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Casio Exilim EX-S12 - Casio Exilim EX-S12

By Cliff Smith



Our Score:


The S12's overall performance is, to be honest, a bit average. It starts up in about two and half seconds, which is quick enough, but the shot-to-shot time in basic single-shot mode is a little over three seconds, which is pretty slow by recent standards, and slower still if the "Make up" or extra lighting features are used. The camera has four continuous shooting modes; 20 shots at 10fps and one megapixel resolution, eight shots at 4fps and two megapixels, a 3-shot burst at 3fps and 2mp, but with flash on every shot, and a standard full-res long-period continuous shooting mode, although this is very slow at about two seconds per shot.

As is usually the case with Casio cameras, the EX-S12 has an exceptionally fast and accurate autofocus system, and works well in low light thanks to a good AF assist lamp. The flash is also surprisingly powerful for its size, with a range of at least four meters and excellent frame coverage.

Image quality, and particularly image noise, has traditionally been a weak point for Casio compacts, but the EX-S12 shows encouraging improvements in this direction. Images are largely noise-free at 400 ISO, and have good detail and colour rendition. Even at 800 ISO image quality is far from unusable, although the effects of the noise reduction system are clearly visible.

The only real weak point is the lens, which isn't particularly sharp even in the centre of the frame, and suffers from blurring and chromatic aberration at the edges of the frame. It also suffers from very obvious barrel distortion at wide angle. Casio used to fit canon lenses to its better cameras. Maybe it would be wise to do so again.


The Casio Exilim EX-S12 is about as small and light as an ultra-compact can get without being too fiddly to use, but nonetheless packs in an impressive list of features and an easy-to-use interface. Overall performance is a little slow, but the excellent autofocus and good low-light capability, combined with some fun options make this an ideal camera for social and holiday snaps.


October 28, 2009, 8:07 am

Am a beginner with this camera. Just gotten. Why? Having had a Casio EX-ES770 for over two year, it gave me fine service, but offered only "SD" quality video. Mr. Smith above gives a fine mini-review. We cannot expect true "HD" or perfection from these minicams, but I do a great deal of YT docuumentation. See " reidwelch" channel for samples of Canon HV30 "near pro" "HD", and then the old Casio 770, and now, the latest: this beginner's first trials with the Ex E12: essentially similar to the older Casio, but HD and with improved audio and video quality. It is not an equal to a dedicated camcorder such as the Canon HV30/40, etc, but =it fits in the pocket= and can be whipped out at a moment's notice (see my video at YT, "Miami Gas Station Robbery"...that was a shock-situation, and I had only the old EX ES770. Now, I can do higher definition if wanted, PLUS, this compression format is compatible with plain, old Windows Movie Maker. It is easy to edit even "HD" footage. See latest, first real test (imperfect as it is) of THE FOUNTAIN, video #17 at both the reidwelch channel, and at the TZ5A channel (same video maker). It will not equal a true "HD" high-price camera: but it works =better than it predecessors, and uses a simple, old-school compression scheme that is easy to edit on WMM that most Vista PC computers have as standard. It is simple, neat, and imperfect...but careful learning of its limitations, should give me in time, exactly enough quality to make quick and superior YT videos for my many YT general and specific documentary accounts. "HD" is now the thing for YT. "SD" is...last year. And, again: you get what you pay for. For the best YT "HD" video, you'd buy a relatively large, higher-bit-rate dedicated camcorder. That's all for now. More impromtu reviews will come for both here and to share at YT. Thanks, all, and Mr. Smith, in particular.

All is changing so rapidly: what's "good" today will seem laughably inadequate in a few years...but, for well under $200US, delivered, this old friend's (the 770) baby brother is just fine. I am happy with it, withal.


July 17, 2011, 1:45 pm

I bought my Exilim EX-S12 in Munich an year ago for 150 Euros. It is a wonderful piece of camera and I love it.Video quality is excellent for this price. Unfortunately, my grand daughter ran across the cable when it was connected to my TV and dashed it against the wall. At first nothing seemed to have happened and from outside everything looked fine, not a single scratch. Any other camera would have gone to pieces.Later I noticed the flash and the zoom didn't work. Otherwise I can take photos as usual. Is it possible to repair it? I am in Colombo, Sri Lanka

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