Like all models in the EXILIM series, the EX-Z55 offers superior portability and excellent picture quality (we found that pictures are a little dull in modes other than "fine"), along with extremely high-speed operation for quick response in a variety of shooting situations. For example, its Best Shot function allows users to select settings automatically by choosing from sample scenes. We did however realize there is one tiny flaw. This is because of it's great portabilty and size, for this reason the flash does not have great range. This however is easily compensated by a little work in Adobe Photoshop, namely: unsharpen mask at 30% and image level adjustments.
Spontaneous snapshots are no problem with the EXILIM EX-Z55, ready for action in approx. 1.6 seconds (with the Direct On function activated). With only approx. 0.01 seconds shutter release time lag, you can shoot the coolest outfits at the city's most popular "it" club or at LA's biggest Halloween event of the year (see pictures at bottom) and when the party mood reaches boiling point, the movie function is just what you need: you can record a film with sound that has no time limit no more little 60 sec videos.
The big 2.5-inch TFT LCD monitor features a digital interface for a clear display of images. The monitor screen can be used to compose images, and a collection of display features helps to make image viewing easier. This definitely is the first thing that caught my eye while pulling it out of the box.
The EX-Z55 combines a 3-segment telescoping lens mechanism that makes it possible to provide 3X optical zoom capabilities in an extremely thin camera and a robust 7-point Multi-Auto Focus system for optimum focusing.
The EX-Z55 can store images in HTML format so they can be viewed easily by any modern web browser. You can record voice memos that can be played back in the camera thanks to its built-in speaker. Photostand mode lets you view a slide show of images with the camera on its cradle. The Calendar feature shows you thumbnails of photos on the day they were taken (this really helps on those long vacations).
You can customize key operations to assign recording mode, exposure compensation, white balance, ISO sensitivity or self-timer functions to the left/right controller buttons. These settings may be changed by simply pressing the left or right control button.
World Time lets you select one of 162 cities in 32 time zones as your home or destination time zone. You can also store special photographs or photos you don't want others to see in the "Favorites folder".
In addition to its 9.3 MB of built-in Flash Memory, it also supports the use of SD memory cards and MMC cards (not included). An easy operation copies images between a memory card and built-in memory.
Casio claims the EX-Z55 has a 10% longer battery life than the earlier Casio model EX-Z40, allowing you to capture up to 400 shots, and a continuous playback time of over 6 hours. Based on CIPA standard battery life measurement (standard procedure for measuring digital still camera battery consumption.
In addition, several new functions have been incorporated to assure a higher level of performance, such as the "Auto Macro" function which automatically switches between Normal and Macro focus modes; "Flash Assist" which operates during flash photography to compensate for brightness levels in darker areas not reached by the flash; "Icon Help" which uses an on-screen display to guide the user during the switching of settings; and the "Business Shot" function which provides automatic correction for photos taken at an angle.
It lists for around $415 (although I found it for $348 at PriceHead.com) it keeps its own with models from other camera makers but none have the portability that the Casio has.
Exilim EX-Z55 Features:
? 5.0-Megapixel effective CCD imager
? High-quality, light-weight aluminum body
? Still image: 2560x1920, 2560x1712(3:2), 2048x1536, 1600x1200, 1280x960,
? Audio recording, attached to images or audio-only
? Record movies at 320x240 (15fps), length limited only by available memory
? Pentax 3x optical zoom (35-105mm equiv)
? Approximate two second startup time
? Fast shot to shot time even when using the flash
? 7-point autofocus system with selectable AF modes: Multi or Spot AF
? Focus modes: Auto, Pan, Macro, Infinity, Manual focus, Focus lock
? New "Auto Macro" function which automatically switches to Macro mode
? Automatic 4 to 1/2000 sec. shutter speeds
? Built-in flash with Red Eye Reduction and Flash-assist function
? 2.5-inch TFT color LCD with 115,200 pixels (480x240) of resolution
? 4X playback zoom magnification
? USB 1.1 data transfer to PC or Mac computers
? Li-ion rechargeable battery and charging cradle included
? 10% longer battery life than previous Exilim models
? 9.3 Megabytes of internal memory
? Secure Digital/MMC card slot for memory expansion
? DPOF, ExifPrint (Exif 2.2), USB Direct-Print, and PictBridge compatible