Day 342 : Casio Exilim EX-ZR1000 Review

‘C’ is also for ‘Celebrate’… and I have good reasons to coz the kind people at Casio Exilim Singapore gave me their latest compact camera, the EX-ZR1000 to test drive. I get to keep the camera after reviewing so it’s like an early Christmas present from them. Thanks!

The camera is definitely worth getting nuts over with its many ground-cracking functions and features. I foresee a beary good time with it!

The camera comes in white, black and red. I chose rad because it’s so boomz! An innovative feature of the camera is the twist-ring circling the lens that can be programed to control zoom, focus, ISO setting, etc. Although the feature allows for quick access to vital shooting configurations, I’ve yet to find meaningful use of it.

The Ferrari of Compact Cameras

Casio has always been forerunning with their digital watches and calculators but it seems that the maverick of  personal electronic gadgets is carving out a substantial share of the compact camera market with its recent line up of impressive shooters.

Initially, I had my doubts about Casio as a worthy contender of the big boys but having used the EX-ZR100 and EX-ZR200, I was impressed by the photos quality, cam features, ease of use and speed. About 80% of photos taken in my FUNicating 2012 daily shots were the work of either camera.

With Casio EX-ZR1000, the company has brought their compact cameras to another level. This camera is not an enhancement of EX-ZR200 but in a different class because it comes with a flip-up screen, twistable front ring, RAW imaging, and a bevy of features that had me wondering how can so many functions be packed into such a small camera?

To satisfy my curiosity, I went on a shoot of this year’s Christmas decor and lights along Orchard Road to see if the cam is naughty or nice. It was a very brief shoot so I didn’t explore every function or covered all the malls but I think the photos give a pretty good glimpse into what the camera can do and the festive colours electrifying downtown this yuletide…

Shot with ART (HDR Art) Mode. This mode is one of my favourites. It was available in both the EX-ZR100 and 200 models too but ZR1000 took it up a notch with 5 levels of ‘artifying’ your shots. This was taken with level 3 of the HDR Art setting,

The photo on the left is taken under normal auto mode while the one on the right is taken with HDR Art (Ex 1) setting. Compared to the level 3 setting used in the photo above, Ex 1 produces more natural colourations. When shooting in HDR or HDR Art modes, the camera takes 2 photos at once so that you have the option to use the normal auto version or the HDR version.

Lovers under the mistletoe at Mandarin Gallery shot with Casio EX-ZR1000’s P Mode. The photos in this post (except the first 2 shots taken with Instagram) have not been Photoshopped except to resize for quicker uploading.

One of the shooting modes new to Casio compact cams is Light Tone filter that adds a soft glow at the photo edges for a dreamy effect that draws focus to the subject. The filter comes in 3 colours – Yellow, Cyan, and Magenta. This is shot in Cyan.

Shot in ART (HDR Art) mode at level Ex 2. Compared to Ex 1, 2 looks even more natural while hyperising the colours.

More HDR Art mode (Ex 2). Simply love it!

Another in-built camera filter also found in the ART mode is Toy Camera. Again, there are 3 colour modes to choose from and what it does is that it changes the tone and temperature of the shot. This is taken in chrome colour.

Another shot taken in Toy Camera mode. It seems that the filter will turn out different effects depending on the light metering. Compared to the above photo, this shot looks more muted in colour. This is taken with a blue coloured filter.

Also taken in Toy Camera (Green) mode. This colour kinda turned the whole Christmas mood around to Halloween!

The Casio EX-ZR1000 comes with a Manual and Shutter Priority shooting modes that are really useful for long exposure photography.

Tunnel of light at Orchard Central. Experimented with long exposure (2 secs) while riding up the escalator in this shot. God knows how many times I got on and off the escalator to get this shot! To shoot this, I placed the cam on a mini Gorillapod and set it on the escalator. With a conventional compact cam, I would not be able to frame my shot but with EX-ZR1000’s flip screen, I could see what I am shooting. It gives me the flexibility to shoot from weird angles!

Another photo made possible by the flip screen which allowed me to frame myself. I placed the camera on the escalator, set it on Manual and self-timer, and posed as we rode the moving stairs down the tunnel of light. There are so many ways to have fun with the camera!

Wave goodbye to bad self-portraits. Casio Exilim ZR1000 comes with a revoluntionary motion sensing technology for self and group shots. This photo was taken by placing the camera on a platform, framing the scene, walking into it and adjust my position by looking at the flip-up screen till I’m satisfied. Then I simply waved at the camera for the shot to be taken. So cool!

Orchard Central’s wintry forest decor won this year’s Best Dressed Building along Orchard Road for Christmas 2012. I wish the white reindeer was facing the camera though.

When the surrounding is too messy, use the EX-ZR1000’s ART (Miniature) mode to blur out the distracting elements while keeping a sharp focus on the subject.

There are a few positions to select where the focus can be placed in horizontal or vertical framing. The above photo was taken with the in-focus strip placed to cam right and this was taken with the strip placed in the middle.

Get dizzy this Christmas with a kaleidoscope of you! This pop-up photo booth added a touch of crystal magic outside Wisma Atria. shot in P Mode.

A starry, starry night. This is a shot inside the gigantic walk-in Christmas tree at ION Orchard. For this shot, I set the camera to self-timer mode, placed it on the floor and framed the photo with the flip-up screen. No longer do I have to approximate my framing when placing my cam on the ground for such wide angle shots. Nice!

As I mentioned, this test-drive session was very short but I’m very satisfied with the results, especially since the photos were taken at night. Night photography is one of the best way to test how good a compact camera is because many struggle to capture well-exposed pictures without the graininess of high ISO settings. From the photos here, you can see that they are blemish-free.

On top of the impressive store of in-camera shooting modes, what makes the Casio EX-ZR1000 truly outstanding is its speed. It is built with dual-core processors which translates to amazing speed. The camera has a very fast sleep-to-shoot startup time and its incredible ability to take sharp images under any condition is the result of its high speed capabilities. Casio EX-ZR1000 is definitely the Ferrari of compact cams and it pretty affordable at only S$599!

Will be taking the camera out for more photography escapades so do check back for more shots taken with it on this blog. :)

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Darren Chin
    Apr 08, 2013 @ 02:41:56

    wah! i getting mine tomorrow….😛

    Reply

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