Choosing a digital camera can be trickier than deciding on a name for your first child, as there are just so many options out there. But for those looking for something compact to throw in a bag for trips overseas, Casio’s new 12.1-megapixel EX-H10 Hi Zoom camera is worth considering.
At first glance, if the rather ugly design doesn’t put you off, the huge screen (5cm x 7cm) is an immediate draw. Colour and clarity of images on the display are of a high standard. What let it down for me was the slow reaction time. My own compact camera (which retails for around £100 less) responds much quicker when taking a snap so this was a bit of let down for the EX-H10, which takes about four seconds to take the image and for it then to appear on the screen.
The menu buttons on the back were a bit small and fiddly, so could be hard to work especially if your sight isn’t at its best, but I found my way around the menu settings quickly. As well as buttons for playback and menu, there is a BS (best shot) menu with 38 different scenarios for helping you take better motion, portrait, landscape and candlelight etc, by digitally enhancing the subject matter. I found this worked particularly well on shots of night scenery, although the reds were sometimes too exaggerated. I also thought the “soft flash” worked well for photos of people in dark interiors.
Another image enhancement feature included buttons on the top of the camera for “vivid landscape” and “make up” (for portraits), but I disliked these modes as the photos looked overly artificial and the function seemed an unnecessary addition to the best shot options.
The highlight of the EX-H10 is its long-lasting battery that allows you to take up to 1,000 images without losing power. I charged the camera overnight and have used it for several short trips since, without having to put it on charge again. I certainly haven’t taken 1,000 photos, so can’t say I really pushed it to the limit, and I don’t know what it will be like after a year of sporadic use, but assuming it continues to perform as it is now, for anyone who will be using it for trips abroad, parties or day-to-day things such as for photos of family or items for eBay, it can certainly be relied upon.
Another plus is the 10x optical zoom (and 4x digital zoom) and 24mm wide-angled lens, making it well suited for capturing city panoramas and objects at long range. Saying that, as with many digital zooms, the quality of image is not nearly as good as with the optical zoom.
For a small camera (10.25cm x 6.2cm x 2.43cm) it is a little on the heavy side (about 200g) and although I wasn’t keen on the black with glossy chrome finish, it is also available in pink and silver, the latter of which looks the most attractive.
Pros Long battery life, wide-angled lens and best shot function
Cons Appearance and image capture delay