Casio's Exilim EX-100 is the lightest and thinnest of the three superzoom cameras in this shoot-out. Unlike many superzooms, it does not look like a shrunken DSLR camera.
With its compact size and self-opening lens cap, EX-100 is the most pocketable and convenient camera in its class.
Button layout is well conceived. The Mode dial, lens zoom lever and shutter release button are on top and easily accessible with your right index finger.
In addition to Aperture-Priority and Program modes, the Mode dial also has Art Shot, Intelligent Bracketing and Time-Lapse modes for quick switching of modes.
The EX-100 also has an aperture ring in front and a wheel dial at the back.
So, in Manual mode, you can quickly adjust the aperture with the ring and the shutter speed with the wheel dial.
Overall, the handling is good but is weaker than the Sony RX10 and Olympus Stylus 1.
The grip of the EX-100 is not as pronounced and comfortable as that of the other two cameras.
Another drawback: It lacks an electronic viewfinder. This makes it difficult to compose pictures under the glare of bright sunlight.
But EX-100's secret weapon is its dual bracketing or Intelligent Bracketing function. In this mode, you can shoot nine frames using two different parameters, such as white balance and saturation, in just 1sec. This way, you can choose the right one.
Its Make-up mode is another draw. You can smoothen your subject's complexion in the photos by adjusting its intensity (from level 0 to 12) to your liking.
The camera takes about 1.2sec to power up, but shuts down slowly in around 2.7sec.
Using an SD card with a writing speed rated at 45MB per second, I shot 30 JPEG images in 0.9sec before the buffer ran out.
Autofocusing (AF) is quick and accurate in bright light. In dim conditions, it takes around 1.2sec with the help of an AF assist light.
Image quality is good, with vivid colours and smooth skin tones, especially when you boost the intensity of the Make-up mode. Details are crisp and distinct, but could be sharper.
In noise performance, it also trails. Noise artefacts show up at ISO 400. I would not recommend anything above ISO 800.
It has the shortest battery life of the three cameras, but not by much.
On a full charge, the EX-100 manages some 390 stills - 20 to 30 frames fewer than the other two.
The Casio Exilim EX-100 is the most pocketable superzoom camera in the market. It operates fast, handles well and comes with great features, such as Dual Bracketing and Make-up modes. However, its image quality is only average for the hefty price tag.
Image sensor: 12.1 megapixels, 1/1.7-inch CMOS
Lens: 28mm-300mm f/2.8
Display: 3.5-inch tiltable LCD with 920,000 dots
Sensitivity: ISO 80 to 25,600
Shooting speed: Up to 30 frames per second
Weight: 389g (with battery and memory card)
Value for money 3/5
Battery life 4/5
This article was first published on July 02, 2014.
Get a copy of Digital Life, The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.