Soon after revealing plans to treble its share of the UK digital compact market Casio has confirmed the launch of the 12.1-million-pixel Exilim Zoom EX- Z1200.

Casio UK has confirmed that its new ?flagship? will arrive on the high street at the end of May and be available in a choice of black and silver bodies, priced £279.99.

The move appears to be in line with Casio?s plan to raise its game in the digital camera marketplace.

As reported in Amateur Photographer (AP) last month, Casio?s UK sales force have been challenged with the task of increasing the firm?s digital camera market share to around 10% – from its position of just over 3% at the beginning of this year.

Speaking two months ago, at the PMA trade show in Las Vegas, brand marketing manager David Hodgkinson told AP that part of Casio?s plan may involve targeting existing SLR users looking to carry a compact model as a back-up camera.

Features on board the Z1200 include CCD-shift image stabilisation, a 2.8in monitor and up to three-frames-per-second shooting (at 3MP resolution).

The newcomer also boasts an ?auto tracking AF system? said to combine ?face detection? and ?motion analysis technologies?.

A Casio spokesman claimed: ?With this revolutionary new system, once the focus is locked in, it follows a moving subject?s face, maintaining both sharp focus and correct exposure.?

The camera?s 3x f/2.8 zoom is designed to deliver the 35mm viewing angle equivalent of a 37-111mm lens.

Earlier this year Casio announced the 10.1MP EX-Z1050, with a launch pricetag of £229.99.

Casio, which is 50 this year, says it supplies 40% of the market?s LCD screens (see The Informer AP 7 April).