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 EXILIM EX-FH100 review – Performance
The FH100’s JPEG images can be shot from ISO 100-3200, though if you chose to shoot in the Raw format this is limited to ISO 100-200 only. Furthermore taking a single frame in Raw format will take some 13 seconds to process through the buffer before the camera is free to take its next frame. On the upside, the Raw files are DNG (Adobe’s native Raw format) so are immediately readable on third party Raw-processing software like Photoshop Elements or other similar packages. Otherwise the FH100’s shooting speed is one of its selling points: the high speed 40fps capture snaps away at pace and the burst of images are saved in a ‘stack’ as to avoid having to always scroll through dozens of shots when in playback. The main criticism here however is the when in burst mode the depression of the shutter gives no signifier that shooting is actually taking place. Only upon releasing the shutter again will the camera show itself as ‘Busy’ in processing the burst of shots. Jumping in and out of the high-speed shooting is easy thanks to the one-touch button on top of the camera however.
From high-speed stills to high speed-movie capture, the Casio FH100 has some headline-grabbing video modes capable of up to 1000fps. However, at this ultra-high frame rate the resolution is a paltry 224×64 pixels and has considerable image noise. Saying that, the 720p HD 30fps capture is good to have (although the lens is fixed and can’t be zoomed during capture) and the 120fps VGA capture certainly has its uses – watching people or objects move in super slow motion is good fun. Shooting movies is easy thanks to the one-touch record button on the camera’s rear, though this does have a slight delay prior to recording commencing.
To watch all the action the FH100 has a large 3in LCD screen, though the relatively low 230k-dot resolution is a let down. High areas of contrast can often fail to resolve successfully and can ‘flicker’ upon review.
The EX-FH100’s autofocus system is a fair offering that’s speedy enough, though it does make an awful lot of physical, crackling-like noise that is a distraction. Adjusting multi- or single-AF points could also be sped-up somewhat, as the menu digging equired for options like this can become frustrating.
Scene modes are available aplenty in Best Shot (BS) mode, and although the option of Manual and Aperture-priority modes are also there, the lack of selectable apertures available (and effective difference they make on such a small image sensor) does limit this use. When in any of the PASM options the menu does become a little quicker to adjust as it is displayed to the right of the LCD. Pressing the Set key quickly accesses adjustment that can be adjusted with the live preview still visible.