vacation trips. Read on below for all the details on the Casio 750!
Rivaling some of the smallest digital cameras currently on the market, Casio's newest addition to its Exilim line of digital cameras is the EX-Z750. It is sleek, stylish, and very tiny, but don't let its small size fool you. The Casio EX 750 has a lot to offer. Measuring 3.5 x 2.3 x 0.9 inches (89 x 59 x 22 millimeters) and weighing just 5.6 ounces (159 grams) with the battery and SD memory card, the aluminum bodied EX-Z750 is a perfect match for small shirt pockets and purses. Clearly meant to tag along to just about any destination, the EX-Z750 is well-suited for travel, as it's about as thick as a deck of playing cards. The built-in lens cover automatically opens whenever the camera is powered on, and the lens telescopes outward in well under two seconds, making it quick on the draw. You can quite literally slip it in a pocket and hit the road. With its 7.2-megapixel CCD, you can capture high resolution images, good for printing as large as 11x17 inches, or 8x10 inches with some cropping. (A lower resolution setting is perfect for email attachments.)
The Casio Exilim EX-Z750 features a 3x, 7.9-23.7mm lens, equivalent to a 38-114mm lens on a 35mm camera. Maximum aperture ranges from f/2.8 to f/5.1, depending on the zoom position, and remains under automatic control. Focus covers a range from 1.3 feet (40 centimeters) to infinity in normal shooting mode, with a Macro range from 3.9 to 19.7 inches (10 to 50 centimeters). The EX-Z750 offers both manual and automatic focus control, and features Infinity and Pan Focus settings as well. A Quick Shutter mode records without waiting for Auto Focus to set focus, replacing Pan Focus for still photography. Pan Focus is a silent alternative to Autofocus available only in one of the camera's Movie modes. In Manual focus mode, the central portion of the image is enlarged as an aid to focusing. An AF Area option under the Record menu sets the AF point to Spot, Multi or Free, with the Multi setting automatically choosing the focus point from one of nine AF points arrayed in the center of the frame. The Free option initially sets the focus point in the center of the screen but you can move it with the arrow keys before setting the Set button to choose the focus point. A maximum of 8x digital zoom is available in addition to the optical zoom, effectively increasing the zoom capabilities to 24x. Keep in mind, however, that digital zoom always decreases the overall image quality because it simply enlarges the center pixels of the CCD image.
For composing your shots, the Casio Exilim EX-Z750 features a tiny, real-image optical viewfinder as well as a very generous 2.5-inch, TFT color LCD monitor (which takes up most of the back panel). The LCD monitor reports basic camera settings information, including camera mode, the number of available images, focus mode, date and time, and battery power, among various other mode information. Additionally, it reports the selected aperture and shutter speed, whenever the Shutter button is halfway pressed. It also displays an exposure panel with various adjustable parameters that vary from EV in Auto mode to f-stop and shutter speed in Manual mode. The Display button not only controls the amount of information on the LCD display, but also enables a small but live histogram to check your exposure settings. Through the Record menu, you can enable a Grid option that divides the image area into thirds, horizontally and vertically, making it easier to line up and compose your shots.
The Casio EX-Z750 offers automatic exposure control, which keeps things simple for novice users, but allows for manual by more sophisticated photographers. Shutter speeds range from 1/1,600 to 60 seconds, with the available range depending on the exposure mode. An On/Off button on top of the camera powers the camera on, and the Playback and Record buttons on the rear panel control the main operating mode. To determine exposure, the camera uses a multi-pattern metering system, which takes exposure readings from areas throughout the frame and then determines the best overall exposure. Despite its basic point-and-shoot design, there are options for center-weighted and spot metering. You can increase or decrease the exposure from -2 to +2 exposure equivalents (EV) in one-third-step increments, either by pressing the right and left arrow keys in Record mode, or through an option in the LCD menu. An ISO adjustment offers an Auto setting, as well as 50, 100, 200, and 400 equivalent settings. White Balance options include Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2 and Tungsten settings, which handle most average lighting conditions. Image sharpness, contrast, and saturation options are also available.
While you can control exposure directly in Manual mode, the Casio Exilim EX-Z750 does offer 31 preset "scenes" for specific shooting situations, through the Best Shot mode option of the Record menu. Scene modes include Portrait, Scenery, Portrait with Scenery, Children, Sports, Candlelight Portrait, Party, Pet, Flower, Natural Green, Soft Flowing Water, Splashing Water, Sundown, Night Scene, Night Scene Portrait, Fireworks, Food, Text, Collection, Backlight, Anti-shake, Pastel, Illustration, Cross, Monochrome, Retro, Twilight, ID Photo, Business Cards and Documents, White Board, and Register User Scene (which lets you save the setup of an image you recorded as a Best Shot scene for recall later). The EX-Z750 provides a handy thumbnail display of 12 Best Shot scenes per screen so you don't have to remember them all to use one.
