Casio Exilim EX-ZR700 - It Could Have Been Much More

Launch SRP: S$599

Image Quality, Performance and Sample Images

Image Quality and Performance

The main selling point of the ZR700 is its speed, both in terms of shutter lag and autofocus. While the overall speed of the camera was good, there were some issues and limitations.

Shooting moving objects require the use of the Tracking AF selection, and we found it acceptable for slower-moving subjects like toddlers and walking people. But for faster subjects like cars and birds, the camera still has a hard time locking onto the subject as it moves across the frame. To be fair, only DSLR cameras and mirrorless system cameras can easily tackle such fast-moving objects. But if you are going to purchase the ZR700 with the hopes of doing some sports or action photography, do manage your expectations. The good news about shooting action and sports is that the ZR700’s image stabilization is very good. As long as you have stable hands; there should be no problem even with shooting at the longest end and getting close to the action. 

The camera's tracking AF will have a hard time following fast-moving subjects, such as this bird here.

Other options of shooting fast-moving subjects include panning the camera or pre-focusing on a spot in the frame where the subject will pass. However, these options require a good eye for anticipating where and when the subject will pass the focus point. You might also end up freezing the frame, with no hint of motion, as shown in the image above.

While the ZR700’s display looks good and shutter lag is close to non-existent, the problem is with the image quality itself; images straight out of the camera are not sharp upon closer inspection. Zooming in above 50% might disappoint those expecting more sharpness and resolution from their images. The ZR700 scored 1800LPH both vertically and horizontally, though its real-world performance leaves more to be desired. Shooting in low light conditions is the camera’s Achilles’ heel, due to the result of the noise reduction algorithm used as well as the less-than-sharp images resulting in photos with a notable loss of details. Shooting at ISO800 will produce a hazy image where details are smudged; so while there's minimal noise at that ISO setting, zooming in will reveal far too much loss of detail. Of course as with all digital compact cameras, if the images are going to be resized for online use and social media sharing, then there's not much of an issue. However as highlighted earlier, zooming in any more than 50% into the photo will reveal the lack of detail.

Our main gripe with the Casio ZR700 is its image sharpness and quality. If you're viewing images at lower resolutions they appear fine, such as this photo. But once you click through to see the full sized image, your opinion will differ.

Shot at F/5.9 and ISO320, a 100% crop of the image above will reveal that the image is not very sharp, even at lower ISO settings.

There's not much noise in images even for night shots, but the noise reduction algorithm combined with the camera's innate lack of sharpness in images means that you probably won't want to zoom too much into these night shots and get disappointed. The only consolation is that the EX-ZR700 is a compact camera, a category devices that are well known not to fair well in low-light shooting.

f/5.7 at 107mm, 1/80sec, ISO800

5.5
Performance
5.5
Design
7
Features
7
User-Friendliness
8
Value
3
The Good
Quick autofocus
Minimal shutter lag
User-friendly UI
The Bad
Plastic hand grip
Fiddly scroll wheel
Below average image quality