Steve's Digicams

Casio Exilim EX-S20

Review posted 10/13/2003

Click to take 360-degree QTVR tour of the Casio Exilim EX-S20
Click on the EX-S20 for a QTVR tour

(Right up front we need to mention that there are TWO different EX-S20 cameras being sold. The EX-S20 outside of N. America and the EX-S20U which is what we have reviewed and is sold in the U.S. They are identical except that the S20U does NOT have a movie mode.   Why it's this way is a mystery.)

Casio's EXILIM EX-S20 digital camera packs a high resolution 2 million effective pixels imager, lens and a 1.6-inch color LCD monitor into just a .44-inch thin body. The EX-S20 is the latest addition to the EXILIMô Series of card-sized digital cameras with an MSRP of just $279.99.

The EX-S20's stylish case is made of lightweight magnesium alloy and weighs a mere 2.78 oz (without battery). The camera is ready to shoot almost instantly after being turned on and a 0.01 sec. release time lag records the image as soon as you press the shutter button. An automatic lens barrier protects the lens from impact and dust by opening and closing whenever the camera is turned on and off.

The 1.6-inch TFT LCD monitor screen of the EX-S20 features a digital interface for a clearer display of images and makes image viewing easier and more enjoyable. The monitor screen can be used to arrange images, and a collection of display features help to make image viewing simpler and more fun than ever before.

The Best Shot Mode provides optimum camera setups in an instant. Simply select the sample scene that is similar to the image you want to record and the camera's exposure compensation, white balance, and other settings are configured accordingly. There are a total of 15 sample scenes built in, including "Coupling Shot" and "Pre Shot."

The EX-S20 stores images in a Web browser-viewable format that allows you to browse images in an album format. The album feature uses HTML format, which means you can incorporate an album directly into a web site and even print directly from the album.

Casio Exilim EX-S20

Placing the EX-S20 onto its cradle and pressing the Photo button starts a slideshow of images currently in memory. You can even set up the camera to display the images you want whenever it is placed on the cradle. Connect the cradle to your computer, place the EX-S20 onto the cradle, and press the cradle's USB button, and Photo Loader automatically transfers all JPEG files in image memory to the computer.

World Time lets you select one of 162 cities in 32 time zones around the world as your home time. When traveling to another time zone, simply select the applicable city, and time and date settings are adjusted automatically. A total of three independent alarms help to make sure you are on time, all the time. You can even have a specific image appear when an alarm time is reached.

In addition to its 10MB of built-in Flash Memory, the EX-S20 also supports use of thin, compact SD memory cards and MMC cards (optional and sold separately). An easy operation copies images between a memory card and built-in memory.

Exilim EX-S20 Features:

  • 2-Megapixel effective CCD imager
  • Credit card-size stainless steel body, only 11mm thick
  • Image sizes: 1600x1200, 1600x1072 (3:2), 1280x960, 640x480
  • AVI Movie 320x240 up to 30 seconds w/out audio (EX-S20 only)
  • Fixed focus 37mm F3.5 lens with 4x digital zoom
  • Less than one second startup time
  • 0.01 second shutter lag time
  • Fast shot to shot time - even with flash
  • 3:2 aspect ratio mode for no-crop 4x6" prints
  • 15 Best Shot scene modes
  • 10 Megabytes of internal memory
  • 1 to 1/8000 sec. shutter speeds
  • Built-in flash with Red Eye Reduction
  • 1.6" TFT color LCD monitor
  • 4X playback zoom magnification
  • USB 1.1 data transfer to PC or Mac computers
  • Lithium rechargeable battery and charging cradle included
  • Secure Digital/MMC card slot for memory expansion
  • DPOF, PRINT Image Matching II and Exif Print compatible

In addition to the USB 1.1 docking cradle and battery, each EXILIM camera comes standard with a hand strap, AC adaptor and CD-ROM software. The retail price on the EX-S20U is $279.99.

