Sunday, October 4, 2009

Casio Exilim EX-S12 Digital Camera Review

NOTE: All the pictures in this Review were taken by me, Joanna Smith, and are protected by Copyright.

NOTE: None of my images have been altered, corrected, or manipulated in any way, they are right off the camera, except for being resized for the web.

The Holidays are such a festive time and families around the world are going to be celebrating the Holidays each in their own unique ways. Capturing your holiday memories is a tradition in many homes and you want to have a camera that is reliable, easy to use and takes great pictures, right? Whether you are in the market to replace your current camera, or maybe you want to give someone special in your life an ultra cool camera as a holiday gift, then the Casio Exilim EX-S12 is the perfect camera to consider getting. I was given the extreme privilege to review the Casio Exilim EX-S12 12.1 Mega Pixel digital camera and I am blown away by everything about it! It is a sleek, ultra slim digital camera that is so easy to use that you can literally begin capturing pictures almost immediately from when you open the box, all you have to do is charge the battery and you are on your way to taking some really amazing images!

It took about an hour or so to fully charge the camera battery, the instructions said 90 minutes to charge, but it fully charged in less time which was great. It comes with a rechargeable lithium ion battery and charger unit so you NEVER have to go out and purchase batteries, now how cool is that?! The Quick Start Guide that comes with the camera made it a "snap" for me to quickly and effortlessly insert the battery into the camera, turn it on, and begin the exciting task of capturing some pictures! It took me a second to go to the Set Up portion of the Menu on the camera and enter in the accurate date and time. Once I completed that, I immediately began taking some pictures around the house.

Once I felt comfortable using the zoom and wide angle options located at the top of the camera and captured some pictures with and without the flash, I experimented with scrolling up and down the camera menu to familiarize myself with all of this camera's numerous options. Now it was time to really get to know this dreamy camera. By the way, the first 4 pictures you are seeing in this review were taken without even opening the camera manual. YES, this camera is that easy peasy to use!! That is the JOY of this nifty camera, anyone can use it, you do not have to be a saavy technie gadget guru to capture professional quality images, you can amazingly achieve them with just turning the camera on, and clicking the shutter button! Here are a few more gorgeous pictures!

I used a standard memory card to store my pictures on. It's a 2 GB memory card and it will easy hold over 100 images from this camera. I captured these pictures using the largest file size option which is 12.1 mega pixels and these images can be printed up to poster size without losing image quality. The saved data file sizes varies and my files in their original format were between 2.0 - 3.5 MB which I then resized for the web down to about 92 KB.

Before I tell you more about my experiences with this magnificent camera, let me provide you with some specific information directly from the Casio website about this camera and give you a glimpse of how many different terrific features you can use on this camera:

{From the Casio Website} NOTE: Pictures & Graphic in this Section are from Casio Website

The Casio Exilim EX-S12 has a stylish body measuring just .6" thin (.5" at the thinnest part). It boasts an effective 12.1 megapixel resolution with up to 3X optical zoom and 4X Digital zoom and a super clear 2.7" LCD monitor.

The Casio Exilim lineup of Digital Cameras is an unparalleled fusion of technology and style. Groundbreaking features like High Speed Burst digital photos and High Definition (HD) Movies make it easy for you to capture the best memories.

So Slim, So Beautiful

The EXILIM EX-S12 is the perfect combination of design and technology in an ultra-slim format. The camera, which is as slim as it is elegant, is equipped with amazing functions, such as the new EXILIM engine 4.0, 12.1 megapixels, an extremely bright and high-contrast 6.9-cm wide-screen TFT display (super clear LCD), HD video recording and 3x optical zoom — all this and still just 15 mm wide.

EXILIM Engine 4.0

EXtreme Power

Backlight, portrait photos, night-time photos and poor lighting conditions - the new EXILIM Engine 4.0 image processor enables you to overcome all these challenges. The EXILIM Engine 4.0 processes complex images very quickly and ensures excellent image quality with moiré and noise suppression, making it a pleasure to take and view excellent photos.

3x Optical Zoom

The EX-S12 is as slim as your little finger — yet it still features 3x optical zoom. With it you can home in on beautiful details and stay in the thick of the action.

12.1 megapixels
Impossible to ignore

The EX-S12 CCD chip offers an amazing 12.1 megapixels. The camera delivers crystal-clear and extremely detailed photos. Even magnifying details and photos to poster size is not a problem — outstanding quality and no loss of image detail.

Bright and high-contrast 6.7 cm (2.7 inch) TFT colour display (Super Clear LCD)
Total clarity

The EXILIM EX-S12 features a large, bright 6.9 cm (2.7 inch) TFT colour display (Super Clear LCD) that permits viewing from almost any angle. In addition to the large viewing angle and a high resolution of 230.160 pixels, the TFT colour display provides above-average contrast, thus assuring an especially clear and sharp image of your subject. The display offers above-average brightness to simplify viewing of your images even in sunlight. You can select from 5 presets to match the brightness to the ambient lighting conditions: 0/+1/+2/Auto1/Auto2

Memory card slot
However you want

The EX-S12 can save your photos and movies on SD/SDHC, MMC/MMCplus or Eye-Fi Wireless Zooms as desired. You can now decide which of these optional Zooms to use spontaneously and flexibly.

