Casio Exilim EX-S600 review
A Great Camera with excellent features and ergonomics.
Turns on very quickly. Very short shutter delay. 35 camera presets (called Best Shot) are easy to understand and use and put the camera into a mode that is actually useful. You can store personal camera setups if desired. Picture quality is adequate for an extremely tiny, ultimately portable camera.
MPEG4 video uses M4S2 codec; fabulous quality. Plays well with Windows Media Player 9. (Crashes QuickTime Player, but you can download Window Media Player elements from Microsoft.) 1 hr of 483kbps 640x480 @ 30fps HQ video on a 2gb SD card. 2 hrs of 256kbps 640x480x30fps in Normal, 4 hrs (more, actually) of 92kbps video at 320x240x15fps. Video is difficult to import into pro editing systems like Vegas to edit, though. Need to convert it first for editing. Can open with Windows Movie Maker and render out as DV. Can edit in iMovie on a Mac if inexpensive flip4mac plugin is purchased and installed.
Can go from still mode into movie recording instantly if desired. Cannot zoom during shooting movies but can select a focal length first (and other camera functions like saturation, sharpness, etc), then shoot movies. These settings can be saved as a user "best shot."
Great feature: the “Past Movie” mode that buffers 5 seconds of video BEFORE you press the Record button so you don’t miss the action. This is a very cool feature. Video auto exposure, focus and color balance are good in almost any light.
Audio recording: a 2 GB card will record 60+ hours (yes, sixty) mono, 4 bit. Would work great for meetings. It gets up and recording very quickly. There is an elapsed/remaining recording time readout. (This feature works for video recording also.) During recording the LCD blanks out to preserve battery, but a blinking LED reminds you it's recording.
An amazing Photoshop capability is built into this tiny camera: it has keystone correction for squaring up business cards or pictures shot at an angle.
Flat battery is easy to store when carrying a spare. Cradle attaches power and USB2 so you don’t have to remove card or battery to transfer files or recharge. Cradle works very well. Recharges fast. Battery lasts a long time.
This camera is perfect for the less than camera/computer literate person but also performs well for the guy who knows what he’s doing.
The Best Shot feature actually brings the text from the manual onto the LCD to explain how the preset will work ("Infinity focus, slow shutter for night scenes" "Macro with enhanced color for shooting food," etc). Large, sharp LCD, visible in daylight, but a little dim.
Ergonomics are well laid out. Metal body is very small. But it's also very smooth and slippery. I superglued 1/2" diameter rubbber spots on front and back to supply a small rubber grip surface.
Image stabilization works very well, especially in movie mode; also helps those longer handheld exposures to be sharper. Movies are remarkably stable as if on a tripod.
I love this camera. Everyone I show it to loves it and wants it. I thought my Minolta DiMage 50 was great. This Casio Exilim S600 is better, smaller and more capable. I don’t know how they do it.
Got it for $266 delivered, less chip, carrying case and extra battery. Takes great stills and great movies.
Almost none. Can't figure out how to control "flash intensity" with the left/right keys so I can adjust amount of fill flash outdoors. I can adjust it by drilling down into the menu but cannot shortcut that function to the left/right keys so I can change flash amount in a hurry.
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