Casio EX-Z3 Review

Steve's Digicams

First Look posted 2/19/2003
Full review posted 4/24/2003

Click to take 360-degree QTVR tour of the Casio Exilim EX-Z3
Click on the EX-Z3 for a QTVR tour

Casio adds the EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z3 to its EXILIM series of credit card-sized LCD digital cameras. Designed for the photography aficionado with an on-the-go lifestyle, the EX-Z3 features a CCD that boasts 3.2 megapixels, a high-performance 3X optical zoom lens, plus a host of additional photographic features to make capturing the highest quality photos simple for anyone. Like the EXILIM EX-S1 and EX-S2 cameras introduced in 2002, the EX-Z3 packs the features of a full-sized camera in a thin, compact configuration, 3.43" (W) x 2.24" (H) x .9" (D) and lightweight, 4.44 oz - small enough to tote in any pocket or purse - portable, wearable, fashionable technology for today's lifestyles.

The lens of the EX-Z3 uses a totally new type of 3-segment telescoping lens mechanism that makes it possible to provide 3X optical zoom capabilities in an amazingly thin camera configuration. The EX-Z3 is ready to shoot in less than 2 seconds after it is turned on. The big 2.0-inch TFT LCD monitor screen features a digital interface for a clearer display of images. The monitor screen can be used to compose images, and a collection of display features helps to make image viewing easier and more fun than ever before.

The EX-Z3 CCD provides 3.34 total pixels of high-resolution digital imaging. This level of resolution makes it possible to capture all the nuances of subtle flesh tones and fine details of scenery shots. Primary color filtering ensures vivid colors every time. The Best Shot Mode provides optimum camera setups in an instant. The user simply selects the sample scene closest to the desired image, and the camera's light metering, exposure compensation, saturation, and other settings are configured accordingly. The EX-Z3 has total of 21 sample scenes built in, including "Coupling Shot" and "Pre Shot".

Casio Exilim EX-Z3

Automatic image transfer to computer - the procedure to download photos is accomplished by connecting the supplied docking cradle to the computer's USB port, placing the EX-Z3 onto the cradle, and pressing the cradle's USB button. From there, the PhotoLoader software automatically transfers all JPEG and AVI files in image memory to the computer. Placing the EX-Z3 onto its cradle and pressing the Photo button starts a slideshow of images currently in camera memory. The camera can even be set up to display the desired images whenever it is placed on the cradle.

The EX-Z3 stores images in a Web browser-viewable that allows you to browse images in an album format. The album feature uses HTML format, which means you can incorporate an album directly into a web site, and even print directly from the album.

In addition to its 10 MB of built-in Flash Memory, the EX-Z3 also supports use of a thin, compact SD memory cards and MMC cards (not included). An easy operation copies images between a memory card and built-in memory. Key customization enables assigned recording mode, exposure compensation, white balance, ISO sensitivity or self-timer functions to the left/right controller buttons. These settings may be changed by simply pressing the left or right control button.

Casio Exilim EX-Z3

Major Exilim EX-Z3 Features:

  • 3.2-Megapixel effective CCD imager
  • Credit card-size stainless steel body, only 23mm thick
  • Still Image: 2048x1536, 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480
  • Movie capture, 320x240 @ 12fps up to 30 seconds with audio
  • Pentax 3x optical zoom (35-105mm equiv) with 4x digital zoom
  • Less two second startup time
  • Fast shot to shot time - even with flash
  • 10 Megabytes of internal memory
  • Automatic 1 to 1/2000 sec. shutter speeds
  • Built-in flash with Red Eye Reduction
  • 2" TFT color LCD with 354x240 (84,960 pixels) resolution
  • 4X playback zoom magnification
  • USB 1.1 data transfer to PC or Mac computers
  • Lithium rechargeable battery and charging cradle included
  • Secure Digital/MMC card slot for memory expansion
  • DPOF, PRINT Image Matching II, Exif Print and Epson USB Direct-Print compatible

The EXILIM EX-Z3 retails for $399.99 and will be available in April 2003.

