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Casio joins 12MP club

Casio has announced its new 12-megapixel EX-Z1200, which is expected to hit stores in July for about $400.

Casio Exilim EX-Z1200
Casio Exilim EX-Z1200 Casio

Casio has announced its plan to participate in the latest round of the camera world's now-futile megapixel war with its forthcoming Exilim Zoom EX-Z1200. The company's next top model will sport a 1/1.7-inch, 12-megapixel CCD imaging sensor. A 3X optical, 37mm-to-111mm equivalent, f/2.8-to-f/5.4 zoom lens will funnel light toward that sensor, while a 2.8-inch, 230,400-pixel LCD will let you view your work.

More exciting than this new camera's abundant pixel count is Casio's decision to include CCD-shift image stabilization. This is the first time the company has offered anything other than its Anti-Shake DSP to combat blur due to camera shake. Another first for Casio with the EX-Z1200 is face detection, which is another feature that has been springing up in most of its competitors' offerings over the last couple of years. Less common place is the Z1200's auto-tracking AF, which promises to follow your subject if it moves after focus has locked. To power this fancy autofocus mode, Casio has fitted the Z1200 with its new Exilim Engine 2.0 image processor.

Like the company's EX-Z1000 before it, the Z1200 has a top sensitivity of ISO 400, though a couple of special modes let you reach up to ISO 1,600. Still, that'll make this new Casio a tough sell compared to Sony's upcoming W200, which boasts a top sensitivity of ISO 3,200. Casio says the Exilim EX-Z1200 will be available in silver and black colors and is slated to hit stores in the middle of July for about $400.