Casio wouldn't be Casio if they hadn't equipped their new model with the latest innovations in the world of digital imaging. Consequently, the Casio Exilim EX Z1000 features a new Exilim processor. In addition to a smaller format (35% smaller), the processor has also become significantly faster. The consumer will be able to enjoy the effects of this increased speed virtually immediately; after all, the camera offers a swift start-up time, a virtually negligible shutter release lag, and rapid image processing. Furthermore, the menu can be quickly navigated, and the user has the option to browse through the stored images with a stunning interval speed of 0.1 seconds; which proves exceptionally handy when you need to find one particular photo hastily.
Casio Exilim EX Z1000 - 38-114mm focal point
The Casio Exilim EX Z1000 features a 3x optical zoom with a focal point of 38 - 114mm (equivalent of a 35mm camera). A pity, however, that Casio have not seized their chance to equip the camera with more wide-angle, or at least, a little more tele. A 3x optical zoom is in fact quite below par for this type of camera. The lens is practically free of chromatic aberration. Colour fringing occurs only occasionally in both wide-angle and tele, which is a very decent performance indeed. The distortion in wide-angle is slightly present, yet not more than average for this focal point. Upon zooming in lightly, the distortion vanishes virtually entirely.
Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 - Macro images
The Casio EX Z1000 is able to focus from 6cm in macro mode. The macro images are more than satisfactory, with only a slight blur in the corners. You can choose to use the internal flash, which has a minimum effective range of 10cm, but proves to become overly present easily. You do have the option of a compensation of -2/ +2 on the flash, which offers a solution in certain situations. If you come within a 10cm distance of the subject, the optical zoom lens will cast a shadow in the image.
Casio Exilim Z1000 - Non Deterioration Zoom
The high resolution of 10 Megapixels offers many additional creative options. Not only does the user have room to experiment with editing the captured images, Casio also uncovers additional applications. The camera features, for instance, the so-called Non Deterioration Zoom, with which it is able to zoom in up to 17,1x, according to the selected resolution. The higher the selected resolution, the more the Casio Exilim Z1000 will zoom in digitally. The quality of the ultimately quickly zoomed in image remains of a good stable overall quality. Here we see an example of how Casio put a surplus of Megapixels to handy use. In addition, the camera is equipped with a Quick Zoom function, which enables you to zoom from wide-angle to tele with only one push of the button. This is yet another feature that makes use of a large amount of pixels in combination with a digital zoom. The final result is sufficient to produce a print, yet does limit the user in his options to edit the image afterwards.
Casio Z1000 digital camera - Autofocus
Focussing takes place via 9 points; either equally spread in the composition, or through one single point. Both options prove excellent and fast to work with. The AF assistance illuminator enables you to focus even in dim-lit conditions. A handy asset is the programmable multi controller. By attaching a function, such as ISO, light metering or white balance, to the left or right side of the multi controller, this function can be directly accessed and altered during photographing.
Casio EX Z1000 - Flash continuous shooting
When shooting continuously, you will find the Casio Exilim EX Z1000 digital camera offers a unique feature. The so-called Flash continuous shooting mode enables you to capture 3 flash images sequentially within one second. After this, the Casio EX Z1000 requires approximately 4.5 seconds to fully re-charge the flash, a superb performance! Capturing a series of images with 10 Megapixel resolution is indeed quite demanding on a camera, but the Casio Exilim Z1000 proves to handle it excellently. With a 10 Megapixel setting, normal compression, the flash off and the setting Normal Speed continuous shooting, you are able to capture images sequentially with an interval speed of approximately 1.2 seconds. Those who desire less compression, and thus a higher quality, will have to settle for an interval speed of approximately 1.7 seconds; which is still a perfectly adequate performance.
Casio Exilim Z1000 - High Speed continues shooting
Those in need of more speed can opt to switch to High Speed continuous shooting. The Casio Exilim EX Z1000 camera rapidly captures 3 images in sequence, after which, with a setting of 10 Megapixels and a standard compression, it takes approximately 2.5 seconds to empty the buffer, and be ready to capture the next series. A Fine compression results in a slightly longer waiting time of approximately 3 seconds, before the buffer is emptied. For the continuous shooting, we used a standard SanDisk Secure Digital, and compared it to an Extreme III SD version, also from SanDisk. In practice, the Casio turns out not to benefit from a faster memory card.
Casio EX Z1000 camera - White balance settings
In addition to the automatic white balance, the Casio EX Z1000 digital camera features six white balance settings. The automatic white balance performs exceptionally well in most images, and produces a reasonably neutral colour. When working in overly present fluorescent light, however, we would recommend switching to the correct white balance setting for fluorescent or incandescent, both of which produce agreeable results. Even in these circumstances, Casio prove completely in control.
Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 - ISO range
The Casio Z1000 offers a standard ISO range of 50 up to 400 ISO. In the Best Shot mode, the user also has the option of 800 and even 3200 ISO. The amount of noise in the low ISO values up to 200 ISO is excellent. At 400 ISO, noise starts to play a part, although the images are still of sufficient quality to produce a decent print. The 800 and 3200 ISO images do suffer from noise, and the strongly present noise reduction gives the images a somewhat stretched effect, which greatly affects the details in the image. Ultimately, the sole solution will be an image stabiliser that is able to correct an image without using high ISO values. The high ISO values in this type of compact camera indeed prove a little too ambitious for Casio. Optical image stabilisation; a feature of a future generation Exilim cameras?