Casio EX-S200 Review

January 28, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Casio EX-S200 is a slim, credit-card sized camera that is just 17.8mm thick and 14.9mm at its thinnest part. The 14 megapixel entry-level S200 compact digital camera offers a 4x optical zoom lens that starts at 27mm wide-angle, CCD-shift image stabilization mechanism, 2.7 inch LCD screen, 720p HD movies with a one-touch recording button, Premium Auto and Dynamic Photo functions. Also new to the S200 is the Single Frame SR Zoom feature which extends the zoom range by a factor of 1.5x, and Single Frame SR Quality which delivers images with improved clarity and resolution. The EX-S200 comes in five different colors - black, silver, pink, orange and blue - for around £150 / $179.

Ease of Use

The Casio EX-S200 is a very well-made, compact and super-slim digital camera, small enough to fit into the palm of your hand and inside a trouser or shirt pocket or a small handbag. As with almost every Casio camera that we've reviewed before, the EX-S200 is one of the better models around in terms of build quality, despite being made predominantly of plastic. The overall finish is excellent, looking and feeling much more expensive than its budget price-tag might suggest. There's no hand-grip on the front and no thumb-grip area on the rear either, which does make it difficult to get a good grip on the camera. The plastic tripod mount is off-centre in the bottom of the camera, and changing cards or batteries is not possible while the S200 is mounted on a tripod because the compartment door hinge is too close to the tripod socket.

The Casio S200 features a 4x optical zoom lens that's equivalent to a focal range of 27-108mm in 35mm terms. The 27mm wide-angle focal length provides a wide-angle outlook that can only increase your creativity. You won't want to go back to a "standard" 35mm zoom after using the 27mm lens on the EX-S200. The 4x zoom lens provides quite a versatile focal range, especially as it is coupled with Casio's effective anti-shake system, which helps to ensure that the majority of photos taken in good light are sharp. The S200's lens is quite fast at the wide-angle setting, with a maximum aperture of f/3.2, but not so good at the 108mm telephoto setting, with a maximum aperture of f/5.9.

The Casio EX-S200 has relatively few external controls, just 10 in total, which reflects the fact that this is a simple camera in functionality terms, with very limited photographic possibilities on offer. All the controls are clearly labeled using industry-standard symbols and terminology, with just a couple of Casio-specific buttons that require a quick read of the manual.

Located on top of the EX-S200 are the small On / Off button and the tactile Zoom Lever and Shutter button. On the bottom of the EX-S200 are the plastic tripod mount and lockable battery compartment, which also houses the SD / SDHC / SDXC memory card slot.

On the rear is the 2.7 inch LCD screen, with a number of controls to the right, including a traditional navigation pad. You can directly access the various flash options by clicking down on the navigation pad, whilst up is used to toggle between the various Display modes (no information, shooting info, shooting info with histogram). The unmarked Set button in the middle performs two main tasks - it selects menu options, and also accesses the EX-S200's Control Panel.

Casio EX-S200 Casio EX-S200
Front Rear

This is a vertical list of options displayed on the right of the LCD screen, which provides quick access to some of the camera's more important options, including image size, movie quality, flash, auto-focus type and area, self-timer and continuous shooting, and face detection. It takes a little while to get used to the presence of this on-screen list, but you can toggle it off using the Display mode if it proves too distracting. Annoyingly there is no option for ISO speed, which means that you have to go into the menu system to change this commonly-used setting.

Directly above and below the navigation pad are the self-explanatory Camera and Playback buttons, which switch between the two modes. Above the Camera button is the very welcome inclusion of a dedicated Movie button, which makes it quick and easy to shoot a movie without missing the start of the action. The EX-S200 can record HD movies at 1280x720 pixels at 24 fps, standard quality movies at 640x480 pixels at 30fps, and VGA movies at 320x240 at 15 fps, all in the AVI format.

There are some limitations to the EX-S200's movie mode. The AVI format choice results in some massive file sizes that quickly fill up your memory cards, and the length of a movie is bizarrely limited to only 10 minutes. The sound quality is not that great, with the usual background noise that accompanies movies shot with cameras that only have mono sound. Thankfully you can use the 4x optical zoom during movie recording (there is also a digital zoom setting available).

The EX-S200 doesn't have a dedicated Menu button - instead you have to press Set and then scroll to the Menu option in the Control Panel list. The menu system on the Casio EX-S200 is perfectly straight-forward to use. Quite a lot of the camera's main settings are accessed elsewhere, so the main menu system isn't actually that complicated. A row of 3 icons along the top of the LCD screen represent the Record, Quality and Set Up sub-menus, with most of the options being the kind that you set once and then forget about. Due to the large and bright LCD screen, the various options are easy to access and use, especially as only 6 are shown onscreen at one time.

