Hey Folks, Valkor here. Thanks to the good people at Casio, I was able to get my hands on their latest digi-cam aka the Exilim EX-S600 6mp. I had the chance to meet with Casio reps at CES 2005 and I briefly talked about their 3.2 Exilim cam in that report. Now here it is 2006 and I’m REVIEWING their best model yet. (Well not THE best, but the best for now) Aahhhhh sweet, sweet fate. But right away I have to say that this is the most fun I’ve had with a digicam ever! It’s small, easy to use and easy to navigate. Read on and you’ll see just why.
Let’s get to
the meat of this review. The first thing you will notice about
the s600 is the size: it is damn slim, slimmer than my
Once I was settled in with the size, I charged the S600 using the included dock that is not only used for charging but also for plugging in the USB to pull off the pictures and for viewing your pics on your television. I guess since so much of the mechanics are crammed inside this small device, they didn’t have the room for a USB plug. I’m used to plugging right into the cam and retrieving my pics, not docking first. But this is a minor thing, not even a negative. After charging I had to get a feel for the options... my stars and garters... there are many, many, MANY options to play with; Too many to mention here, but I’ll go over some of my favorites, which I think add such a nice touch to owning and using this camera. First (and my personal favorite) there is the sound option. When you first turn on your camera, or scrolling through the menu, or even take a picture, you get a corresponding sound to go with that action. There aren’t too many, but what’s there really gives it a nice level of customization. Then there’s the start up image option. I love it! I took a picture of my favorite spawn action figure (seen below) and now whenever I turn on my camera, there he is. Next there is the anti-shake, which is something yours truly really needs. Too many times I’m taking pictures at an event or for product reviews that I end up with a fuzzy pic. With this option turned on for pictures or movies, we eliminate the blur and get the best shot we can take. Awesome! And speaking of best shot, there is a button called BS which stands for... guess what? Best Shot! You get 32 templates to choose from, depending on where you are or what type of shot you wish to take, and the cam will automatically set the proper setting so that you are able to take the “Best Shot” possible.. On a plus note, in the BS menu you have an option to take pictures of text and business cards. How quirkyl is that? Finally you get an option called “Flash intensity”, with this feature you can set how bright the flash is. By default it’s really bright, but depending on the situation you can lower the setting. It’s these little add touches that make owning the S600 that much nicer, because even though this is a novice camera, it makes you feel like a pro.
Yea, yea, yea, Val all this talk about options, but how does the damn thing take pictures? DAMN good! I wasn’t expecting too much to begin with, but I walk away satisfied with the end results. Just take a look at these sample pics, I wish I could post em all, but these work just fine; Fine being the key word. Look how green the tree in the front of my house is. You can even see the dusts that’s been gathering on my Spawn. And it’s fast too. It has a quick shutter option so you won’t get stuck with closed eyes or an arm getting in the way just when everything was set right, or even when you have everyone set up for a nice family pic and one of the youngins decide to make a mad dash. You just click and it’s captured. Another feature is a movie mode, which uses a high quality Mpeg 4. Mpeg 4 is the best video quality you can get, to use on a portable device because the video gets compressed enough that it doesn’t eat up memory card space. And if you want to watch your vids or view your pics without having to download them first, you can use the ever trust A/V cable. You can also adjust the quality level of the vids too, you wanna get more vid for your card. Then there is the all importantly battery life. I am proud to say that the S600 withstood the test of time. I spent a full day snapping pics, shooting movies without completely draining the battery. And that comes in handy when your out with the family or an event that could last all day, at least with S600 you know that your gonna be ready. Finally the device takes SD cards limited only to the size you decide to purchase. For my testing I used a 512, normally I use that much because I’m not really video focused. But to you our readers I say use what suits you best.
I could go on and on and on about the EX S600, but then this review would be entirely too long and there are more “serious” sites out there that will really cover this baby in-depth. TOV is all about the quick. I don’t mean we get it one day then review it the next, we actually field test all items for days. And the S600 is no exception. It’s passed the Val-test with flying colors and gets the ultimate score of 5 because it’s just so damn perfect for us casual users. It takes great shots, has a nice movie mode, and with the “Best Shot” feature you know you will always get the best shot wherever you are. And sure it’s small in size, but even big hands can handle the S600 proper. Retail is $399 and the Casio Exilim EX-S600 is Valkor tested, TOV approved.