Casio EX-Z300 Review

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Basic Specifications
Full model name: Casio EXILIM Zoom EX-Z300
Resolution: 10.10 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1/2.3 inch
(6.2mm x 4.6mm)
Lens: 4.00x zoom
(28-112mm eq.)
Viewfinder: LCD
Extended ISO: 64 - 3200
Shutter: 1/2000 - 4 sec
Max Aperture: 2.6
Dimensions: 3.8 x 2.3 x 0.9 in.
(97 x 58 x 23 mm)
Weight: 4.6 oz (131 g)
MSRP: $300
Availability: 10/2008
Manufacturer: Casio
Full specs: Casio EX-Z300 specifications

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4.00x zoom 1/2.3 inch
size sensor
image of Casio EXILIM Zoom EX-Z300
Front side of Casio EX-Z300 digital camera Front side of Casio EX-Z300 digital camera      

The Casio EXILIM Zoom EX-Z300 features a compact body that contains the combination of a 1/2.3"-type 10.1 megapixel image sensor and an EXILIM-branded 4x optical zoom lens with a useful 28mm wide-angle. A 3.0-inch LCD display with 230,400 dot resolution offers the EX-Z300's only option for framing and reviewing images, as there's no optical viewfinder on this model. The Casio EX-Z300 also includes CCD-shift type mechanical image stabilization, useful for preventing blur from camera shake. ISO sensitivity ranges from a low of ISO 64 to a maximum of ISO 3,200 equivalent, so it should be possible to further fight off camera shake and subject motion blurring by boosting the sensitivity - albeit with increased image noise.

Casio's Z300 employs a contrast-detection autofocus system operating off data streaming from the camera's image sensor, and the EX-Z300 also includes face detection capability, although specifics on this feature weren't available at press time. Another interesting function is that the Casio Z300 offers a twelve step "makeup" function which processes subjects' faces to smooth the skin and correct for shadows on faces - and this function can be accessed directly from a "makeup" button on the camera's body. The Casio EX-Z300 can also correct for under- or over-exposed areas in contrasty scenes.

The Casio EXILIM Z300 offers not just still photos, but video as well. Casio EX-Z300 movies are recorded in H.264 format using the AAC codec, making them suitable for playing on Apple's iPod and similar devices. For viewing images on a television, the Casio Z300 has audio / video output connectivity, while images can be transferred to a PC over a USB connection (type unspecified). A rechargeable NP-70 Lithium Ion battery with charger is included with the Z300, and should yield 280 shots on a charge. Images are stored in 38.5MB of internal memory, as well as on SD, SDHC, MMC or MMCplus memory cards.

The Casio EX-Z300 will ship in the USA from October 2008 with pricing of about $300.

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