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Casio introduces new fixed focal-length 3.2 megapixel Exilim.
By Dave Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Sunday, March 2, 2003 - 14:06 EST)

Casio today announced the EX-S3, a fixed focal length version of the zoom-equipped EX-Z3 they introduced at CES back in January.

Casio seems to have found a niche for themselves in the ultra-compact market, with their popular "Exilim" line. Today they reduced the cost of entry to the 3.2 megapixel portion of that line with the Exilim EX-S3, a fixed focal length version of the EX-Z3 we first saw at the CES show in January of this year.

Besides the obvious aspects of small size and its large (for a compact digicam) 2.0" LCD screen, what most caught my eye about the new unit was Casio's claim of shutter lag of only 0.01 second. While that must obviously be a spec for the camera when operated in "prefocused" mode (with the shutter button pressed and held halfway before the shot is taken), I'll be very interested to see how its full-AF shutter lag tests out. - I've long held that shutter lag is one of the most frequent causes of consumer dissatisfaction with digicams. I'll thus be happy to trumpet the virtues of any cameras I find with significantly shorter full-autofocus shutter lag. Stay tuned, I'll be getting my hands on various members of the Exilim family in the near future to run them through my shutter lag test sequence.

Meanwhile, here's a collection of images of the new EX-S3, a couple I shot (under horrible lighting conditions) at last night's Digital Focus event...

Copyright (c) 2003, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
EX-S3 Front

Copyright (c) 2003, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
EX-S3 Back
Copyright (c) 2003, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
EX-S3 in docking station
Copyright (c) 2003, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Exilim Multi-Chip Module Comparison

Original Source Press Release:

CASIO, INC. DEBUTS THE NEW 3.2 MEGAPIXEL EXILIM EX-S3 - A THIN, CARD-SIZED DIGITAL CAMERA WITH LARGE LCD MONITOR SCREEN

LAS VEGAS, NV, March 2, 2003 – Casio, Inc., Dover, NJ, in conjunction with Casio Computer Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, announced at the Photo Marketing Association Show that opened in the Las Vegas Convention Center today, the new EXILIM EX-S3 Digital Camera that packs 3.2 million effective pixels and a 2.0-inch LCD monitor screen into an .46 inch thin configuration. The EX-S3 is the latest addition to the EXILIM™ Series of card-sized digital cameras and is on display at Casio’s Booth # L160. The EX-S3 will be available at retail in April, with an MSRP of $349.99.

The new EXILIM EX-S3 is equipped with a 3.2 megapixel CCD for high-resolution, clear images, and a 2.0-inch LCD monitor screen for composing and viewing images. All features are packed in a thin and stylish design. A lens barrier protects the lens from impact and dust by opening and closing whenever the camera is turned on and off. The case is made of lightweight magnesium alloy, with a body that weighs a mere 2.54 oz (without battery). High-speed startup minimizes the time until the camera is ready to shoot after being turned on and a 0.01 release time lag records the image virtually as soon as you press the shutter release button. This means that you are able to record all of those special moments, whenever they happen.

"There’s no doubt about it, the EXILIM has captured the imagination of the American public. From Main Street to Seventh Avenue, consumers and top name designers have selected the EXILIM as their camera of choice," said John Clough, president of Casio, Inc. "We’re picking up the pace and have added the EX-S3 3.2 megapixel camera to the EXILIM line and the initial reaction has been overwhelming." Clough attributes the success of the product to its compact size, sleek design and ease of operation. "With four different EXILIM cameras to choose from, there’s one to fit every photographic need and budget," Clough added.

 

 

EXILIM EX-S3 FEATURES

  • Slim and stylish card-size configuration

The stylish card-size configuration measures 3.52" (L) x 2.24" (W) x .46 (D). Everything is packed into a 2.54 oz. (without battery)* lightweight magnesium alloy case so you can take

it anywhere.

*The weight of just 2.54 oz. is one of the world’s lightest among the 3 megapixel class of digital cameras as of March 2, 2003.

Hyper CCD-Lens integration (HCLi) incorporates both the lens and CCD into a single module, and Stack MCM** (Multi-Chip Module) mounting makes it possible to achieve a higher degree of mounting density in a smaller space by stacking the chips vertically. The lens is protected against impact and dirt by a lens barrier that opens and closes automatically when the camera is turned on and off.

