Camera Test: Casio Exilim EX-Z1000

With digital compact cameras now passing the 10MP threshold, we decided to put the top five models to the test in order to help you determine which one may be right for you.

Camera-Test-Casio-Exilim-EX-Z1000
Camera-Test-Casio-Exilim-EX-Z1000
Casio Exilim EX-Z1000

Camera Test: Casio Exilim EX-Z100079767622206CasioEX-Z1000The 10.1-megapixel Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 (street $290) is the biggest member of the Exilim tribe in pure pixel power, but what do you get for all those extra pixels that you don't get in the 8MP EX-Z850 and 6MP EX-Z600 and S600? One thing is a very nice LCD layout option on the large 2.8" display, with all the technical details on the right rail, instead of atop the image. Ooh la la. The 3x zoom (38-114mm equivalent) Ex-Z1000 has excellent color accuracy, especially in manual mode, which Casio excels at throughout this line. You also get the eBay scene mode, which is in many Exilim cameras, but it seems a bit silly to buy a 10MP camera based on the fact that it can shoot low-resolution for the Web. You get very fast autofocus. It doesn't feel quite as fast as the 6-megapixel EX-Z600 and EX-Z600, but it is still surprisingly fast for a pocket camera. What you do not get is a major dramatic leap in resolution from the 8MP Exilim EX-Z850. At the lowest sensitivity, ISO 50, the EX-Z1000 only scores 210 points higher with a score of 1840, and at maximum ISO 400, the resolution is 1475, 85 points higher than the 8-megapixel model. Yes, that's right, the camera tops out at ISO 400; but it manages to keep noise at bay throughout this limited range. We'd rather see cameras with realistic ISO ratings to handle noise, rather than including high ISOs that the camera cannot actually handle.

The 10.1-megapixel Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 (street $290) is the biggest member of the Exilim tribe in pure pixel power, but what do you get for all those extra pixels that you don't get in the 8MP EX-Z850 and 6MP EX-Z600 and S600?

One thing is a very nice LCD layout option on the large 2.8" display, with all the technical details on the right rail, instead of atop the image. Ooh la la.

The 3x zoom (38-114mm equivalent) Ex-Z1000 has excellent color accuracy, especially in manual mode, which Casio excels at throughout this line.

You also get the eBay scene mode, which is in many Exilim cameras, but it seems a bit silly to buy a 10MP camera based on the fact that it can shoot low-resolution for the Web.

You get very fast autofocus. It doesn't feel quite as fast as the 6-megapixel EX-Z600 and EX-Z600, but it is still surprisingly fast for a pocket camera.

What you do not get is a major dramatic leap in resolution from the 8MP Exilim EX-Z850. At the lowest sensitivity, ISO 50, the EX-Z1000 only scores 210 points higher with a score of 1840, and at maximum ISO 400, the resolution is 1475, 85 points higher than the 8-megapixel model.

Yes, that's right, the camera tops out at ISO 400; but it manages to keep noise at bay throughout this limited range. We'd rather see cameras with realistic ISO ratings to handle noise, rather than including high ISOs that the camera cannot actually handle.

This camera is all about scene modes: it's got 35 settings for many shooting conditions. But it doesn't have a full manual mode for when you want total creative control. You've also got the option to shoot in 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratios.

The EX-Z1000 shoots video at up to 640x480 at 25 frames per second, and you can zoom while recording.

On the playback side, there's a slideshow option, along with color and keystone correction options, and motion print from video, along with the rest of the usual feature set.

The LCD is large, making the multi-controller and buttons small, and difficult to use by anyone with large hands. Shooting with one hand is doable, but changing settings will require most users to use a two-handed grip.

One major flaw in this camera is the quality of the instant preview, which always looks blurry. Even when focus is confirmed, it looks blurry. In playback mode, your images will look sharper, but it is unsettling to see the quick blurry preview, which caused us to shoot and reshoot a scene, until realizing that this is a quirk of the quick preview and not a true representation of the image quality in playback or on-screen.

The Bottom Line:

The Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 scores big points for color accuracy and noise control in its limited but truly usable ISO range. Serious wide-angle barrel distortion is a problem for macro close-ups (such as those you might put on eBay) and the resolution numbers at the lowest ISO were the worst we saw in this 5-way shootout. It's easy to use, focuses fast, and as a camera for shooting in good lighting, it's a pretty good choice. If we could combine the robust feature set of the 8 MP EXZ-850 with the better noise performance of this camera, we'd be much happier with both.

Certified Test Results:

Resolution: ISO 50: 1840 Excellent. ISO 400: 1475 Very High.

Color accuracy: Excellent. Average Delta E 7.21 ISO 50 Manual White Balance.

Noise: Low at ISO 50 (1.6), Moderately Low at ISO 100 (2.0), Low at ISO 200 (1.9), Moderate at ISO 400 (2.5)

Lens Distortion: Visible Barrel at 1x (.49%), Imperceptible Barrel at 2x (.06%), Imperceptible pincushion at 3x (.01%)

In the box:

Click photo to launch an image quality comparison gallery.

Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 $290
NP-40 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
USB Docking Station
AC Adapter for Docking Station
USB Cable
A/V Cable
Wrist Strap
Software CD-ROM (Drivers, Photo Loader)
User's Guide
1-Year U.S.A. Limited Warranty

LCD Display
2.8" TFT color LCD (230,400 pixels)

Dimensions (HxWxD)
2.3 x 3.7 x 0.9" (59 x 92 x 23mm) excluding projections

Weight
approx 5.3 oz with battery and SD card

Set-to-Auto-the-Canon-Powershot-SD900-Digital-Elp
Set-to-Auto-the-Canon-Powershot-SD900-Digital-Elp
Set to Auto, the Canon Powershot SD900 Digital Elph chose 1/60 @ F/2.8 at ISO 64 No Flash to capture our still life.
Set-to-Auto-the-Casio-Exilim-EX-Z1000-chose-1-100
Set-to-Auto-the-Casio-Exilim-EX-Z1000-chose-1-100
Set to Auto, the Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 chose 1/100 @ f/2.8 at ISO 100 No Flash to capture Darth Tater.
Set-to-Auto-the-Olympus-Stylus-1000-chose-1-60
Set-to-Auto-the-Olympus-Stylus-1000-chose-1-60
Set to Auto, the Olympus Stylus 1000 chose 1/60 @ f/2.8 ISO 64 No Flash to capture our still life.
Set-to-Auto-the-Pentax-Optio-A20-chose-1-60-f-2
Set-to-Auto-the-Pentax-Optio-A20-chose-1-60-f-2
Set to Auto, the Pentax Optio A20 chose 1/60 @f/2.8 at ISO 100 No Flash to capture our colorful scene.
Set-to-Auto-the-Samsung-NV10-chose-1-60-f-2.8-a
Set-to-Auto-the-Samsung-NV10-chose-1-60-f-2.8-a
Set to Auto, the Samsung NV10 chose 1/60 @ f/2.8 at ISO 100 No Flash to capture our still life.
ADVERTISEMENT