Accessed via the Best Shot Control Panel option, the Casio EX-S200 offers Auto and a comprehensive range of 42 different scene modes aimed at the user who just wants to point and shoot, making this camera particularly well-suited to the beginner, although picking the most appropriate one can get confusing! BS Auto mode will do its best to pick the most appropriate mode for the current scene, although it doesn't choose from all 43 modes.

Casio EX-S200 Casio EX-S200
Front Side

The Landscape mode makes colours more vivid, filters haze, and performs other processing that enhances the beauty of natural scenery. You can choose from two settings, Vivid Landscape or Mist Removal, with Off, +1 (Weak) and +2 (Strong) strengths available for both. The Make-up mode smoothes the skin texture of the subject and softens facial shadows caused by harsh sunlight for better looking portraits. You can set one of 13 levels in the range of 0 (no correction) to +12 (maximum correction).

The final controls on the rear of the EX-S200 are the self-explanatory Delete button and the Auto button. The EX-S200 has two Auto modes, the standard one and Premium Auto. The latter mode automatically optimizes the camera's settings for exposure, ISO, sensitivity, focus, photo blur correction, tonal range, color balance, and level of noise reduction, leaving you to concentrate on framing and taking the picture.

Taking a leaf out of Panasonic's compact camera book, the new Single Frame SR Zoom option electronically increases the zoom range by a factor of 1.5, from 4x to 6x. As with its rival's solution, this does come at the expense of reduced image quality. Similarly, Single Frame SR Quality promises to improve the clairty and resolution of your images - you can see the results of using both modes for yourself on the Image Quality page.

There is a single port on the right side of the Casio EX-S200 (when viewed from the back) which accepts both the USB interface cable required to connect the camera to a printer or computer, and the AV cable. There are no controls on the left side of the EX-S200. Overall the camera body feels very well-designed and not at all cluttered, despite the presence of the large 2.7 inch LCD, which has a wide viewing angle from left to right, average resolution of 230,000 dots, and is visible in most conditions. There is no optical viewfinder on this model.

Casio EX-S200 Casio EX-S200
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

If you have never used a digital camera before, or you're upgrading from a more basic model, reading the comprehensive and fairly easy-to-follow manual before you start is a good idea. Unfortunately Casio have chosen to cut costs and only supply the full manual as a PDF on a CD, rather than in printed format. Not much use if you're taking pictures and need to find out what a particular option does.

The start-up time from turning the Casio EX-S200 on to being ready to take a photo is fairly quick at around 2 seconds, and it takes about the same time to zoom from the widest focal length to the longest. Focusing is very quick in good light and the camera happily achieves focus indoors or in low-light situations, helped by the green focus-assist lamp. It takes about 0.5 second to store an image, allowing you to keep shooting as they are being recorded onto the memory card - there is a very quick LCD blackout between each image.

In Continuous mode the camera takes 4 frames per second at the highest image quality, which is fast for this class of camera, with the shooting rate maintained until your memory card is full. There is also a High-speed Continuous Shutter mode, which shoot at 10 frames per second at 1600 x 1200 pixels (up to 20 shots), and a Flash Continuous Shutter mode, which takes 3 frames per second at 1600 x 1200 pixels (up to 3 shots).

Once you have captured a photo, the Casio EX-S200 has a good range of options when it comes to playing, reviewing and managing your images. You can instantly scroll through the images that you have taken, view up to 25 thumbnails onscreen at once, and zoom in and out up to 8x magnification. You can view slideshows with different effects and interval settings and set the print order and the transfer order, and also protect, rotate, resize, trim, and copy an image. For editing your images and movies in-camera, options include Dynamic Photo which extracts images of a moving subject and combines them with a still image to form a new background, Movie Editing for trimming your movies, and four different Art Effects. The Display button toggles detailed settings information about each picture on and off, such as the ISO rating and white balance.

In summary the Casio EX-S200 is a simple, stylish and slim entry-level digital camera - now let's find out what its image quality is like.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 14 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5Mb.

The Casio EX-S200 produces images of above average quality. The biggest issue is noise and loss of detail at relatively slow ISO speeds. The 1/2.3 inch, 14.1 megapixel sensor recorded noise-free images at ISO 50-100, but there's already some noise and slight softening of detail at ISO 200. ISO 400 shows a little more noise and colour desaturation, and ISO 800 and 1600 are significantly worse, with obvious loss of fine detail, colour desaturation and even more noise. The fastest setting ISO 3200 isn't worth using at all.

The Casio EX-S200 handled chromatic aberrations quite well, with fairly limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations and generally at the edges of the frame. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with a little red-eye and adequate overall exposure. The night photograph was poor, with the maximum shutter speed of 4 seconds not being long enough for most after-dark shots, resulting in under-exposure.

