Casio EX-S10 Review
Casio EX-S10 Optics
About average performance from the 3x optical zoom lens, with pretty good results at full digital zoom as well.
|36mm||108mm||4x Digital Zoom|
The Casio EXILIM CARD EX-S10's 3x optical zoom lens covers a range equivalent to a 36-108mm zoom on a 35mm camera, which is fairly standard. Coma distortion and chromatic aberration are rather high at full wide angle, with strong blurring in the corners of the frame and quite a bit of color fringing. Overall detail and definition are good, in the central portion of the frame, though. At full telephoto, there's again some blurring in the top corners of the frame, but overall results are still good, with good sharpness and detail across most of the image. Though detail and resolution are compromised with the EX-S10's 4x digital zoom, the camera still captures quite a bit of detail for use at smaller print sizes and on the web. (Digital zoom is really only useful as an alternative to cropping images on the computer, the camera just "stretches" the image digitally, so it gets softer as it gets larger.)
A larger than average macro area, though still good detail and resolution. Flash produced a very uneven exposure, though.
|Standard Macro||Macro with Flash|
The Casio EXILIM CARD EX-S10's macro setting captured a larger than average minimum area, at 5.18 x 3.88 inches (132 x 99 millimeters). Detail and resolution were both good at the center of the frame, though blurring in the corners obscured details a fair bit. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode.) The EX-S10's flash throttled down a little too much for the macro area, possibly tricked by the reflection in the brooch, and produced an uneven exposure with dark corners. The camera can shoot close enough for things like product shots on eBay, but plan on using external illumination for the best results.
High barrel distortion at wide angle, a small amount at telephoto.
|Barrel distortion at 36mm is 0.9%|
|Barrel distortion at 108mm is 0.2%|
This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel -- usually at wide angle) or inward (like a pincushion -- usually at telephoto). The Casio EXILIM CARD EX-S10's 0.9% barrel distortion at wide angle is a bit higher than average, and quite noticeable. (Most digicams average around 0.8% barrel distortion at wide angle, which is also pretty evident.) At the telephoto end, the EX-S10's 0.2% barrel distortion is fairly low, and really not noticeable in most images.
Lots of colored fringes at wide angle, better results at telephoto.
|Wide: Moderately high and bright,
top left @ 200%
|Wide: Quite bright,
top right @ 200%
|Tele: Low and less bright,
top left @200%
|Tele: Even lower,
top right @200%
Chromatic aberration is pretty high with the lens zoomed wide, showing a good bit of fairly bright coloration on either side of the target lines. In the upper right corner, strong blurring makes the distortion even more evident. At telephoto, the extent of the distortion is much lower, and much less bright. (This distortion is visible as a colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target. You'll particularly see it where dark objects are silhouetted against a bright background.)
Noticeable blurring in the corners of the frame at both wide and telephoto zoom settings.
|Wide: Very soft in some
corners (lower right).
|Wide: Sharp at center.|
|Tele: Soft in the
corners (upper left).
|Tele: Sharper at center.|
The Casio EXILIM CARD EX-S10 produced soft corners of the frame at full wide angle and telephoto lens settings. At both zoom settings, the level of blurring varied from corner to corner, though all corners showed some degree of softening. The crops above show the most extreme conditions, though at both zoom settings, some corners showed only minor blurring. (It appears that the S10's lens design is sensitive to decentering of the lens elements during manufacture, producing uneven sharpness in the corners of the frame. This not uncommon in digicams, and it's possible you may not see this problem (or at least see less of it) in an S10 purchased at retail. - It's always a good idea to check a new camera immediately after purchase: If you find significantly uneven sharpness in the corners, exchange it for another sample.)
The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Casio EXILIM CARD EX-S10 Photo Gallery.
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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.