Casio EX-FC100 Hands-On Review

Check out the following video for a demonstration of the powerful little Casio EX-FC100 that I captured at PMA of the UNLV Cheerleading Squad, which was performing routines in Casio’s booth area. The cheerleaders proved to be great models to demo the capabilities of the EX-FC100.

The Casio EX-FC100 is the miniature follow-up to the EX-F1 and EX-FH20, which were geared toward a prosumer audience.  The EX-FC100, however, is a compact point and shoot camera that packs in the same high speed capture technology as the EX-F1 and EX-FH20 – albeit a slightly reduced frame rate.  It’s still a feature that stands alone in the Casio brand in terms of execution.

Casio EX-FC100 Key Features

  • 9.1 megapixels
  • 720p HD video recording
  • 1000 frames per second max video speed
  • 30 frames per second burst still image capture
  • 5x optical zoom
  • ISO 1600 max sensitivity
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • 2.7″ LCD
  • MSRP $399.99

Casio EX-FC100 Performance and Handling

The great thing about the FC100 is that you can carry it and treat it like a normal point and shoot pocket camera.  The FC100 is perfectly capable of capturing single frame images at 9.1 megapixels and 720p video.  Whenever you are ready, you can turn Dr. Jeckyll into Mr. Hyde with the push of a button for 30 fps still image captures, or the flick of switch for up to 1000 fps video capture.

The inclusion of two separate shutter buttons, one for still images and one for video, is a welcome addition.  This seems to be a trend among cameras that focus on producing quality video along with images.  The video record button is on the back in the top right so that it is accessible with your thumb.  The still image shutter button is in the traditional location atop the camera so you can press it with your index finger.

In normal shooting, I found the flash to be a little weak.  The FC100 also had a poor ambient light balance with the flash.  Granted, I had only a handful of shots from which to judge; however, the FC100 just wasn’t on par with the flash and ambient light balance that I got from the Sony W290.

The high speed capture for both still and video, however, works as advertised.  For still images, you get 6MP images at a rate up to 30fps and you can set the camera to keep a buffer running while you survey your scene so that you don’t miss the moment.  It will actually capture the scene for a predetermined about of frames before you press the shutter and then continue on with the remainder of frames until you capture your burst amount.

Casio EX-FC100 High Speed Still Image Samples

The video mode works equally well in high speed mode.  You can shoot in designated high-speed mode, or you can set it to variable, like I did in the video above.  In the variable mode, you start out in 30fps, then you can jump to 210fps (as above) by pressing the Set button mid-stream.  Press the Set button again and you are back to 30fps.

Additionally, when shooting HD video, you can press the shutter button for still images and capture a 6MP image without interrupting your video recording – no missed frames or pausing the video to snap a pic.

Conclusion

With the EX-FC100, Casio takes what was formerly a novel feature in much larger, prosumer-oriented cameras and puts it in a small, relatively affordable package for consumers.  One practical use, which the folks at Casio pointed out to me, is the demand for the high-speed video and image capture in a variety of sports; particularly in learning environments.  I know that I could use a little help with my golf swing and can see easily see the benefits that this camera would produce by analyzing every point of my swing.  Club pros will really be able to put this camera to use.  Now, imagine how it can benefit just about any other sport.  So, yeah, there’s a big demand for this type of camera.  What’s more is that it’s just plain fun.

The EX-FC100 finally puts a big feature into a small form factor and smaller price.  It’s available at Amazon.com.

 

Comments

  1. Elliot says

    Very cool. If they advertise this well (and drop the price $50) it could be a huge seller.

  2. DESERTER says

    “What’s more is that it’s just plain fun.”
    I think its the only benefit that ppl can get from this kind of products.

  3. David says

    I’m curious as to how much record time you’d get with say..a 1 gig SD card? Any idea?

  4. Autolooper says

    Wow! Looks like this might be the perfect upgrade to my current Casio! I’ve been sticking with a 2006 model since I didn’t care for Casio’s experiments with H264. :P I was excited to hear that Casio’s 2009 models don’t use H264.

    I’ve been curious about any recording limitations such as the UK 10-minute limit, does that exist in the US model. Also, how is the audio recording and what happens when the frame rate is turned up?

    I recently tried and returned a device because it could record at 60 FPS but I was disappointed that the frames seemed to drop to less than 20 in less than ideal lighting. I’m wondering, is it possible or feasible to record in 1000 FPS and then reduce it down to 60 in post-processing?

  5. Cleo Bond says

    I was just thinking, how many Mpix does it record , when its set to 1000FPS ?
    it cant still be HD quality can it ?

  6. says

    @Omar – If still quality is what you are after, I would be looking at a Canon or Sony point and shoot. On the Casio, I think your high-FPS shots will print just fine up to about 8×10 if you are in good lighting.

    @Cleo – You are correct, the 1000fps setting is not HD. I actually think it’s below VGA.

    @David – It’s going to depend on the quality you are recording at.

  7. techguru says

    It’s an very good camera because very compact design, measuring just 99.8 x 58.5 x 22.6mm and weighing approximately 180g including battery and memory card.We have a feeling that this is a good quality since it does not feel like a plastic camera considering to the materials.The buttons are also quite excellent and are logically placed and user interactive.This means that anyone who has used an ordinary digital camera before can easily operate the Casio Exilim High Speed EX-FC100 too. For more information http://www.techarena.in/review/8865-casio-exilim-high-speed-ex-fc100-digital-camera.htm

  8. says

    I’ve got one of these and between my daughters & I we’ve beat the heck out of this little camera. I’ve got to say it’s my all time best point-and-shoot camera…finally unseating my Fuji F30. On the Casio, the low light is only so-so, but everything else is pretty good. Controls can be tight, but they are squeezing quite a few controls in a tight space. All in all if it failed to function today, I’d replace it with the exact same camera. It’s *that* good.