Casio Exilim EX-V7 Reviews

First published on: Monday, 7 May 2007

The Casio Exilim Hi-Zoom EX-V7 breaks new ground by wrapping a powerful, non-protruding zoom lens that has a 38mm to 266mm focal length range (a shame that it doesn’t start at 28mm) in a beautiful, stylish and slim body — the slimmest camera in the world, at the time of writing, to accommodate a 7x zoom lens.

It also boasts a Super Bright 2.5 inch, 230,400 pixel LCD that provides excellent contrast and viewability even in the bright outdoors, and a CCD shift image stabilization mechanism that minimizes the occurrence of blurry images due to shaky hands.

Collected here are some of the more interesting Casio EX-V7 reviews that I’ve found online.

User manuals: You might like to download the Casio EX-V7 owner’s guide prior to reading through the reviews. The PDF instruction manuals are available in 2 versions: For International customers, and for European customers. Visit Casio Support for additional resources.

Casio V7 features at a glance: Go to Casio-Europe.com for a quick overview of the EX-V7.

Ken Rockwell: He has the most complete Casio EX-V7 review, in my opinion.

In the past, I would have recommended reading camera reviews at DPReview.com instead, but Ken’s reviews generally give a much better idea of how the camera would perform in real world conditions (I was personally quite stunned to discover that the EX-V7 has live RGB histograms), and more importantly, a good impression of how the camera would feel in your hands.

Read also his tips on setting the contrast and saturation on the EX-V7 to +2 to get more pop in your images, and how small the video file sizes are (even in UHQ mode, due to Casio’s use of H.264 / AVC / MPEG4 encoding) compared to his Canon digital compact cameras.

Ken also likes the fact that the V7’s lens does not extend while zooming.

Manual controls: Blog.wired.com notes that the EXV7 has a wide range of manual controls (aperture or shutter priority, for instance), allowing you to control the flash intensity for instance. However, basic settings such as ISO, WB (white balance) and resolution can only be changed by going into the menus.

The Casio EX-V7 in your hands:
The Casio Exilim EX-V7 in your hands, photographed by photographypress.co.uk Photographypress.co.uk has a nice set of 3 images showing how the EX-V7 would fit in your hand.

Video: The EX-V7 has a very capable video capture feature, making it more than up to the task of being a camcorder. You can operate the 7x optical zoom lens while recording a movie clip, and the good thing is that unlike many other digital cameras, you won’t get any intrusive noise in your video from the lens while it is zooming.

Video quality is also excellent, going up to at 848 x 480 pixels (in 16:9, wide screen format; 640×480 in 4:3 format) @ 30 fps (frames-per-second) and encoded in H.264 / AVC / MPEG4, which promises extremely high compression without loss of quality, meaning you get to record much longer video clips on your SD or SDHC memory card (typically up to 75 minutes of clips on a 4GB SDHC card) compared to other digital compact cameras which implement memory-hungry MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 codecs (Wikipedia has more information on the MPEG-4 Part 10 standard).

Sound is recorded in stereo via two built-in microphones. Visit Exilim.de for the complete EX-V7 video specifications and full description of its H.264 video encoding and other features.

Autofocus tracking: Digitalcamerainfo.com states that the the tracking AF on the Casio V7 does a pretty good job of maintaining moving subjects in focus. That’s quite an accomplishment, in my opinion, as most compact digital camera touting this feature aren’t able to do this quite as well.

Feature vs Image Quality: The second page PopPhoto.com’s Casio EX-V7 review gives a good account of the 33 scene modes that are incorporated into the EX-V7 (the ID Photo and Collection modes look really handy to me; Waterfall mode, from another user review, sets the camera up to capture water in motion) and concludes that the camera would have received an “A” rating had it not been let down by sub-par image quality.

Other than that issue, Mark Lent was suitably impressed with the camera as a whole. My take on this, having viewed photos taken with the EX-V7, is that this is not a big problem if you’re looking only to make 4 x 6 prints.

I would have no qualms recommending this camera to anyone who’s looking for a versatile camera that’s small, light and stylish, and can take great videos and photographs that are more than acceptable — at least the results would be better than what you’d get from a camera phones that only come with an inflexible fixed lens.

Counterpoint: DPReview.com posted a rather unfavorable review of the Casio EX-V7, and recommends the potential buyer to consider the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 or the Canon Powershot A710 IS instead.

Weight and dimensions (width x height x depth): 149 g (5.3 oz) without battery, 95.5 x 59.8 x 25.1 mm (3.8 x 2.4 x 1.0 inches).

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