Setup and Ease of Use
Casio's EX-S880 has too many buttons: The Data button on top could be a menu item, and active Play and Record buttons make the Power button almost redundant. Otherwise, the design is sleek and functional. Syncing and charging is done only through the included cradle, which requires a power outlet and free USB slot on a PC or Mac. Small buttons on the cradle can quickly activate the camera while docked to transfer files.
Still Photo Quality and Features
The EX-S880's photos aren't as sharp as some other 8-megapixel cameras we've seen, but the color fidelity was spot-on. While the camera lacks full manual controls, users will find simple options for changing ISO and flash settings, and a plethora of modes to achieve different effects and shots. You can define modes for quick access to custom settings. Face-detection technology uses the autofocus to hone in on faces, and you can program the camera to prioritize focusing on specific friends and family.
Video Quality and Features
A dedicated video record button at the top right corner of the EX-S880 makes shooting video in any situation a snap, and the resulting VGA clips were free of jumps and largely without artifacts or rough edges. Clips can be as long as your SD card will allow--roughly 47 minutes will fit on a 1GB card. Quality drops somewhat in YouTube mode, but what you see on your desktop is almost exactly what will appear online, and the transfer process was seamless with included YouTube Uploader software. The EX-S880 also comes with Ulead Video Studio 3.2SE VCD, Photo Loader with Hot Album 3.1, and a trial version of VideoStudio 10 Plus.
Bang for Your Buck
At $249, the EX-S880 is a reliable, affordable choice that can handle both photos and video with aplomb.The decision really comes down to a simple question: What are your intentions? Shutterbugs who just want to capture the occasional dog or baby in motion should definitely go for the EX-S880 or a similar digicam. In fact, anyone who expects to shoot more photos than video should invest in a good digital still camera; most current models capture very good clips, and some are even capable of recording very good sound, too. The Casio Exilim Card EX-S880 isa well-rounded choice. This camera (as well as others with similar capabilities) isrelatively inexpensive, easy to use, and offers many options in terms of manual controls. And 47 minutes should do the trick for capturing special moments.
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