The Casio EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z5 combines a 1/2.5″ CCD imager with five megapixels and an EXILIM-branded 3x optical zoom lens with a fairly standard 38 – 144mm equivalent focal range. There’s no optical viewfinder, but a 2.5″ LCD display with 115,200 pixels dominates the camera’s rear panel. With the lens retracted, the Casio Z5’s smooth, clean lines and 19.8mm thick body should prove friendly for storing in a pocket. Images are stored on Secure Digital / MultiMediaCards, or in 8.3MB of internal memory.
The Casio EX-Z5 has a whopping 33 scene modes (including five movie scene modes), dubbed “Best Shot” modes in Casio parlance. The Z5 also has some more unusual features – including a flash assist mode that selectively corrects underexposed areas in images, and a Rapid Flash mode that allows three flash shots to be captured in a single second, the trade-off being that flash range is roughly halved. An in-camera exposure warning function activates a warning of under / overexposed areas of the image when the shutter button is half-pressed, and a histogram function that allows both the more traditional function, and an RGB histogram that lets you see if a particular color channel is correctly exposed. A “Date Edit” function allows you to selectively correct the date and time recorded in EXIF metadata stored with images – useful if you forgot to set the camera’s clock, or to change the time and date when travelling to a different time zone.
The Casio EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z5 will ship in Europe from the end of May 2006.