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Casio Exilim Card EX-S12 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £150
inc VAT

A smart, slim design on the outside, but there's little going on inside to make this camera stand out.


1/2.3in 12.0-megapixel sensor, 3.0x zoom (36-108mm equivalent), 112g

We care more about how a camera performs than what it looks like, but there’s something charming about the growing trend for fun paint jobs.

The S12, which turned up for review in racing green, is one of our favourites. It helps that its aluminium body is also incredibly slim at just 15mm from front to back. If green doesn’t appeal, the S12 is also available in black, silver or golden-pink.

The downside of this ultra-compact design is that there isn’t much room for controls. Five buttons and a navigation pad are squeezed in next to the 2.7in screen, but people with large thumbs will find them awkward. The menu system could be more intuitive, too. One option, labelled Quick Shutter, makes the camera take an out-of-focus shot unless the user half-presses the shutter button first. Bizarrely, this disaster-prone feature is on by default. Manual exposure controls are absent, but there’s a huge assortment of scene modes and other entertaining ways to tinker with picture quality.

A fun point-and-shoot camera still needs to take attractive photos without keeping the user waiting. Autofocus times were quick, but we measured a lethargic four seconds between shots. Continuous shooting mode was barely any faster. Colour reproduction was rich, but the 12-megapixel images had no more detail than some 8-megapixel cameras. Chromatic aberrations towards the edges of photos produced discolouration of high-contrast lines and an indistinct haze elsewhere. Low-light shots looked like they had been left out in the rain, with washed-out fine details, although they looked fine when resized for the web. The lack of image stabilisation is disappointing, and so too is the basic 3x zoom range, but the competent 720p HD video mode is a welcome bonus.

Overall, image quality is typical for the price, but this camera can’t compete with Fujifilm’s similarly priced F100fd.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
CCD effective megapixels 12.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.3in
Viewfinder none
LCD screen size 2.7in
LCD screen resolution 230,000 pixels
Optical zoom 3.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 36-108mm
Image stabilisation none
Maximum image resolution 4,000×3,000
Maximum movie resolution 1280×720
Movie frame rate at max quality 24fps
File formats JPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)


Memory slot SDHC
Mermory supplied 24MB internal
Battery type 3.7V 720mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 270 shots
Connectivity USB, AV
Body material aluminium
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 112g
Size 55x94x15mm

Buying Information

Price £150

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed auto
Aperture range auto
ISO range (at full resolution) 64 to 3200
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 6 presets, manual
Additional image controls contrast, saturation, sharpness, dynamic range
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 10cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, tracking, face detect
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer