My review of Casio Exilim EX-S500

Discussion in 'Casio' started by David Arnstein, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. I bought this camera on Amazon.com and submitted a review to that site.
    I would characterize this camera as a bit of a project: I am currently
    experimenting with its settings, and trying to find ways to improve
    its image quality. So any comments from other EX-S500 users will be
    welcome!

    This is the review I wrote:

    Here is the good the Exilim is very compact and nicely made. I
    like the way it can be programmed to remember all (that I could find)
    of its many settings. This is really important: it means that you can
    whip out the camera and begin shooting immediately, with your preferred
    settings. The delay for autofocus/autoexposure is among the best of the
    tiny cameras. The flash is reasonably strong for such a tiny camera.
    You can choose how the camera focuses: automatic, manual, macro/automatic,
    pan, and infinity. There are many clever features, such as the capability
    to remove the "keystone effect" distortion when photographing a business
    card or other rectangular document. The user interface is excellent,
    and this is important in a product that offers so many features and
    options. Another advantage of the Exilim is that Casio sells some pretty
    good cases for this camera. I chose to buy an especially form-fitting
    case from Semson; I don't think that Amazon.com carries it. For a camera
    this small, you really want to carry it with you all of the time. A
    small but protective case is an advantage. Oddly enough, many competing
    cameras cannot be matched with one.

    Now here is the bad news, and there is no getting around it. The picture
    quality borders on "bad." I compared pictures from the Exilim with my
    old Canon SD10, which is similar in size. The Canon gave me much sharper
    images, better colors, and more detail. The fuzziness of the Exilim
    pictures was quite striking when I photographed some book covers. The
    letters printed on the books were razor sharp in the Canon images, but
    not so in the Exilim images. Since the Canon has less resolution than
    the Exilim, I postprocessed the Exilim pictures to reduce the resolution
    to that of the Canon (5 Mpixel -> 4 Mpixel). The Canon images still
    looked sharper. The Exilim produces skin colors that are often quite
    unattractive. I have been experimenting with postprocessing software;
    this is promising.

    The autofocus will fail if pointed at a dark colored object, or a flat
    object that is at an angle to the camera. In such cases, you can use
    the pan focus setting though. My experience here is with the autofocus
    area set to "spot." It can also be set to "multi," but I haven't
    experimented with this yet.

    The macro capability of the Exilim is not great. You cannot get very
    close to your subject, even at the wide angle zoom setting. Switching
    to manual focus and crossing your fingers might help, I am still
    experimenting with this.

    The flash sometimes washes out detail in pictures due to excessive power.
    This occurs very frequently in close-up shots. This problem can be
    addressed by reducing the flash intensity, but this is an extra chore
    for the photographer; it is not automatic.

    Amazon.com shows that the Canon SD30 will be available October 10. My
    advice is to wait for that model to appear before committing to the
    Exilim. In fact, if you want to save some money, the Canon SD20 might
    be for you. If it is like the SD10, it will be slower than the Exilim,
    and it will have a weaker flash. It will also lack optical zoom. But
    you will get solidly better pictures with the Canon. That should count
    for something!
     
    David Arnstein, Aug 25, 2005
    #1
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  2. David Arnstein

    Ed Lowe Guest

    Gosh, you're wonderful.
     
    Ed Lowe, Aug 25, 2005
    #2
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  3. David Arnstein

    Joe Yong Guest

    Nice review, thanks!! I was on the verge of getting one of these though I'm
    a really a Canon fan. Just really attracted to the slimness of the Exilim
    which fits nicely in my pocket. Guess I'll stick to Canon though they're a
    little bigger. Have always been happy with their image quality.


    joe.
     
    Joe Yong, Mar 4, 2006
    #3
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