Casio EXILIM EX-S600
When it comes to ultra slim cameras, Casio and its sleek and sexy EXILIM line have long been at the forefront of the photo industry. While just about all of its competitors have been making waves recently their with own ultra slim models (the popular Nikon Coolpix “S” series comes to mind), Casio continues to churn out new sliver-sized cameras with capable feature-sets in its EXILIM “Card” line. One of the latest is the six-megapixel Casio EXILIM EX-S600.
If you haven’t seen a Casio slim camera in a while, it’s easy to forget how nicely crafted and solidly built these models are. The Casio EX-S600 comes in three colors — silver, orange, and blue — and has a body composed of a very sturdy metallic polycarbonate. Though it measures just 0.8 inch at its thinnest point, the EX-S600 doesn’t feel flimsy at all, with a sleek, slightly rounded design that has good balance and fits snugly in the palm of your hand. Along with the sleek design, the Casio EX-S600 has a very impressive set of features for a camera this thin, including a 3x optical zoom lens, nine-point Multi Autofocus with Contrast Detection, a new MPEG-4 movie mode with built-in camera shake reduction, a bright 2.2-inch LCD screen, incredible battery life of up to 300 pictures per charge, and 34 “Best Shot” scene modes including such unusual options as “Collection” which displays a detailed composition outline for shooting objects, and “Old Photo” which is designed to refresh faded colors of old album photos.
Though slim cameras have been immensely popular with consumers in recent years, the biggest gripe has been picture quality. Read on to find out if the Casio EXILIM EX-S600’s picture-taking ability matches its stylish, sleek design.
Casio EXILIM EX-S600 User Report
by Dan Havlik
Designer Looks. A Casio EXILIM EX-S600 test unit arrived on my doorstep at about the same time as I purchased a new Motorola RAZR V3m cell phone from Verizon Wireless, and I was amazed at how strikingly similar in size and design these two models are. The RAZR, of course, is one of the most popular mobile phones on the market, so the EX-S600 is certainly in good company.
EXILIM vs. RAZR. There are design similarities between the Casio EXILIM EX-600 and the popular RAZR V3m mobile phone from Motorola.
The EX-S600 I tried out was the “blue” version which is actually an attractive metallic bluish-grey color which the “metrosexual” in me says also might have a hint of lavender. (Sorry, maybe I’ve been watching too many Fab Five reruns on Bravo lately.) Though it’s made mostly of polycarbonate, there are nice silver metal accents on the Casio EX-S600 around the lens and across the faceplate including a solid metal fingergrip and raised metal lettering spelling out the EXILIM name. The metal accents are picked up in a silver band that runs across most of the top of the camera, and in the metal zoom rocker, multi-controller, and various buttons on the back.
At 3.5 x 2.2 x 0.8 inches (89 x 57 x 21 millimeters), the Casio EX-S600 is one of the slimmest cameras I’ve tested. Though it doesn’t have the nice wave-like ergonomics of the Nikon S5 and S6, the EX-S600 doesn’t suffer from some of the design flaws I experienced with those models, namely accidentally getting my finger in the shot. In contrast to the S5 and S6, which have the lens placed precariously in the top right corner of the camera, the Casio’s lens is set toward the middle right of the faceplate and, consequently, out of the way of errant fingers. The main difference between the S-Series Coolpix models from Nikon and the Casio EX-S600 is that the Casio does not use folded optics so the lens will extend out about an inch when powered on. On the Nikon S-Series models, folded optics allows the camera body to stay flat even at full zoom.