At nearly an inch thick and weighing 5.4 ounces, the Casio Exilim EX-Z1050 isn't quite the slimmest member of the Casio Exilim series of digital cameras. It is, however, one of the simplest. Unlike most other Exilims, the EX-Z1050 lacks both mode dial and switch, and holds only a few buttons on its back panel. This simple design betrays the camera's simple feature set. The 10-megapixel EX-Z1050 uses a standard 38mm-to-114mm equivalent 3x zoom lens. Like all Exilims, the EX-Z1050 features Casio's antishake DSP digital-image stabilization and Best Shot scene preset modes. The EX-Z1050 also uses the same control sidebar first seen in the well-received Casio Exilim EX-S770. The sidebar works well with the EX-Z1050's simple design, making almost all commonly used image settings available with a few taps of the direction pad.
The EX-Z1050 sports a 2.6-inch, 115,000-pixel LCD screen. That's a far cry from the 230,000-pixel screens found on a lot of cameras these days. The low resolution makes virtually everything you see through it look soft and grainy. Since the camera doesn't have a viewfinder, you're forced to deal with the disappointing LCD whenever you use it. This makes framing shots difficult, as the coarse, blurry display doesn't clearly show whether the camera has accurately focused.
Despite the bad display, the EX-Z1050 actually shoots pretty well. It performed admirably in our lab tests, with solid shooting speeds and strangely bittersweet Burst mode speeds. After taking 1.4 seconds to start up and capture its first image, the camera snapped shots every 1.9 seconds. With the flash enabled, that time increased to a still-tolerable 2.4 seconds. The EX-Z1050's shutter lagged only 0.5 second in bright light and 1.1 seconds in low light. At full resolution, the camera's burst mode took 0.9 shot per second--respectable for a 10-megapixel camera.
The camera's photos generally look very nice. Colors appear neutral, and pictures stay relatively free of artifacts, save for some purple fringing on the edges of some lighter objects. The photos displayed little noise up to ISO 400, and even at ISO 800 noise remained a fine, fairly unobtrusive fuzz.
The Casio Exilim EX-Z1050 proves how just one flaw can almost ruin an otherwise fine camera. While it takes nice photos and works well, the blurry screen makes framing the simplest shots difficult. For a larger, much more legible screen with the same solid features and small size, consider instead the lower-resolution EX-S770. Another nice choice in this price range is Canon's PowerShot SD1000.
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
|Typical shot-to-shot time||Time to first shot||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Larger bars indicate faster performance)
|In frames per second|