Casio refreshes budget-friendly ultracompacts

Announced for PMA 2010, the S7 and Z35 are updates to two popular inexpensive point-and-shoots.

Casio EX-S7 (left) and EX-Z35 Casio

Though budget cameras aren't exciting news, they are what a lot of people end up buying--especially as gifts for friends and family. Casio's low-end models are better than most, too, which is what makes them even more worthy of coverage. The EX-S7 and EX-Z35 are updates to 2009's EX-Z33 and EX-S5.

The 12-megapixel S7 uses Casio's Exilim Engine 5, improving image processing and battery life (it uses a rechargeable lithium ion). On its front is a 3x f3.1-5.6 36-107mm-equivalent lens. On its back is a 2.7-inch LCD and, along with the camera's other controls, is a one-touch movie record button for capturing clips at resolutions up to 720p to SD/SDHC cards. The S7 also gets Casio's Dynamic Photo mode that lets you clip people or things out of one photo and insert them in another.

The EX-Z35 is 12 megapixels, too, and has the same lens as the S7. It has a smaller, 2.5-inch LCD, but retains the one-touch movie-record button. However, movies are recorded in 848x480- (wide screen), 640x480-, or 320x240-pixel resolution. It's also powered by a lithium ion rechargeable battery and uses SD/SDHC cards for storage.

The S7 comes out in the spring for a cost of $139.99 and is available in black and purple. The EX-Z35, available in March, will cost about $110 and will be offered in black, silver, pink, purple, and blue versions.

Featured Video

We pummel the powder in Nissan's Winter Warrior concepts

Equipped with suspension lifts and actual tracks, these concepts are meant to reach places that no ordinary vehicle can.

by Jon Wong