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January 07, 2010

New Casio EX-FH100 uses 10mp CMOS backlit sensor and powerful NP-90 battery

Unlike other manufacturers, Casio does not have to defend a long line of camcorders. Which is why they bravely launched the Casio EX-F1 at CES 2008 using a 6mp 1/1.8" Sony sensor, bucking the more-megapixels trend, but also pricing it out of reach (or common sense) for most people at $1000. It was just two years ago, but in camera years, it feels like four years ago! Ironically perhaps, the price of $1000 still holds.

After that, Casio launched a speed-demon power-duo in the EX-FC100 and FS-10 compacts at CES 2009, and the EX-FH20 mid-size superzoom at Photokina 2008. Then in mid-November of 2009, they launched the second iterations of the FC100 and EX-FH20 in the FC150 and EX-FH25. All these are presumably using fast CMOS (some if not all) backlit sensors, likely from Sony.

So today they take the next step, they blend the compact with the superzoom, mix in the body of the H10/H15, and come up with the new...


Casio EX-FH100
The camera has a 10mp 1/2.3" backlit CMOS sensor, just like the other 1/2.3" speed-demons mentioned above, and a 10X optical zoom lens that starts at 24mm wide (24-240mm eq). Sensor-shift stabilization is included.

The high-speed shooting modes, both stills and videos, make this the ideal tech-bait camera. Casio does go over the top with the naming, as they call just about everything "high speed" this and that. The most impressive of those is 40fps while recording nine-megapixel (9mp) images, and as the image size gets reduced the speed increases up to 1000fps. Casio makes a lot of claims and promises, so it will be very interesting to see how they hold up when the real-world pictures and reviews start coming out. But as Charlie Wallace of Encinitas, CA pointed out, this, along with the new Sony HX5v are promising cameras to keep track of.

Another plus for the camera is RAW support in the form of the Adobe DNG non-standard standard. This makes it the second RAWsumer of the year, after the Kodak Z981. Speaking of which, you can cross-reference the list of the RAWsumers from 2002 to 2010 at the RAWsumer blog. (RAWsumers being fixed-lens cameras with native RAW support).

Also a plus is that it has PASM, or Tv, Av and manual exposure as the old-schoolers like to say ;-)

The camera has similar form-factor to the EX-FH15, but is more inpired by the aggressive-insect styling of the element-proof EX-G1.

Speaking of the EX-H15, the FH100 also uses the NP-90 battery which gives the H10/H15 models 1000+ shots in CIPA measurements. However, Casio has not provided an estimate for this model. With all the high-speed features, one should perhaps expect a lower battery estimate.

Other features include 720p video, AF assist lamp, 7cm macro, shutter speed of up to 1/40000 (not a typo!) during high-speed mode, 3-inch (230K) display, and things like that.

The camera is available for pre-order for $350.

Further Reading
+ Camera in hand at Gadget Lab's Gear and Loathing in Vegas
+ Casio

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