The Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z77 is the very model of an average modern digital compact camera. It's a slim 7.2-megapixel model with a 66mm LCD display and 3x zoom.
The feature grabbing our attention is a video capture mode designed specifically for creating and uploading YouTube films. We tested this £149 snapper to find out if there was anything else up the EX-Z77's sleeve.
The EX-Z77 is extremely sleek and slim. Build quality seems good. There's no flex in the frame and the battery cover seems sturdy. The EX-Z77 comes in black, silver, blue and pink. Our review model was a tasteful brushed silver, complete with football sticker-style mirrored YouTube label on the front.
Although the interface is easy to master, there are some inconsistencies. The display button toggles between onscreen status indicators, brightness histogram and no indicators. This button doesn't, however, control the largest element of the screen: the menu sidebar.
Also, as on other Exilim cameras, there are two separate buttons for playback and shooting modes. Most manufacturers combine these into one button that toggles between modes. These buttons can be used to switch the camera on independently of the main power button but not to switch it off.
While it's good to be able to turn the camera on in playback mode without extending the lens, we like 'on' buttons to be 'off' buttons, too. The rest of the buttons stand too proud of the frame and feel loose in their openings.
The sticker-worthy headline feature is YouTube capture mode. If it's worth a sticker, you'd think it would be worth a menu position a little higher than 42 of 45. YouTube videos, shot in MPEG-4 H.264 format and optimised to Web-friendly size and frame rate, are predictably poor quality.
You can zoom while filming video but it is only a digital zoom. Clips cannot be paused, so if you want to include cuts you need to stop and restart, ending up with several clips and requiring post-production. You have the option to trim unwanted parts off your video but only by deleting the start, middle or end sections.