Back in about November last year I predicted that we'd be seeing 12-megapixel compact cameras within a few months, and for once I was wrong. It's taken a whole six months for the 12MP barrier to be broken, but at least after waiting so long three have come along at once. Casio, who was the first to launch a 10-megapixel compact just over a year ago, has just announced the launch of the Exilim EX-Z1200, an ultra-slim 3x zoom compact featuring a 12.1-megapixel CCD sensor. It narrowly beats Sony's forthcoming Cyber-shot DSC-W200, which is launched later this month, and Casio's press release arrived about an hour before one from Panasonic announcing the 12.2MP Lumix DMC-FX100.
As well as this impressive achievement, the Z1200 also features a 2.8-in LCD monitor, CCD-shift image stabilisation, face detection, special motion-detection that sets the exposure and ISO to compensate for moving subjects, and an auto-tracking AF system that keeps the camera focused on the subject's face even if they are moving.
The new Exilim Engine 2.0 image processor includes tonal range control, which reduces loss of detail in bright and dark areas, and helps to achieve smoother expression of skin tones and clear blue skies.
Available in silver or black, the Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z1200 will be on salein the UK and Eire from late May 2007, with a retail price guide of £279.99.