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Casio Exilim EX-Z600 6 to 7 Megapixel

4/5 (1 Reviews)


  • Image Sensor TypeCCD
    Resolution6.18 Megapixel
    Optical Zoom3x
    Camera TypeCompact
    Interchangeable LensNot Interchangeable Lenses
    35mm Zoom Lens38 - 114 mm
    Digital Zoom4x
    Focus TypeAutofocus
    Focus Range15.75 in. to Infinity (w)
    Macro Focus Range5.91 - 19.69 in. (w)
    Focal Length6.2 - 18.6 mm
    Camera Resolution6.18 Megapixel
    Image Resolutions640 x 480 • 2816 x 2112 • 2816 x 1872 • 2304 x 1728 • 2048 x 1536 • 1600 x 1200
    Video Resolutions640 x 480 (VGA)
    Video Speed30 fps
    Max Movie LengthWithout Limit (Depends on the camera free memory size)
    Video FormatAVI • Motion JPEG
    Aperture Rangef2.7/f5.2 (w/t)
    Shutter Speed1/8 - 1/2000 sec
    White BalanceAuto
    Memory TypeBuilt-in • MMC Card • SD Card
    Built-in Memory Size8.3 MB
    Compression ModesFine • Normal • Basic
    Compression TypeJPEG • EXIF 2.2 • DPOF 1.1
    File Size (High Res.)3.63 MB (35 images on 128MB card)
    File Size (Low Res.)0.12 MB (about 1,067 images on 128MB card)
    ISO SpeedsAuto • 50 • 100 • 200 • 400 • 800
    Flash TypeBuilt-In
    Flash FunctionsFlash Off • Auto Flash • Fill-in Flash • Red-eye Reduction Flash
    ViewfinderWithout Viewfinder
    LCD PanelWith LCD Panel
    LCD Panel Size2.7 in.
    LCD Screen Resolution153,600 pixels
    LCD Protected PositionWithout LCD Protected Position
    Interface TypeUSB 2.0
    Battery TypeProprietary Lithium
    Battery Life550 Images
    Self Timer2 Sec. • 10 Sec.
    Built-in MicrophoneWith Built-in Microphone
    Built-in SpeakerWith Built-in Speaker
    Width3.48 in.
    Depth0.81 in.
    Height2.24 in.
    Weight0.25 lb.
    Included AccessoriesSoftware • USB Cable • Video Cable • Cradle / Docking Station • Lithium Battery • AC Power Adapter
    Release Date2006
    MPNEX-Z600
    Product ID29008608

Product Description

The EX-Z600 offers 6.0 megapixel high resolution photos in a stylish, compact, and pocket-sized package. The extra large 2.7-inch Super Bright LCD produces an impressive luminance of 1200 candelas per square meter. The EX-Z600’s Super Life Battery now has an even longer battery life, supporting a staggering 550 shots per charge.

by Nhat Meyer

The Casio Exilim EX-Z600 is a simple, stylish, pocket-sized, silver camera with a big, bright display. It's a very competent, well-built addition to the point-and-shoot digital camera genre and definitely a camera to put on your list of possible point-and-shoots.

Casio Exilim EX-Z600 Pros and Cons
    Pros
  • Big, bright LCD screen
  • Pocket-sized
  • Lightweight
  • Very little shutter lag
  • Image stabilization
  • Quick startup
  • Great battery life
  • Good skin tone
    Cons
  • Case not included
  • Terrible instruction manual
  • ON/OFF button a bit small
  • Pointless digital zoom
  • Movie mode is hard to find
  • Noisy images at high ISO settings
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 Studio Test Images
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 Studio Samples ISO 50 Sample >>
ISO 100 Sample >>
ISO 200 Sample >>
ISO 400 Sample >>

More Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 Resources
All Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 Photos >>
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 User Reviews >>
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 Camera Specs >>
Write a Review >>
Casio Web site >>


Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 - front and back
Introduction
Are you a minimalist wannabe like me? In other words, someone that likes to pretend that you have few things but in reality hoard a ton of stuff in your closets? Then the Exilim EX-Z600 might be the camera for you - simple on the outside but packed with hidden functions. The only problem is the instruction manual is so poorly written that you have to do some serious research to find out how to use all the features.

When I first started using the EX-Z600 I was a bit annoyed at the apparent lack of options besides a zoom lever and a shutter-release button. Over time discovered that it actually does have a ton of options. I came to really enjoy using this camera. It's small, thin, and easily fits in my pocket. If you dig deep enough through the main and Best Shot menus - where most of the controls are buried - you'll find that the Casio Exilim EX-Z600 is really a very versatile camera.

