Casio has announced the release of the world's smallest digital camera with an optical zoom (2.8X), the EXILIM CARD EX-S100. The camera and its lens owe their exceptionally compact packaging to another world's first - the application of ceramic lens technology providing a great advance in optical quality with even greater strength than glass. The EX-S100 will be available in October 2004 at an RRP of US$400.

The first EXILIM digital camera was launched in 2002, an ultra-thin business card-sized model with superior portability and highly responsive operation. Casio's highly-portable camera - which enabled photography for any occasion, anytime, anywhere - had a huge impact on the digital camera market overnight, helping the ultra-slim genre become a major segment of its own.

Since that first EXILIM, Casio has created successively thinner cameras with improved performance, making the EXILIM line-up a trend-setting force in the marketplace. The new EXILIM CARD EX-S100 is the latest breakthrough model in the line.

The new EXILIM CARD EX-S100 was developed to be the flagship model of the series, and as such, embodies all the brand concepts.

Key features of the EX-S100 include use of the world's first transparent ceramic lens in an ultra-slim 2.8X optical zoom lens unit, and Casio's proprietary EXILIM Engine, an ultra-compact image processing LSI module that enables the camera to achieve high-image quality, high-speed operation and low power consumption - all within an extremely slim and compact body package.

As a result, the EX-S100 is the world's smallest optical zoom-equipped digital camera, with a volume of just 79 cc and very compact measurements of 3.46" x 2.24". Moreover, it is only .66" thick, and just .56" at the thinnest point.

The EX-S100 features a stainless steel body, and is created entirely of metal, right down to the screws, for a true feeling of high quality.

The front of the camera features a stylish theme of circular patterns that highlight the shape of the lens, while the back of the unit features a more square look that matches the impressively large 2.0-inch LCD screen. In keeping with the distinctive form of the other models in the EXILIM CARD series, the lens area itself protrudes slightly from the body of the camera.