**Requires 40% less space than the MCM area of the 2 megapixel EX-S2/M2.

  • Quick response ensures you get the images you want

Start up control processes* are optimized to ensure high-speed operation. An original LSI system minimizes power up time. This plus the world’s fastest** release time lag (0.01 second) helps to ensure that you are able to capture that special moment as it happens.

*Start-up time on recording mode is about 1 second (with flash off, LCD on, no splash screen and using internal memory)

** As of March 2, 2003

  • Big 2.0-inch LCD monitor screen

The big 2.0-inch TFT LCD monitor screen of the EX-S3 features a digital interface for a clearer display of images and makes image viewing easier and more enjoyable. The monitor screen can be used to arrange images, and a collection of display features help to make image viewing simpler and more fun than ever before.

  • Photo Stand Feature

Placing the EX-S3 onto its cradle and pressing the Photo button starts a slideshow of images currently in memory. You can even set up the camera to display the images you want whenever it is placed on the cradle.

  • Calendar Screen

Each date of the full month calendar screen shows a thumbnail of the first image recorded on each date. This visual diary of images makes it possible for you to quickly search for and locate the image you want.

  • High-resolution, high-sensitivity CCD for clear images

3.2 million effective pixels and a high-resolution, high-sensitivity 1/1.8-inch progressive CCD enhance flesh tones and capture rich and vibrant natural colors. Images virtually come alive with beautiful clarity.

  • Best Shot Mode for instant setups

The Best Shot Mode provides optimum camera setups in an instant. Simply select the sample scene that is similar to the image you want to record and the camera’s exposure compensation, white balance, and other settings are configured accordingly. There are a total of 15 sample scenes built in, including "Coupling Shot" and "Pre Shot."

  • Coupling Shot

When there are only two people present, Person A composes the image of Person B against a background and presses the shutter release. This freezes the image on the monitor screen. Then they switch places, and Person B composes the final image now with Person A included. The final recorded image shows both Person A and Person B, as if they were both standing in front of the camera.

  • Pre Shot

With Pre Shot, you compose the background you want and press the shutter release. This freezes the background image on the monitor screen. Then you can ask someone else to record your image, using the frozen background as a composition guide. The final recorded image shows you against the background you want.

  • Triple Self-Timer

The Triple Self-Timer records three consecutive shots with a single shutter release button operation. You can then select and keep the best of the three.

  • Useful World Time and Alarm functions

World Time lets you select one of 162 cities in 32 time zones around the world as your home time. When traveling to another time zone, simply select the applicable city, and time and date settings are adjusted automatically. A total of three independent alarms help to make sure you are on time, all the time. You can even have a specific image appear when an alarm time is reached.

  • Automatic image transfer to a computer with the press of the cradle’s USB button
  • Photo Loader

Simply connect the cradle to your computer, place the EX-S3 onto the cradle, and press the cradle’s USB button, and Photo Loader automatically transfers all JPEG and AVI files in image memory to the computer.

  • Photohands

Photohands provides you with image editing capabilities for color, contrast, brightness, and other parameters. To start up Photohands, simply click the Photo Loader print button.

  • Album feature

The EX-S3 stores images in a Web browser-viewable format that allows you to browse images in an album format. The album feature uses HTML format, which means you can incorporate an album directly into a web site and even print directly from the album.

  • SD/MMC memory card slot

In addition to its 10MB of built-in Flash Memory, the EX-S3 also supports use of thin, compact SD memory cards and MMC cards (optional and sold separately). An easy operation copies images between a memory card and built-in memory.  

  • Favorites Folder keeps important images private

320 x 240 size images can be copied to a Favorites Folder located in camera built-in memory. Images in the Favorites Folder do not display during normal image playback, which means you can keep your personal images private when carrying them around in the camera memory.

  • Key Customization

You can assign one function (recording mode, white balance, flash, etc.) each to the left-right and up-down operations of the control buttons. Once you do, you can perform the assigned function using the control button without going through the display menus.

  • ExifPrint (Exif 2.2) and PRINT Image Matching II compliant

ExifPrint (Exif 2.2) and PRINT Image Matching II support helps to make printed images look better than ever before.

  • EPSON "USB DIRECT-PRINT" compliant

You can connect the camera’s USB cable directly to an EPSON "USB DIRECT-PRINT" compatible printer for printing without going through a computer.

