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Casio at PMA 2006
2006 KenRockwell.com

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Casio introduced the new EX-Z850, EX-Z600 and EX-Z60 at PMA on February 25th, 2006. The EX-S600 was announced at CES in January 2006.

All older cameras have been discontinued and replaced with these improved models.

New Features common to all the new Casio cameras

They all include recharageble Li-ion batteries. Only the cheapest Z60 uses an external recharger; the rest have the excelent drop-in cradle for charging and downloading.

A "soft flash" mode to prevent blowing out exposures in macro mode.

An "old photo" scene preset to enhance faded colors. Casio calls precet scene modes " Best Shot," or BS, modes. As soon as I get my hands on one I'm going to see what it does to pump up colors for everyday use!

A "rapid flash" mode which makes three flash shots in rapid sucession. This adds to the regular continuous shutter release mode which wouldn't work with the flash due to long recycle times. The rapid flash mode reduces the flash output so it can fire three times in rapid sucession.

World clocks with 32 time zones.

To impress the innocent Casio added a new BS mode called "eBay." They make a big deal of this for promotional purposes. It's just a preset that enables macro and makes a 1,600 x 1,200 pixel JPG at about 350kB file size. All of Casio's (and most other makers' cameras) are also easy to set to this mode, at least if you're like me. This eBay mode is designed for people like my mom. Casio has a one-year exclusive use agreement for the eBay name for this feature. This has nothing to do with eBay or communication with any website. It's just an easy way to optimize a file to 1600 wide. I'm uncertain why the 1600 x 1200 size. Professional websites like eBay, Yahoo and CNN are limited to images 750 pixels wide, so the 1600 pixel width is only needed if you really want to let someone see something huge on an external image viewer. Even the simplest of Casio's new cameras have 33 BS modes. I rarely use them, but I do preogram my own since each camera can store up to 999 (yes, almost a thousand) presets.

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