Watch out, Samsung MV900F, there's a new self-portrait cam in town. Many camera manufacturers may not consider high-end models from Casio to be a threat to their own market share, but the company's new Exilim EX-ZR1000 has more that a few tricks up its €350 barrel. First and foremost is the 180-degree swiveling LCD, which, like Samsung's MultiView flavor, flips all the way forward to simplify composition for self-portraits, but it also offers some nifty gesture controls, letting you wave briefly to trigger a two-second countdown, for example. The camera also includes features that should appease more-advanced users, such as a dedicated mode dial, a versatile lens ring control, a top ISO sensitivity of 25,600 and a 6 frames-per-second burst mode. There's also a 16.1-megapixel CMOS sensor and Casio's Exilim Engine HS 3 on board to handle processing.
We caught up with the snappy shooter at Photokina, and were pleasantly surprised with its looks and performance. Its body construction may not make it feel like a premium shooter, despite the decidedly high-end price tag, but performance was speedy and the 3-inch LCD looked quite nice, even when viewed at an angle. As we mentioned, that display flips up and faces forward, but it can also tilt at various other angles, enabling below-the-waist or overhead shooting, too. The mode and lens dials had a reasonable amount of resistance, and the camera focused quickly and accurately. We can't speak to image quality, unfortunately, but shots we captured appeared to be sharp and properly exposed based on what we were able to gather from the display. Overall, the Exilim EX-ZR1000 seems to be a pretty capable shooter, and we're eager to see how it performs after it makes a formal debut this November. Catch our hands-on gallery below, followed by a video walkthrough after the break.