Usually, newer versions of cameras offer noticeable upgrades, such as more-advanced processors, higher-resolution sensors, and more features. Sometimes, though, this "next big thing" turns out to actually be worse than what came before it. Casio's Exilim EX-S880 joins this group, falling short of the standard set by the EX-S770.
At just 0.7 inch deep and weighing only 5.1 ounces with battery and SD card, the EX-S880 cuts the same ultraslim, ultralight profile as the S770. It shares a layout almost identical to the S770's, with small, flat buttons and a flat joypad clustered around a 2.8-inch LCD screen while leaving ample space for a thumb to rest. On the other side of the camera, the S880 sports the same 35mm-to-114mm-equivalent, f/2.7-to f/5.2, 3x optical zoom lens as its predecessor.
The EX-S880 features an 8-megapixel CCD sensor and Casio's new Exilim Engine 2.0 image processor, compared to the S770's 7-megapixel sensor and original Exilim Engine processor. Beyond these two upgrades, however, the camera's hardware attributes are largely identical to those of its predecessor; as I stated above, both cameras share the same large LCD and 3x lens. The camera's menus and software-based controls keep the same convenient interface, while the new image processor and a few new features set it a bit above the S770.
Face-detection first appeared among Casio cameras in the Exilim EX-Z1200, but this is the first superslim Exilim S-series camera to offer the feature. Like the EX-Z1200, the EX-S880's face-detection system offers more than most other similarly equipped cameras. Besides automatically detecting faces and adjusting the focus and exposure to suit it, the camera offers a family-recognition mode, which lets you records family and friends' faces ahead of time on the camera so the detection function gives those faces priority. It's a handy feature when shooting large crowds.