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Review: Casio EX-Z850

A couple of years ago, you couldn't find a 5-megapixel pocket size camera, let alone 8-megapixel. Today, all the camera companies have high pixel-density pocket cameras, so what are they doing to separate themselves?

In addition to its super-fast Exilim engine, the new EX-Z850 sports a whopping 8.1-megapixel CCD, a bright 2.5inch TFT-LCD screen, and a 3x optical zoom all for $399. Like its predecessors, this camera is feature rich with fully automatic snapshot mode, aperture and shutter priority, as well as full manual mode.

Some useful new features include high and low flash options to light subjects up to "approximately 39.7 feet" away (I guess they couldn't quite manage 40 feet) and soft flash to prevent over-exposure of close subjects.

The battery life on this camera is fantastic. I took it on two weekend trips in a row and, on a single charge, snapped close to 250 pictures and short videos, turning it on and off continuously. After all this, it looked like I didn't even make a dent in the battery indicator.

The EX-Z850 has several presets, or Best Shot mode, for particular lighting situations like backlighting, night shots, or high-sensitivity. In addition, there are several presets for video mode as well.

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