Out with the old, in with the discontinued [camera]

We used to have a Casio Exilim EX-S500. It did well by us. Very portable, okay pictures. Very good video. Then I took it to Weeki Wachee and Zip-Loc let me down (three bags, three soaked items.) The camera was not serviceable after that. We dried it and dried it. When I finally disassembled it, it was clearly beyond salvage. My biggest complaint about this camera was that you couldn’t change the zoom level while video was recording.

So today, at Ritz in Ocala, we got a Casio Exilim EX-V8, highly regarded by Ken Rockwell, that I’ve coveted for some time. But the S500 was good enough to make the EX-V8 unjustifiable. Until the S500’s untimely demise.

So far, so good. Turns out the EX-V8 even has a constant light for video! That’s something my Canon ZR-200 MiniDV camcorder doesn’t even do.

Regarding zooming during video recording, the EX-V8 does this extremely well. Not only does it have two speeds of zoom depending on how far you push the slider, it is virtually silent. I can’t hear it zooming at all. And the zooming is not in steps, it is smooth. And 7X!

This will be a great backup camera for photo work and a good primary audio recorder, taking the S500’s place, for business meetings and product review meetings with clients. Keeps folks honest.

The EX-V8 is not currently available direct from Amazon (only through Amazon merchants) and costs $244 from them right now. The Ritz store I bought it at had only this one and the floor model left and I’ve found none from known good sellers online lately. It is discontinued. The next one in this family (EX-V9?) may turn out to be fantastic but I doubt it will cost only $200 and probably (hopefully) won’t do anything I need better than the V8. I certainly don’t need more megapixels. Any improvements in video recording would be great, but probably not worth the extra money for me. But time will tell and this is a great camera for the money today. Did I mention 7X zoom? Nice.