If you've been intrigued by the phenomenal continuous shooting framerates and amazing video capture capabilities of Casio's EX-F1, but were hoping for something more easy to carry along anywhere, Casio has your answer.
Officially unveiled today, the manufacturer's new Exilim EX-FS10 and EX-FC100 cameras follow up on one of the biggest releases from last year's CES by bringing much of the F1's high-speed performance down to size. The "card-sized" FS10 and palm-sized FC100 share a Casio-developed 9.1 megapixel CMOS image sensor that's specially designed to make 30 fps shooting – faster than any pro DSLR – a reality.
With performance like this, there's almost always a qualification. In the case of these two cameras, the hitch is that, in order to get 30 snaps per second, you'll have to settle for a 6 megapixel capture. It's hard to complain too much, though, given that no other compact/ultracompact camera even comes close to this kind of performance.
Like the F1 before them, the FS10 and FC100 use these unusually high capture speeds to support some mind bending functions. Our favorite is the ability to view your subject in slow motion at the push of a button: the cameras step more slowly through their cache of continuous captures in this mode, allowing you to select the single frame that captures the height of an action sequence, for instance, without saving 30 frames to get it.
As suggested, both models can also shoot video (although we're not sure at what resolution) at 210, 420, or even 1000 fps using a high-speed movie setting, which translates to insane slow motion sequences when played back at normal speed. At the other end of the spectrum, high-def video recording at 1280x720/30 fps is also supported on both models.
The smaller, thinner, and lighter FS10 offers users a basic 3x zoom and 2.5 inch Super Clear LCD. The larger FC100 steps up to 5x lens, a 2.7 inch display, and adds sensor-shifting image stabilization. Both cameras are appropriately if conservatively specified, but in this case physical specs are clearly secondary to high-speed capture and portability.
The latest Exilim models are unique, and further solidify Casio's position as the king of high-speed cameras. Gadget junkies will probably jump on the new models for the combination of performance and convenience they offer, but while Casio has made another impressive technological step with these models, we're wondering if the prices ($399 for the FC100, $349 for the FS10) won't seem a high price to pay for what will likely be, for most users anyway, a handful of novelty features on an otherwise basic camera.
Both models, which each come in several colors, go on sale in March.
We'll be posting detailed specs on both models as soon as we have time to condense them.