The 7.2-megapixel Casio Exilim EX-V7 packs a 7x optical zoom and anti-shake technology into a slimline body.
7x Optical Zoom
Casio’s Exilim EX-V7 boasts the first non-protruding 7x optical zoom lens seen in a digital compact. But is this world-first a success, or have sacrifices been made in the pursuit of headline-grabbing innovation?
Features and Specifications
The 7-megapixel EX-V7 possesses an impressive specification. Alongside its 7x optical zoom (38-266mm equivalent) and Super Bright 2.5in LCD lie Program, Shutter, Aperture and Manual exposure controls. CCD shift image stabilisation is present, along with a maximum ISO of 800 and auto-tracking AF to, in theory, create sharp images in difficult circumstances.
Design and Performance
The design of the EX-V7 is sleek and stylish. Available in both black and silver, smooth lines are maintained throughout the surprisingly compact chassis, considering the strong zoom. Power is controlled via the sliding lens cover, with the mode dials and camera controls highlighted in a silver finish.
Navigation of the menu system and access to the camera functions is simple and prompt and image capture is quick, as is reviewing images, with high-speed image playback capable of scrolling through 100 images in just ten seconds.
The internal zoom can probably be blamed for much of the EX-V7’s poor image quality. The lens suffers from barrel distortion at the wide end of the zoom, fringing is evident and noise is noticeable at ISO 200, becoming unbearable at the maximum ISO 800. The white balance is inconsistent and images are constantly hampered by the sensor’s inability to resolve fine detail. Exposures are generally fine, though.
The feature-laden EX-V7 impresses in design and use, but is let down by poor image quality.