Macro performance is also disappointing, only allowing you to focus as close as 8cms away from the subject. The images were a little soft straight out of the Casio EX-S200 at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting. Anti-shake is a feature that works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the moderate zoom range.


There are 7 ISO settings available on the Casio EX-S200. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso50.jpg iso100.jpg

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso400.jpg

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso1600.jpg

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)



Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level to suit your tastes.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Focal Range

The Casio EX-S200's 4x zoom lens provides a focal length of 27-108mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.



focal_range_1.jpg focal_range_2.jpg

File Quality

The Casio EX-S200 has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

14M Fine (5.57Mb) (100% Crop) 14M Normal (2.93Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_fine.jpg quality_normal.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Casio EX-S200 suffered from some fairly obvious chromatic aberrations during the review, with purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg


The Casio EX-S200 offers a Super Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 8cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg


The flash settings on the Casio EX-S200 are Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Soft Flash, and Red Eye Reduction. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (27mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (27mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (108mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (108mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, the Auto setting caused a tiny amount of red-eye, which the Red Eye Reduction option removed at the expense of fine detail and colour fidelity.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg

Red-eye Correction

Red-eye Correction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg


The Casio EX-S200's maximum shutter speed is 4 seconds in the Night scene mode, which isn't good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 4 seconds at ISO 50. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Anti Shake

The Casio EX-S200 has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results. As you can see, with anti shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti shake turned off. This feature really does seem to make a difference and could mean capturing a successful, sharp shot or missing the opportunity altogether.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/5th / 27mm antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg
1/2 / 108mm antishake2.jpg antishake2a.jpg

Single Frame SR Zoom

Single Frame SR Zoom electronically extends the S200's zoom range by a factor of 1.5x to 6x.



sr_zoom_off.jpg sr_zoom_on.jpg

Single Frame SR Quality

Single Frame SR Quality promises to deliver images with improved clarity and resolution.



sr_quality_off.jpg sr_quality_on.jpg


You can use this setting to optimize the balance between bright areas and dark areas when shooting images. You can choose from three settings, Off, On and Extra.



lighting_off.jpg lighting_on.jpg



Landscape Mode

The Landscape mode makes colours more vivid, filters haze, and performs other processing that enhances the beauty of natural scenery. You can choose from two settings, Vivid Landscape or Mist Removal, with Off, +1 (Weak) and +2 (Strong) strengths available for both. Here is an example of the Vivid Landscape setting.


Vivid Landscape +2

landscape_off.jpg landscape_on.jpg

Make-Up Mode

The Make-up mode smoothes the skin texture of the subject and softens facial shadows caused by harsh sunlight for better looking portraits. You can set one of 13 levels in the range of 0 (no correction) to +12 (maximum correction).


Standard +6

makeup_off.jpg makeup_on.jpg

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Casio EX-S200 camera, which were all taken using the 14 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1280 x 720 pixels at 20 frames per second. Please note that this 15 second movie is 32.3Mb in size.

Product Images

Casio EX-S200

Front of the Camera

Casio EX-S200

Front of the Camera / Turned On

Casio EX-S200

Isometric View

Casio EX-S200

Isometric View

Casio EX-S200

Rear of the Camera

Casio EX-S200

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

Casio EX-S200

Rear of the Camera / Turned On

Casio EX-S200

BRear of the Camera / Set Menu

Casio EX-S200

Top of the Camera


Casio EX-S200

Bottom of the Camera

Casio EX-S200
Side of the Camera
Casio EX-S200
Side of the Camera
Casio EX-S200
Front of the Camera
Casio EX-S200
Front of the Camera
Casio EX-S200
Memory Card Slot
Casio EX-S200
Battery Compartment


The Casio EX-S200 is virtually identical to the Z800 model that we reviewed last week, delivering a versatile wide-angle lens, large LCD screen and HD movie recording in a super-slim chassis. Unfortunately the same below-par image quality and over-simplified user interface detract from the S200's overall appeal, and ultimately we'd pick the slightly fatter but actually more compact and crucially cheaper Z800.

The S200's 4x, 27-108mm lens is versatile enough, covering everything from wide-angle landscapes to head and shoulder portraits, and mechanical stabilisation helps to ensure that most of your shots will be sharp. We have reviewed other comparably sized compacts with bigger zoom ranges though, so it's worth looking around if you need a longer focal length. The 2.7 inch LCD screen is adequate enough for a 2011 camera, while the HD movie mode has been improved on previous Casio compacts with the ability to use the zoom lens during recording and a handy one-touch record button.