I was able to use this camera over several weeks while traveling around the country for work. The camera fit in my pocket all nice and snuggly so I always had access for a quick picture when I wanted one.

Casio Exilim EX-Z600 Features
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 Main Controls On initial inspection the Casio EX-Z600 is about as point-and-shoot as you can get. However, pressing the MENU and BS (Best Shot) keys reveals a ton of options. The BS menu accesses 33 different scene modes, such as the self-explanatory: Portrait, Scenery, Sports, Flower, etc. And the not so self-explanatory: Children, Party, Food. Each Best Shot mode offers an explanation. Select the "Scenery" mode and move the zoom key and it the LCD reads "Infinity focus, Hard sharpness, High saturation". Sure would have been nice if they included the same information in the manual, though. You can also save you're own "Best Shot" mode settings.

Under the MENU key there are three tabs: REC, Quality and Set UP. Under each of those tabs are three pages of options. You can change pretty much every function on the camera - auto focus, ISO, self-timer, exposure compensation, etc. - However, the camera will reset everything when you turn It off. Luckily, there is a handy "memory" function, which can be set to save whatever settings you consider important. So if you want to preserve a particular White Balance or ISO setting you can save it. I would like to have seen this option on the first page of the REC tab rather than the third.

The Casio Exilim EX-Z600 has a continuous shooting mode with a claimed three frames a second. My very unscientific test Indicates that the camera was indeed getting at least three frames per second - pretty impressive. The EX-Z600 is fueled by a tiny little lithium ion battery, which lasts quite a long time. So long, in fact, that after three weeks of use without a charge, it's still at full power.

Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 - LCD Display
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 detailed playback display, with histogram

Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 - LCD Display
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 record mode with live histogram
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 - LCD Display
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 Best Shot mode menu

Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 - LCD Display
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 Best Shot Scenery mode description
Casio Exilim EX-Z600 Design
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 - ON/OFF Button and Zoom Dial
The Exilim EX-Z600 feels solid and well built. The controls are simple - besides the ON/OFF button there are only 6 buttons plus a four-way pad (of which only the up and down key work unless inside the MENU or BS modes). The "ON/OFF" button is a bit small, a couple of times I accidentally turned the camera on in my pocket and had a heck of a time trying to find the "ON/OFF" button to turn it back off. This was a bit embarrassing as the lens does zoom out when turned on. But these are all minor complaints and overall the size and the width of the camera are just right.

The other buttons are well sized and easy to find. The "play" and "record" buttons are slightly depressed while the "MENU" and "BS" keys are slightly raised. This is helpful in locating these keys in dim light. The zoom, which surrounds the shutter release, toggles effortlessly to the left and right.

The screen is huge and bright, taking up well over three quarters of the back of the camera. At 2.7 inches you don't have to squint to see what you're photographing. It comes at the price of not having an optical viewfinder and there is no way to turn off the display when photographing, which could be obtrusive if photographing something or someone in a dark room. Because the screen is so big I was really worried about scratching the screen. Even though I made sure to keep the camera in my pocket without any sharp objects, I still inflicted a couple of minor nicks.

Camera Experience
Like I said before, the instruction manual is really poorly written. It's only 17 pages long and although it lists all of the features it doesn't say how to use them or what they do. For several weeks I thought the camera had no audio/video capability. But later I located it In the Best Shot menu. I actually learned a lot more about the camera by going to the Casio website. The EX-Z600 movie quality is barely good enough for the web, but the movie mode is fun option to have and I've captured some of my favorite moments on these low-res digital point-and-shoot movies.

The greatest part about Casio Exilim EX-Z600 is the size - both the physical size and the size of the display. It's ridden around snugly In my pocket for the past three weeks. I was on assignment the other day and I had left my big professional digital SLR elsewhere and saw a picture I wanted to take and thought to myself, "Darn I don't have a camera." - But then I remembered that I did!

There are some pretty neat features on the EX-Z600. The image stabilization is very cool and works quite well. It will definitely save you from photos blurred by camera-shake. The LCD screen is nice and bright, though I do miss having an optical viewfinder. Another nice feature is the built in memory, although it is tiny. The 8.3-megabytes of built-In memory only allows for two frames at "Fine" quality, and six at "Economy." But how many times have you run out of memory and wished for just one or two more frames? You can also customize your keystrokes with neat sounds like a car horn or a frog croaking - great for getting a smile out kids that you're photographing.

Overall this camera is in the same class as the Canon PowerShot SD600 or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01. All three have 6-megapixel sensors, they're about the same size and all three have very large LCD displays. The main difference is access to important features and controls. The Canon and Panasonic cameras have most Important options right out front while the Casio has buried too many in the Best Shot and main menus.

