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The plus points for this camera include widescreen movies, a large selection of scene modes and some extra fun features such as a special mode for uploading video to YouTube. You should also find the Exilim EX-Z200 digital camera easy to use.
|Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom)|
I like the colours in this photo. They help to produce a natural looking shot. Focusing is good in the centre of the shot, but it is noticeable that this falls away towards the edges. There is also some detail lost in the lightest areas of the shot.
|Outdoor 2 (No Zoom)|
In my second test shot there are a number of noticeable similarities to my first test shot. The colours have a natural feel to them, but the Exilim EX-Z200 finds focusing difficult towards the edges of the shot. It finds further difficulty when it comes to showing detail from the more distant parts of the scene.
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|Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom)|
With the zoom lens fully extended focusing becomes a real problem. Parts of the photo are so soft this is likely to be an issue even in smaller prints. Again, the areas away from the centre cause most concern.
|Outdoor 4 (Building)|
This photo confirms my overall concerns about focusing. Although there are areas in the centre that are pleasingly sharp, away from the centre it is a different story. There is also a touch of purple fringing showing up around some of the windows.
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With the subject much closer this Casio digital camera produces a considerably improved photo. There is a much sharper look to the photo. Again I like the colours the camera produces and they help to produce a portrait with a warm feel.
|Indoor Portrait with Flash|
Moving indoors and using flash produces another good result. The light is even and is subtle enough to light the scene without washing out detail. This leads to plenty of colour remaining in the skin tones.
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|Indoor Portrait without Flash|
The Exilim EX-Z200 also does well when flash is not used. Once again, the colours have a natural feel to them. There is a small amount of noise in the photo and this stops the photo from being pin sharp. It is still a decent effort.
As you can tell, I think the colours have worked well throughout my tests. Although colour is a matter of personal taste, my feeling is that the strength and balance of the colours mean that they do not overly dominate scenes.
One of the drawbacks of the Exilim EX-Z200 is the camera needs to be at least 15cm away from the subject before it can focus. Therefore, my test photo has been cropped for display. The photo itself is bright enough and sharp enough too, but you will not be able to produce true close ups with this camera.
Views on Noise - ISO 400 and ISO 1600
Noise starts to show by the time the ISO setting reaches 400. It is also noticeable that the corners are darker than the rest of the photo. At ISO 1600 there are high levels of noise. Fortunately you are not likely to want to boost ISO very often.
Well, a bit of a mixed bag really. I am happy with the portrait shots where the camera can get in closer. When the subject is more distant, the Exilim EX-Z200 struggles with sharpness.
Having recently reviewed the Casio Exilim EX-Z100 I expected the shutter lag times to be more or less identical. For whatever reason, I found the Exilim EX-Z200 to be slower than the Exilim EX-Z100. The times recorded were 0.22 seconds for a single photo (a fast time), 21.52 seconds for five (not so fast), 1.62 seconds for a single photo with flash (slower than standard) and 24.64 seconds for five photos with flash (on the slow side). To turn the camera on and take a photo took 3.03 seconds. This is fairly standard.
Style: Neat and tidy without any frills. This is a typical rectangular compact with rounded edges. The Exilim EX-Z200 is available in black, red and silver.
Dimensions: 93.0 x 55.0 x 22.7mm Weight: 119g
Batteries: Lithium Ion (NP-40). Both a battery and charger are supplied as standard. Casio estimate you should be able to take up to 400 shots before the battery needs to be recharged.
Memory cards: Casio has built 11.7mb of storage into the Exilim EX-Z200. This is enough for 5 or 6 photos. You can expand the memory capabilities by buying either SD or SDHC cards.
Ease of use rating: Very Good. Casio Digital Cameras tend to score well when it comes to ease of use. I really like the list of key functions you can choose to display on the right hand side of the LCD screen. Not only does this remind you of the current settings, it also makes it quick and easy to change them.
Points I like: Ease of use - widescreen movies
Where it could improve: Photos could be sharper - build quality could go up a notch or two
Alternatives: If you are looking for a similar camera with a wide angle lens and a bit more overall quality try looking at the Panasonic DMC FX35. Verdict: When it comes to picture quality, the Casio Exilim EX-Z200 falls short when compared to the very best pocket cameras. Although there are some positive points to this camera, I think you can get better value for money elsewhere.