AV Socket
TV show instead of slide lecture

Invite your friends and relations to enjoy the best movies and photos in large-scale format. You simply connect your EXILIM Card EX-S12 to a TV using the AV output.

HD Video Recording
Ready for the movies!

You can now film your videos in high-definition quality*! Using the HD Movie Function in the EXILIM EX-S12, you can make colourful and high-detail videos with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels – simply press the movie button and recording begins. Moreover, the 16:09 wide-screen format gives your video clips an expressive, professionally filmed character.

*Max. recording duration of 10 minutes/video

Movie Button

With this practical button you are always ready to film the best scenes When the camera is switched on a touch of a button is enough – and filming begins immediately.

Pre-record Mode
Do you want to film the past?

Pre-record can do just that! If you do not press the shutter release on time in important moments, the past 5 seconds will already have been saved!
How does Pre-record work? In this mode, the camera is constantly making recordings - and when you press the shutter release, the last 5 seconds are added to your current recording.

Movie Editing Function
Your own cutting room

Cut your films whenever and wherever you like – without computer or complicated software. With the EXILIM EX-S12 you can edit your movies directly in the camera.

YouTube™ Capture Mode
Share your videos with your friends!

It has never been easier to upload your own videos to YouTube™: With the EX-S12, you can film* your most memorable moments directly in a video size and quality optimised for YouTube™! The exclusive software makes uploading** your videos to YouTube™ child's play.

*Max. recording duration of 10 minutes/video
** To upload your videos, you need an Internet connection. This may entail additional costs.

Make-up Mode
Feel like a model

The EXILIM Card EX-S12 also features a Make-up Mode Function for especially appealing portrait photographs. The outstanding image processing makes the skin on faces appear smoother and softens facial shadows caused by strong sunlight or illumination. You can select from twelve levels as desired – from minimum to maximum – and observe the effect on the TFT colour display while taking the photo. The EX-S12 has a separate "Make-up Mode Button" to activate or de-activate the function quickly.

Find out more about the Make-up Mode Function

Dynamic Photo Function
Discover the artist in you

With the Dynamic Photo Function, you can cut a motif out of a photo which has just been taken and use another photo as background. You can even cut out several photos from series shot and insert them to show a moving object on a still background. Create a unique image where only the motif moves – with no editing on the computer.

Multi-Motion Function
Always on the move

The BEST SHOT function Multi-Motion-Image enables you to capture a movement sequence in just one single photo. Take a photo of the moving motif in front of a still background. This motif is photographed in a series of images which are compiled to one single picture by the new EXILIM Engine 4.0. This enables you to capture movements such as a snowboarding jump from the launch to the landing on one single photo.

Lighting Function
Rich colours

The EX-S12 can recognize and correct difficult light situations: the light function optimizes the brightness of faces automatically even in scenes with backlight simply by pressing the release button. Even the sky or buildings in the background that are subject to overexposure are rendered in full colour.

Advanced Auto Tracking AF Function
Everything in view

Dogs running, kids jumping around, moving cars - there are countless examples of moving subjects, which can try the patience of even professional photographers. Thanks to the Auto Tracking AF function with motion analysis, you can relax and concentrate on the overall subject. Press the release button half way down, to fix the focus for saving – as soon as you see the picture you want, simply press release!

BEST SHOT motif programmes
You don't need to be an expert to create great photos

You don't need to be an expert to create great photos: To ensure that all your photos and movies are a success from the start, the EX-S12 comes with 41 flexible presettings for a wide range of situations. With BEST SHOT, you can also create and save your own settings, which can be selected at any time.

Almost all BEST SHOT programmes offered by the EX-S12 are designed for both photo and movie recording.

Overview of all BEST SHOT motif programmes

Face Detection Function
The simple touch

Whether you're on holiday, at a party or spending time with your family - people are particularly popular subjects for a photo. It's always a pity when faces turn out blurred on a picture. The Face Detection function now offers the perfect solution, recognizing the individual faces or even entire groups, and automatically applying the best possible setting.


With trimming you can define sections of a photo while they are still in the camera and save them as separate shots. And so, for example, you can just cut a person's face and print it out as a photo - even without a computer.

Various Flash
The flash for every situation

You can adapt the flash of the EXILIM Card EX-S12 to different situations. The following presets are available for this:

• Red Eye-Reduction: reduces the "red eye effect"
• Rapid Flash: three photos with flash in 1 second
• Soft Flash: for ideal illumination of the immediate area
• Auto: flash is switched on automatically when required
• On: flash always switched on
• Off: flash always switched off

Auto Shutter Function
Enjoy the moment

Blurred images are usually the result of an unsteady camera action or subjects that move while the release button is being pressed. EXILIM offers a simple solution to the problem of blurred or shaky photos: The new Auto Shutter function can automatically determine the perfect moment to take a photo.