Most of the scene modes are self-explanatory, but several uncommon ones call for further explanation. Natural Green, for example, uses hard sharpness and high saturation to enhance green hues. Soft Flowing Water uses a slow shutter speed while Splashing Water uses a fast one. Sundown uses Daylight white balance with a red filter while focusing at infinity. Food slips in to Macro mode but also punches up the saturation. Text uses Macro, too, but with hard sharpness and high contrast. Collection relies on Macro to capture your small treasures, displaying a composition outline, too. Anti-shake reduces the effects of hand and subject movement. Illustration posterizes the image while Cross applies a cross-shaped filter effect (point light sources shoot out rays at 45 degree angles). Retro uses low contrast and a sepia color filter. ID Photo creates multiple images of standard ID photo sizes. The Business Card option not only optimizes the camera for capturing images of dark text on a white background, but also applies a keystone correction to minimize any distortion from the shooting angle. This option works best with rectangular objects, and it's best to fill the frame as much as possible with the document (see the Gallery for samples). White Board mode also corrects keystoning, but is intended for larger objects, like white boards and easel pads.
The Casio Exilim EX-Z750 also features Movie and Audio modes. Movie mode records moving images with sound for as long as the memory card or internal memory has space. Movies are recorded in AVI (MPEG-4) format at either of three images sizes: 640 x 480 HQ, 640 x 480 Normal and 320 x 240 LP. HQ and Normal capture at 30 frames per second, while LP captures at 15 fps. The Audio mode records strictly audio in WAV format, also for as long as the memory card has available space. You can also add short audio clips to captured images through the Record and Playback menus. A Self-Timer mode provides either a two- or 10-second delay between the time the Shutter button is pressed and when the camera actually takes the picture, allowing you to get into your own shots. An X3 Self-Timer setting takes three consecutive self-timer images in rapid succession, with a 10-second shutter delay before the first. The camera's flash operates in either Auto, Off, On, or Red-Eye Reduction modes, and features an intensity adjustment of +2 to -2 in whole step increments. The EX-Z750 also features a Flash Assist option, which digitally brightens underexposed flash shots.
The Casio EX-Z750 stores images on SD / MMC memory cards, and also features 8.3 megabytes of internal memory, where Best Shot user setups, 320x240-pixel Favorite images and full-sized images (when no memory card is available) can be stored. Since the camera does not come with a memory card, I strongly recommend picking up at least a 128- or 256-megabyte card at purchase, so you won't miss any shots due to lack of memory space. A USB cradle also comes with the camera, and provides quick connection to a computer for downloading images. The cradle also provides in-camera battery charging for the NP-40 lithium-ion battery pack. The cradle can also be used for displaying images on the 2.5-inch LCD monitor. An AC adapter is included for the USB cradle, but the camera itself does not have a DC-In terminal. Since the EX-Z750 does not accommodate AA batteries in any form, I also highly recommend picking up an additional battery pack and keeping it freshly charged. A software CD loaded with multi-language Casio Digital Camera Software and a detailed PDF instruction manual comes with the camera, and provides minor editing tools and image organization utilities. (I applaud the inclusion of an electronic version of the manual, but really think that not including a full printed instruction manual with cameras is a disservice to consumers.)
- 7.2-megapixel CCD
- Real-image optical viewfinder
- Large, 2.5-inch color TFT LCD monitor
- Glass, 3x, 7.9-23.7mm lens, equivalent to a 38-114mm lens on a 35mm camera
- 4x digital zoom
- Automatic and Manual exposure control, plus 31 innovative preset Scene modes
- Shutter speeds from 1/1,600 to 60 seconds
- Maximum aperture of f/2.8 to f/5.1, depending on lens zoom position
- Built-in flash with four modes
- SD/MMC memory card storage, though card not included
- 8.3 megabytes of internal memory
- Power supplied by one NP-40 Long Life rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack
- Software CD loaded with Casio Digital Camera Software and instruction manual for Macintosh or PC
- USB cradle for quick connection to a computer and charging of the camera's battery
- Movie with sound mode
- Audio record mode
- Two- or 10-second Self-Timer for delayed shutter release, plus Triple Self-Timer mode
- Macro lens setting (automatic or manual)
- Manual focus, Quick Shutter, Pan Focus in Movie mode, and Infinity fixed-focus settings, with a freely adjustable AF area
- Saturation, Contrast, and Sharpness settings
- White balance (color) adjustment with six modes
- Sensitivity adjustment with four ISO equivalents and an Auto setting
- DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility
- Photo Album utility with USB cradle
The Casio Exilim EX-Z750's tiny dimensions and user-friendly interface should make it a popular option for anyone frequently on the go. The camera's point-and-shoot style should appeal to novices, while the 31 preset shooting modes give the camera more exposure versatility than most standard point-and-shoot designs. And the addition of a Manual mode will be welcomed by serious amateurs. A 7.2-megapixel CCD delivers high quality images, good for printing or distributing via email, though noise suppression tends to flatten out subtle detail a little, even at low ISO. One standout feature though, is its ability to convert angled shots of whiteboards or computer screens to neatly cropped, square images. - A great tool for students or anyone else who needs to take copious notes! When it comes to downloading images, the EX-Z750's USB cradle makes it easy, and provides a few unique image management tools as well. An excellent choice for novice photographers, the Casio EX-Z750's small size and well-rounded and utilitarian feature set should also appeal to more experienced photographers looking for a fun "take anywhere" camera for snapshots.
