Keyboards, calculators and watches; that’s what I associated Casio with. Whether it’s their bulky but brilliant G-Shock rage, the Cos, Sin and Tan keys of their scientific calculators or the ubiquitous Orchestra Hit; the go-to button to mash whenever you’re in a musical instrument store.
Casio also produced a huge range of cameras, coming out swinging with the Casio QV-10, the first consumer digital camera that included an LCD screen. Be sure to Richard Baguley’s great post all about it. They made their retreat from the market in 2018 like Homer through the hedge; but not before unleashing their Exilim range.
Arriving 2002; these cameras all share a similar aesthetic, seemingly taking design cues from the incredible Vivitar Slim and Wide. My eBay choice was a EX-Z1000; their first, count ’em, ten-megapixel camera. This was back when DSLRs were just about at a similar figure; admittedly with far larger sensors.
It came with a number of interesting features; a “Rapid Flash” function allows up to three shots per second by dropping the flash output by 50% and allowing for a mini version of a strobe at 90's rave. You could also try out the “Zoom Continuous Shutter mode” and see both a wide-angle and cropped “telephoto” shot on screen at once, and to capture both at the same time with a slick shutter press.
The ‘Best Shot’ menu goes on forever, letting you optimise for your chosen subject; be that landscapes, fireworks, ID cards, auctions, soft flowing water — you get the picture. Sadly, it didn’t manage to bag a version with one of those charging and transfer cradles that were all the rage with digicams in the mid-00s.
I gave the camera whirl while taking a fascinating stroll around the Spittal Toungues area of Newcastle last weekend.
The admittedly bright LCD on the camera in no way illustrated what actually came out of the camera. I was incredibly impressed with the colour reproduction. The larger 1/1.8" size CCD sensor capturing rich hues galore. How it would fare on a less beautiful day I don’t know, but I’ll be whacking it in my bag to find out.
Cost when new £349
Price paid — £4