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Casio Exilim EX-V7 Review - Hi-Zoom 7.2 MP – The Only Compact Hi-Zoom Manual Camera

By Quang Bui

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Front of the Casio Ex-V7

When I first picked up this camera in five minutes I thought “WOW, this is my dream camera.” Small compact camera with everything I could want. It has a long 7x 38-266mm folding lens, 7.2 megapixels, dual image stabilization, 1.2 second startup, super fast flash, full manual control, compatibility with high density SD cards, and still fit in your jean pockets! Finally it exists, a high zoom manual compact camera.

Have you ever held the shutter button down and have to wait five seconds till the flash finishes charging to take the picture. This can often ruin the mood or miss the picture. With the Casio Exilim EX-V7 camera you would have taken the picture with flash and had time to take two more. I can pull this camera out of my pocket, turn it on, and take a picture with flash in two and a half seconds.

Being a fan of SLRS, big giant cameras the pros use with manual controls, I couldn’t believe there were manual controls on such a small compact camera. It has eight modes of shooting video and photos including BEST SHOT, easy mode, aperture priority, shutter priority, and full manual. They can be selected by turning the dial on the back of the camera. Casio cameras have a BEST SHOT mode for beginners and now manual controls so you can develop your photography skills and creativity.

The Casio fits easily into a pocket and still has room to fit a 7x zoom

The lens on this camera is non-extending. Casio has used lenses that extended out of the body and for the first time they switched to folding optics. This makes it possible to fit a large zoom in such a small camera. It has a 38-266 mm equivalent 7x lens with F 3.4 – 5.3. If the camera is set to 3 megapixels you can get a 10x equivalent zoom without losing image quality using the 4x digital zoom. If you drop the camera it is much harder to break the lens then the previous extending lenses.

The camera itself is a very solid feeling all metal body. The body is 2.35” (H) x 3.76” (W) x 1.0” (T). It easily fits into your shirt pocket. The Casio Exilim line has been known for making small compact cameras. A first for Casio is they now also feature a slider door over the lens to turn the camera on. It is similar to the Sony ultra compact T Series cameras. This helps it make it easier to turn on but also much easier to accidently turn it on accidently putting it in your pocket.

The back of the Casio Ex-V7

They also switched to a sometimes frustrating sliding button to zoom. Using the slider zoom I often lost my thumb grip and my thumb would slip off the slider. The review button was moved to the middle of the back controls, this made it a lot easier to review pictures without having to reach above the LCD like the older Exilim series.

The V7 introduces a new CCD shift technology in combination with their current Anti Shake DSP that is on all their cameras for dual image stabilization. There is also a new Auto Tracking AF which will follow the subject and keep focus on them until the picture is taken.

An anime figure with and without the dual image stabilization.



The video recording on the Casio Exilim v7 uses the H.264 encoding method. This lets you record about 1.5 times longer with the same quality as MPEG-4. Because of this new lens you can even use the optical zoom while recording video in stereo sound. It will record video in 848x480, 640x480 and 320x240 resolution.

This camera has a street price of $250 as of August 2007. If you’re a camera enthusiast, amateur, or professional this camera has everything you need to start and grow as a photographer. There was a time when you needed a compact camera for parties, a SLR for manual controls, and big lenses for high zoom. Now you can have all that in a one inch thick compact camera from Casio. By no means is this a high end professional camera but the closest you will get for this small size of a camera and low cost.

Casio Ex-V7 in my hand

You can find the camera here on Casio’s website:
http://www.casio.com/products/Cameras/Exilim_Hi-Zoom/EX-V7SR/

Street price (August 2007)

$250

MSRP

$399.99

Speed

Power on to first shot: 1.2 seconds
Shutter release time lag: .008 second
Shot To shot time: 1 second

Continuous shutter time: .8 seconds

Zoom

7x optical, 4x digital
38-266mm equivalent

Shutter

Program AE: ½ to 1/800 second
Aperture Priority AE: 1 to 1/800 second
Shutter Priority AE/Manual: 60 to 1/800 seconds

Sensitivity

ISO 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 using BEST SHOT high sensitivity mode

Recording

Imagines, Imagines with audio, macro, self-timer, continuous shutter, BEST SHOT, movies with audio, voice recording

Self-Timer

10 seconds, 2 seconds, triple self-timer

Flash

Auto, On, Off, Soft Flash, Red Eye Reduction

Screen

2.5 TFT LCD, 230400 pixels

Input/Output

USB 2.0 Cradle

Power

Rechargeable lithium ion battery by cradle
Life: 240 photos, 1 hr 40 min movie, or 4 hr 20 min voice recording

Dimensions

3.76” (W) x 2.35” (H) x 1.0” (T), .82” at thinnest part

Weight

5.26 oz without battery

Memory

11.6 MB internal memory
SDHC memory cards, SD memory cards, MMC memory cards

Direct Printing

ExifPrint, PRINT Image Matching III, USB Direct-Print, and PictBridge compatible.

Published on Aug 01, 2007

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