Casio Exilim EX-Z750

The Casio Exilim EX-Z750 is an easy-to-use, feature-packed, 7.2-megapixel, point-and-shoot camera with a 3x optical zoom. It boasts long battery life and includes several shooting modes ranging from full auto, to scene-based, and even manual modes. It has a big, bright 2.5-inch LCD display as well as a small optical viewfinder. Its photo quality was very good, but a couple of inconveniences prevent this small camera from being a big winner.

This $450 camera can accept either Secure Digital or MultiMediaCard memory, but like more and more cameras these days, it ships with neither. It does come equipped with 8MB of internal memory—enough to take one, maybe two, pictures out of the box. The EX-Z750 ships with a dock that is required to connect the camera to your Mac. It is also required to charge the camera. I understand the tradeoff between the size of the camera and the number of connectors you can include on it, but I hate having to pack and keep track of extra pieces and parts when I’m traveling.

Shooting flexibility

The camera’s Snapshot mode lets it choose all settings, but allows you to adjust the exposure and white point, and focus manually. Turning the mode dial to Best Shot lets you choose among 30 presets designed to get the best picture under specific conditions such as sporting events, low-light shots, fireworks displays, or splashing water. It also includes a Best Shot mode for photographing business cards, with built in keystone correction to help straighten out the shot.

In-camera editing features include the ability to crop, change the white balance setting, adjust brightness and contrast, and even lower the file size of a shot after capture. A manual mode lets you manually focus on a subject, set the aperture from f2.8 to f4, change the ISO from 50 to 400, and change the shutter speed from 60 seconds to 1/1000 of a second.

The camera features a live histogram that checks for clipping of white or dark areas before shooting. It also has a microphone and a speaker allowing you to include audio notations with each photo or to record and play audio memos.

Fine photo quality

The pictures taken with the EX-Z750 were, for the most part, very good. The colors were pleasing and fairly accurate, though a little on the red side, and our fine-line resolution test shot came out a little soft. I saw no purple fringing and noise was acceptable—very low in normal shooting, but more noticeable at ISO 200 and higher. In casual shooting on a recent family trip I found most shots required very little editing. The flash was a little harsh in some photos (the intensity can be adjusted via a menu) and camera shake was a problem in many photos with the flash turned off.

Video format incompatibility

The EX-Z750 can capture MPEG-4 movies at 640-by-480 pixels and 30 frames per second. Unfortunately, Mac users will need to do a little extra work to view and edit these files, because QuickTime can’t decode MPEG-4 files created with the Microsoft codec (M4S2) that Casio uses. Third-party applications like VLC Media Player and MPlayer can be used to view these movies, but to use these files in Apple’s iPhoto, iMovie, or any other Mac program that relies on QuickTime, Mac users must use a utility like ffmpegX to convert these movies into an MPEG-4 format that QuickTime can decode. After conversion, the movies, and the accompanying audio, were of very good quality.

Macworld’s Buying Advice

Aside from a few issues of convenience, the Casio Exilim EX-Z750 is a fun camera with many interesting and useful, features such as in-camera editing, manual modes, and a large LCD that will appeal to many a budding digital photographer.

Jury Tests

Color Quality–Accuracy Very Good
Clarity–Detail Good
Clarity–Artifacts, Noise Very Good

Scale = Excellent, Very Good, Good, Flawed, Unacceptable

Specifications

Resolution 7.2 megapixels
Zoom/Focal Length 3x Optical (38mm to 114mm)
Maximum Aperture f2.8-f4.0
Size (wxhxd) 3.5 inches x 2.3 inches x 0.9 inches
Weight 4.5 ounces

[ James Galbraith is Macworld ’s lab director. ]

Casio Exilim EX-Z750
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