Product Type: Casio digital cameras
Newest Review: ... it has a thickness of around 2cm. It feels quite solidly build & as a result isn't super light but still easy enough to carry in your p... more
Outrageous Quality, Undeniable Charm
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z1200
Member Name: smooth_criminal_
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z1200
Advantages: Excellent quality, good range of features and great battery - life
Disadvantages: Maybe a bit pricey
It is, of course, notably pricey, weighing in at an eyebrow-raising £215, but, as I always explain to my clients, you get what you pay for. In other words, it is undoubtedly worth forking out the extra money for, with an impressive array of features and functions, particularly its powerful 12x zoom and image stabilisation technology, a smart look and lightweight feel, and truly astonishing quality, not to mention the benefits of its super-life battery. For anyone who is interested in photography, this model, easily deserving its ‘flagship’ status, is something to seriously consider.
It is probably rather unhealthy to describe a piece of technology as good-looking, but it is fair to say that the EX-Z1200 is just that. Admittedly, few cameras these days are downright ugly, and there are arguably more stylish models out there than Casio’s flagship device. A little like the best friend of the most popular girl in school, then, the Casio EX-Z1200 is attractive, but it is what is inside that counts. It is a charming and appealing device, but it is important to remember that there is more to this camera than its good-looks.
The camera has a neat, black finish on its front side, with the flash and the lens clearly visible but not imposing. On the back, the EX-Z1200 boasts a superb 2.8 inch colour LCD display, with just a few buttons scattered to its right side to allow the user to navigate the menu. The impressive display makes the back of the camera appear suitably stylish, and, as is increasingly the case with new digital cameras, the lack of buttons eliminates any impression of clutter. On the whole, the EX-Z1200 is carefully and intelligently designed, with a smart aesthetic quality, making for an attractive camera.
It is clear that Casio take enormous pride in their flagship model, and they have good reason to. The EX-Z1200 is selling itself on quality – pure, unadulterated quality – and Casio has clearly put a tremendous amount of effort into this aspect of the camera. At an astonishing 12.1 megapixels, the EX-Z1200 has set a benchmark for quality in this price range, producing images of a breathtaking standard that remain at a high resolution even when significantly enlarged, helping considerably with my new poster range.
Furthermore, the camera uses an advanced image stabilisation system to reduce blurring, which prevents pictures from being ruined by movement or shaking. Using its ‘CCD shift technology’ and anti-shake system, I have been able to take high quality images, where other cameras have failed, even with significant movement in front of the camera. The EX-Z1200’s auto-tracking technology also helps considerably with this, enabling the camera to track images as they move across the screen, keeping them in focus. This is particularly useful for taking pictures of children who want to do anything but stay still.
The quality of movies on the EX-Z1200 is inevitably limited by the 11.4MB internal flash memory (though additional memory cards can be added by the user). While this is plenty of room to store photographs, it is not enough to store long, high quality movie clips, and thus the length and the quality of movies suffer equally. However, this is not the camera’s prime function, and if you want to focus on recording movies, a video-camera, rather than any sort of digital camera, is your best bet.
The EX-Z1200’s primary function is, of course, to take photographs. Indeed, as we have established, it excels at this task. However, there is more to this charming device than meets the eye. It can also serve as a voice recorder, allowing the user to add voice-overs to their photographs. There are always cynics out there who would dismiss this sort of thing as nothing more than a gimmick, and I would venture to wholeheartedly agree with them, but it could undoubtedly become a useful function for many.
Perhaps more significant is the camera’s ability to capture movies. This is, admittedly, nothing new, but any modern digital camera of this calibre that lacks such a facility would inevitably be marked down, and the EX-Z1200 is determined to suffer no such fate. Lacking perhaps, when compared with my own Samsung i70, is the option for playing music, but buying a digital camera for the purpose of playing music is a little like buying a book because you want to play video-games. You just don’t do it. The Casio EX-Z1200 is, on the whole, more or less on par with everything else in its price range in terms of functions.
In addition to its high quality, it is in its various features that the EX-Z1200 really comes into its own. As aforementioned, the camera boasts a highly advanced image stabilisation system, utilising an anti-shake system, ‘CCD shift technology’, and an auto-tracking system to prevent pictures from blurring. Furthermore, the EX-Z1200 is notable for its impressively powerful zoom, combining 3x optical and 4x digital to allow for a zoom of up to 12x in total, useful for bird-watchers and stalkers alike.
All of this makes for an impressive diversity of features, enabling the user to get the picture they want. And the EX-Z1200’s features are not just limited to taking photographs, they are also in evidence upon playback, with a high speed image playback feature, enabling the user to view a hundred images in ten seconds. I did of course give this a go, unfortunately finding it a little pointless, given that by the time I had a chance to look at one, the camera had moved onto the image five images after the one I had been looking at. That said, when slowed down a little, the feature was a breath of fresh air after being used to the traditional irritating two second pause between each photograph that seems to persist on most other cameras.
Uploading, playback, and editing
The EX-Z1200 allows for easy upload of movies and images onto the computer via its included USB cable. Editing can then be performed using the software of your choice. Playback of movies is available on the camera itself via its LCD display, as well as on the computer, allowing the user to assess their movies on screen before deciding to upload them and use up that valuable memory space. The camera does the basic things here, and does them sufficiently well to make the process a simple and easy one, which is what the vast majority of users are after.
Casio have made the impressive battery-life of the EX-Z1200 one of its unique selling points, using their new ‘super-life’ lithium-ion rechargeable battery, which provides a significant boost to the camera’s battery-life. Even with intensive use, the battery will last for several hours, and the standard use of a camera would probably only require a fresh charge every few days. However, it is, as ever, nearly impossible to give an accurate prediction of battery length, given that it will fluctuate according to how the device is used. If you only wish to take the occasional picture, you can expect charging to be relatively infrequent, but if you wish to maximise your use of the EX-Z1200’s movie function, for example, you can expect to have to charge it much more often. As ever, the rechargeable Lithium-ion battery will self-discharge over time, probably by about 5% per month if charged sensibly, and will probably last for about 30 months.
The Casio EX-Z1200 is a camera designed for the individual with, like myself, the perfect mixture of both style and substance. It’s not that I’m unhappy with my own camera, but I must confess to being rather jealous of its parental owner. It was clear from the start, when I first started using this model, that it provides the utmost in quality, while also displaying an impressive range of features, a fantastic battery life, and a good variety of different functions as well. The price may make some think twice, and there are probably flashier models out there as well, but for outstanding quality, this is the perfect option.
Price: £215 (Amazon, August 07)
Width: 9.3 cm
Depth: 2.2 cm
Height: 5.9 cm
Internal Memory: 11.4MB
Optical Zoom: 3x
Digital Zoom: 4x
Battery type: Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (included)
Included: Strap, USB cable
Summary: This charming little device quite simply exceeded all of my expectations
|Ease of use:|
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