A compact with more style than the price alludes to
Casio EXILIM EX-Z25 Review
The Casio EX-Z25 is a stylish, slim compact offering 12.1MP and a 3x optical zoom. Also included is a 720p high-definition video mode and Auto Best Shot mode.
Casio EX-Z25 Review – Features
With a HD movie mode the EX-Z25 has an impressive feature for the price range straight from the get-go. Although a larger number of compacts are offering this ability being barely over £100 and having the 720p recording mode is very impressive. While this is the obvious standout feature on the EX-Z25, elsewhere are some slightly underwhelming specs. The 3x optical zoom is a touch short to make the camera particularly versatile, and the 2.7″ LCD screen only stands at 230k resolution rather than the 920k which has become standard. Having a Makeup mode does aid portrait shots by slightly blurring the focus to reduce the appearance of blemishes on the subject. Auto Best Shot, which automatically chooses a Scene mode dependant on the environment being shot, is somewhat hit and miss, tending to favour the Night Shot for any images even vaguely outside of perfect lighting. As the ISO is relatively limited at 1600 this does result in some longer shutter speeds, so it’s often worth simply selecting the Scene mode separately.
Casio EX-Z25 Review – Design
The design is very much in keeping with the Casio Exilim range, offering a very simplistic rectangular shape with a brushed metal front. The slim, 102g lightweight frame means the EX-Z25 barely makes a dent in the pocket, and can be carried around on a day out without becoming a burden. The reduced space at the rear has resulted in far smaller buttons, the majority of which require a fingernail to press accurately. The video record shortcut, although helpful, is tiny although the impressive on-screen menu system is very straightforward to get to grips with. By having the list of options running down the right hand side of the screen instantly selectable via the Set button in the centre of the D-pad altering any settings is extremely simple and, more importantly, rapid. In spite of the screen being annoyingly low-res the icons are easy to pick out and don’t take much in the way of button presses to access.
Casio EX-Z25 Review – Image Quality
The images are derived from a 12.1MP CCD, via the f/3.1-5.9 3x zoom lens. Detail in the centre of the frame, especially on macro images, could be impressive, but the edges start to show serious signs of softness. Add to that the over-bearing pixel smoothing which is especially apparent against lighter backgrounds and tendency to blow out highlights and the versatility of the Z25 is severely limited. When given a relatively close subject to deal with and a limited depth of field the end quality isn’t too bad, making the other deficiencies all the more frustrating.
Although the image quality is flawed and the zoom too short, the EX-Z25 delivers on the majority of the expectations of a camera in this price range.