Ease-of-use is fine for beginners, with the S200 doing virtually all of the heavy lifting if so required, but the need to almost constantly dip into the rather convoluted dual menu system slows things down for more experienced users looking for greater control. It takes no less than 8 button presses, for example, just to change the ISO speed, something that absolute beginners may never actually do, but which the rest of us will find frustrating.

Image quality is also only satisfactory, with noise and loss of detail at relatively slow ISO speeds, a limited maximum shutter speed of 4 seconds, and a disappointing 8cm macro mode. This isn't the camera to buy if you're looking for the best ever image quality, especially when used in low-light conditions, but the EX-S200 does produce well-exposed and accurate photos that will please the majority of its target audience.

Which leaves us with a well-built, very slim and compact but ultimately unremarkable camera that is a little over-priced compared to the Z800 - you have to pay a premium just to get the slimmer body. The Casio EX-S200 is still a simple and effective point and shoot for all the family, but we'd save the cash and opt for the cheaper Z800 instead.

3.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 3.5
Image quality 3.5
Value for money 4


Recording Element Total Pixels: 14.48 megapixels (/million)
  1/2.3-inch square pixel CCD
Recording Format Still Image: JPEG (Exif. Ver. 2.2), DCF standard; DPOF compliant
  Audio: WAV (mono)
  Movies: AVI (Motion JPEG), IMA-ADPCM (mono)
Recording Medium Card slot for SD / SDHC / Eye-Fi Wireless Card compatible
  34.9MB* built-in flash memory, SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card compatible
  * Built-in memory capacity after formatting.
Image Resolution Still images: 14M(4320x3240)/3:2(4320x2880)/16:9(4320x2432)/10M(3648x2736)/6M(2816x2112)/3M(2048x1536)/VGA(640x480)
  Movies: HD (1280X720)/STD (640x480)
Image Deletion One image, all images
Lens 6 lenses in 5 groups, incl. aspherical lens
  F3.2(W) - F5.9(T) / f=4.9 - 19.6mm
  (Approx. 27 - 108mm equivalent to 35mm film)
Focus Mode Auto Focus, Macro Mode, Super Macro, Infinity Mode, Manual Focus
  Contrast Detection Auto Focus with lamp assist
  AF Area: Intelligent, Spot, Multi, Tracking
Focus Range Auto focus: Approx. 20cm - Infinity (W)
  Macro: Approx. 8cm - 50cm (First step from Widest Setting)
  Super Macro: Approx. 8cm - 50cm
  Infinity mode: Infinity
  Manual focus: Approx. 20cm - Infinity (W)
Exposure Metering Multi pattern , (center weighted for some BS scenes) by CCD
Exposure Control Program AE
Exposure Compensation -2EV to +2EV (in 1/3EV steps)
Shutter CCD electronic / mechanical shutter
Shutter Speed Normal: 1/2 to 1/2000 sec.
  Night: 4 to 1/2000sec.
Aperture F2.8 (W) to F7.9 (W)
  F3.2(W) - F8.0(W) (ND filter is being used.)
White Balance Auto WB, Daylight, Overcast, Shade, Day white FL, Daylight FL, Tungsten, Manual WB
Sensitivity Still Images: uto/ ISO50/ ISO100/ ISO200/ ISO400/ ISO800/ ISO1600/ ISO3200
  Movies: Auto
Recording Mode Movie with audio
  Image Stabilization Mechanism
Recording Functions YouTube(TM) Capture Mode
  Voice recorder
  Face Detector
  Dynamic photo
  Prerecord Movie
  Handheld Night Scene
  Make-up Shot
  Landscape Mode
Self-Timer Triple self-timer
  10 seconds or 2 seconds
Flash System Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Soft Flash, Red Eye Reduction
  Auto, Flash off, Flash on, Soft Flash, Red eye reduction
  Flash Charge Time: Approx 4 seconds
Approx. Flash Range Normal: Approx. 0.2 - 4.4 m (W)/ Approx. 0.4 - 2.4 m (T)
  Flash Shooting: Approx. 0.3 - 1.9 m (W)/ Approx. 0.4 - 1.1 m (T)
Monitor 2.7-inch wide TFT colour LCD(Super Clear LCD), 230, 160 dots (959x240)
Timekeeping 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 saving time
Input/Output Terminals Built-in speaker (mono)
  Built-in microphone
  USB / AV connector
USB USB 2.0 (Hi-speed) compatible
Weight Approximately 132g (Including Battery and Memory Card*)
  Approximately 116g (excluding Including Battery and Memory Card)
Bundled Accessories CD-ROM
  AV cable
  Battery charger
  User's quick reference guide
  USB cable (Full speed USB 2.0 compatible)
  AC power cord
  Wrist strap

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