Aside from the cool, black color scheme, the P700's external design is identical to that of the P600; you're getting the same metallic body, accessible control layout, and 4X zoom lens that you'd find on its forebear. Though larger than some of Casio's ultracompact Exilim cameras, the 9.3-ounce P700 is still small enough to fit in a pants pocket, though you won't be able to fit much else in with it. As with the P600, the P700's Exilim menu system is a delight to use. Pressing the Set button while adjusting any manual feature brings up a helpful explanatory interface that illustrates the results of bumping, say, lens aperture up or down. One minor but notable change is that the P700's live histogram is no longer buried within the love-it-or-hate-it EX Finder mode as it was on the P600. The EX Finder mode is still available and, indeed, comes in handy when you want to tweak certain settings onscreen, but if all you want is the histogram, you can now enable it without the clutter.
Featurewise, the P700 matches the P600 blow for blow, and that's a very good thing. Simply put, short of the advanced metering options offered by higher-end cameras, there isn't much that the P700 can't do. Shutter, aperture, and fully manual priority modes are readily accessible, and the P700 also boasts an extensive array of bracketing options for exposure, focus, and white balance. The P700's flash is far enough away from its lens to avoid red-eye in most situations, and a preset flash white-balance setting helps avoid the washed-out colors that sometimes result from indoor shooting. If that isn't enough, it also supports the connection of an external flash unit. The included optical viewfinder is serviceable in the sense that it's reasonably large and you don't have to squint in order to look through it, but it covers only about 85 percent of the frame; the 2-inch LCD covers about 100 percent. As with the P600, video capabilities remain a shortcoming of this camera; it's capable of capturing only 320x200 movies at a paltry 15fps, far short of the 30fps VGA (640x480) movies that we're seeing on newer models.
Performance is one area where the P700 slips a bit from the perch of its predecessor. Though the P700's wake-up time of 3.3 seconds still rates highly among midrange and semipro cameras, it lags behind the P600's time of 2.7 seconds. Furthermore, where the P600 managed a respectable shot-to-shot time of 1.8 seconds, the P700's typical shot-to-shot time was a less-impressive 2.9 seconds. With the flash enabled, this score slipped to 4.1 seconds. To its credit, the P700 captures TIFF files more quickly than its 6-megapixel cousin, though in truth, waiting 40 seconds between photos can hardly be considered quick. In terms of shutter lag, the P700's 0.5 second under bright conditions and 0.6 second in dim light both trail the P600's scores by a few key tenths of a second. The P700 sports both a high-speed and normal-speed burst mode; at full resolution, we captured a respectable 5 frames in just over 2 seconds (2.3fps) using the former, and 14 frames in 26 seconds (0.5fps) using the latter.
The Casio Exilim Pro EX-P700 delivered pleasing images that generally demonstrated accurate colors and good dynamic range. Our photos were sharp and in focus, with crisp details befitting the camera's 7-megapixel sensor. Noise became a problem at higher ISO sensitivity settings, though at ISO 80 and ISO 160 it fell within acceptable levels. The P700 does have a fringing problem, so you're likely to see purple borders around some of your brighter highlights, but this was perhaps the camera's only notable image quality drawback.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Typical shot-to-shot time||Time to first shot||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)