Thin, compact, and always ready to shoot, the new Casio Exilim EX-Z750 digital camera is fun, user-friendly, and a sure bet for consumers with active lifestyles. Its sleek, smooth styling is free from any extreme protrusions except for the lens, which telescopes outward when powered on. Measuring 3.5 x 2.3 x 0.9 inches (89 x 59 x 22 millimeters), the EX-Z750 fits well into small shirt pockets, hip pockets, and evening bags. With the battery and memory card, the Casio EX-Z750 weighs just and weighing just 5.6 ounces (159 grams). Because the small size might be a little difficult for larger hands to hold onto, a thin wrist strap is included for some security if the camera slips through your fingers. The camera's built-in, shutter-like lens cover means you can stash the camera in a pocket and go, without worrying about scratching the lens or losing a lens cap.
The front of the camera features the lens, flash, optical viewfinder window, and the AF assist light/self-timer lamp. A shutter-like, retractable lens cover protects the lens whenever the camera is powered off, sliding quickly out of the way when the camera is turned on. The lens then telescopes out from the camera body a bit less than an inch into its operating position. When powered off, the front of the camera is flat with only a small raised finger grip, so be sure to keep the wrist strap securely around your wrist when holding the camera.
The right side of the Casio Exilim EX-Z750 features only the eyelet for attaching the wrist strap.
The left side of the camera is smooth, with the speaker at the top and on the angled panel visible from the back, too, the Continuous Shutter button and the EX Shortcut button (to configure image size, white balance, ISO and AF settings).
The Casio EX-Z750's top panel is mostly flat, although the Shutter and Power buttons are slightly raised and the Zoom controller protrudes toward the front. A tiny microphone is next to the Power button.
The rest of the Casio Exilim EX-Z750's controls are on the rear panel, along with the optical viewfinder eyepiece and large LCD monitor. At the top of the panel are the Playback and Record buttons (which also function as Power On buttons), with the Mode dial in the top right corner. A small Menu button and a matching Display button sit above and below the Multi-Controller just right of the LCD monitor, with a Set button at its center. In addition to navigating menu screens, the Multi-Controller accesses a number of camera functions, depending on which arrow keys are pressed. One of the only usability concerns I have about the Casio EX-Z750 is placement of the Macro mode button at the top of the Multi-Controller. This button is too easily pressed while holding the camera; this is made more disconcerting because not only does the button activate Macro mode, it accesses every focus mode on the device. It's easy to accidentally put yourself in Infinity, Manual Focus, or Pan Focus instead of AF, so users should be careful. The Menu and Display buttons are at the right corners of the LCD monitor, and a tiny speaker is on the left side of the LCD. The EX-Z750's optical viewfinder is quite small, with a moderately high eyepoint for eyeglass wearers. Two LED lamps on the right side of the eyepiece report camera status, such as when focus is set, the flash is charging, the camera is writing to the memory card, etc. (A full listing of the light patterns and their meanings is in the instruction manual.)
The Casio Exilim EX-Z750's bottom panel is flat and smooth, featuring a plastic-threaded tripod mount, the Cradle connector jack, and the memory card and battery compartment. A sliding door protects the memory card and battery compartment, and slides out before opening. Inside, the battery and SD/MMC card slots line up side by side. Though the battery compartment is too close to the tripod mount to allow quick battery changes while shooting with the camera on a tripod, I doubt this will be much of an issue with the camera's users, given the camera's highly portable design.
The accompanying USB cradle provides quick connection to a computer, in-camera battery charging, and limited file management options. The AC adapter and USB cables plug in to the designated jacks on the back of the cradle. Across the cradle's front are the Photo and USB buttons, as well as two LEDs indicating battery charge and USB status. When the camera is in the cradle, pressing the Photo button starts an automated slide show of the images on the memory card. (You can adjust the slideshow parameters via the Playback menu, including which images to display, the interval between successive frames, and how long to leave the show running.) The USB button connects the cradle to the computer, launching Casio's software if you have it installed, so you can download images.
The EX-Z750's user interface is straightforward, with only a few external controls and an easily navigable LCD menu system. For standard point-and-shoot operation, the most basic features such as flash, focus mode, and zoom are all accessible via external controls. A Shortcut button quickly accesses image size, white balance, ISO and AF settings. And you can assign functions like EV shift, white balance, ISO, metering and self-timer to the left and right arrow keys in Record mode. Two external buttons can power on the camera in either of its the main operating modes, Record and Playback. Three menus are available in Record mode, two in Playback, delineated by subject tabs at the top of the screen. The arrow keys of the Multi-Controller scroll through each selection, and the Set button in the center of the pad confirms any changes. In half an hour you can become familiar with the camera setup, even without the manual.
The EX-Z750 has three Record mode displays, shown at right. The first displays the image area and a fairly comprehensive information overlay, including resolution and quality settings, flash mode, camera mode, etc., and the aperture and shutter speed whenever the Shutter button is halfway pressed. The second mode adds a small histogram, for double-checking exposure. The third mode shows the image area only, with just the focus/exposure brackets displayed in the center of the screen. A Grid option under the Record menu enables a grid display that divides the image area into thirds, vertically and horizontally, for easier framing.
