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Casio Exilim EX-Z500

Casio Exilim EX-Z500 5mp digicam

Is that a 2.7in LCD in your pocket?

Review The five-megapixel, 3x optical zoom Exilim EX-Z500's silmline design - it's just 8.9 x 5.7 x 2.1cm - and 2.7in LCD are the first things you'll notice when you take a closer look at this digital camera. The bright crisp screen is noticeably bigger than the one on most digital cameras available at the moment, save the Sony T range, and the extra 0.2in means it's even bigger than the latest iPod or Creative Zen Vision:M. If you've got one of these, you won't need to worry about viewing your images on anything else.

For the most part the buttons are in the right places, although we kept on pressing the review button when we meant to zoom in and the camera-mode button when we wanted to zoom out. Canon or FujiFilm camera users shouldn't have the same problem: Casio, like those manufacturers, has placed the zoom toggle around the shutter button.

Casio Exilim EX-Z500

Connection to a PC or Mac is made via the docking station, and it's here that the Casio shows the first chink in its armour. To connect the camera to any computer you'll need the docking station. It's a pain to carry around if you're planning on docking on the move and there isn't a simple workaround. That said, the inclusion of a docking station does mean that desktop users can easily dock the camera to download images. Downloading is quick and simple thanks to the camera's USB 2.0 support.

Casio boasts that the EX-Z500 houses a proprietary "Super Life" lithium-ion rechargeable battery that can take up to 500 shots on a single charge. We're not sure we've taken that many, but we've been using it solidly for a week and it's still going. It is certainly surprising considering the large LCD, but it seems Casio has managed to eke out enough juice for us not to complain about the lack of a power-saving optical viewfinder.

Next page: Sample shots

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