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Casio EXILIM EX-Z850 | Digital Camera Review | Control
The Casio Exilim EX Z850 is a digital camera with a compact size and a great deal of potential. Casio have managed to incorporate virtually all the knowledge and experience they have gained in the past ten years - and that is relevant for this type of camera - into the Casio Z850. The camera offers many automatic settings, but is also able to meet the requirements of the creative photographer by offering manual settings such as aperture and shutter speed priority. Casio were quick to acknowledge the power of pre-programmed scenes. As a result, the Casio Exilim EX Z850 is equipped with an impressive 34 scenes.
Casio EXILIM EX-Z850 | Digital Camera Casio EXILIM EX-Z850 | Digital Camera
Casio Exilim EX Z850 - Speed
Those who have already gained experience from working with a digital compact camera will find themselves baffled by the speed with which the Casio Exilim Z850 starts up. The camera is ready for use the very instant the on/off switch is released. In fact, the Casio Z850 needs only one second. This high speed proved to be significant during my experiences with the camera. Focussing is done rapidly, even in dim-lit conditions, thanks to the support of the AF assistance illuminator. The shutter release button feels pleasant to touch, as well as comfortable under your finger. The shutter release lag of a mere 0.005 seconds leaves next to no room for improvement, an excellent performance! The separate record and play buttons on the (slanting) back side of the camera are handy assets to activate the camera directly in one of the two modes. It is only when carrying the camera in your trouser pocket that it is sometimes unintentionally activated. Fortunately, the user has the option to deactivate both quick buttons through the Set-up menu.

Casio EX Z850 camera - User interface
When working with the Casio Z850 for the first time, you will notice instantly that the user's interface is very well arranged. The user is able to browse through all functions and settings intuitively. The structure is clear, and a manual is needed only occasionally. Even though this is a camera with a simply staggering amount of functionality, Casio manage to give utmost priority to user-friendliness. The camera's record menu consists of three folders, whilst the play menu offers two. The multi-controller enables you to browse through the settings swiftly, and the SET button allows you to confirm a change. On the left side of the monitor we find two buttons; a Continue and an EX button, which serve to display a quick menu. The former corresponds to the Continuous shooting mode, which, among other things, serves to set the function that allows you to capture a series of images. The EX button holds functions such as resolution, white balance, ISO and settings to choose the focus. In practice, this proves to be very handy to work with, and will undoubtedly be appreciated by the photographer with slightly higher demands; after all, this permits you to intervene immediately when needed.

Casio Exilim EX-Z850 digital camera - DISP button
The large format monitor of 2.5 inch offers sufficient room to store information. The DISP button enables you to choose from a variety of renditions; a standard rendition that shows only the AF frame, one that displays an AF frame, date and time, battery status, resolution and compression, amount of images and programme mode, and one that offers an RGB histogram in addition to the above.
The RGB histogram shows the brightness of the image, whilst the user is also supplied with additional information from the red (R), green (G) and blue (B) colours, which allows you to assess whether or not there is too much or perhaps not enough of each of the colour components in the image. By applying exposure compensation, you are able to adjust the brightness of the image. Another handy asset is the grid function; which divides the image into nine fields, and is a clever feature to help you achieve correct horizontal and vertical lines in the composition.

Casio Exilim EX Z850 - Focussing & Macro mode
Standard, the Casio Exilim EX Z850 is able to focus from 40 cm. The camera can be set in a way that allows the focussing to take place on either one or nine points. In addition, the user has the option to choose a focus point manually; this can be done from an impressive amount of 222 points, divided across the image. This proves an ideal function when you, for instance, wish to capture a macro image or still-life image and the camera is positioned on a tripod. The Casio Z850 also features a macro mode, in which the distance is reduced to 10cm. Although this may not be a particularly extreme macro mode, it is a nice addition to capture certain subjects. Should you come across a situation where the auto focus, either with or without help of the AF assistance illuminator, is unable to focus, you may opt to focus manually. An enlarged view of the image is displayed on the monitor, after which you can choose the focus via the multi-controller; a simple yet effective process.

Casio Exilim Z850 - Fully automatic & Manual settings
Although the Casio Exilim Z850 can be used as a fully automatic camera, it also offers manual settings. As far as fully automatic cameras are concerned, the Casio is not likely to experience much competition in the field of functionality. As far as this is concerned, the Casio EX Z850 is simply jam-packed; the user even has the option to edit images afterwards. The only thing one could possibly wish for is the integration of intelligent software; such as the option to eliminate red eyes after having captured your image; a feature that is, for instance, available on the Nikon Coolpix digital cameras. The variety of available scenes is simply astounding; the camera offers a solution in virtually every imaginable situation. The aperture priority, however, is limited. That is: you do have the option to alter aperture in each zoom mode, but your actual choice is restricted to two aperture modes.
Casio EXILIM EX-Z850 Casio EXILIM EX-Z850
   
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