In Playback mode, you can use the EX-Z750's zoom control to zoom in or out on an image, or show an index display of the captured images on the memory card. Pressing the up arrow on the Multi-Controller when viewing a picture takes you to a calendar view, which groups images in the camera's memory according to the date they were captured on. The Display button controls the level of information displayed over the image, and accesses a histogram display as well.
Power Button: This tiny rectangular button, located on the top panel next to the Shutter button, turns the camera on or off.
Shutter Button: To the right of the Power button on top of the camera, this button sets focus and exposure when halfway pressed, and fires the shutter when fully pressed.
Zoom Controller (see image above): Located on the top panel of the camera around the Shutter button, this controller sets optical and digital zoom in any Record mode. In Playback mode, this button can zoom in on captured images, or select the index display mode to quickly scan the images stored in the camera's memory, nine at a time. In Best Shot mode, it can display 12 options per screen.
Playback Button: Above the LCD monitor, this button puts the camera into Playback mode. Through the camera's LCD menu, you can program this button (and the Record button) to also control the camera's power.
Record Button: To the right of the Playback button, this button puts the camera in Record mode. As with the Playback button, this button can be programmed to control power as well.
Menu Button: To the right of the LCD monitor, this button activates the LCD menu display in Record and Playback modes. Pressing this button also cancels the menu display.
Multi-Controller and Set Button: Centered vertically on the right side of the camera's rear panel, this four-way rocker button features arrows pointing up, down, left, and right. In the center is the Set button, which confirms menu settings. In any settings menu, the four arrow keys navigate through menu options, highlighting selections.
In Record mode, the up arrow key accesses the Macro, Infinity, Manual, and Auto focus modes. The down arrow cycles through the available flash modes, including Auto, Off, On, and Red-Eye Reduction. The right and left arrow keys adjust the Exposure Compensation, unless specified otherwise through the settings menu. When the camera is in Manual Focus mode, the right and left arrows adjust the focus setting, and exposure compensation can only be set via the Record menu.
In Playback mode, the right and left keys scroll through captured images. When an image has been enlarged, all four keys pan around within the view. When viewing images normally, the down arrow displays the delete menu, with options for deleting the current file or all files. During normal playback display, the up arrow activates the calendar screen, which shows a one month calendar displaying the first image captured on each day.
Display Button: Below the Multi-Controller, this button cycles through the available LCD displays in each mode. In Record mode, pressing the button once displays the image with a full information display, while a second press adds the histogram to the display. A third press displays the image area only, and a fourth press disables the LCD altogether.
In Playback mode, the first press displays limited image information, while a second press increases the information displayed and includes a histogram. A third press disables the information overlay and the histogram.
Camera Modes and Menus
Record Mode: In Record mode, the camera can capture still images or movie files. Exposure can be automatic, manual, or configured by the Best Shot option of the LCD menu system with any of 31 preset shooting modes for more difficult situations. Pressing the Menu button displays the following three submenus and options:
- Record Tab Menu
- Self-Timer: Activates the Self-Timer shooting mode, with shutter delays of two or 10 seconds. An "X3" setting records three self-timer images in rapid succession, after a 10-second shutter delay. (Great for avoiding problems with eye-blinks, etc.)
- AF Area: Sets the AF area to Spot, Multi or Free. Spot mode fixes the AF point at the center of the frame. The Multi setting automatically sets the focus to one of seven points arrayed in the center of the frame. The Free setting lets you move the focus point using the four-way controller to any part of the frame.
- AF Assist Light: Enables or disables the Autofocus Assist Light.
- Quick Shutter: Enables or disables the Quick Shutter feature that doesn't wait for Autofocus to set focus before snapping the picture.
- L/R Key: Sets the left and right arrow keys to control either Exposure Compensation ("EV Shift"), White Balance, ISO, Metering or the Self-Timer. An Off setting renders the keys without function.
- Audio Snap: Enables or disables Audio Snapshot mode. When enabled, the camera enters audio mode after it captures an image so you can record audio for the image with a press of the shutter button.
- Grid: Enables a framing grid that divides the image area into thirds, horizontally and vertically.
- Digital Zoom: Turns the 8x digital zoom on and off.
- Review: Turns the instant image review function off. If on, the image is displayed post-capture on the LCD screen for a few seconds.
- Icon Help: Turns a help function on or off. If on, the camera displays short explanations of selected exposure functions on the LCD monitor.
- Memory: Determines which camera settings are remembered after turning the camera off. Options include Flash, Focus, White Balance, ISO, AF Area, Metering, Self-timer, Flash Intensity, Digital Zoom, MF Position, and Zoom Position.
- Quality Tab Menu
- Size: Sets the image resolution to 3,072 x 2,304; 3,072 x 2,048 (3:2 aspect ratio); 2,560 x 1,920; 2,048 x 1,536; 1,600 x 1,200; or 640 x 480 pixels. (A handy feature for novices: If you leave an image size selected in the menu for a few seconds, the menu item will blink, showing you the maximum usable print size for that resolution setting.)
- Quality (Snapshots): Sets the JPEG compression level to Fine, Normal, or Economy.
- Quality (Movies): Sets movie quality to HQ, Normal or LP.
