Gadget Lust

Don’t get me wrong. I love my current digital camera, the most versatile Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20. But I can’t help but drool just a little over news of the next entry in Casio’s sexy Exilim line, the Casio Exilim S500. Five megapixels, image stabilization, and a relatively huge LCD… but only 0.63 inches thick and with the dimensions of a credit card.

Sure, it’s only got a 3x optical zoom lens, but the fact that they can get any zoom into something this thin is remarkable.

The killer feature for me? Taking MPEG video at 620×480 at 30fps for up to 80 minutes (and you can take stills, and use the zoom, at the same time). The Lumix does 30fps, but only at 320×240. It’s fine for videoblogging, though.

Frankly, the form factor is a big deal. While I love the Panasonic Lumix and lust after true “prosumer” digital SLRs, whipping these bad boys out can sometimes intimidate the hell out of the people you want to photograph. Something this diminutive is discreet and cute, and can work at both public events and in intimate gatherings.

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