The EX-Z1080 is an extremely capable point-and-shoot. We had no complaints about shooting in everyday circumstances. Start-up is exceptionally fast, shot-to-shot time is good at respectable at two seconds, and even with the flash enabled the camera is still reasonably quick.
Continuous shooting mode is blisteringly quick out of the blocks, capturing a whopping 7fps. Over a minute this slows to a still impressive 4fps. Unfortunately, this is only at 2-megapixel resolution. Normal burst mode captures images at a resolution of your choice, with a trade-off between speed and quality. We found the best compromise between speed and quality was to select 5-megapixel resolution, which managed a solid 2fps and slowed only slightly after about 20 seconds.
Image quality is also good. Colours are well-saturated. Portraits are warm and flesh tones are realistic. There is a certain amount of purple fringing in higher-contrast images, but the advantage of the various flexible shooting functions is that issues like this can be quickly and easily cleared up. Backlight mode often clears up purple fringing and deals well with subjects in bright sunlight.
The usual compact bugbear that is low light shooting wasn't bad either. The soft flash option is soft enough to preserve the atmosphere of darker situations, and if not the Z1080 deals well with noise. As always, the higher ISO settings lead to speckly image noise from around ISO 800 upwards. The maximum ISO speed of 3,200 is higher than most compacts and is basically unusable as the noise is so bad, but noise is well controlled at slower speeds. Prints can be made from ISO 800 and even ISO 1,600.
The Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z1080 is another excellent camera from Casio. Optical image stabilisation is a glaring omission, and the zoom is undistinguished. The Canon Digital IXUS 75 may pack image stabilisation but lacks the features, while another feature-rich camera, the Ricoh Caplio R7 has similar image quality and a better zoom. Nonetheless image quality on the EX-Z1080 is excellent. The attention to detail shows in the wealth of customisable options, giving you the flexibility to take great photos in most circumstances.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday