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Casio's EXILIM PRO EX-P600 digital camera. Courtesy of Casio, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Casio announces impressive 6mpix compact digicam
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, February 13, 2004 - 14:22 EST)

Tokyo, Japan-based Casio Computer Co. Ltd. and its US subsidiary yesterday announced a new digital camera model that marks quite a shift in the company's strategy and product direction.

Before the announcement, Casio's digital camera product line consisted of the QV-R series compact cameras, and the impressively slender EXILIM cameras - all fairly standard point-n-shoot cameras that make taking snapshots simple, but don't offer the photographer much in the way of manual control. The new Casio EXILIM PRO EX-P600 digital camera is quite different then, offering some rather more advanced features like a hybrid phase difference detection / contrast detection Auto Focus system, three frames per second burst mode (for six frames), Aperture and Shutter priority modes as well as a fully Manual mode, Auto Exposure Bracketing, White Balance Bracketing, Auto Focus Bracketing, manual control over sharpness, hue, saturation, and contrast, both TIFF and JPEG file formats, and a whole lot more besides. The EX-P600 has a 6.0 megapixel 1/1.8" CCD imager coupled with a Canon 4x optical zoom lens, and other interesting features include a 2.0" TFT LCD display, 10MB of built-in memory (of which about 9MB is available to store images), rechargeable Lithium Ion battery and Secure Digital / MultiMediaCard storage.

The Casio EXILIM PRO EX-P600 weighs just under eight ounces without batteries or flash card, and has dimensions of 3.84" x 2.66" x 1.78". It should be available this April at a price of $649.99.

Casio EXILIM PRO EX-P600
Casio's EXILIM PRO EX-P600 digital camera. Courtesy of Casio, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Recording Element 1/1.8-inch square pixel primary color CCD (6.37 million total pixels; 6 million effective pixels)
File Record Format
Snapshots: JPEG (Exif. Ver. 2.2), DCF standard, DPOF compliant
Movies: AVI (Motion JPEG); Audio: WAV (monaural)
Recording Medium Built-in flash memory (approx. 9MB recordable area), supports SD memory card/Multi Media card
Recorded Image Sizes
Snapshots: 2816 x 2112 / 2816 x 1872 (3:2) / 2048 x 1536 / 1600 x 1200 / 1280 x 960 / 640 x 480 pixels
Movies: 320 x 240 pixels
Resolution Fine / Normal / Economy / TIFF
Lens Canon Lens (8 lenses in 7 groups, including aspherical lens) F2.8(W) to 4.0(T); f=7.1(W) to 28.4(T)mm (equivalent to approximately 33.0 to 132.0 mm when converted to 35mm film); Lens barrier
Zoom 4X optical zoom; 4X digital zoom (16X total when optical and digital zooms are used in combination)
Focusing Phase difference sensor AF/ Contrast type AF (selectable between spot, 7-point multi, free AF area switching, continuous AF); macro mode; infinity mode; manual focus; focus lock
Approximate Focus Range 15.75 cm to 8; Macro: 3.94" to 19.69"
Exposure Control
Metering: Multi-pattern by imaging element
Control: program; aperture; shutter speed; manual exposure; AE lock
Exposure Compensation: -2EV to +2EV (in 1/3EV steps)
Shutter CCD electronic / mechanical shutter; Bulb, 60 to 1/2000 shutter speed (manual exposure)
Aperture 10 stage aperture; F2.8 to F8.0(W), F4.0/F11.1(T)
White Balance Auto; Fixed (7 modes); Manual
Recording Functions Snapshot / audio snapshot (up to 30 seconds); high-speed continuous shutter (3 shots / second, max. 6 shots); Auto Bracketing (AE/WB/AF); Multi Bracketing (color/portrait/sharpness/saturation/contrast); Macro; Best Shot, movie with audio; voice recorder
Self-timer 10 seconds or 2 seconds; Triple Self-timer; Remote control; 2 second remote control self timer
Built-in Flash Flash Modes: Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Red Eye Reduction; Approximate Range: 0.66 to 9.51 Feet(W); 0.66 to 6.56 feet (T)
Viewfinder Monitor screen and optical viewfinder
Monitor Screen 2.0-inch high-definition TFT color LCD, 115,200 pixels (480×240)
Timekeeping Functions Date and time recorded with image data; auto calendar up to 2049
World Time 162 cities (32 time zones); city names; date and time; summer time
Input/Output Terminals External power (DC IN); USB/AV connection (NTSC/PAL compliant); External flash sync terminal; microphone / speaker
Power Requirements Proprietary lithium ion rechargeable battery; AC adapter
Dimensions 3.84" (W) x 2.66" (H) x 1.78" (D) (excluding projections)
Weight Approximately 7.94 oz (excluding batteries and accessories)
Bundled Accessories Lithium Ion rechargeable battery; Battery charger; Card remote control; USB cable; AV cable; Strap; CD-ROM
Optional Accessories Conversion lens adapters (wide and tele); proprietary lithium ion battery; battery charger
.

 


 

EXILIM PRO EX-P600 MAIN FEATURES

  • 6-megapixel CCD
    Able to record photos up to a resolution of 2816 x 2112 pixels. Clearer and sharper images have been made possible by maintaining the edge of objects while reducing noise. Images can also be recorded directly from the CCD to TIFF format to avoid any degradation of picture quality.
  • Canon 4X optical zoom lens
    This lens features a high-performance 4X optical zoom with 10-stage aperture settings. Using the high-resolution offered by the 6-megapixel CCD, it is possible to get the best out of the 16X zoom lens (16X total when optical and digital zooms are used in combination). The lens has an automatic barrier for protection, and can be used in conjunction with the three commercially available Canon conversion lenses (X 0.7 / X 1.5 / close-up) to increase the camera’s flexibility.
  • Easy to use compact body
    With a high-quality and rigid stainless steel body 3.84” (W) x 2.66” (H) x 1.78” (D) (1.03” at thinnest point), the EX-P600 is the ideal compact size. The camera’s case features the “Ex Fine Blast Treatment” for stylish looks and quality feel.
  • 3 photos / second rapid shooting
    EX-P600 offers 3 photos / second high-speed continuous shutter up to a maximum of 6 photos. With this function you’re sure to catch the best shot, whether it be children playing, sports, or any other fast-paced activity. These images can all be previewed together on one screen.
  • Speedy response
    Never miss a photo opportunity with a rapid start-up time of approximately 2 seconds and a fast shutter time lag of approximately 0.01 seconds. Photo playback is also possible at intervals of approximately 0.1 seconds, a very convenient feature when scrolling through a large volume of images.
  • Auto bracketing photography
    By pressing the shutter button once, it is possible to use the auto bracketing function to take either 3 or 5 photos, applying different effects to each one. In addition to exposure variation (AEB), white balance (WBB), and focus positioning (AFB), the Multi Bracketing feature also allows users to choose variations of color, portrait, sharpness, saturation, and contrast levels. This allows users to pick the very best shot from among their photos.
  • High-definition 2.0-inch TFT LCD monitor
    The EX-P600 has a large, easy to see 2.0-inch monitor with a high-definition TFT LCD (115,200 pixels). The monitor makes it possible to scroll through photos, and to view the camera’s various functions and other information.
  • The “EX Finder” for quick and easy visual display of photographic information
    The camera’s photographic information, such as shutter speed, aperture, and focusing can be displayed graphically on the monitor. These graphical displays make it easy to quickly adjust settings manually. There is also an RGB histogram for high-end users.
  • The “Manual Assist” display of picture effects for manual settings
    When shooting manually with priority on either shutter speed or aperture, users can see what kind of photo will result from the chosen shutter speed and aperture settings by the visual display.
  • “Best Shot” function
    By choosing from Best Shot’s sample photos, it is easy to automatically adjust such things as exposure and white balance levels. There are 25 sample photos to choose from, including ‘soft focus’ and ‘sports.’ It is also possible to register up to 999 of your favorite settings in your own ‘My Best Shot’ folder, allowing you to use the same settings at any time.
  • Adjusting manual settings quickly and easily on one screen
    By pressing the proprietary “EX button”, the levels for white balance, ISO sensitivity, metering, and AF area settings can be displayed and adjusted on a single screen. When shooting manually, changes to these settings can be done quickly and easily.
  • Multiple Auto focus area
    In addition to the fixed auto focus and the 7-point multi auto focus, the EX-P600 has an auto focus area that can be moved freely to the left or right, up or down using the arrow keys. This area can be enlarged during playback to ensure correct focus.
  • Other features
    • Lengthy movies with audio are possible depending on the amount of memory available
    • Images and movies can be viewed on a TV screenPhotos taken with the camera in a sideways position are automatically displayed upright thanks to a built-in horizontal / vertical position sensor
    • Built-in flash memory (approx. 9MB) / SD memory card / Multi Media card compliant
    • Commercially available external flash equipment can be used with the Sync Terminal
    • A convenient wireless remote control is included for slow shutter and self-timer photos
    • “Photo Loader” software is included to allow automatic transfer of images to a PC
    • Connects directly to PictBridge and USB DIRECT-PRINT compliant printers using a USB cable

