It turned out to be a challenge to get very worked up one way or the other about the Casio Exilim EX-V7, a camera that balances out to be an almost perfectly average point-and-shoot.

On the plus side, the Casio Exilim EX-V7's 7x zoom lens covers a lot of territory, and the camera's battery life of almost 1,195 shots per charge is exceptional for its class.

Throw in a few points, too, for the Casio Exilim EX-V7's full range of manual exposure controls, a rarity in this category. And the Casio looks smart, available in black or silver.

On the mildly annoying side, there's the Casio Exilim EX-V7's zoom slider control, which is awkwardly placed adjacent and vertical to the LCD screen.

Also, image stabilisation proved too ineffective in most situations. And the Casio Exilim EX-V7's plastic docking cradle, required to recharge the battery, will take up more room in a suitcase than most folks would care to sacrifice.

Overall, the Casio Exilim EX-V7's image quality was average for its class, with some loss of detail and mild exposure issues.

The colour and flash quality of shots produced by the Casio Exilim EX-V7 were rated as Good, but image quality garnered only a Fair rating in lab tests.

OUR VERDICT

With some retailers selling the Casio Exilim EX-V7 at heavy discounts, you can get a lot of camera for your money. Just don't expect to develop a passionate attachment to it.