Casio’s new FH100 has a 24mm wideangle 10x optical zoom, 720p HD video and can even shoot lower resolution high-speed video at up to 1000 frames per second. But is it actually any good in use? The What Digital Camera Casio EX-FH100 review puts it to the test…
Casio EX-FH100 review – Features
The Casio EX-FH100 certainly ticks a lot of boxes on the features front. With a wideangle 24mm lens capable of 10x zoom to a telephoto 240mm, the majority of the photographic spectrum is at your fingertips.
With a 10.1MP backlit CMOS sensor, Casio has opted for the quality measure over unnecessary excess pixels – a commendable focus. Backlit sensors help to reduce signal to noise ratio and thus, so the science says, reduce the visible, grain-like image noise that is associated with digital images. With a sensor-shift mechanism also in place, image stabilisation takes place by countering subtle hand shake to maintain sharper pictures when shooting at slower shutter speeds.
As well as a super high-speed continuous shooting mode of up to 40 (yes, forty) still frames per second, the FH100 also adds high-speed movie capture too. High Definition 720p capture at 30fps is the best quality available, but it’s also possible to capture VGA (640 x 480) at up to 120fps and lower resolutions can see frame rates up to an extreme slow-mo 1000fps.
The EX-FH100 has a Best Shot mode that automatically recognises the scene at hand and auto-selects the most appropriate scene settings (which are also user-selectable). A Best Shot high-speed lighting mode also features for optimised shadow and highlight detail exposed in a single frame. For those looking for greater control, full manual (PSAM) modes also feature (though aperture control is limited to one of two possible selections, depending on lighting conditions).
Casio EXILIM EX-FH100 review – Design
The EX-FH100 is a fairly bulky-looking brute of a camera, but this also translates to a solid-feeling experience. The layout springs no surprises, relatively formal as far as digital cameras go – the majority of the rear is lent to the 3in LCD screen, with a four-way d-pad plus playback, record, menu and movie buttons each available as one-touch options. On the FH100’s top is a fast-access ‘HS’ (High Speed) button to quickly change into burst shooting, signified by a fetching animation on the LCD screen. Next to this is a BS/Auto (P)/A/S/M dial to select shooting mode. The shutter button is sandwiched between these two others, which has a focus trigger around it.
The main menu, at least when in a manual mode, is sectioned into Record, Quality and Set Up options. Digging in and out of the menu to change focus, AF area, Face Detection and Anti Shake modes can be a little slow and cumbersome. With the potential to shoot manually, and with a number of one-touch buttons on the camera’s body itself, it seems a shame that at least one Function button hasn’t been made available for user-assigned use. The menus aren’t too bad though, and are at least far and away from confusing, but they don’t seem to have the polished finesse that they otherwise could.