Physical Views

Casio Exilim EX-Z3

Casio Exilim EX-Z3

Casio Exilim EX-Z3Casio Exilim EX-Z3

Casio Exilim EX-Z3

Casio Exilim EX-Z3

Casio Exilim EX-Z3

The diminuitive Casio EX-Z3 can almost hide behind a credit card !

Casio Exilim EX-Z3

The EX-Z3 and Olympus Stylus 300 for size comparison.

Optio S

The EX-Z3 and the Pentax Optio S for size comparison.

Casio Exilim EX-Z3

The EX-Z3 and a standard CD disc for size comparison.

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Page Two

Casio EX-Z3 Specifications

Recording Element 1/2.5-inch square pixel primary color CCD
(Approximate Total Pixels: 3.34 million)
Effective Pixels 3.2 million
Image File
Record Format
Snapshots: JPEG (Exif. Ver. 2.2), DCF standard, DPOF compliant
Movies: AVI (Motion JPEG)
Recording Media Built-in flash memory (10MB),
SD memory card/Multi Media card
Recorded Image Sizes Snapshots
Image Size(Pixels) Resolution Approximate
File Size
Approximate Memory Capacity (Images)
Built-in Memory
SD Memory Card*
2048x1536 Fine 1.6 MB 6 34
Normal 1.2 MB 8 45
Economy 630 KB 15 88
1,600x1,200 Fine 1.05 MB 9 53
Normal 710 KB 14 79
Economy 370 KB 27 154
1,280x960 Fine 680 KB 14 82
Normal 460 KB 21 126
Economy 250 KB 40 220
640x480 Fine 190 KB 52 294
Normal 140 KB 71 386
Economy 90 KB 111 618

Movie With Audio
Image Size(Pixels) Maximum
Movie Length
File Size
Approximate Memory Capacity
Built-in Memory
SD Memory Card*
320x240 30 seconds 130KB/second
1 minute
20 seconds
8 minutes
20 seconds
Image Deletion Single image; all images in memory (with memory protection)
Lens smc Pentax lens
(6 lenses in 5 groups, including aspherical lens),
F2.6 (W) to 4.8 (T)
f = 5.8(W) to 17.4(T) mm; equivalent to approximately 35.0 to 105.0 mm when converted to 35mm film
Zoom 3X optical zoom; 4X digital zoom
(12X total when optical and digital zoom are used in combination.)
Focusing Contrast type Auto Focus; manual focus; macro mode; infinity mode; focus lock
Focus Range
Normal: 40cm to infinity
Macro: 6 to 50cm
Exposure Control Metering: Multi-pattern by imaging element
Control: Program AE
Exposure Compensation: -2EV to +2EV (in 1/3EV steps)
Shutter CCD electronic shutter/mechanical shutter; 1 to 1/2000 shutter speed
Aperture Auto (F2.6, F4.3)
White Balance Auto; Fixed (4 modes); Manual
Sensitivity Auto, ISO50, ISO100, ISO200
Recording Modes Normal, Best Shot, Movie
Self-timer 10-second or 2-second countdown; Triple Self-timer
Built-in Flash Flash Modes: Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Red Eye Reduction
Approximate Flash Range: 0.4 to 2.3 meters (W)
Viewfinder Monitor screen and optical viewfinder
Monitor Screen 2.0-inch digital interface TFT color LCD
(84,960 pixels; 354x240)
Playback Functions Playback zoom (4X); Resize; Trimming; Movie Playback;
9-image Screen; Invert; Rotate; Calendar Screen;
Slideshow (Photo Stand)
Timekeeping Functions Date and time
(Current date and time is stored with image data.)
Auto Calendar up to 2049
World Time 162 cities (32 time zones); city names;
date and time; summer time
Other Histogram; alarm with image; album feature; favorites folder
Input/Output Terminals USB cradle contact terminals
Power Requirements Special lithium ion battery
Dimensions 87(W) x 57(H) x 22.9(D) mm (excluding projections)
3-7/16 x 2-1/4 x 15/16 inches
Weight Approximately 126g (excluding batteries and accessories)
Bundled Accessories Special rechargeable lithium-ion battery; Special USB cradle; Special USB cable; strap, CD-ROM, AC adapter

NOTE: These Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer.

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