In the past couple of years, the arrival of smartphones and mirrorless cameras have really spurred the growth of amateur photography. The Instagram-generation are camera/smartphone-totting, social network addicted, web-savvy, mobile photography enthusiasts. Always armed and always on, those special, spontaneous moments are always captured, no matter where or when. In a big way, and not left behind are the legendary compact cameras. Lightweight, slim and packed with features, compact cameras satisfy the mass market where picture quality, portability, pocket-ability and price comes in a nice compact package. Courtesy of Casio Exilim Malaysia, I’ve been given a review unit of the all-new Casio Exilim EX-ZR20 compact camera. And boy, does it surprise.
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As a brief primer, the Casio Exilim EX-ZR20 is a 16.1MP camera with a high-sensitivity CMOS supporting 8x optical zoom (16x multi-frame SR zoom). It features a 3-inch 460K-dot LCD, 25mm wide angle lens, ISO 12800 for high speed night shot, 360 degree slide panorama, full HD movie recording, 2cm super macro mode and wide shot of 15mm/19mm. What’s really impressive is the 0.26 second shooting interval, one of the quickest if not the quickest compact cameras I’ve ever used. This plus a superquick 0.13 second high speed autofocus (AF). Amazing. This baby also does high speed CS of 40fps. This is all possible because of the dual-core Exilim Engine 5.0 – high performance, high speed image data processing.
This compact camera also comes with 32 Best Shot modes, a collection of different capture modes including artistic Art Shot modes like Toy Camera, Monochrome, Miniture, HDR Art and so forth. Also included is an Auto and Premium Auto mode. More of that later.
I’ve been playing around with the camera, bringing it along wherever I go. For this initial impression, I’ll cover Monochrome mode, one of the Art Shot modes in Best Shot (BS).
Here are some samples:
There is actually three levels in Monochrome mode. I left it at default which was at Level 3. Notice the graininess and depth of the shadows and highlights. Adds that much more authenticity to the black and white images. I really like this mode. Plus the fact that the camera is just incredibly fast, I miss nothing as it happens. Fab.
The key thing here is, it’s easy. Just a click on the menu and you’re all set!
I’ll be posting more impressions and sample pics over the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled.
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