The build quality of the camera is matched only by the innards. The camera features its popular and long lasting Best Shot series of scene modes. Where most cameras concentrate on a handful of commonly photographed subjects and scenarios, the Casio S10 covers a multitude. On the S10 for example, are Portrait, Landscape(or scenery in Casio parlance) and Sport; all of which we have come to expect. But the camera also includes such rarities as Autumn Leaves, Food, Collection and Auction (for photographing toys or ebay items), Business Cards and Documents. There’s even a White Board mode so you can shoot seminars and presentations.
While this may seem overkill, the premise is obvious – there’s a wide range of photographic applications that aren’t always easy to shoot, so let the camera do the guesswork. I’ve been in many a situation watching people taking pictures of a white sign with the flash on and that is obvious to me won’t come out. With a ‘White Board’ mode, the chances of success are increased. While some of the scene modes are a little esoteric, I actually admire a camera with too much than too little. It’s better to never use a feature than have a camera lacking a feature you require.
Equally useful to a select audience are the cameras video modes. As well as standard video recording, up to 10 minutes, there’s the ability to record for both YouTube and iTunes formats, thus saving time in post processing or video conversion and a wide screen option. You can record with both sound and in silent mode, which also records in black and white for fans of Charlie Chaplin. To further facilitate video recording, a separate video button is featured on the back of the camera in the to right hand corner, so you don’t even need to enter the menu to switch.
The camera layout is attractive and easy to operate, though the buttons are rather small. The top plate houses a small recessed power button along with the shutter release button. Around the outside of this is the zoom ring.
The back of the camera is dominated by a bright 2.7inch LCD, with a set of buttons allowing camera changes. These include the aforementioned video button, the menu button, and controls for BestShot modes, playback and shooting modes. A larger D-pad with central ‘set’ button allows scrolling of images and menus, with the south point also giving access to the flash modes and delete image option. Note the lack of an optical viewfinder.
The built in flash operates between 0.2m and 2.8m, which is at the lowest end of the flash strength spectrum, and includes a soft flash mode to lessen the harsh contrast of regular flash, as well as a red eye reduction mode.
Exposure is automatic, with a shutter speed variation of 4-1/2000sec between standard shooting and night exposure, while a variety of metering options include multi pattern, centre weighted and spot options. There’s also exposure compensation over ±2EV and white balance settings include auto, daylight, shade, overcast, tungsten and 2 fluorescent settings. You can also set WB manually.
Exposure sensitivity is a useful ISO 50-1600, with auto ISO available as well as anti shake should the camera shutter speed be slower than ideal. There’s also an expanded dynamic range settings should the contrast of a scene be too much for the camera to handle, or if the subject is backlit for example.