You can tell Christmas is coming. All the big titles are emerging, the Xbox 360 is just around the corner, new handsets are appearing faster than discount wrapping paper and digital camera manufacturers are upgrading models they only released four to six months ago.
So it is with the Casio S600, a tweaked upgrade to the incredibly stylish and all kinds of swanky S500 released in June. The S500 had been my camera of choice this year (based purely on superficial grounds) but the S600 has done enough to steal my fickle heart away since it manages to keep the same anorexic dimensions (90 x 59 x 16mm) and weight (115g) of its predecessor while bumping up the specs.
The most obvious change is the bump from five to six megapixels, but given that te former is more than enough for your average sandcastle and sunset snaps it isn’t the most important. That title goes to the Anti-Shake DSP built into into the S600's video recording which takes the shudder and blur out of its Mpeg4 captured video in real time. On top of this an improved battery life means you’ll get approximately 300 shots off a single charge (50 per cent more than the S500).
Other than that we’re in familiar territory (2.2in LCD, 3x optical zoom, 34 shooting modes – an increase of one, USB2.0 connectivity, etc etc), but the enhancements should prove just enough to irritate S500 owners. Incidentally, I’m not one of them. I dilly-ed and dallied and now I’m off to buy an S600. Joy, Joy!
Available in Silver, Blue, Orange and Gold (do they really need to put Sparkle, Mistral, Latin and Luminous in front of those colours?!) these little fellas will be available from January, so save up that Chrimbo money. Prices are likely to be around the £250/300 mark, but as yet they haven't been confirmed.