Here are the things you need to know from the camera before proceed to the written review. Pardon my broken English. Haven't had my coffee on early morning.
Some quick glance through for the Casio ZR3500 key specification :
- 12 megapixels
- 1/1.7-inch high-speed CMOS sensor
- EXILIM Engine HS Ver 3 image processor
- 25-300mm F2.8(W) to F6.3(T)
- Optical zoom：12X, Multi SR Zoom：24X, Digital zoom 4X, Maximum digital zoom：93.6X (in combination with HD Zoom, 3M size)
- 3.0-inch TFT color LCD (Super Clear LCD) and 180 degree tiltable
- Built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- 1920 x 1080 (30fps) video recording
- Lithium Ion Battery (NP-130A)
- 108.3(W) x 61.5(H) x 36.7(D) mm
- 248 g (Including Battery and Memory Card)
Here are the photos taken on Pudu street market. The beauty mode was turn off during the whole shooting session. All photos SOOC.
The camera feels small if to compare to my current micro four thirds gear I had. For instance, someone with large hand like me, shooting with such small camera can't seem to secure itself w/o a proper grip. Other than that, the overall feel solid and good. I do like the idea of putting front shutter; giving more flexibility when selfie. The flip screen also helps alot when I am doing high or low angle shoot on the street.
On software side, it feels pretty much half bucket. It offers options to photographer to shoot in PSAM mode, but did not provide exposure meters nor live view to show the exposure. It will only trigger when I half press the shutter button (refer to the video above for the demo). This makes the whole shooting progress slower and I risk missing one in a life time moment. Hence, I gave up and try to go for RAW format. I couldn't find it at first as it wasn't under image format like usual camera nor PSAM mode. It was hidden under BEST SHOT mode. By using RAW, the camera limitation begin where it'll goes to 35mm F3.2 on wide. Not a big deal for a day time but I hate the half bucket effort so much!
The camera actually offer 300mm zoom in exchange of slower aperture, F6.3. Again it wasn't a big deal on day time but like other subpar camera, the ZR3500 suffer from focus hunting on zoom. However, it focus very quickly on wide open and not a problem at all shooting with it. I do love how wide 25mm is despite I wish it is 21mm instead. The wider the better for a wide junkie like me. F2.8 is sufficient; if you're shooting on close up subject, you'll get bokeh. Coming from Olympus that has 5 Axis IS on body, I felt the ZR3500 5 axis IS nearly didn't exist.
Did a very quick ISO test with 100% and the camera done perfectly on ISO 400 and below. On ISO800 details started to smudge and color begin to shift on ISO 1600 and above.
For me, this camera does what it do best. It is not so suitable for fast moving object due to the factors I mentioned above. If you're the type love taking selfie, foods, scenery or any subject which are not moving and you can take your sweet time, yes I would recommend this camera. It is undeniable a good looking camera that easily attract female with affordable price tag.
Till then, ciaozz!