Physical Views

Casio Exilim EX-S20

Casio Exilim EX-S20

Casio Exilim EX-S20 Casio Exilim EX-S20

Casio Exilim EX-S20

Casio Exilim EX-S20

Casio Exilim EX-S20

Casio Exilim EX-S20

The 2-megapixel Casio EX-S20 and the 3-megapixel EX-S3.

Casio Exilim EX-S20

The Casio EX-S20 can hide behind a credit card.

Casio Exilim EX-S20

The EX-S20 and a standard CD for size comparison.

Go to
Page Two

Casio EX-S20 Specifications

Recording Element: 1/2.7-inch square pixel primary color CCD (2.11 million total pixels; 2 million effective pixels)
Image File Record Format: JPEG (Exif. Ver. 2.2), DCF standard, DPOF compliant
Recording Medium: Built-in flash memory (10MB), SD memory card/Multi Media card

Recorded Image Sizes:

Image Size(Pixels)
Approximate File Size
Approximate Memory Capacity (Images)
Built-in 10MB
1600 x 1200
1600 X 1072
1280 X 960
640 X 480

Music Player: EX-M20U Only: MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3/MPEG-2 Audio Layer-3)
Voice Recording: EX-M20U Only: WAV (approximately 4KB/second); approximately 40 minutes (built-in memory)
Image Deletion: Single image; all images in memory (with memory protection)
Lens: F3.5, f = 5.6mm (equivalent to 37mm in 35mm format)
Focusing: Fixed focus with macro mode
Approximate Focus
Normal: 31.5" to infinite; Macro: 11.8"
Zoom: Digital 4X
Exposure Metering: Metering: Multi-pattern by imaging element
Exposure Control: Program AE;
Exposure Compensation: -2EV to +2EV (in 1/3EV steps)
Shutter: CCD electronic shutter/mechanical shutter; 1 to 1/8000 shutter speed (including Night mode)
Aperture: F3.5 (fixed)
White Balance: Auto; Fixed (4 modes); Manual
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 64, 125, 250, 500
Recording Modes: Snapshot, Macro, Best Shot; audio snapshot (EX-M20U only)
Self-timer: 10 seconds or 2 seconds; Triple Self-timer
Built-in Flash: Flash Modes: Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Red Eye Reduction;
Approximate Range: 2.64 ft. to 4.92 ft.
Viewfinder: Monitor screen and optical viewfinder
LCD Monitor: 1.6-inch digital interface TFT color LCD (84,960 pixels; 354 x 240)
Playback Functions: 4X zoom; rotate; flip; calendar; Photo Stand (slideshow); startup image; Image Roulette
Internal Clock: Date and time recorded with image data; auto calendar up to 2049
World Time: 162 cities (32 time zones); city names; date and time; daylight savings time
Other: Trimming; resize; histogram; album feature; Favorites folder; copy; customize key; alarm with image (EX-M20U only: alarm with image/audio)
I/O Terminals: USB cradle contact terminals
Power Requirements: NP-20 Li-ion battery
Approximate Battery
Continuous Image Recording: 2 hours (720) shots
Continuous Image Playback: 3 hours

Continuous MP3 Playback: 7.5 hours (EX-M20U only)
Continuous Audio Recording: 2 hours 50 minutes (EX-M20U only)

Dimensions/Weight: EX-S20U: 3.27" (W) x 2.08" (H) x .44" (T) (excluding projections) / Approximately 2.78 oz (excluding batteries and accessories)

EX-M20U: 3.27" (W) x 2.08" (H) x .44"(T) (excluding projections) / Approximately 2.82 oz (excluding batteries and accessories)

Bundled Accessories: Lithium-ion battery; USB Cradle; USB Cable; AC Adaptor; Strap; CD-ROM; LCD Remote Controller / Stereo Earphones (EX-M20U only)

NOTE: These Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer.

Return To Steve's
Reviews Index


Note: All photographs and page content
Copyright © 2003 Steve's Digicam Online, Inc.

Nothing on this page may be used, distributed or
copied without the author's prior permission.