The Casio Exilim EX-S880 is a sleek, pocket sized digital camera. In fact it is one of the slimmest digital cameras on the market. It has 8 megapixels and a 3x optical zoom lens. Apart from its size one of the biggest attractions of the Exilim EX-S880 is its ease of use. Set up as a simple point and shoot camera it is suitable for someone who is looking for a straightforward, snapshot camera.
94.5 x 60.4 x 17.3mm
Image Quality - See Sample Images Below
Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light
The first point I noticed is that the sharpness of the photo is below the standard I look for. It is acceptable in the centre of the photo, but falls away as you move out towards the edges.
The Exilim EX-S880 also struggles with sun glare. The result of this is a loss of detail from light areas in the photo. This also causes some of the blue lines on the boats to appear with a purple tinge.
When it comes to focusing this is always a tough test for smaller compact cameras with the scene somewhat distant. It is not a bad attempt although focusing again gets softer towards the edges.
With the lens zoomed in to its full capacity focusing problems are evident again. It can be difficult to build high quality into the lenses of these very small cameras.
This photo was taken in good light, but in the shade. I used the shady white balance setting. This helps to give a boost to the colours. Despite the fact lighting was good I think this photo is darker than I would like it to be. One plus point is that focusing is much better than in the outdoor scenic shots. This is likely to be down to the face detection focusing.
This is a fair effort, but it does have quite a strong, orange colour caste. To compensate for less light the Exilim EX-S880 has automatically increased ISO. This has lead to noise being introduced to the photo. This will affect picture quality, especially if you are planning larger prints.
By turning the flash on I was rewarded with a sharper photo. I would like to have seen a bit more power in the flash to brighten the photo. There is no red eye showing in the shot.
Macro, Colours and Noise
With a minimum focusing distance of 15cm the Exilim EX-S880 is not really built for close up photography. The macro test shot you can see has been heavily cropped. Focusing is not as sharp as with most other cameras.
A lot of the Casio digital cameras I have tested have a tendency towards producing strong colours. This is not necessarily a good or bad point as some people go for strong colours whereas others prefer something a little gentler. For me some of the blues can be over strong.
Moving the ISO setting from automatic to ISO 400 adds noise to the photo and reduces the quality. The amount of noise added is roughly average when compared to other digital cameras. At ISO 800 quality really falls away and the Exilim EX-S880 starts to struggle noticeably with picture quality.
The problems I found with sharpness suggest there are many better pocket sized cameras when it comes to picture quality. I also found some of the photos a little dark.
As I mentioned at the top this is a very slim camera. In fact you will be hard pressed to find many slimmer. It is available in red, sliver and charcoal.
Shutter Lag Times
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Ease of Use
This is one of the strengths of the camera. There are a couple of points worth mentioning. The first is that you can display key menu settings on the right hand side of the LCD screen. This makes it very easy to check your settings and it is also simple to change them. The placement of the zoom controls can make it difficult to find space for your thumb on the back of the camera. This can make it harder to hold steady.
Points I Like
Simplicity - simple design - LCD screen shows key menu options
Where it Could Improve
Sharper images - brighter shots
It is difficult to find a truly thin digital camera that offers exceptional picture quality. The Casio Exilim EX-S880 tries hard, but does not quite hit the heights when it comes to the quality of photos it produces. That's a shame as I found it very easy to use.
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