A charging cradle comes with the camera and incorporates the USB and A/V ports that couldn't fit on the EX-S500. That means you'll need to take it or a card reader along for downloads and TV displays away from home. Unlike some other ultracompacts, however, this one has a tripod mount built into the camera body.
You won't find manual exposure controls on the Casio Exilim EX-S500, but this little camera has a long list of features that expand its capabilities beyond point-and-shoot. In addition to exposure compensation, sensitivity control of ISO 50 to ISO 400, adjustable sharpness, saturation, and contrast, multiple metering modes, flash assist for better focus in low light, flash intensity adjustments and custom white balance, the EX-S500 offers built-in icon help that explains each Best Shot scene mode. The zoom lens offers a 38mm-to-114mm range (35mm equivalent), which is a little better than that of some competing ultracompacts on the long end but won't help when you need a wide angle for shooting in tight spaces.
One feature that's always a bonus is the ability to choose which settings the camera remembers when you power it down so that you don't have to start from the beginning the next time you shoot. With the EX-S500, the memory list includes Best Shot, flash, focus, white balance, ISO, AF area, metering mode, flash intensity and even zoom position (although we never found a need for the latter).
With about 30 scene modes, including a large number that can be used for video, the EX-S500's Best Shot mode represents one of the camera's most notable features. You'll find standard scene modes such as Portrait and Landscape, but the Best Shot list also includes Fireworks, Text and other unusual options. More importantly, you can set as many as 999 of your own Best Shot modes, giving the EX-S500 perhaps the largest number of custom automated setting options on the market.