Another model in Casio's Z series. Compared to the similar EX-Z75, the EX-Z77 has a larger internal memory, higher ISO rating, eight more pre-set scene modes and Hi-speed continuous shooting.
Casio Exilim EX-Z77 Specification
- Resolution: 7.2Mp CCD
- Image size: 3072 x 2304
- Lens: 3x optical, 4x digital f/3.1-5.9
- Focus: Auto, Pan, Infinity, Manual, Macro (10cm)
- Metering: Multi-pattern, Centre weighted, Spot
- Shutter speed: ½ - 1/2000 second
- Self timer: Yes
- Flash: Auto, On, Off, Soft, Red-eye
- Monitor: 2.6in TFT LCD colour
- Storage: 11.4Mb internal, SD, SDHC
- Size/weight: 95 x 59 x 19.8mm/118g
- Transfer: USB 2.0
The Fujifilm F40fd comes in at £109 with a higher 8Mp resolution, brighter lens and 2.5in screen. The Fujifilm is an older model, though. Alternatively, at £125, the Optio M40 from Pentax also has an 8Mp resolution, shares the Casio's aperture ability and the Fuji screen size.
Casio Exilim EX-Z77 Modes and features
It was November when I last got to look at a Casio and that was the EX-Z1080. The first Casio I got to look at with the family first face detection system. I was impressed then and I'm still impressed now.
The camera allows you to program your family's faces into it by taking a picture of them. Then, if you're in a big crowd, the Family first software will prioritise and focus on your family members over anyone else in foreground or background. It's a great way to ensure sharp pictures of your family and I'm surprised no other companies have started to incorporate it into their models.
Access to the face detection and other features like the resolution, flash options, ISO and White balance are accessed by pressing the Set button on the back of the camera. The menu that is accessed in this way is on show at the right side of the screen meaning that the screen size is not linked to the field of view.
Interestingly, the 2.5in screen is not all incorporated in the picture taking process and actually only uses 2.25in. Does this make the specification of the models that use this feature lower? That's personal opinion. The screen is 2.5in, so Casio are not lying, its just a shame that the whole area isn't used like the specification suggests.
41 best shot modes are installed into the tiny body of the Z77. These are accessed by pressing the BS button at the bottom of the camera. They come up as large icons and they have to be scrolled through. Older models showed them as an index with several options showing on one page at a time. I think I preferred this old method as it allowed me to skip up down, left or right to access the features quicker.
The menu has only three access tabs when pressed but is still comprehensive with several pages to each tab.
The Record mode has all the options for amending anything that will affect the final picture such as Focus modes, Self timer, Anti shake, Digital zoom, Grid and Review to name a few. There is also a Quality tab which I would have thought would house only resolution and compression options, but no. In this tab, there are a plethora of options such as quality ratings for still and video images, White balance, ISO ratings, Metering and colour filters amongst others.
The Set up tab has three pages of menus to allow more core changes to the camera such as Playback display, Time/date adjustments, Language, auto shut off and so on.
A great deal of these options are removed when the camera is put into Easy mode. This is still signified by a four leaf clover on the quick access menu despite mentioning in the review of the EX-Z75 that a four leaf clover is a symbol of luck, not easiness. The menu also switches to a nice Green colour whilst you're in this mode.
Casio Exilim EX-Z77 Build and handling
The metal body feels sturdy enough when held and even the battery door has no give to it. The lens has minimal movement and the zoom motors are nice and quiet.
The same problems persist with the EX-Z77 as what were present on the Casio Exilim EX-Z75 in terms of dimensions and the location of the USB port. The camera is thin and can stand up on its own, but it's unstable and a slight tap can knock it over adding to the possibility of damaging the screen. The USB port is situated on the bottom of the camera meaning that to download images via USB, the camera must be laid on the front or shiny screen on the back.
Casio Exilim EX-Z77 Flash options
The options available for the Casio Exilim EX-Z77 are Auto, Flash off, On, Soft and Red eye reduction. In the Easy mode, Red eye reduction and Soft flash mode are removed.
The distance of the flash is 0.1 to 3.5m at wide angle and 0.6 to 1.9m at telephoto. Acceptable enough to cover most scenarios, but by no means inspiring.
Casio Exilim EX-Z77 Performance
The Casio Exilim EX-Z77 has two types of continuous shooting. The standard speed can take 23 images in ten seconds, which is a good result for a compact.
The Hi-speed continuous shooting mode manages 43 images in ten seconds which, whilst an excellent result, quality is compromised so that the images can download quicker. Expect to only get images at 2Mp in the Hi-speed continuous mode.
The portrait mode has a nice warm feel, but suffers from natural shadow on the wall. The face has a nice exposure and the skin tones are even.
The same shot with flash has removed the natural shadows, but created a shadow of Becky which is not as welcome as the others.
The flash hasn't reflected too badly off the skin and the portrait mode has still retained it's warmth.
The landscape image at the lock has given an unusual result in the exposures. Both images were taken one after the other and even though one is in Landscape mode, it has recorded at the same shallow aperture as the Program mode shot.
The blues and greens are more saturated, but a deep depth of field is needed for getting everything in focus. These shots were taken at f4.4, which is certainly odd.
It's difficult to see the performance of the colour reproduction as I find it hard to ignore the terrible pincushion distortion at wide angle.
This shot almost didn't appear in the review as the 10cm macro feature is hardly worth printing.
Portrait mode without flash has a balanced skin tone, but shadows can creep in the background.
The same shot with flash rids the background of the natural shadows, but causes its own shadow of Beckys head.
The wide angle view of the Casio gets in plenty of the landscape in this photoshop boosted image.
The zoom is only a 3x optical, but crops this image nicely.
The Landscape shot shows a boost in green and blue.
Both shots received the same aperture though. Landscape mode should be shallower.
Casio Exilim EX-Z77 Noise test
Its a shame that noise starts to appear at ISO200 although this is only noticeable when the image is at full size.
Green and purple splodges can be seen in low key areas from ISO400 and luckily ISO800 is the highest rating with the detail in the petals beginning to decay.
The ISO50 test.
The ISO100 test.
The ISO200 test.
The ISO400 test.
The ISO800 test.
Casio Exilim EX-Z77 Verdict
After reading the Snap Shot review and seeing what the other sites said about this camera, I'm willing to agree with them. Their's nothing to inspire on this camera, it simply plods along.
The results are decent enough, so I won't say to stay away from the camera. The Family first face detection is great, but it's not innovative to this model.
Gadget Granny says:
It's a nice sized camera, perfect for the pocket, but it might get lost in my handbag and there's a chance I might mistake it for my phone. I have medium sized hands and the buttons are just big enough. Someone with big hands might have trouble.
I like the grid used for Rule of Thirds. I can use it to frame the kids up. I might use the video function, but not the YouTube feature. I'll leave that to the youngsters.
Casio Exilim EX-Z77 Plus points
Family first face detection
Good skin tone performance
Good continuous shooting mode, albeit at low-res
Casio Exilim EX-Z77 Minus points
Pincushion distortion at wide-angle
Poor macro facility
Landscape mode uses wrong apertures
Not many ISO settings
The Casio Exilim EX-Z77 costs around £99. Contact Casio for a list of local retailers.
Take a look in the ePHOTOzine shop for other cool Casio kit here.