- EV Shift: Increases or decreases overall exposure from -2 to +2 exposure equivalents (EV) in one-third-step increments.
- White Balance: Adjusts the overall color balance of the scene. Options include Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2 and Tungsten.
- ISO: Adjusts the camera's light sensitivity, options are Auto, or 50, 100, 200, or 400 ISO equivalents.
- Metering: Sets the metering mode to Multi, Center Weighted, or Spot.
- Sharpness: Adjusts the in-camera sharpening in five steps.
- Saturation: Controls the vibrancy of color in five steps.
- Contrast: Adjusts the level of contrast in five steps.
- Flash Intensity: Controls the brightness of the camera's flash, in arbitrary units from -2 to +2.
- Flash Assist: Sets the Flash Assist option to Auto or Off. If enabled, this function automatically brightens flash exposures that were dark because the subject was out of the flash range.
- Set-Up Tab Menu
- Sounds: Controls the camera's operating sounds, including startup, half shutter, shutter, operation, and volume.
- Startup: Sets which image appears on the LCD monitor when the camera starts up. If turned off, no image appears.
- File Numbering: Designates whether the camera continues numbering files from card to card, or resets file numbering with each new memory card.
- World Time: Allows you to set the time for another city, so that you can display the time in London, for example, on the LCD monitor. 162 cities in 32 time zones are supported.
- Adjust: Sets the camera's internal date and time.
- Date Style: Cycles through available date formats.
- Language: Changes the menu language to one of 10 options.
- Sleep: Turns the Sleep function off, or sets the camera to go to sleep after 30 seconds, or one or two minutes.
- Auto Power Off: Turns this feature off, or sets the camera to shut off after two or five minutes of inactivity.
- >REC / PLAY: Controls the power functions of the Playback and Record buttons. Options are Power On (both buttons power on the camera, but doesn't turn the camera off), Power On/Off (both buttons can be used to turn the camera on and off), and Disable (neither button has a power function).
- USB: Sets the USB mode to Mass Storage (USB Direct Print) or PTP (PictBridge).
- Video Out: Sets the Video Out signal to either NTSC or PAL.
- Format: Formats the SD or MMC card, erasing all files (even protected ones). Also can format the camera's internal memory.
- Reset: Resets all camera settings to their defaults.
Playback Mode: This mode allows you to review captured images on the memory card, erase them, protect them, set them up for printing, play them back in a slideshow, or set up photo albums. Pressing the Menu button displays the following options:
- Play Tab Menu
- Slideshow: Activates an automatic slideshow of images on the card. You can set the image interval time (1-30 seconds), select images to appear in the slideshow, or designate how long the slideshow plays (1-60 minutes).
- Motion Print: Selects between nine frames, one frame or disables the ability to capture stills from a movie file.
- Movie Editing: Selects Cut Before, Cut Between, Cut After or Cancel during movie playback to edit a scene.
- White Balance: Adjusts the white balance of an image to Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Tungsten or Cancel.
- Brightness: Adjusts the brightness of the image, in arbitrary units from -2 to +2.
- Favorites: Lets you select images to be saved as favorites, as well as edit the favorite list. Images selected as favorites are not shown in the normal playback display, and are copied to the camera's internal memory.
- DPOF: Selects images for printing, or removes the print mark designation.
- Protect: Write-protects individual images or all images on the memory card, also removes protection.
- Rotation: Rotates the currently displayed image in 90-degree increments.
- Resize: Changes the size of captured images to 2,560 x 1,920, 2,048 x 1,536 or 640 x 480 pixels (handy for emailing). The resized image is saved as a new file on the card, the original image is unchanged.
- >Trimming: Allows you to crop captured images and save the cropped version as a new copy.
- Dubbing: Lets you record a short audio clip to accompany a captured image.
- Copy: Copies files between the built-in memory and the SD/MMC card.
- Set-Up Tab Menu: Displays the same Set-Up menu as in Record mode.
In the Box
Packaged with the Casio Exilim EX-Z750 are the following items:
- NP-40 rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack
- USB cradle
- Cradle AC adapter
- USB cable
- AV cable
- Wrist strap
- Two Software CDs
- Basic manual and registration information.
- Large capacity SD/MMC memory card. (These days, 128 - 256 MB is a good trade-off between cost and capacity.)
- Additional NP-40 lithium-ion battery pack
- Small camera case
Recommended Software: Rescue your images!
Just as important as an extra memory card is a tool to rescue your images when one of your cards fails at some point in the future. I get a lot of email from readers who've lost photos due to a corrupted memory card. Memory card corruption can happen with any card type and any camera manufacturer, nobody's immune. A surprising number of "lost" images can be recovered with an inexpensive, easy to use piece of software though. Given the amount of email I've gotten on the topic, I now include this paragraph in all my digital camera reviews. The program you need is called PhotoRescue, by DataRescue SA. Read our review of it if you'd like, but download the program now, so you'll have it. It doesn't cost a penny until you need it, and even then it's only $29, with a money back guarantee. So download PhotoRescue for Windows or PhotoRescue for Mac while you're thinking of it. (While you're at it, download the PDF manual and quickstart guide as well.) Stash the file in a safe place and it'll be there when you need it. Trust me, needing this is not a matter of if, but when... PhotoRescue is about the best and easiest tool for recovering digital photos I've seen. (Disclosure: IR gets a small commission from sales of the product, but I'd highly recommend the program even if we didn't.) OK, now back to our regularly scheduled review...
