This model retains the very appealing Exilim menu system, with a few new twists that make operations a bit more efficient. Recording options, such as autofocus area and digital zoom, now live on a different tab than image size and white balance, so you can get to the functions you need more quickly. The drive mode and the EX button, which calls up frequently used settings, are squeezed onto the left edge of the camera's rear, just next to the LCD screen. One gripe we do have with the Z750's design is its dependence on the bundled dock for charging the battery and uploading images to your computer. Though we're hesitant to complain when the end result is a camera this sleek-looking, the dock creates a bit more of a travel burden when you want to take your photos on the road. The Casio Exilim EX-Z750's feature set may be its greatest trump card; as we've mentioned, it packs shutter- and aperture-priority modes into a camera-body size unused to such manual delights. The camera's lens moves quickly through its 3X zoom range, which corresponds to focal lengths of 38mm to 114mm (35mm equivalent). The wide-angle focal length of 38mm is a bit narrow for anyone hoping to take lots of indoor shots, but it's not entirely unexpected in a camera this slim. Among the Z750's nearly 30 preset Best Shot modes is an antishake option that we haven't seen in prior Exilims; in practice, this takes a bit of the edge off an unsteady hand but doesn't offer nearly the level of stabilization you'd get from an optical antishake mechanism such as Panasonic's. Plus, when you're using scene presets, you don't have access to the camera's manual features, and antishake technology is most useful at slow shutter speeds. We like the Multi Continuous shooting mode, which grabs 25 320x240-resolution shots in a bit less than three seconds before stitching them all together into one 1,600x1,200 image. It's very handy for simulating the photo-booth effect or minutely analyzing your golf swing.
The company line on the EX-Z750 is that it packs the feature set of an Exilim Pro EX-P700 into the body of an Exilim EX-Z55; that's partially accurate, though the Z750 lacks the P700's wealth of bracketing options. A pleasant surprise is that the Z750 also incorporates a significant number of video features from the hybrid Exilim Pro EX-P505, giving it unexpected flexibility for movie capture. For instance, the Z750 can grab VGA-resolution (640x480) movie clips at 30 frames per second, a spec the P700 can't match. Casio has also snuck the very useful Short Movie and Past Movie features into this camera, both of which use the camera's memory buffer to start recording your videos before you hit the shutter. This comes in handy when you're trying to take video of unexpected moments, such as a hit at a baseball game or blowing out the candles at a birthday party. Overall, the Casio Exilim EX-Z750 posted some very good performance numbers, although its continuous-shooting mode could use some improvement. Among point-and-shoot cameras, the Z750 ranked in the top 10 for time to first shot (1.8 seconds), shutter lag under bright conditions (0.2 second), and shutter lag under dim conditions (0.3 second). That makes the Z750 a very good choice for anyone who fears missing the moment; within seconds of pulling the camera out of your pocket, you'll likely be able to get your shot and capture the whole subject in the frame, not just a trailing foot. The Z750's shot-to-shot performance was less impressive but by no means a deal breaker; we typically logged 2.3 seconds between shots without a flash and a slightly better than usual 3.9 seconds between snaps with the flash enabled. At full resolution, the Z750 quickly grabbed 2 shots in 1 second but slowed down to a pace of 0.8fps for the next minute, for a total haul of 47 shots. Performance was better when we bumped down image resolution and compression quality, yielding 1.3fps over a minute, but we feel that the Z750's full-resolution burst capture should be better.
Manual-focus junkies will appreciate the Z750's free-focus setting, where you can (in theory) selectively point the lens to any location in the frame. In practice, we found that the Z750's autofocus worked best when we pointed it toward the center; multipoint autofocus tended to give us inconsistent results. The camera's manual focus setting zooms in on the center of the frame for fine-tuning. Our test shots showed that the Z750's flash achieves nice and wide coverage indoors, though red-eye was a problem in some cases. As we've come to expect from Casio's Exilim cameras, the Z750 was a champ at maximizing the life of its lithium-ion battery--we got through 1,075 shots before the camera wouldn't turn on anymore.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Typical shot-to-shot time||Time to first shot||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|Typical continuous-shooting speed|
(Larger is better)
|Number of shots|
Though we've come to expect 8.5x11 printability from 7-megapixel images, the scourge of postprocessing can sometimes mar even high-resolution photos at larger print sizes. Luckily, the 8.5x11 prints we made from our Z750 test shots came out looking great, though if you plan on significantly cropping your images, bear in mind that we noted some slight edge artifacts when we zoomed in. The camera's video quality was decent, neither revolutionizing the format nor offending us with particularly gnarly skipping or artifacts. Used in conjunction with the Z750's many video-related features, the camera's movies are more than serviceable for capturing events that a photo just won't do justice.