• Price: 195

  • Company: Casio

  • Pros: High resolution. Low price. Quick access to core settings. Versatile manual settings.

  • Cons: Lack of detail at full resolution. Mediocre low-light performance. Too easy to inadvertently turn on.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 8 out of 10 We rate this 8 out of 10

For the past few years, the quality of pocket-sized cameras has been rising as fast as prices have been falling. Even so, the appearance of a sleek shooter that snaps 10-megapixel photos for under £200 is enough to make even the most jaded creative do a double take.

The EX-Z1050 is an upgrade to last year’s Z1000 (reviewed here), which also boasted a 10.1mp sensor – but cost around £325. Its successor isn’t just a lot more affordable, it gains a new image processing engine designed to deal with the Z1000’s main failing: noise.

There’s a definite improvement in images taken in low-light conditions using ISO 1600 or ISO 3200 settings, but still, more often that not, the photos are unusable for professional work.

 border=0 /><p>The Z1050 is available in range of colours including silver, pink, black, and blue.
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The sensor captures images at a resolution of up to 3,648-x-2,736 pixels – mathematically more than high enough to output at A3+ at 300dpi. Viewing 10mp images taken at the highest quality settings and under optimal conditions – outside on a moderately bright afternoon – a lack of detail was noticeable both onscreen at 100 per cent and when printed on HP’s new Z3100 large format printer. At A4 a slight lack of sharpness is apparent, but at A5 photos look great.
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The back of the Z1050 is largely taken up by a 2.6-inch widescreen LCD display. Smaller and less bright than the Z1000’s, it’s hard to read from an angle. Casio’s excellent quick settings system sits as a strip on the right-hand-side of the screen, giving instant access to settings from resolution and flash to ISO sensitivity and focus. The redesigned back, however, makes it far too easy to hit the capture/review buttons and turn on the camera when putting it in your pocket or case.
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