Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Casio Exilim EXZ50 5MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom - $110.05 Off - A Savings of 31%

I bought this camera after much research and am glad to say that I haven't regretted it for a second!

------- WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR -------
Before this, I used a Nikon Coolpix 990 -- fantastic camera, but too bulky and heavy (took 4 AAs) to carry around daily. For my second camera, I wanted something very portable (i.e. small and light) with long battery life. I didn't necessarily need 5MP; that was just a bonus.

------- PROS -------
Where do I begin? The EXZ50 is very small, so it's a cinch to carry around. So far, the battery life has been great. The start-up time is almost nil; no waiting for the camera to "boot up" once you turn it on. Even more importantly, it saves photos to the memory card very fast (my Nikon used to lag a bit) so you can take several photos in quick succession. The LCD is a good size, especially in relation to the camera. The controls are intuitive and user-friendly. Getting your photos to your PC is so easy: just put the camera in the docking station and hit the "USB" button! Tons of great features -- read about them on the site I mention at the end of this review [sorry, Amazon edited out the site]. Oh, and the pictures turn out great!

------- CONS -------
I do have a minor quibble in that the LCD display is a bit dark in low-light conditions. Maybe that's just a given, but on the Nikon, the display was bright even in low-light. It could be that I just haven't figured out how to fix that. Also, the macro mode isn't as great as on the Nikon, but I knew that before purchasing and it was something I was willing to live with. Don't get me wrong, it isn't *bad* (the Casio manual says the range begins at 6cm), but I take a lot of close-up jewellery shots and for those, I'll continue to use my other camera. Again, the point of my getting this Casio was to have something to carry around daily.

------- THE COMPETITION -------
For a long time, I'd been leaning toward getting a Canon (who seem to dominate the "tiny camera" field), but I read so much about the so-called "E18 error" that it scared me away (plus, I personally know people who've had memory card failures). I didn't go with Olympus because I read a lot about long lag-time and low battery life. Also, Olympus and Fuji use xD memory cards, which cost a bit more, and none that I looked at beat the slimness of the Casio. I already have a battery-sucking Nikon, so I skipped that brand. I've never been a big fan of Sony, so the Cybershots were out (partly b/c of those proprietary memory sticks). I almost went with a Panasonic Lumix, but it was a bit too expensive compared to others. Nothing in the Minolta family jumped out at me, either. You can see I mainly considered companies who make cameras their main business. I know Casio isn't strictly photography, but this camera does have a Pentax lens.


Overall, I'm thrilled with the Casio Exilim EX-Z50! There are tons of cameras out there, each with its pros and cons, so I know the choice is tough. Luckily, I feel I made the right one for me!

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