Casio Exilim EX-Z1050
- Great noise performance, Good quality images, Stylish and sturdy design
- Some softness in certain parts of the picture, Slow burst mode
A solid entry into the compact camera space, the Casio Exilim EX-Z1050 isn't the best camera we've reviewed, but the 10 megapixel sensor captures some great pictures, making it a good choice for those that want to make larger than regular size prints.
Price$ 499.95 (AUD)
Casio's Exilim EX-Z1050 is a 10 megapixel compact camera for those who want a little more than just a point and shoot device. While it doesn't have full manual features, the 10 megapixel sensor captures extremely high resolution pictures, making this unit more suited to users who want to make larger prints, rather than just standard 4in x 6in photos.
It performed well in all of our image quality tests, which include both our Imatest software and some subjective test shots. We were expecting big results in our sharpness test, and were not let down by the Z1050's impressive score of 1821. This is a great result, even for a 10 megapixel sensor, and for the most part our shots were extremely crisp and detailed (this was particularly evident in the foliage sections of our outdoors shots). However, Imatest also picked up some undersharpening, giving the unit a score of 10.4% here. Some parts of our shots were noticeably blurry with a slightly soft look, however this wasn't particularly problematic and should go unnoticed by many people.
The camera also exhibited little in the way of chromatic aberration, achieving a result of 0.072%, which is slightly better than most other units. There was a little loss of clarity towards the very corners of the frame and some minor haloing in high contrast areas, but again, these issues shouldn't be a problem.
In our colour test the Z1050's results were good, but not exceptional. Colours were well balanced and relatively accurate, although there was a little error evident in the warmer colours (reds and yellows). Our test shots looked bright and vibrant for the most part, although there was a tendency to greatly overexpose white sections; this was particularly evident in our outdoors shots and detracted from their quality.
In our noise test, the Z1050 performed extremely well. At ISO 100 it scored 0.35% in Imatest, which is a brilliant result. Our test shots showed no visible signs of noise at all, which is an impressive feat. What was even more impressive though was that even at higher sensitivities, the shots were basically noise free. Casio's noise reduction algorithm works overtime here, meaning even up to ISO 400, the Z1050's pictures are clean and smooth.
Our speed tests also returned favourable results for this model. It exhibited 0.07 seconds of shutter lag, 1.8 seconds from power up to first shot and 1.9 seconds between shots, all of which are quite competitive times.
The feature set is fairly standard, although we were disappointed with the burst mode, which operates at just one frame per second. You can activate the high speed mode, which will capture up to seven shots a second, but they are limited to 2 megapixels, which is obviously not useful in a lot of situations. There is also optical image stabilisation, as well as white balance presets and a custom mode. ISO sensitivities extend up to ISO 800 and there are a massive 37 scene modes for novice users to take advantage of.
As with most previous Casio units, the Z1050 doesn't do anything radical with regards to design, however it looks smooth and is well constructed. The body is made of matte black metal and it feels extremely sturdy. The stylish aesthetic should also appeal to fashion conscious buyers. Due to the entirely metal build, it is quite heavy, weighing in at 125g, but it is small enough to slip comfortably into a pocket or bag. The controls take the form of a standard directional pad and menu button, which works well, and the menu is both quick and intuitive.
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