EXILIM EX-S3 SPECIFICATIONS

Recording Element: 1/1.8" square pixel primary color CCD (Approx. Total Pixels: 3.35 million)

Effective Pixels: 3.2 million

Image File Record Format: Still Image: JPEG (Exif. Ver. 2.2), DCF standard, DPOF compliant

Movies: AVI (Motion JPEG), Movies can include audio

Recording Media: Built-in flash memory (10MB), SD memory card/Multi Media card

Recorded Image Sizes:

Image Storage

Image Size

(Pixels)

Resolution

Approximate File Size

Approximate Memory Capacity (Images)

Built-in Memory

(10MB)

SD Memory Card*

(64MB)

2048 x 1536

Fine

1.6MB

5

34

Normal

1.2MB

7

45

Economy

630KB

14

88

1600 x 1200

Fine

1.05MB

8

53

Normal

710KB

12

79

Economy

370KB

24

154

1280 x 960

Fine

680KB

13

82

Normal

460KB

20

126

Economy

250KB

35

221

640 x 480

Fine

190KB

46

294

Normal

140KB

61

386

Economy

90KB

98

618

 

 

 

Movie With Audio

Image Size

(Pixels)

Maximum Movie Length

Approximate File Size

Approximate Memory Capacity

Built-in Memory

(10MB)

SD Memory Card*

(64MB)

320 x 240

30 seconds

130KB/second

(12 frames/second)

80 seconds

8 minutes 20 seconds

* Matsushita products. Capacity differs according to manufacturer.

Memory cards are optional and sold separately

Image Deletion: Single image; all images in memory (with memory protection)

Lens: F4.2

f = 7.1 mm; equivalent to approx. 35.0mm when converted to 35mm film

Zoom: 4x digital zoom

Focusing: Fixed Focus

Approximate Focus Range: Approx. 80 cm to ¥

Exposure Control: Metering: Multi-pattern by imaging element

Control: Program AE

Exposure Compensation: -2EV to +2EV (in 1/3EV steps)

Shutter: CCD electronic shutter/mechanical shutter; 1 to 1/6400 shutter speed

White Balance: Auto; Fixed (4 modes); Manual

Sensitivity: Auto, ISO80, ISO160, ISO320, ISO640

Recording Modes: Normal, BEST SHOT, and Movie

Self-Timer 10-second or 2-second countdown; Triple Self-timer (Shoots three images at intervals of approximately 3 seconds.)

Built-in Flash Flash Modes: Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Red Eye Reduction

Approximate Flash Range: 80 cm to 2.0 m (W)

Viewfinder: Monitor screen and optical viewfinder

Monitor Screen: 2.0-inch digital interface TFT color LCD (84,960 pixels; 354 x 240)

Playback Functions: Playback zoom (4x); Resize; Trimming; Movie Playback; Invert; Rotate;

Calendar Screen; Photo Stand (Slideshow)

Timekeeping Functions: Date and time (Current date and time is stored with image data)

Auto Calendar up to 2049

World Time: 162 cities (32 time zones); city names; date and time, daylight savings time

Other: Histogram; alarm with image; album feature; favorites folder

Input/Output Terminals: USB cradle contact terminals

Power Requirements: Special lithium ion battery

Battery Life: Up to 120 minutes for continuous playback; up to 80 minutes (480 images) for continuous recording

Dimensions: 3.52" (L) x 2.24" (W) x .46" (D) (excluding protrusions)

Weight: Approximately 2.54 oz. (excluding batteries and accessories)

Bundled Accessories: Special rechargeable lithium-ion battery; special USB cradle; special USB cable; AC adapter; strap; CD-ROM

Specifications are subject to change without notice

Casio, Inc., Dover, N.J., is the U.S. subsidiary of Casio Computer Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan. Casio, Inc., markets calculators, business organizers, handheld personal computers, keyboards, digital cameras, portable color TVs, timepieces (Wrist Technology), cash registers and other consumer electronic products. Casio, the unexpected extra – for more information visit our web site at exilim.casio.com.

Casio is a registered trademark of Casio Computer Co., Ltd. "The unexpected extra" is a trademark of Casio, Inc.

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Top 3 photos this month win:

1 $300 Adorama Gift Certificate

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