Steve's Digicams

Casio Exilim EX-S3

Review posted 6/13/2003

Click to take 360-degree QTVR tour of the Casio Exilim EX-S3
Click on the EX-S3 for a QTVR tour

Casio's EXILIM EX-S3 digital camera packs a high resolution 3.2 million effective pixels imager, lens and a 2-inch color LCD monitor into an .46 inch thin body. The EX-S3 is the latest addition to the EXILIM™ Series of card-sized digital cameras with an MSRP of just $349.99.

The EX-S3's stylish case is made of lightweight magnesium alloy and weighs a mere 2.54 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 big 2.0-inch TFT LCD monitor screen of the EX-S3 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-S3 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-S3

Placing the EX-S3 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-S3 onto the cradle, and press the cradle's USB button, and Photo Loader automatically transfers all JPEG and AVI 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-S3 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.

EX-S3 Features:

  • 3.2-Megapixel effective CCD imager
  • Credit card-size stainless steel body, only 11mm thick
  • Still Image: 2048x1536, 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480
  • AVI Movie 320x240 up to 30 seconds (with audio)
  • Fixed focus 35mm F4.7 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
  • 15 Best Shot scene modes
  • 10 Megabytes of internal memory
  • 1/4 to 1/8000 sec. shutter speeds
  • Built-in flash with Red Eye Reduction
  • 2" 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-S3 is $349.99.

Physical Views

Casio Exilim EX-S3

Casio Exilim EX-S3

Casio Exilim EX-S3 Casio Exilim EX-S3

Casio Exilim EX-S3

Casio Exilim EX-S3

Casio Exilim EX-S3

The ultra-compact Minolta DiMAGE Xt and Casio EX-S3.

Casio Exilim EX-S3

Thin cameras compared:   DiMAGE Xt, EX-S3 and Pentax Optio S

Casio Exilim EX-S3

The ultra-compact Pentax Optio S and Casio EX-S3.

Casio Exilim EX-S3

The EX-S3 and a standard CD for size comparison.

Casio Exilim

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Casio EX-S3 Specifications

Image File
Recording Format
Stills: JPEG (Exif. Ver. 2.2), DCF standard, DPOF compliant
Movies: AVI (Motion JPEG)
Recording Medium Built-in flash memory (10MB), SD memory card, MultiMediaCard
Image Sizes (Pixels) Stills:
2048 x 1536
1600 x 1200
1280 x 960
640 x 480

320 x 240

Image Capacity
Image Size Resolution File
Built-in (10MB) SD Memory Card
2048 x 1536 FINE 1.6 MB 5 shots 34 shots
NORMAL 1.2 MB 7 shots 45 shots
ECONOMY 630KB 14 shots 88 shots
1600 x 1200 FINE 1050KB 8 shots 53 shots
NORMAL 710KB 12 shots 79 shots
ECONOMY 370KB 24 shots 154 shots
1280 x 960 FINE 680KB 13 shots
82 shots
NORMAL 460KB 20 shots
126 shots
ECONOMY 250KB 35 shots
221 shots
640 x 480 FINE 190KB 46 shots
294 shots
NORMAL 140KB 61 shots
386 shots
ECONOMY 90KB 98 shots
618 shots
Movie With Audio (320 x 240 pixels)
Recording Capacity 130KB per second
Maximum Recording Time 30 seconds per movie
All of the above values are approximate and are presented for reference only.
Effective Pixels 3.2 million
Imaging Element 1/1.8-inch square pixel primary color CCD (Total Pixels: 3.35 million)
Lens F4.2, f = 7.1mm (equivalent to 35mm on a 35mm film camera)
Zoom 4x digital zoom
Focus Range Fixed focal point: 80cm to infinity / 2.6ft to infinity
Aperture / Zoom F4.2 fixed, 4X digital zoom
Exposure Control Metering: Multi-pattern by imaging element
Control: Program AE Exposure
Compensation: -2EV to +2EV (in 1/3EV steps)
Recording Modes Normal, Movie, Best Shot, Self-timer
Best Shot: 15 scene
(Portrait, Scenery, Portrait With Scenery, Coupling Shot,
Pre-Shot, Pet, Flower, Natural Green, Sundown, Night Scene,
Night Scene Portrait, Fireworks, Monochrome, Retro, Twilight)
Shutter CCD shutter, mechanical shutter; 1 to 1/6400 second
White Balance Auto / Sunny / Shade / Incandescent / Fluorescent / Manual
Sensitivity Auto, ISO 80, 160, 320, 640 equivalent
Self-timer 10-second or 2-second countdown / Triple Self-timer
Built-in Flash Modes: Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Red Eye Reduction
Range: Approx. 0.8 to 2.0 m / 2.6 to 6.6 ft (ISO Auto)
Monitor Screen 2.0-inch TFT color LCD; 84,960 pixels (354 x 240)
Viewfinder Monitor screen and optical viewfinder
Playback Functions Playback zoom (4X), Calendar Screen, Slideshow (Photo Stand),
Movie Playback, Resize, Trimming,
Timekeeping Functions Date and time (Current date and time is stored with image data),
Auto Calendar up to 2049
World Time 162 cities (32 time zones), city names, date and time, summer time
Other Histogram, Alarm with Image, Album Feature, Favorites Folder
Input / Output
Cradle connectors for USB 1.1 and DC input
Power Requirements Proprietary rechargeable NP-20 3.7v 680mAh lithium-ion battery
It takes about two hours to achieve a full charge.
Battery Life Continuous Recording 80 minutes (480 shots)
<LCD-On, Flash-Off>
Continuous Playback 120 minutes
Approximate time until power failure under normal temperature (25°C).
Power Consumption DC 3.7V 3.5W
(excluding projections)
89.5(W) x 57(H) x 11.7(D) mm
(excluding battery and accessories)
Approximately 72g / 2.5 oz.
Bundled Accessories Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery (NP-20) ;
USB Cradle; Special AC Adaptor ; Strap ; Special USB Cable ;
Dummy Card ; CD-ROM
Bundled Software
• Photo Loader 2.1 for Windows / Photo Loader 1.1 for Macintosh
• Photohands 1.0 for Windows
• USB driver 1.0 for Windows / USB driver 2.1 for Macintosh
• Minimum Computer System Requirements
Windows Photo Loader 2.1 Photohands 1.0 USB driver 1.0 *1
CPU 486 or higher
(Pentium or higher recommended)
Pentium or higher 486 or higher
(Pentium or higher recommended)
Memory 16MB minimum 64MB minimum –
HD At least 7MB available At least 10MB available –
*1 • On a system using Windows 2000, data files are provided to allow use of the Windows 2000 standard driver instead of the bundled driver.
• Operation is not supported on a computer pre-installed with or a computer upgraded from Windows NT, 95, or 3.1.
• Use the Windows XP standard driver.
Macintosh Photo Loader 1.1 USB driver 2.1 *2
OS 7.6.1 to 9 8.6 to 9, 10.1, 10.2
CPU Power PC Power PC G3 or higher
Memory 32MB minimum 64MB minimum
HD At least 3MB available –

NOTE: These Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer.

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