The Casio Exilim EX-FC100 is an "utter speed demon of a camera," says Tim Barribeau at DigitalCameraInfo.com, revealing that it snaps still photos at 30 frames per second (fps) and captures HD video at 1,000 fps. By comparison, the Canon PowerShot S90 -- the all-around compact digital camera class leader -- chugs along at about 1 fps in continuous mode, and most point-and-shoots max out at 30 fps when shooting video. The Casio EX-FC100 can capture the "split-second perfect moment," says Barribeau, while the "insane" HD video speeds create incredible slow motion. Speed is gained by recording at reduced resolutions, which experts say compromises image quality. The 30 fps mode records at 6 megapixels, whereas the 15 fps shots soak up all 9.1 megapixels. At the lower resolutions, image quality suffers from diminished sharpness and color and increased noise. But in standard shooting modes, photo quality fares better. Steves-Digicams.com cites excellent exposures with vivid colors, while Barribeau praises the "pleasantly low" noise below 800 ISO.
Size and handling are also an issue. The FC100's sprite chassis measures less than an inch thick and weighs about 5.1 ounces. The 2.7-inch LCD with a 230,400-pixel resolution eats up real estate on the back of the camera, leaving "annoyingly" tiny and hard-to-find control buttons, says Barribeau. The trade-offs are worth it in the eyes of most experts and users. "This camera isn't made for a family portrait or the second coming of Ansel Adams. Use it what it's good for -- outdoor sporting events, fast action, even your dog chasing a squirrel -- and you'll be happy. I am," sums up one owner at Amazon.com.
DigitalCameraInfo.com and Steves-Digicams.com provide the most thorough testing and detailed stand-alone write-ups of the Casio Exilim EX-FC100, while shorter evaluations from PopPhoto.com and Laptop Magazine cover key features. Owner comments at Amazon.com help to reveal potential problems that surface with long-term use.
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Despite drawbacks like the "annoyingly" tiny control buttons, Barribeau and his fellow testers are impressed by shooting speeds. Still, he admits that market rivals, such as the Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR and Canon PowerShot SD970 IS, edge out for image quality.
Review: Casio Exilim EX-FC100 Digital Camera Review, Tim Barribeau, June 26, 2009
Coverage of the Casio Exilim EX-FC100 is brief, but Dan Richards and fellow editors include the camera in their American Photo Editor's Choice for 2009. The FC100 "stuns" these experts not only with its "phenomenally fast capture rates," but that it accomplishes this feat in such a diminutive package.
Review: American Photo Editor's Choice 2009: Compacts, Dan Richards, July 10, 2009
The impressive and lightning-fast Casio Exilim EX-FC100 "is well worth the money" for high-speed photography or HD video, say the editors at Steves-Digicams.com. This ultra-compact camera offers good video quality, with excellent playback on computers or the camera's 2.7-inch LCD display.
Review: Casio Exilim EX-FC100, Editors of Steves-Digicams.com, June 1, 2009
4. Laptop Magazine
"What makes the EX-FC100 a gem is its fast speeds, slow-motion video, and HD shooting," says reviewer Dana Wollman. Like other experts, she notes the camera's obvious drawbacks: it struggles in low-light conditions, lacks an HDMI connection and is a tad on the heavy side. Nevertheless, the stunning speed and video capabilities win out in the end, earning the Casio Exilim EX-FC100 Laptop Magazine's Best of CES 2009 designation.
Review: Casio Exilim EX-FC100, Dana Wollman, May 5, 2009
With more than 60 owners posting comments about the Casio Exilim EX-FC100, the majority considers the high shooting speeds alone to be worth the purchase. "The 210 fps will show you a whole new world," says one user. Complaints include darkness and a skewed "jello effect" at higher HD video shooting speeds.
Review: Casio High-Speed Exilim EX-FC100, Contributors to Amazon.com