Casio Exilim EX-Z600

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Casio Exilim EX-Z600
  • Casio Exilim EX-Z600
  • Casio Exilim EX-Z600
  • Casio Exilim EX-Z600

Pros

  • Sharp pictures, Low noise, Slim

Cons

  • Chromatic aberration and undersharpening

Bottom Line

A slim model that makes an ideal point and shoot for people who want an all purpose camera.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 2 stores)

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The Casio Exilim EX-Z600 is a solid basic camera. While not outstanding, images are acceptable and the compact size is ideal for all the time, anywhere photography.

With a sharpness score of 1645 in Imatest, this camera outshines any other compact we have looked at so far. With a result like this, you would expect crisp, defined edges with great representation of detail, and indeed, some parts of our shots did exhibit these qualities. Unfortunately the test also highlighted some issues that counterfeit this brilliant result somewhat. Imatest adjusts the sharpness of the image supplied allowing the sharpness result to be compared among cameras. Imatest reports the amount of adjustment in terms of a % of undersharpening or oversharpening against the adjusted image. The greater the value of this figure, the greater the adjustment to the image. The EX-Z600 exhibited 25.8% undersharpening. While preferable to oversharpening that is common in compact cameras, the disparity when combined with the chromatic aberration score of .155% made our shots not the stunningly clear pictures they should have been. The images included some noticeable colour fringing and a slightly unrealistic look. Nevertheless, they were still better than many cameras we've looked at recently.

The EX-Z600 performed admirably in the rest of our tests. Imatest gave it a rating of 9.71 for colour which is above average. Anything below 10 we consider to be very good and at this level it is difficult to spot inaccuracies with the naked eye. Blue was the colour that gave this model the most trouble, along with minor errors in the red and yellow spectrum, but overall we were more than satisfied with its colour representation.

The EX-Z600's stunning Imatest noise score of .37% makes this one of the best performers we have seen in this area. Our shots were all clear and speckle-free. Even at its highest ISO of 400, this camera only scored .58%, which is better than many models at their lowest setting.

If not for the undersharpening and chromatic aberration issues, this camera would be one of the best purchases in this category; however even taking them into consideration this is an excellent choice.

The EX-Z600 is a basic compact model and does not include manual control features. All the basic point and shoot settings are there, including exposure compensation, ISO settings up to 400, white balance presets and a variety of image options (sharpness, contrast, etc). There are two continuous shot modes, with one operating at an impressive six frames per second (but capped at just three shots) while the other takes a much more sedate 1.2 shots a second (without the capping). Rounding out the feature-set is a gigantic list of 32 pre-set scene modes. These cover every conceivable situation from Food to Text and Business Card. This list of features is more than adequate for someone who just wants to take holiday or party snaps.

We found the EX-Z600 to be quite speedy as well, taking just 1.5 seconds to power up. With a miniscule shutter operation time of .05 of a second it will capture all the action and Casio has complemented this with an excellent 1.6 second shot-to-shot time.

Casio sticks to a design formula with many cameras being brushed metal cases slightly larger than a credit card face, and slim to boot. The EX-Z600 fits this mould exactly. The EX-Z600 will fit comfortably in most bags or pockets.

The controls are fairly minimalist, with a basic directional pad and menu buttons. Everything is laid out well and is easy to navigate. The menu system is broken up a little strangely, with some camera functions in one menu tree while others are in another, but it doesn't pose a huge problem.

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