Image Quality
The EX-Z600's image quality is okay - about what you'd expect from a point-and-shoot digital camera. The manual ISO range is limited from 50-400. Under the BS key you can boost the ISO to 800 with the "High Sensitivity" mode. When set to auto-ISO the camera does a good job choosing an appropriate sensitivity between ISO 50 and 800. Of course, at higher ISO's the quality of the images is greatly affected by obvious noise.

I never understood why camera makers put in a "digital zoom" one that interpolates the image pixels or basically adds pixels that weren't originally there. Once the digital zoom kicks in the image totally falls apart. Digital zoom quality from every camera I've ever used looks ridiculously bad, and the EX-Z600 Is no exception.

The Casio EX-Z600 shines when the lens is zoomed out at its widest. With the nice big display you can really see everything. The image quality deteriorates pretty rapidly when the lens is zoomed-in. And once you hit the digital zoom the quality really falls apart. The digital zoom "interpolates" the image in a terrible way, trying to add detail that isn't there, and making images all but useless with sharpness, color, and general goodness thrown out the door.

The automatic metering is very good, and when in need, the exposure compensation works very well. The meter handled pretty much every lighting situation well. You won't be getting poster quality with this camera but 4x6 and 5x7 prints will look nice and most Ex-Z600 images will look just fine on the Internet. Even in high contrast situations the automatic meter was able to deliver a good exposure where shadow detail was still visible. The auto white balance worked very well and excelled with skin tones. When photographing in low light the images tended to be a bit yellow.

The flash also functioned satisfactorily. Of course you won't be lighting up any big concert halls. The EX-Z600's flash works best on subjects that aren't too far away - probably 20 feet at the most. There are several flash modes, Auto Flash, Soft Flash, Flash On, Flash Off, and Red-eye Reduction. You can also change the flash intensity under the MENU key. Skin tones look really good when the flash is used.

Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 - Jose Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 - On-deck Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 - Matheny
Click on thumbnails to view sample photos.

Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 - Kuno Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 - Philly Elevator Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 - City Hall
Click on thumbnails to view sample photos.
Conclusion
When evaluating point-and-shoot digital cameras I always adjust my image quality expectations. The Casio Exilim EX-Z600 does nothing to change my point of view and that's fine. This is not a ground-breaking camera. It is, overall, one of the better point-and-shoots I have used -. The nice thing about the EX-Z600 is that you can count on it to simply and quickly produce a quality image. It's pretty "idiot proof." There are plenty of custom features included, if they are a bit hard to find. It's definitely a better point-and-shoot and easily compares with Canon's SD600 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01K.

As long as you are not expecting a professional camera hidden in a point-and-shoot package, then you'll be happy with this camera. If you're going somewhere where image quality Is the top priority, then this isn't the right camera. For me it's nice to switch from a big, heavy, professional digital SLR to a camera that is so small, light, and reliable. It's also a big bonus not to have to worry about charging the battery every night - or even every week.

Who Should Buy The Casio Exilim EX-Z600
The Casio Exilim EX-Z600 will be good for anyone looking for an easy-to-use, 6-megapixel camera with a big, fat LCD screen. It would be a great camera for older technically challenged relatives - especially if people of different experience levels need to share the camera. Based on my own experience - if you're a pro or experienced photographer the EX-Z600 can easily be your "I'm off-duty but still want a camera with me for silly family photos" point-and-shoot camera.

Contents of the Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600.

  • Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 Digital Camera
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • USB cradle
  • USB cable
  • AV cable
  • AC adaptor
  • CD-ROM
  • Basic Reference
Other Resources:
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 User Reviews >>
Write a Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 Review >>
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z600 Sample Gallery >>
All Casio Digital Camera Reviews >>
Casio Web site >>
All Digital Camera Pro Reviews >>
Digital Camera Buyer's Guide >>
All Digital Camera Sample Images >>


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Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by betin1975 a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: June 5, 2008

Bottom Line:   
This Pojnt and Shoot camera has given me remarkable results in basic features of my pocket camera:

a) I took over 1000 Pictures before I needed to recharge the battery, including night and day pictures
b) You can take about 1 photo per second, and about 2 seconds when it needs to recharge flash
c) Red eyes are no longer a concern, an issue I had even with redeye reduction
d) The preloaded BestShot modes are all an amateur for casual pictures need.

I bought my first about two or three years ago, until I lost it, I bought two more replacements, one for me and one for my wife.

I hope by the time this camera runs out, the new models inherit this features

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   Sony Cybershots, DSP 10 and an older model.

Type of photography:   Outdoor



Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)

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