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Casio crams 7x zoom into ultracompact camera

At 1-inch thick with an internal 7x zoom lens, Casio's 7-megapixel EX-V7 is a whole new Exilim.

I'm starting to believe that camera manufacturers are able to stuff tiny quantum singularities into their products. The only way I can explain the increasing range of the internal zoom systems in ultracompacts is with a fold in space. Casio's latest fold holds a 7x zoom, with the 35mm-equivalent range of 35mm-266mm, in an inch-thick ultracompact.

With a camera so small and light, shake can be even more of a problem than usual with long zooms. Casio compensates with no less than four different antishake techniques, including a mechanical CCD-shift image stabilizer and the usual combos of high-ISO and shutter speeds. In addition, the company has updated its imaging processor, thoughtfully called the "Exilim Engine 2.0", with autofocus tracking and faster performance.

This marvel of modern physics will ship in March for $399.