In many ways, comparing the Casio Exilim EX-Z75 to its predecessor the EX-Z70 is like playing a game of spot the difference. Both models feature a 7.2Mp sensor, a 3x optical zoom lens – equivalent to 38-114mm in 35mm terms – and have the same slightly lethargic f3.1-f5.9 aperture range.

Even from the outside the differences aren't easy to spot; the Z75 retains the same excellent build quality and control layout – its dimensions haven't budged a millimetre. The exception is the LCD screen, which has been stretched from 2.5in to a widescreen 2.6in.

In conjunction with the wider LCD, a 16:9 widescreen image mode designed for borderless viewing on a high-definition telly has been included. Don't get too excited, though, because losing the black letterbox effect on your TV results in a white one when printing.

While the Casio's widescreen compatibility may smack of tokenism, other changes distinguish it from the Z70. In particular, the wider LCD makes space for a cut-down shooting menu to be placed onscreen for quick access to options.

Unsurprisingly, without a sensor change, the Z75's image quality is largely the same as that of its forebear. This is a good thing. The excellent automatic white balance keeps colours accurate, and you get impressive exposure performance in tricky conditions.

As with all inexpensive compacts, noise becomes an issue at higher ISOs. The Z75 is happiest below 200, but this is one of very few criticisms we can throw at it.

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Casio Exilim : Specs

  • 7.1Mp sensor
  • 1/2.5in CCD
  • 3,072x2,304 resolution
  • 640x480 movie resolution (30 frames per second)
  • 3x optical zoom
  • 38-114mm aperture
  • 2.6in, 115,000-pixel LCD
  • 40cm/10cm normal, macro focus distance
  • 4secs-1/2,000th shutter speeds
  • f3.1-f5.9 max aperture
  • 50-400 ISO range
  • 8MB internal storage (SD/SDHC/MMC)
  • lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • 95x61x20mm, 156g
  • Casio PhotoLoader, Photo Transport
  • 7.1Mp sensor
  • 1/2.5in CCD
  • 3,072x2,304 resolution
  • 640x480 movie resolution (30 frames per second)
  • 3x optical zoom
  • 38-114mm aperture
  • 2.6in, 115,000-pixel LCD
  • 40cm/10cm normal, macro focus distance
  • 4secs-1/2,000th shutter speeds
  • f3.1-f5.9 max aperture
  • 50-400 ISO range
  • 8MB internal storage (SD/SDHC/MMC)
  • lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • 95x61x20mm, 156g
  • Casio PhotoLoader, Photo Transport

OUR VERDICT

It may not be a massive leap forward from the Z70, but it was so good before it didn't need to do anything too radical to scoop a Best Buy award this time around. This is an excellent, affordable compact digital camera.

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