See camera specifications here.
Cycle times, shutter lag, battery life, etc. can be found here.
See all the test photos and descriptions of what to look for in them here.
We ran the Exilim EX-Z750 through our usual battery of tests, and have summarized our findings here. To see the full set of our test images, with explanations of what to look for in them, see the Exilim EX-Z750 Sample Pictures page. For a complete listing of all our test and "gallery" shots, go to the Thumbnails page.
A collection of more random, pictorial images can be found in the Casio Exilim EX-Z750 Photo Gallery.
Not sure which camera to buy? Let your eyes be the ultimate judge! Visit our Comparometer(tm) to compare images from the Exilim EX-Z750 with those from other cameras you may be considering. The proof is in the pictures, so let your own eyes decide which you like best!
A typical 3x optical zoom range, with good performance.
8x Digital Zoom
The Exilim EX-Z750 zooms over the equivalent of a 38-114mm range, fairly typical for its class. The 8x digital zoom takes it out to 24x total with the loss of quality that digital zoom creates.
An average to slightly better than average macro area with good detail and high resolution. Flash does not throttle down well at this range, so plan on using external flash for macro shots.
|Standard Macro||Macro with Flash|
The Exilim EX-Z750's macro setting performs well, capturing a small minimum area of 3.29 x 2.47 inches (84 x 63 millimeters). Detail is strong and resolution high, with only a moderate amount of softening in the corners from the lens. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode.) The flash doesn't throttle down well. (Plan on using external lighting for your closest macro shots with the Z750.)
Some barrel distortion at wide angle, just little at telephoto.
This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel--usually at wide angle) or inward (like a pincushion--usually at telephoto). The EX-Z750's 1.26% barrel distortion at wide angle is higher than average among the cameras I've tested. At the telephoto end, the EX-Z750's 0.30% barrel distortion is lower than average.
|Barrel distortion at 38mm is 1.26%|
|Barrel distortion at 114mm is 0.30%|
Moderate chromatic aberration at both wide angle and telephoto focal lengths.
|Wide: moderate, top left @ 200%||Wide: moderate, top right @ 200%|
|Tele: crisper but bright coloration,
top left @200%
|Tele: crisper but bright coloration,
top right @200%
Chromatic aberration is moderate at both wide angle and telephoto focal lengths. At wide angle, the softness in the corners of the frame spreads the color from the chromatic aberration over 6-7 pixels. At telephoto focal lengths, there's almost no magenta coloration, but the blue/green color is rather intense, albeit extending over a relatively small area. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)
Some softening in the lower corners of the frame, strongest effect in the lower left corner.
|Soft in the lower left corner.||Just slightly soft in top right corner.|
The Exilim EX-Z750 produced soft corners in a few shots, though the lower left corner seemed to have the most visible effect.
Exposure and White Balance
Indoors, incandescent lighting
Moderate warm cast with Auto but excellent Incandescent white balance setting. Much less exposure compensation required than usual.
|Auto White Balance +1.0EV||Incandescent WB +0.3EV|
Color balance indoors with the Auto white balance setting was just a bit warm and reddish for our tastes. The Exilim EX-Z750 required a +1.0 EV exposure compensation boost to get a good exposure when using its Auto white balance setting. The Incandescent setting required only a +0.3 EV boost and provided excellent color balance. Overall color is well-balanced and fairly hue accurate. (Colors are slightly dark, and Marti's skin tones are a little on the orange side, but probably within acceptable limits for most people.) Our test lighting for this shot is a mixture of 60 and 100 watt household incandescent bulb, a pretty yellow light source, but a very common one in typical home settings here in the US.
Good color balance, very bright colors. Better than average exposure accuracy.
|Auto White Balance, Auto Exposure||Auto White Balance, Auto Exposure|
Outdoor shots generally showed accurate exposure with slightly blown out highlights. Shadow detail also tended to fall apart, but nothing that would raise an alarm for a consumer digital camera. Sunlit shots showed high contrast and moderate oversaturation while overcast scenes managed a more accurate portrayal. Exposure accuracy overall was better than average, the camera requiring less exposure compensation than we're accustomed to seeing with consumer digicams.
High resolution, 1,350 lines of strong detail.
Our laboratory resolution chart revealed sharp, distinct line patterns down to about 1,350 lines per picture height, with extinction at around 1,600. (The camera did produce slight color artifacts at lower line frequencies though, visible in the full-sized res target shots.) Use these numbers to compare with other cameras of similar resolution, or use them to see just what higher resolution can mean in terms of potential detail. Beware that while you might be able to make out what looks like distinct lines at numbers higher than those we've mentioned here, the camera is just doing its best to continue interpreting the lines. If you zoom in and follow them from the wider portions, you'll see the lines converge and reappear several times, so the lines you see at 1,500 and higher are really only artifacts generated by the camera's imaging system.
|Strong detail to 1,350 lines horizontal||Strong detail to 1,350 lines vertical|
Sharpness & Detail
Fairly sharp images.
