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My review of Casio Exilim EX-S500

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Anonymous
August 25, 2005 12:19:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.point+shoot (More info?)

I bought this camera on Amazon.com and submitted a review to that site.
I would characterize this camera as a bit of a project: I am currently
experimenting with its settings, and trying to find ways to improve
its image quality. So any comments from other EX-S500 users will be
welcome!

This is the review I wrote:

Here is the good news: the Exilim is very compact and nicely made. I
like the way it can be programmed to remember all (that I could find)
of its many settings. This is really important: it means that you can
whip out the camera and begin shooting immediately, with your preferred
settings. The delay for autofocus/autoexposure is among the best of the
tiny cameras. The flash is reasonably strong for such a tiny camera.
You can choose how the camera focuses: automatic, manual, macro/automatic,
pan, and infinity. There are many clever features, such as the capability
to remove the "keystone effect" distortion when photographing a business
card or other rectangular document. The user interface is excellent,
and this is important in a product that offers so many features and
options. Another advantage of the Exilim is that Casio sells some pretty
good cases for this camera. I chose to buy an especially form-fitting
case from Semson; I don't think that Amazon.com carries it. For a camera
this small, you really want to carry it with you all of the time. A
small but protective case is an advantage. Oddly enough, many competing
cameras cannot be matched with one.

Now here is the bad news, and there is no getting around it. The picture
quality borders on "bad." I compared pictures from the Exilim with my
old Canon SD10, which is similar in size. The Canon gave me much sharper
images, better colors, and more detail. The fuzziness of the Exilim
pictures was quite striking when I photographed some book covers. The
letters printed on the books were razor sharp in the Canon images, but
not so in the Exilim images. Since the Canon has less resolution than
the Exilim, I postprocessed the Exilim pictures to reduce the resolution
to that of the Canon (5 Mpixel -> 4 Mpixel). The Canon images still
looked sharper. The Exilim produces skin colors that are often quite
unattractive. I have been experimenting with postprocessing software;
this is promising.

The autofocus will fail if pointed at a dark colored object, or a flat
object that is at an angle to the camera. In such cases, you can use
the pan focus setting though. My experience here is with the autofocus
area set to "spot." It can also be set to "multi," but I haven't
experimented with this yet.

The macro capability of the Exilim is not great. You cannot get very
close to your subject, even at the wide angle zoom setting. Switching
to manual focus and crossing your fingers might help, I am still
experimenting with this.

The flash sometimes washes out detail in pictures due to excessive power.
This occurs very frequently in close-up shots. This problem can be
addressed by reducing the flash intensity, but this is an extra chore
for the photographer; it is not automatic.

Amazon.com shows that the Canon SD30 will be available October 10. My
advice is to wait for that model to appear before committing to the
Exilim. In fact, if you want to save some money, the Canon SD20 might
be for you. If it is like the SD10, it will be slower than the Exilim,
and it will have a weaker flash. It will also lack optical zoom. But
you will get solidly better pictures with the Canon. That should count
for something!
--
David Arnstein |
arnstein+usenet@pobox.com |
Anonymous
August 25, 2005 5:07:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.point+shoot (More info?)

"David Arnstein" <arnstein@panix.com> wrote in message
news:D ejuvf$pmn$1@reader2.panix.com...
>I bought this camera on Amazon.com and submitted a review to that site.
> I would characterize this camera as a bit of a project: I am currently
> experimenting with its settings, and trying to find ways to improve
> its image quality. So any comments from other EX-S500 users will be
> welcome!
>
> This is the review I wrote:
>
> Here is the good news: the Exilim is very compact and nicely made. I
> like the way it can be programmed to remember all (that I could find)
> of its many settings. This is really important: it means that you can
> whip out the camera and begin shooting immediately, with your preferred
> settings. The delay for autofocus/autoexposure is among the best of the
> tiny cameras. The flash is reasonably strong for such a tiny camera.
> You can choose how the camera focuses: automatic, manual, macro/automatic,
> pan, and infinity. There are many clever features, such as the capability
> to remove the "keystone effect" distortion when photographing a business
> card or other rectangular document. The user interface is excellent,
> and this is important in a product that offers so many features and
> options. Another advantage of the Exilim is that Casio sells some pretty
> good cases for this camera. I chose to buy an especially form-fitting
> case from Semson; I don't think that Amazon.com carries it. For a camera
> this small, you really want to carry it with you all of the time. A
> small but protective case is an advantage. Oddly enough, many competing
> cameras cannot be matched with one.
>
> Now here is the bad news, and there is no getting around it. The picture
> quality borders on "bad." I compared pictures from the Exilim with my
> old Canon SD10, which is similar in size. The Canon gave me much sharper
> images, better colors, and more detail. The fuzziness of the Exilim
> pictures was quite striking when I photographed some book covers. The
> letters printed on the books were razor sharp in the Canon images, but
> not so in the Exilim images. Since the Canon has less resolution than
> the Exilim, I postprocessed the Exilim pictures to reduce the resolution
> to that of the Canon (5 Mpixel -> 4 Mpixel). The Canon images still
> looked sharper. The Exilim produces skin colors that are often quite
> unattractive. I have been experimenting with postprocessing software;
> this is promising.
>
> The autofocus will fail if pointed at a dark colored object, or a flat
> object that is at an angle to the camera. In such cases, you can use
> the pan focus setting though. My experience here is with the autofocus
> area set to "spot." It can also be set to "multi," but I haven't
> experimented with this yet.
>
> The macro capability of the Exilim is not great. You cannot get very
> close to your subject, even at the wide angle zoom setting. Switching
> to manual focus and crossing your fingers might help, I am still
> experimenting with this.
>
> The flash sometimes washes out detail in pictures due to excessive power.
> This occurs very frequently in close-up shots. This problem can be
> addressed by reducing the flash intensity, but this is an extra chore
> for the photographer; it is not automatic.
>
> Amazon.com shows that the Canon SD30 will be available October 10. My
> advice is to wait for that model to appear before committing to the
> Exilim. In fact, if you want to save some money, the Canon SD20 might
> be for you. If it is like the SD10, it will be slower than the Exilim,
> and it will have a weaker flash. It will also lack optical zoom. But
> you will get solidly better pictures with the Canon. That should count
> for something!
> --
> David Arnstein |
> arnstein+usenet@pobox.com |

Gosh, you're wonderful.
!