The Exilim EX-Z55 is compact and lightweight, yet it offers a generous 2.5-inch LCD. We liked the bright, outsized monitor, but the picture quality fell short of our expectations.
The Exilim EX-Z55’s menus are easy to read and navigate. Unfortunately, the camera doesn’t have the impressive Ex Finder, found in the more expensive Casio Exilim EX-P600 ( ) and EX-P700 ( ), that shows crosshairs to help you align your shots. But a grid display still helps with composition and a live RGB histogram helps with exposure.
The EX-Z55 has 23 scene modes in all, including a Business Shot mode for straightening pictures of business cards and white boards in-camera. Manual controls are limited to manual focus, exposure compensation (which you access via a menu), white balance (including manual white balance), and ISO (sensitivity is from 50 to 400 ISO). The lens is relatively fast, with a maximum aperture of f2.6 to f4.8. You can focus to about 2.4 inches in Macro mode and the camera will automatically switch to Macro mode if you focus on a close subject. There’s no continuous shooting mode. Movies taken with the EX-Z55 are only 320-by-240 pixels at 15fps, but the recording time is limited only to the size of your memory card.
We found the color to be Very Good, but the images were noisy and their edges were fuzzy. There was very little fringing or barrel distortion.
The EX-Z55 has 9.3MB of built-in memory, just enough to snap a few more JPEGs in a pinch. You’ll need the included cradle and AC adapter for recharging and transferring pictures to your computer. Fortunately, the battery’s rated for about 400 shots.
Macworld’s Buying Advice
We liked the Casio Exilim EX-Z55’s large LCD and small size, but its picture quality was disappointing.
[5/16/05 - EDITOR’S NOTE: Corrected information about image file format. The Casio Exilim EX-Z55 takes JPEGs only.]
|Color Quality—Accuracy||Very Good|
Scale = Excellent, Very Good, Good, Flawed, Unacceptable
|Zoom/focal length||3.0x (35mm to 105mm)|
|Size (WxHxD)||3.43 inches x 2.28 inches x 0.89 inches|