Remember the Casio watch I reviewed a while back? That was just one of two fantastic Casio products I was toting around Chicago earlier this summer. The other was this lovely Casio digital camera, the Exilim EX_Z150.
I fell in love with this camera at first sight. I have a dSLR which – don’t get my wrong – I am very thankful for, but is just not very practical for carrying around. The Casio Exilim weighs practically nothing and can fit comfortably in my pocket. So convenient for taking quick snapshots!
- 8.1 MP
- 4X wide-angle optical zoom
- 3″ LCD
- optical image stabilization (reduces blurring caused by shaky hands)
- YouTube capture mode
And comes with:
- a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery
- a strap
- a charger unit
- USB cable
- AV cable
- power cord
- Casio Digital Camera software for Windows
- and an instruction manual, as well as a Quick Start guide.
After taking the camera out of the box, I just had to charge the battery and pop it into the camera. It’s important to note that the EX_Z150 doesn’t come with one. I used a 2G SD card that I already owned, making sure to format it before I took any photos. It also accepts SDHC, MMC, and MMCplus memory cards, and does have just over 17MB of internal memory, which will hold a few photos or a short video. Not much more.
Turning the camera on is simple. Either press the On/Off button at the top, or go directly to shooting mode by pressing the red camera button. The camera will also turn on, and go into preview mode, by pressing the green preview button.
Taking a photo is just as easy. Press down slightly on the shutter button so the camera can focus, then press it all the way down to take the shot. To zoom, slide the zoom controller left or right. By going into the Control Panel, you can change tons of settings, including the image size, face detection, anti-shake, ISO sensitivity, white balance, and more.
To record a movie, you just press the Movie button while in camera mode. Then you press the button again to stop recording. I really liked this. It makes it effortless to go from taking pictures to shooting video and back. With the YouTube uploader, it only takes a few steps to automatically upload the video to your YouTube Channel. So easy that even my mom can do it!
There are several useful features that caught my attention:
- Face Detection ensures that the faces of the people you want are always in focus. I’m not sure how the camera knows there’s a person there, but it really does work. You’ll see a white frame around the face of each person in the image.
- There’s a BS button at the bottom right corner of the camera. This button is everything but B.S.! 😉 It’s short for Best Shot. By pressing this button you’re given a variety of scenes to choose from – soft-flowing water, fireworks, food, portrait, children, sundown, night scene, etc. Select the one that is most like what you are trying to shoot, and the camera changes the settings automatically to get you your best shot. I really wanted to try out the soft-flowing water option, but, sigh… there were no streams nearby.
- Easy Mode. This takes away all the options that might intimidate a novice photographer, leaving only flash, self-timer, and image size that you can adjust.
To transfer photos you can connect the camera to your computer with the USB cable, or you can do like I do and put the memory card into a reader that’s plugged into a USB port. You have to buy that separately, but I find it’s the best way to transfer photos quickly and easily. You don’t want to waste precious battery power, do you?
About the battery – I didn’t measure it exactly, but I can tell you that I went several days (maybe even a week) without charging it. I like that the memory card slot is right under the battery so whenever I removed the memory card, I’d also remove the battery to charge it. However, I do think that the battery/memory card compartment is a little too easy to open. There were a few times that I did it by accident, just while holding the camera. The battery and memory card sit snuggly inside the camera, though, so there was no chance of anything slipping out.
Overall, I was very happy with the Casio Exilim EX_Z150 digital camera. The quality of the photos is definitely much better outdoors, but it works well either way. It wouldn’t replace my dSLR on any account, but would be handy to carry around in my purse for those unexpected “Kodak Moments.”
*Product was loaned to me for a short period of time, so I cannot speak as to its durability.