The slim, 8Mp Casio Exilim EX-Z150 point-and-shoot camera aims for the teen-friendly sweet spot of slick looks and functionality.

For £149, this little camera comes in a variety of bright candy colours, in addition to black and silver. The Casio Exilim EX-Z150 also has an impressive 3in LCD on the back. Mostly metal, this camera feels sturdy, and its matte shine is quite attractive.

The Casio Exilim EX-Z150 has a design similar to that of other Exilim cameras, and allows for a steady grip in the hand. The video button is close to the top-right corner on the back, and the camera's various function buttons are arrayed below.

Few buttons have a dedicated function; you have to access most features through the menu. However, the playback, flash, delete, and video controls are easy to press without getting into menu malarkey.

The Casio Exilim EX-Z150's "Best Shot" button takes you to a series of presets, including auto, backlight, text, nighttime, portrait, landscape, kids, and macro. Face-detection and antishake options are also in the mix, and the EX-Z150's colour filters allow you to take black-and-white and colour-tinted shots.

The Casio Exilim EX-Z150's two more-unusual presets are a YouTube-video mode (a low-res setting optimized for the popular site) and an eBay mode, which saves smaller-size jpeg image files for online posting. The software also comes with a handy YouTube uploader that makes posting clips to the site easy.

For a sub-£200 camera, the Casio Exilim EX-Z150 produced decent-quality video, but with hissy audio. Our short flicks, shot outdoors, were generally vivid, and the camera was quite responsive in making exposure changes as we panned around. As is usually the case with lower-end digital cameras, videos shot indoors were a bit noisier, and some clips had a reddish tint.

The Casio Exilim EX-Z150 attained a high score in overall image quality during our test centre tests. Colour accuracy and exposure quality were this Exilim's strong suits, while it earned only middling marks for both sharpness and distortion levels (our test images were a little soft in subdued light).

Overall though, our jury testers rated the Casio Exilim EX-Z150's image quality as Very Good, edging out top-rated point-and-shoots such as the Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS and Pentax Optio A40.

NEXT PAGE: testing the EX-Z150

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