The market is flooded with compact digital cameras, so where do you start when choosing the best one for your needs and budget? Maybe Casio holds the answer. Check out our Casio EXILIM EX-Z450 reviewand we’ll tell you whether this is the way to go.
Even though Casio already have a large selection in the Z series, the manufacturers have enough faith in the Casio EXILIM EX-Z450 to bring it out in no less than five different colours which are bold and attractive.
The Casio EXILIM EX-Z450 is a 12.1 megapixel camera (so ideal for making large prints with good detail) with a 4x wide-angle optical zoom 24-112mm lens. It feels both solid and comfortable in the hand and while it looks very similar in controls and dimensions to hordes more on the market, it does have a few unexpected surprises.
First up is a button slapped on top of the Casio EXILIM EX-Z450 for toggling between two new shooting modes – Makeup and Landscape. Makeup adjusts smoothness of skin and softens shadows while Landscape either enhances colours or sharpens the image in hazy conditions.
The Casio EXILIM EX-Z450 has a dedicated movie mode button round the back too. You can choose from HD movies at 1280×720 pixels at 24 fps, standard quality movies at 640×480 pixels at 30fps, and VGA movies at 320×240 at 15 fps. However, you can only record 10 minutes maximum in one sitting, there’s no preview function and the optical zoom won’t operate while shooting. You can, though, use any of the 38 scene modes in the Best Shot menu to suit your shooting conditions. It’s a small consolation, but the lack of zoom and preview is a real own goal by Casio.
That said, we were particularly enamoured by the Dynamic Photo mode. It’s a nifty addition which lets you cut out an image from a moving shot and paste it into a completely different background. Casio even chucks in some graphics on the bundled CD for you to play with. It’s one for the kids, but cool nonetheless.
For more serious snappers, the Casio EXILIM EX-Z450 uses an improved Intelligent AF system which as well as the usual face detection, now identifies non-human subjects and decide on correct focusing and exposure.
The quality of the finished images is good without being exceptional and while better results can be had from the comparable Canon Digital IXUS 120 IS, the Casio EXILIM EX-Z450 is £100 cheaper. Worth a look if you’re counting the cash after Christmas.