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Casio Exilim Pro EX-P600

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Casio Exilim EX-P600 Compact Camera

    TechHive Rating

Casio Exilim Pro EX-P600
Photograph: Rick Rizner

We had a hard time deciding whether the silver, metal-clad Exilim Pro fit better into our point-and-shoot category or our advanced camera category. It has all of the creative controls--but not the size and heft--of a typical advanced model. It's pocketable, in a lumpy sort of way, and it has an impressive array of built-in help prompts that should appeal to sometime photographers. But in the end, we lumped it into the advanced category because it has features we typically associate with higher-end models: It has, for example, nine types of bracketing. And while it is missing a flash hot shoe, it does have a flash sync connector.

The most immediately noticeable thing about the Exilim Pro is the big 2-inch LCD on the back. Turn the camera on, and the status display on the LCD will catch your attention as well: It superimposes a graphical display of shutter, aperture, distance, and other vital stats over your image. Though it's kind of cool looking, you'll need to consult the manual to figure all of it out. If you prefer a more traditional display, you can opt for one.

The graphics-based help extends to many of the camera's settings. In shutter-priority mode, for instance, pressing the Set button brings up a sample of two photos, one showing the minimal depth of field associated with a low aperture value, and the other showing the long depth of field that you'd get with a high aperture value. Beneath the photos is a bar that shows you where on the depth-of-field scale your current aperture value falls. But for people who prefer the quick setup of scene modes, the Exilim Pro has 25 of them, each with a brief description of what it does.

The camera's extensive bracketing options include exposure, focus, white balance, sharpness, saturation, contrast, portrait (which adjusts for skin tones), and two types of color filter.

Startup is about average--at 2 to 3 seconds--while shutdown is slow at 4 to 5 seconds. The shutter trigger seems faster than on many competing cameras we've looked at recently: about 0.5 second with a quick full press of the trigger button. The Exilim has a dual-menu system. Pressing the EX button brings up a short list of settings (white balance, ISO, metering, and auto-focus area), and pressing the Menu button gives you those and many other options. The 4X optical zoom starts at a 35mm equivalent of 33mm.

The Exilim earned a score of Fair on our lab-based image quality tests. Tested in fully automatic mode at default settings, it scored below most other advanced cameras in exposure and color accuracy and in sharpness. A flash shot showed the best color balance, but it was slightly overexposed and had visible noise (speckling) in dark, solid colors. Our high-contrast outdoor photo had nice depth from well-produced tonal ranges, but a slight softness marred the fine details, and the picture had a faintly bluish cast. The Exilim's worst results came in our still-life photo, which looked a bit soft, appeared about a stop-and-a-half underexposed and had a slightly greenish tint. Informal outdoor shots in full sun produced more-accurate color after some fine-tuning of the white balance.

We weren't impressed by the software bundled with the Exilim. For such a sophisticated camera, the Casio Photo Loader and Photohands software seems simplistic and limited.

Because it offers lots of controls and lots of help, the Exilim Pro EX-P600 can be used by photographers of all skill levels.

Tracey Capen

This story, "Casio Exilim Pro EX-P600" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Casio Exilim EX-P600 Compact Camera

    TechHive Rating
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