The Exilim EX-Z750's images are reasonably sharp, without any strong over-sharpening or edge enhancement on the camera's part. (Edge enhancement creates the illusion of sharpness by enhancing colors and tones right at the edge of a rapid transition in color or tone.)
Noise-suppression systems in digital cameras tend to flatten-out detail in areas of subtle contrast. The effects can often be seen in shots of human hair, where the individual strands are lost and an almost "watercolor" look appears. The crop at far right shows this, with darker areas of Marti's hair showing only limited detail, even though individual strands are quite visible against her cheek in the uncropped image. (The level of detail loss shown here isn't all that obvious on prints 8x10 inches or smaller though, and is generally on the lower end of the scale among the consumer digital cameras we've tested.)
ISO & Noise Performance
Detectable noise at the normal sensitivity settings, high noise that blurs detail at the higher settings.
|ISO 50||ISO 100|
|ISO 200||ISO 400|
The Exilim EX-Z750 provides sensitivity settings of ISO 50, 100, 200 and 400 equivalents. At slow shutter speeds, the camera automatically applies noise reduction to the image, which reduces noise at some cost to image detail. As always, the real test comes when printing the camera's images, and there the Z750 did quite well. In 8x10 prints, noise was detectable at ISO 200, but most consumers would be hard-pressed to see it. At ISO 400, the noise became more visible, but was still well within acceptable limits, particularly for display on a table or wall at normal viewing distances.
Extremes: Sunlit and low light tests
High resolution with good overall detail, but rather high contrast and limited shadow detail. Excellent low-light performance, capable of capturing bright images under average city street lighting and slightly darker conditions.
Because digital cameras are more like slide film than negative film (in that they tend to have a more limited tonal range), we test them in the harshest situations to see how they handle scenes with bright highlights and dark shadows, as well as what kind of sensitivity they have in low light. The shot above is designed to mimic the very harsh, contrasty effect of direct noonday sunlight, a very tough challenge for most digital cameras. (You can read details of this test here.)
The Exilim EX-Z750 had a little trouble with the deliberately harsh lighting in the test above, producing very high contrast with washed-out highlights and deep shadows. Noise suppression is visible in both shadows and highlights as well, contributing to the loss of detail, made more severe in these areas. (In "real life" though, be sure to use fill flash in situations like the one shown above; it's better to shoot in the shade when possible.)
Our low light testing showed the Exilim EX-Z750's performance in this area to be excellent. The camera's autofocus system worked unusually well, able to focus on the subject down to the darkest light levels we test at.
Saturation & Hue Accuracy
Somewhat oversaturated color (especially reds and blues), very typical of consumer digital cameras. Some hue shifts, but attractive color nonetheless.
The other important part of color rendition is hue accuracy. Hue is "what color" the color is. Here, the Exilim EX-Z750 introduced more color shifts than we're accustomed to seeing, but most of them are of a sort that would make certain subjects look more appealing. Like most digicams, it shifts cyan colors toward blue, to produce better-looking sky colors, while yellow-greens are shifted slightly toward a more pure green, improving the appearance of foliage. Some pure reds are shifted a little toward orange-red, the one color shift that we don't personally agree with. In "real world" shooting situations though, the Casio Z750 produced brightly colored but very appealing images.
Our random "Gallery" shots showed very pleasing color across a wide variety of subjects. (See our Exilim EX-Z750 Photo Gallery for more shots taken with the camera.)
A very inaccurate optical viewfinder, very tight, skewed toward the top at telephoto focal lengths. Excellent accuracy from the LCD monitor though.
|38mm eq., optical viewfinder||114mm eq., optical viewfinder|
|35mm eq., LCD monitor||105mm eq., LCD monitor|
The Z750's optical viewfinder showed only about 64% frame accuracy at wide angle and just 84% at telephoto. 85% accuracy is fairly common among the digital cameras we test, but 64% is one of the worst performances we've seen to date. Fortunately, the LCD monitor showed very close to 100 percent frame accuracy (102% coverage at wide angle, 100% at telephoto).
Coverage and Range
The Z750's small flash has a limited range, but is pretty well color balanced when used in combination with typical incandescent room lighting. Our standard shots required about average exposure compensation.
|35mm equivalent||114mm equivalent|
|Normal Flash +1.0EV||Night mode, +1.0 EV|
Flash coverage was rather uneven at wide angle but very good at telephoto. In the Indoor test, the flash on the Z750 underexposed our subject at its default setting, requiring a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment to get reasonably bright results. (About typical for this shot.) The camera's Night mode produced brighter results, though with a very strong yellow-orange cast from the room lighting. The yellow cast disappeared as the exposure compensation was increased, but it was always present at any exposure level that didn't blow out the highlights too badly.
|8 ft||9 ft||10 ft||11 ft||12 ft||13 ft||14 ft|
Even at eight feet, our closest test range, the flash did not quite illuminate the DaveBox target adequately. This agrees with Casio's own specs, with the stated range varying from 9.5 feet at wide angle down to only 5.2 feet at the maximum telephoto zoom setting. These numbers are on the short side, although fairly typical for a compact camera model.
