Cameras don’t have to be big and bulky to have take great pictures. Digital cameras have come a long way, and the trend is moving toward smaller more compact cameras. Even though they don’t have interchangeable lenses and big zooms, you can still take a very high quality picture with these little cameras. One such camera is the Casio Exilim digital camera. This camera has about the same dimensions as a deck of cards.
- 6 Megapixel CCD
- 2.2-inch LCD
- 3X optical zoom
- Stainless steel thin body
The Casio Exilim digital camera actually comes in three flavors, and each has its own benefits. The Exilim Card is thin, lightweight and very simple to use. The Exilim Zoom is slightly bigger than the Exilim Card, but it gives you a higher pixel count and longer zoom. The Exilim is completely different than the others, in design. It does not offer as many pixels as the others but it has more professional features. The camera that I am reviewing is the Exilim Card.
The Casio Exilim Card features things like a 5.5 to 6.0 Megapixel CCD, 2.2-inch LCD, SD Card slot, Rechargeable lithium ion battery and a sturdy stainless steel body.
It also has Unlimited movie recording. It is a pain to have to carry around both a video camera and a digital camera, but with unlimited movie recording you don’t have too. This is a feature that every digital camera should have. It seems like all cameras have some kind of video ability, but most are limited to 30 seconds in length. Even my really expensive Canon Powershot G6 can only take 30 seconds of video at a time. This Casio Exilim will record until the memory is all used up. This is great because it gives you full control and you never know when you will need more than 30 seconds of video.
This camera comes with several pieces of software. Photo Loader is a program that simply transfers the pictures from your camera to your computer. Photohands includes retouching tools for adjusting image color, contrast, and brightness, for resizing images, and for changing image orientation. Ulead Movie Wizard is for editing the movies taken with this camera.
The camera comes with a docking cradle. The cradle doubles as a way to connect the camera to a printer or computer with USB, and a battery charger. The only other way to transfer pictures to your computer is to take the card out of the camera and put it into a card reader. If you use the built-in memory to store images then you must use the cradle to get the images out of the camera. It is not very common to see a camera include writable internal memory. This camera comes with approx. 8.3 MB of me
mory. This is enough to store about 2 high quality pictures.
The Casio Exilim card is designed very well. When you first pick it up you will notice that it is put together in a way that makes it feel tough. You are not going to want to drop it, but it feels like it could survive a couple bumps. The camera comes in three different colors: orange, blue and silver. The colors are not interchangeable, but you at least get a choice when you buy it.
The front of the camera is dominated by the lens. The lens has a built in lens cover. The lens cover opens and the lens itself extends out when you turn on the camera. When you zoom in or out you will see the lens adjust its length. Because the camera only has a 3X zoom the lens does not adjust very much. To the left of the lens is the AF (auto focus) assist lamp/Self-timer lamp. This is basically a bright orange light that either helps the camera focus or lets you know when the Self-timer is turned on. To the left of the lamp is the flash.
The top of the camera is simple and contains the shutter and power buttons.
The back of the Casio Exilim is basically the LCD screen with a couple of buttons on the side. The screen easily takes up two thirds of the back. There is no view finder, so you have no choice but to use the LCD screen to frame your picture. Directly above the screen is a light and three buttons. These buttons are the Play, Rec, and movie buttons. If you press the play button the screen displays the pictures and movies that are stored in the camera. If the camera was off when you pressed the button then the lens does not extend. The REC button functions just like the power button, when you press it the camera turns on and is ready for use. The Movie button only works when the camera is on, and it starts the movie recording. To the right of those buttons are two more buttons. These are the zoom buttons. The one on the right zooms in and the one on the left zooms out. To the right of these buttons is a hole for a wrist strap. To the right of the screen is a speaker, and several buttons. The first two buttons are the menu (top) and BEST SHOT (bottom) buttons. The menu button takes you into the vast menu that is available in this camera. You can adjust everything from the quality of the picture, sounds, language, date format and everything else you could think of. The BEST SHOT button is exclusive to the Casio cameras and when you press it you see a list of different types of pictures that you might take. Some of the options are: Portrait, Scenery, Children and Sports. There are 34 different options in this screen. Choosing one of these will automatically set the cameras apature, ISO level and other settings so that the picture you take is the best for your situation. To the right of these buttons are more buttons. These buttons, big square, are mostly used for navigating the menus, and selecting options. Pressing up on the buttons when in picture taking mode the screen will show the color chart. Pressing the down button when in play mode will give you the delete options.
The bottom of the camera has a tripod hole, SD card and battery slot.
This camera does not take the best pictures I have ever seen. At 6 Megapixels you are sure to get a high quality picture, but with only a 3X zoom you will really need to be close to all your subjects. The camera has a digital zoom, but I always turn it off as soon as I get a camera. This is one of the most useless features that any camera could have. I turn it off so that I don’t accidentally use it. I took a couple pictures with this camera and then took similar pictures with my Canon PowerShot G6. I know that these cameras are not even in the same class, but it is a good reference. Below you will see a small cropped version of each image that shows the image at its full size. You can clearly see that the G6 takes a much better picture, but for its size the Exilim does a really good job. You can hardly tell the difference when you shrink the image down to the size of a photograph.
Warranty and Support
Casio warranties this camera for 1 year. Like I say in all the reviews, this is weak. I wish companies would stand by the products that they make. The software is warrantied for 90 days.
For a camera this small I am really impressed. This would be perfect for taking to a convention, amusement park or anywhere else. This camera is perfect for putting in your pocket and taking out for a quick picture. The retail price of this camera is $399, but even on the Casio website you can get one for $349.99. Looking around a bit you can probably find it cheaper. I believe that you will be very happy with this camera.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|