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Casio Exilim Card EX-S12 review

Ben Pitt
19 Oct 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
150
inc VAT

A smart, slim design on the outside, but there's little going on inside to make this camera stand out.

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Specifications

1/2.3in 12.0-megapixel sensor, 3.0x zoom (36-108mm equivalent), 112g

We care more about how a camera performs than what it looks like, but there's something charming about the growing trend for fun paint jobs.

The S12, which turned up for review in racing green, is one of our favourites. It helps that its aluminium body is also incredibly slim at just 15mm from front to back. If green doesn't appeal, the S12 is also available in black, silver or golden-pink.

The downside of this ultra-compact design is that there isn't much room for controls. Five buttons and a navigation pad are squeezed in next to the 2.7in screen, but people with large thumbs will find them awkward. The menu system could be more intuitive, too. One option, labelled Quick Shutter, makes the camera take an out-of-focus shot unless the user half-presses the shutter button first. Bizarrely, this disaster-prone feature is on by default. Manual exposure controls are absent, but there's a huge assortment of scene modes and other entertaining ways to tinker with picture quality.

A fun point-and-shoot camera still needs to take attractive photos without keeping the user waiting. Autofocus times were quick, but we measured a lethargic four seconds between shots. Continuous shooting mode was barely any faster. Colour reproduction was rich, but the 12-megapixel images had no more detail than some 8-megapixel cameras. Chromatic aberrations towards the edges of photos produced discolouration of high-contrast lines and an indistinct haze elsewhere. Low-light shots looked like they had been left out in the rain, with washed-out fine details, although they looked fine when resized for the web. The lack of image stabilisation is disappointing, and so too is the basic 3x zoom range, but the competent 720p HD video mode is a welcome bonus.

Overall, image quality is typical for the price, but this camera can't compete with Fujifilm's similarly priced F100fd.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
CCD effective megapixels12.0 megapixels
CCD size1/2.3in
Viewfindernone
LCD screen size2.7in
LCD screen resolution230,000 pixels
Optical zoom3.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent36-108mm
Image stabilisationnone
Maximum image resolution4,000x3,000
Maximum movie resolution1280x720
Movie frame rate at max quality24fps
File formatsJPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)

Physical

Memory slotSDHC
Mermory supplied24MB internal
Battery type3.7V 720mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested)270 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV
Body materialaluminium
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables
Weight112g
Size55x94x15mm

Buying Information

Price£150
Supplierhttp://www.dixons.co.uk
Detailswww.casio.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modesauto
Shutter speedauto
Aperture rangeauto
ISO range (at full resolution)64 to 3200
Exposure compensation+/-2 EV
White balanceauto, 6 presets, manual
Additional image controlscontrast, saturation, sharpness, dynamic range
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus10cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, centre, tracking, face detect
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer