The Casio EX-H15 is a 14.1MP point and shoot camera that packs a 10x zoom lens into a rather compact body. It serves as a replacement to the EX-H10 in Casio’s point and shoot lineup. The EX-H15 housing has a nice feel with a variety of colors available on the aluminum finish.
While the body is a a little thicker than some of the other point and shoot cameras announced by Casio at CES 2010, the 10x zoom makes it worth the added girth. I was actually surprised at just how far that 10x lens extended from the both of the camera at the max telephoto end of the zoom.
The EX-H15 covers the equivalent zoom range of 24-240mm on a full frame or 35mm camera. The 24mm wide setting is about the widest you’ll find in compact cameras nowadays. The zoom range can be covered relatively fast for a compact camera by using the finger switch that wraps around the shutter button on top of the camera.
One thing that I appreciate on a compact camera is having a secondary control button to start/stop video recording. The EX-H15 delivers that with a well-placed record button on the back of the camera for easy access with the shooter’s thumb. Hit the button and you are instantly recording 720p HD video, which you can frame using the 3-inch LCD (460k dot resolution) on the back. While the EX-H15 won’t record super slo-mo videos like its sibling, the EX-FH100, the video still looks pretty smooth and you can zoom in and out while you are recording.
There is a dedicated Best Shot mode on the EX-H15, which helps evaluate the scene and choose the appropriate settings for you. This setting can be quickly activated via a “BS” button on the back of the camera. I had a little fun at the camera’s expense over the poor choice of abbreviation for this function when speaking with the Casio rep at CES; however, it appeared to do its job pretty well and deliver a good exposure in the limited scene variations that I threw at it.
As with several other manufacturers, Casio has elected to take the megapixel counts up to an impractical 14.1MP. I didn’t bring back any samples from the H15, so I’ll reserve judgment for the time being, but I’m not too optimistic about the noise handling for this camera. From what I’ve seen so far, I like the H15, but I remain skeptical about the use of such a high-megapixel sensor in such a small camera.