Casio’s new travel compact packs in a 12.5x zoom, manual control and high-speed shooting
Build and Handling
The sensor is a 1/2.3in back-illuminated CMOS unit with 12.1-million effective pixels and designed to produce lower signal noise, although with JPEG-only saving this will be difficult to determine. The lens ranges from 24-300mm (equivalent) with an f/3-5.9 aperture. The sensor is mechanically stabilised to reduce camera shake and the ISO extends from 100-3200. The metering provides multi-pattern, centreweighted and spot options, with exposure compensation to ±2EV.
The autofocus system offers a choice of spot, multi, intelligent and tracking modes. There are also continuous focusing and face-detection options, plus macro, super macro, infinity and manual focus, although only from within certain modes. Even in low light the focusing performs well, aided by a strong AF lamp, but the motor is fairly loud and takes around 1sec to focus, so it is slow compared to other models we’ve tested.
The exposure modes include manual, shutter and aperture priority settings, although with an aperture limited to just two positions at any one focal length it isn’t quite as free as you might hope.
Other shooting modes include panorama, which can produce up to 360° shots in a single movement; best selection, which fires a quick burst to achieve the best image; best shot, which provides scene mode-type selection; and premium auto, for auto scene selection. The HDR mode combines multiple shots for a more balanced overall exposure. HDR art takes HDR to its more extreme ends with a choice of three levels to heighten the degree of the effect.
The high-speed continuous shooting switches to a more modest 10-million-pixel resolution, which can be forgiven when it offers up to 30 frames to be taken at speeds from 3-40fps. The EX-ZR100 also uses a system called SR zoom to extend the range from 12.5x up to 25x by combining multiple shots.
For video, the camera offers Full HD video (1920×1080 pixels) at 30fps. The high-speed functionality also extends to movies, with up to 1,000fps at lower resolutions.
The design of the EX-ZR100 is clean and simple, with minimal buttons and a dark-grey finish. The casing features a small lip in the front with a rubberised patch to aid grip and sits well in the hand. However, the lens barrel has a bit of a rattle and many controls require menu access. The LCD is a 3in, 460,800-dot device that is clear and bright enough to use in all conditions.