Good print quality, great color, very usable 11x14 inch prints. ISO 400 images usable at 8x10 inches, look great at 5x7.
Testing hundreds of digital cameras, we've found that you can only tell just so much about a camera's image quality by viewing its images on-screen. Ultimately, there's no substitute for printing a lot of images and examining them closely. For this reason, we now routinely print sample images from the cameras we test on our Canon i9900 studio printer, and on the Canon iP5000 here in the office. (See the Canon i9900 review for details on that model.)
With the Exilim EX-Z750, we found that it had enough resolution to make very crisp 8x10 inch prints. At 11x14, its prints were a bit softer looking, but more than adequate for wall or table display, and even 13x19 prints would look good on a wall. At high ISO, image noise levels are held in check, but at the cost of rather soft-looking images. ISO 200 photos look very good when printed at 8x10 inches, and even ISO 400 ones were usable at that size. (At ISO 400, image noise becomes quite apparent in 8x10 inch prints, but the prints would be quite acceptable for display on a wall, at normal viewing distances.) Color-wise, the Exilim EX-Z750's images looked really great when printed on the i9900, with very bright, vibrant color. Users who prefer more subdued, technically accurate color saturation levels may find the Z750's images a little too bright, but most consumers will probably find the Z750's bright, snappy images quite appealing.
Timing and Performance
Exilim EX-Z750 Timing
Surprising speed for a consumer camera.
|Power On to first shot||1.6 seconds|
|Shutter response (Lag Time):|
Full Autofocus Wide
Full Autofocus Tele
|Cycle time (shot to shot)|
|Normal large/fine JPEG||1.41 seconds|
|Flash recycling||6 seconds|
|Continuous mode||0.94 second
(2 large/fine frames)
|Windows Computer, USB 2.0||2,764 KBytes/sec|
The EX-Z750's performance is surprisingly quick. Start up is noticeably faster than average, even though the lens must first be extended. Shutter response when the lens is set to its wide angle position is also faster than average. At the telephoto end of the lens' range, the lag time of 0.43 second is again faster than average. If you "prefocus" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure, it's blazingly fast, with a shutter delay of only 0.01 second, among the fastest on the market. Shot-to-shot cycle times are average, at about 1.41 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and it can capture up to three shots this quickly before it has to slow down and wait for the memory card to catch up. Continuous-mode speed is also only average, at a bit over one frame/second. The flash takes about six seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, about average for this class of camera. Connected to a computer, download speeds are quick enough that you probably won't feel a need for a separate card reader. Bottom line, the Z750 is a very responsive subcompact, able to handle most family photo opportunities.
Battery and Storage Capacity
Surprisingly long battery life even with the LCD on.
|Still-image capture mode
The Exilim EX-Z750 uses a custom rechargeable 1230mAh NP-40 Lithium Ion battery for power. Because it uses a custom power connector, we couldn't conduct our normal direct measurements of power consumption, so have to rely on the manufacturer's numbers. Subjective experience in working with the camera did indeed support Casio's claims of very long battery life though. The table above shows maximum run times based on our power measurements and the rated performance of its battery.
The Exilim EX-Z750 uses either an SD or MulitMediaCard memory card but neither is supplied with the camera. The camera also has 8.3-MB built-in memory for storing thumbnails of favorite images and a custom scene setting or even images if no memory card is present.
8.3-MB internal memory
|3,072 x 2,304||Images||1|
|2,560 x 1,920||Images||3|
|2,048 x 1,536||Images||4|
|1,600 x 1,200||Images||7|
I strongly recommend buying at least a 128MB card, preferably a 256MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.
|Free Photo Lessons|
Tiny and stylish, the Casio Exilim EX-Z750 is packed with features. But with its its 7.2-megapixel CCD and very fast shutter response it's also an impressive performer. Toss in full Manual exposure mode and its 31 preset scene modes (not to mention Auto) and there's little this subcompact can't do. The mix of features and good performance should appeal to both novices and more experienced photographers interested in a fun digital camera for snapshots. Features like the whiteboard and business card modes that straighten "note taking" shots as well as the voice recorder make the EX-Z750 an exceptionally useful business tool, truly offering the "Unexpected Extra" that Casio claims for its products. Several kid and vacation modes are also contribute to the Z750's utility, and its fast shutter response make it a natural for sports shooting or just keeping up with a young family. Its somewhat overaggressive noise processing tends to flatten out subtle detail somewhat, particularly at high ISO settings, but the effect isn't all that noticeable in prints, particularly at 5x7 and below. A great "take anywhere" camera, the Casio EX-Z750 Zoom is so tiny and versatile, you can slip it in a pocket and go, with the confidence that you'll get good images just about anywhere. I'd have been happier if some of the items on my "cons" list above weren't there, but the Z750's pleasing color, good resolution, excellent battery life, and unusual (but highly useful) special shooting modes led me to make it a "Dave's Pick."
Questions, comments or controversy on this article? Click this link to see what other Imaging Resource readers have had to say about Casio Exilim EX-Z750, or add comments of your own!
Top 3 photos this month win:
1 Canon PIXMA PRO-100
2 Canon PIXMA MG6320
3 Canon PIXMA MG5420