Specifications subject to change without notice.

Original Source Press Release:

CASIO ANNOUNCES THE 6 MEGAPIXEL EXILIM PRO WITH 4X OPTICAL ZOOM

Stylish new top-of-the-line EXILIM model bridges the gap between the amateur and professional photographer

LAS VEGAS, NV, FEBRUARY 12, 2004 – Casio, Inc., in conjunction with it’s parent company, Casio Computer Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, announced the EXILIM PRO EX-P600, a stunning new addition to the growing family of EXILIM® series of digital cameras. With the ease of operation typically expected from compact cameras, this EX-P600 can take users to new heights of photographic expression with its multitude of functions, including the high-performance 6-megapixel CCD and the 4X optical zoom.

The camera will be on display at Casio’s Booth # L100 at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) Show that opened in Las Vegas today. The EX-P600 will be available at retail in April 2004, with an MSRP of $649.99.

The EXILIM brand of compact cameras has become synonymous throughout the world for amazing features and styling. Most notable of these features is the thin, card-sized body of every model, offering go-anywhere style, together with rapid shutter response that captures every special moment. The introduction of the 3X optical zoom and large LCD of Casio’s EXILIM ZOOM brought a new wave of fun to images, added even more momentum to EXILIM’s popularity, and proved Casio’s engineering and development capabilities.

“The new EXILIM PRO EX-P600 offers not only the style and features of a compact camera, but it represents a new series of digital cameras exhibiting mobility with speedy response, while offering functions usually found only on full-fledged high-end models,” said John Clough, president of Casio, Inc. The EX-P600 brings a whole new meaning to the excitement of photography, with a flexibility that hasn’t been possible with today’s fully automatic cameras. “This camera bridges the gap between the amateur and professional photographer,” Clough added.

MAIN FEATURES

  • High-resolution 6-megapixel imaging
    A 6-megapixel CCD housed in a compact and refined stainless steel body, with high-resolution and low noise allowing for a rich variety of expression. The EX-P600 uses a high-performance Canon 4X optical zoom lens.
  • High speed response
    In addition to a start-up time of approximately 2-seconds and approximately 0.01 second release time lag, the EX-P600 has a high-speed continuous shutter function to take 3 photos per second, up to 6 photos in succession, moving the camera up a level in terms of speed response.
  • Variety of imaging made possible with full-scale specifications
  • Auto Bracketing
    With one press of the shutter, variations of exposure, white balance and focus position can be set. The multi-bracketing feature allows for a variety of images with different color effects, contrast levels, etc. to be taken.
  • Quick response manual shooting
    With a large 2.0” high-definition TFT LCD, all the necessary information about shooting and effects is displayed clearly. Manual settings can be changed on-screen easily, enabling quick shooting.

“CASIO plans to increase the stylish and high-performance EXILIM lineup of digital cameras, continually providing users with a new shooting style and a wider range of features. With it’s ease-of-use, high-speed response and imaging capabilities, we expect the EX-P600 to be a hit with serious photographers who are interested in experiencing the latest in digital photography,” Clough concluded.

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