The Bottom Line
Beginner photographers looking for a good all-around camera will be very pleased with the Exilim EX-S12 from Casio. This camera is easy to use and has several good features.
However, as my Casio Exilim EX-S12 review shows, this model ends up just a little short in three key areas: Its 3X optical zoom lens, its 2.7-inch LCD, and its MSRP of $249. With a larger zoom lens and LCD, the price would be justified. With a lower price, its smaller LCD and smaller zoom lens would be justified.
Consequently, if you can find the Exilim EX-S12 for $200 or less, which you likely can by shopping around, it's a pretty good value.
- Easier to use than some other Casio models
- Very small, lightweight, and thin camera
- Several cool features in the "Best Shot" mode
- Overall image quality is very good
- Can record HD video
- Focus with close-up photos is a little soft
- Price could be a little lower
- 2.7-inch LCD could be bigger
- 3X optical zoom lens could be bigger
- Resolution: 12.1 megapixels
- Optical zoom: 3X (36-108mm)
- LCD: 2.7-inch, 230,160 pixels
- Maximum image size: 4000 x 3000 pixels
- Battery: Rechargeable Li-ion
- Dimensions: 2.14 x 3.70 x 0.58 inches
- Weight: 3.9 ounces (no battery, no memory card)
- Image sensor: CCD 1/2.3 in.
Guide Review - Casio Exilim EX-S12 Review
During my Casio Exilim EX-S12 review, I found overall image quality was not a problem for this little camera. The colors are realistic, and most photos are sharp and bright. With 12.1 megapixels of resolution, the EX-S12 can make large prints.
The only area where the Exilim EX-S12 struggles is in extreme close-up photos, which tended to be either very poorly focused, washed out by the flash, or a little soft. The EX-S12 has a "document" Best Shot mode, but it didn't work very well for shooting text and documents.
For the most part, this camera's performance is good. Shutter lag is not noticeable most of the time. It's ready to shoot its first picture less than a second after you press the power button. Even in low light with the flash, the EX-S12 seems to work a little more quickly than most point and shoot cameras.
The fact that Casio only included a 3X optical zoom lens with the EX-S12 is a bit of a disappointment. 3X is the absolute minimum in today's digital camera zoom lenses.
Finally, the Best Shot modes in this model offer a nice variety -- including sepia, monochrome, fireworks, sunset, and eBay auction modes -- and there are more than 40 options. You even can shoot YouTube or HD video using a Best Shot mode.
The EX-S12 is one of the thinnest and lightest cameras around, measuring only 0.58 inches in thickness and weighing less than 4 ounces (without a battery). It's a good looking camera, available in black, silver, and pink.
However, it really would've been nice if this camera had a slightly larger LCD.
The EX-S12 seemed easier to use than other Casio cameras I've reviewed, which was nice to see. It's really a good, all-around camera aimed at beginners, with some interesting video features. With a lower price than its MSRP of $249, this model would receive a much higher rating.