Working in conjunction with the Anti Blur Auto Shutter, Pan Auto Shutter, Smile Detection Auto Shutter and Self Portrait Auto Shutter functions, the new technology ensures rapid focus and takes the photo automatically when the image is steady, so the result is not impaired.

Anti Blur Auto Shutter
Hold it there!

The practical Anti Blur Auto Shutter function helps prevent shaking and blurring caused by movement; it does this by taking the photograph at the precise moment when your hand or the moving subject becomes still.

Pan Auto Shutter
Always on the move

Fast-moving subjects are hard to capture on camera. When you activate the Pan Auto Shutter function, the photo is automatically triggered as soon as the moving subject becomes still in the frame, e.g. when you follow it with the camera.

Smile Detection Auto Shutter
No smile, no photo!

Smile and the world smiles with you! The innovative Smile Detection Auto Shutter function ensures that you will never again miss that smile when taking photos. Press the release button as soon as you have the faces in the frame. The photo will then be taken, fully automatically, once the subjects are smiling.

Self Portrait Auto Shutter
Are we all in the photo?

Totally practical: the Self Portrait Auto Shutter function enables the camera to recognise faces. Once the release button is pressed, the camera prepares to take the photo and automatically does so once the faces of the subjects are located within the frame.

{End of Information from Casio Website}

NOTE: The Pictures in this Section were all taken by me, Joanna Smith and are protected by Copyright

NOTE: None of my images have been altered, corrected, or manipulated in any way, they are right off the camera, except for being resized for the web.

I love the flexibility of being able to access the zoom and wide lens mode at the very top of the camera. In addition, there is a macro mode option you can set from the Menu on the camera if you want to get ultra close to something. I have not had a chance to play with that function yet, but I wanted to include that this special feature is available.

As you can see, this camera delivers a powerful punch with pictures that will make your eyes pop, but it is small in size which makes it so super convenient to just toss in your purse so you always have it handy for those one in a life time moments! Also, for traveling, how convenient it will be to be able to not have to carry around a heavy, bulky clumsy camera. You will love the weight and size of it no doubt!

When I was in college I was very passionate about Photography and took several Photography courses. I loved taking photos of the simple things that you see in your everyday life like the chair in your bedroom or the shelf in your dining room and try and create images that were artistic and shown in a unique perspective. Here are a couple pictures that the Casio Exilim EX-S12 was able to allow me to capture without any effort, just my "creative" eye.

As I was using the Casio Exilim EX-S12 Camera I was checking the LCD after each shot to see what I had captured. I found the size of the LCD was perfect for being able to easily view my shot and to decide whether or not I wanted to keep it. I can also use the Play button on the camera to scroll through the pictures I have taken and I can quickly and easily delete any that are mistakes or just didn't come out the way I wanted them to, and I love how simple this is to achieve on this camera.

Over the years I have every kind of camera you can think of. One time use film cameras, point and shoot film cameras, the APS film cameras, and high end profession films cameras. Then along came Digital Technology and I quickly and enthusiastically made the transition to digital. I have numerous low end digital cameras as well as two very high end Professional Digital cameras. I have to say this Casio Exilim EX-S12 has to be the most user friendly, ergonomically designed digital camera I have used to date. I do not endorse my highest recommendation easily, but when a camera offers me the chance to capture pictures like these without even having to use the manual, then it is a camera I highly recommend to anyone who is considering purchasing a new digital camera.

I wanted to make this review all about my first "out of the box" experience with the Casio Exilim EX-S12 camera. I felt I wanted to emphasize how anyone can create professional quality pictures even if they feel they are technologically challenged. This camera will please everyone from the beginner or novice person to the more advanced user or Prosumer. The bottom line is this camera captures spectacular images and even has the capability to create videos, and that is what makes this camera so appealing. Capture those candid moments of your loved ones, or bring this camera with you when you go on vacation because you will be able to document all the activities you do and all the places that you visit and experience. The fact that you will indeed end up with professional quality images when using this camera is what I wanted to communicate with you through this review.

I am planning to make enlargements of several of the pictures I took with this camera that you also see in this review. The original files are 12.1 mega pixels which means I can make these images up to poster size if I want without sacrificing on image quality. I don't think I will enlarge them quite that much, but I think an 8 x 10 is a nice size for framing a grouping of them and putting them up in our den. Imagine all the possibilities you could create with this camera. This camera retails for $249.00 which I think is a terrific price. A camera that offers the number of features that this one offers, and end up with the caliber of professional looking output that this camera delivers is incredible. This camera performs like no other camera I have used in this modest price range. It has been a pleasure using this camera and I can't wait to explore all of its features in the coming weeks!

A special THANK YOU to Casio for providing me with this camera to Review. Registered & Protected


C said...

Great review. I've always liked Casio camera's & the photos you took are quite nice, especially for right out of the box. I'll be shopping for a camera this Christmas & will definitely keep this one in mind.

Angela C said...

I am looking to buy a new camera, thanks for the review!