The compact Casio EXILIM EX-Z280 is based around the latest iteration of Casio’s EXILIM Engine image processor series, the Casio EXILIM Engine 4.0. Said to offer 30% lower power consumption, this dual-CPU processor includes one CPU that’s dedicated solely to image processing – and the power on offer in the Casio Z280 is such that Casio is able to offer some really unusual features, such as the ability to crop a moving subject from several still image frames, and then overlay it on a prerecorded background. Other functionality attributed to the new image processor includes the Casio Z280’s Handheld Night Scene mode aimed at fighting image blur and poor exposure in low-light shots, a Makeup function that offers twelve-step control over softening of the subject’s complexion and facial shadows, and finally a Tracking Autofocus function said to offer improved accuracy even after the subject briefly exits the image frame altogether.
The Casio EXILIM Z280 is based around a 1/2.3″-type 12.1 effective megapixel CCD image sensor and an EXILIM-branded 4x optical zoom lens with a generous 26mm wide-angle. The Casio EX-Z280’s CCD is mounted on a sensor-shift mechanism, providing true mechanical image stabilization. A 2.7-inch LCD display with a rather low 114,960 dot resolution offers the EX-Z280’s only option for framing and reviewing images, as there’s no optical viewfinder on this model. The Casio EX-Z280 records twelve megapixel still images or movies at up to 720p (1280 x 720 pixel) resolution on SD / MMC cards including the newer SDHC types, or in 35.7MB of built-in memory. The Z280 also offers both USB 2.0 High Speed and NTSC / PAL video connectivity. Power comes from a proprietary NP-80 Lithium Ion battery.
The Casio EX-Z280 is available immediately, with pricing of about $180.