Casio Unveils Budget Point-&-Shoot Digicams

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ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Casio used the 2010 PMA Show here to unveil several new point-and-shoot digital still cameras designed to appeal to budget sensitive camera shoppers.

The EX-S7 and EX-Z35 are positioned as entry models in the line but include a full package of features.

The S7 offers 12-megapixel resolution and uses Casio’s Exilim Engine 5, which improves image processing and the life of the lithium-ion rechargeable battery.

The lens is a 3x f3.1-5.6 36-107mmzoom, and the LCD screen measures 2.7 inches. Controls were simplifi ed with the inclusion of a dedicated one-touch movie-record button for shooting video clips in up to 720p resolution.

The S7 (shipping this spring at a $139 suggested retail) also features Casio’s Dynamic Photo mode. This is in-camera photo/video editing software that enables photographers to essentially green-screen a subject in motion taken in a burst of about 20 rapid frames.

The motion image clip is then superimposed over still or video image backgrounds to create a dramatic motion portrait. Background images can be taken with the camera or imported for editing.

The unusual photos can be can be shared on a blog or uploaded to You- Tube using the included software.

The EX-S7 will be available in a choice of black or purple.

The EX-Z35 (shipping in March at a $110 suggested retail) also offers 12 megapixel resolution, dedicated movie button and the same lens as the S7; however, it offers a smaller 2.5-inch LCD screen.

Movies are captured in 848 by 480 (wide screen), 640 by 480, or 320 by 240-pixel resolution. It uses a lithium-ion battery and, like the S7, records to SD/SDHC memory cards. The EX-Z35 will be offered in black, silver, pink, purple and blue.

Both cameras include an Easy Mode that simplifi es camera operation to turning the flash on or off, changing the image size and turning on the timer.

Also included in both models is Casio’s YouTube Capture Mode, which automatically records and saves movies in the optimal size for uploading to YouTube.

Casio also gave showgoers a glimpse at some new concept Digital Art Frames that provide a host of new capabilities, including showing Dynamic Photo motion image clips, high-speed clips, photos that look like paintings, and the ability to take an image and combine it with a digital clock.

A company spokeperson said Casio may introduce the frames in late 2010. No pricing has been determined.

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