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Casio Exilim EX-S12
Casio continues to demonstrate that when it comes to cramming as much camera as possible into the smallest space possible, nobody does it better. With the exception of a couple of remarkable high-speed super-zoom models, the company's Exilim camera range is full of tiny high-performance ultra-compact cameras that are usually of high quality, and are nearly always good value for money. It continues to surprise me that their market share is so low.
Take this new Exilim EX-S12 for example. It's the latest in a line of cameras that goes back through previous models such as the 2007 EX-S770 and EX-S880, with contributions from last year's EX-Z80 and of course the EX-S10 upon which it is largely based, but with some new contributions that come via the advanced technology of the EX-FC100.
Describing the EX-S12 as an ultra-compact barely does it justice. It's a 12.1-megapixel, 3x zoom camera weighing just 130g including battery, and with a strong and attractively finished aluminium body that's only 17mm at its thickest point. Yet despite its tiny dimensions it has a list of features would put many larger cameras to shame, including a 2.7-inch 230k monitor screen, advanced face recognition, automatic brightness correction, adjustable portrait enhancement, continuous flash shooting, and topping it off with an HD video recording mode, all for around £170. It even takes decent pictures.