46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2009
As a simple point and shoot, this camera delivers a ton of options geared towards non-experienced photographers, meaning, no manual controls. But on the flip-side it gives you a whole bunch of custom shooting modes. Almost to the point where it feels like a type of pseudo-manual control. Instead of setting you aperture to wide open for portraits, you just set it for portrait shooting. Instead of setting a high shutter speed at your kid's soccer game, you set it to high-speed sports. I can live with that.
As for video, the title of this review sums it up. Don't expect to shoot anything of real quality with this camera. First of all, you need a lot of light. Otherwise, the noise is pretty bad. Secondly, this being a CMOS sensor, the jello-effect is pretty pervasive. Plan on using a tripod or monopod whenever possible. Handheld footage is pretty awful, even with the stabilizer turned on.
Despite this, I did have fun recording my golf swing at 210fps. And when it comes down to it, this camera is meant for fun and it delivers.
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2009
Just received this little powerhouse today and have already made a panorama and a high speed video. Really easy, and just really a fun little camera - and it has its flaws, of course.
One quick note: you must feed this camera LIGHT, especially in the high-speed video and 30fps burst modes. Expecting anything decent indoors or at night and you'll be disappointed. The regular still pictures are fine, though. I viewed plenty of high speed clips on YouTube and indoors you will get flicker (usually from flourescent lighting), but it still does the job. This camera shines outdoors.
There are three main functions that are really great and unique (can't emphasize unique enough) for a P&S.
1. High-speed video: the 30 - 210 is awesome. 210 on its own is good too, obviously. 420 is good for a science experiment or something that you really don't care about the size and resolution (plus massive compression). 210 FPS will show you a whole new world. And it does do 1000 FPS, basically useless but if you need to see how a lighter works then well, 1000 FPS is for you.
2. 30 FPS burst: This is really a nice feature. The FC100 takes 30 6 megapixel shots in one second. Think about that for a second, very cool. And the images are clean and clear. Quality is fine, unless you're a pixel perfectionist. I did a quick panorama of San Francisco (from Alameda) by simply clicking on the shutter button and moving the camera (quickly) from left to right. Stitched them back together for a nice panorama that I didn't waste a lot of time taking manual pics. But this function has some many other uses. I'll probably use it most of the time for any old pic because you can select the best (camera also will do this automatically for you) and delete the rest. Pretty cool. You can even set it to start taking images BEFORE you hit the shutter (when you hit the shutter, the camera has already cached a specified number of images in case you miss something by a fraction of a second. I'm not using the SLOW feature that basically is another way of doing the above.
3. 720P Video: One of the other reviewers didn't like that this camera doesn't allow autofocus (or zoom) during HD video. I use a different camcorder for video, so I just like having the option just in case. Looks nice.
The high speed features are more than a gimmick, imo. The 210 FPS and one-second 30 FPS (@ 6 megapix) burst modes are worth it alone. 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.
This review by CrunchGear nails it: [...]
68 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2009
I have a 4 year old Casio EX-Z750 that I love, so I know something about what a great camera Casio can make. This one fell short for me because of one simple reason. Auto Focus does not work during Standard or HD movies. A bigger problem is that you can't even get focused and then start videoing because it has something called "Fixed Focal Length". This is technical jargon for "We were too lazy to do the focus right." My 4 year old Casio EX-Z750 auto focuses during video. The videos that the old camera takes are awesome. The videos this one takes are all blurry because of the focus issue. Hopefully Casio will get their act together and put together a firmware to fix this. I have contacted support and let them know about my discontent with this and if others do as well, I think it can be addressed. Like I said, their camera could do it 4 years ago.
Beyond my HUGE complaint. The high speed video is awesome. It takes great pictures and video of action. They got the part that most people are buying this camera for right. The problem is I bought it to also take awesome regular speed HD videos. I purchased a 16 GB card for it since I knew that it would eat a lot of space to do these videos. The problem here is that the camera will only take videos up to 4 GB in size. This means 18 minutes. 54 minutes in standard. Yes I can have 4 4 GB files on one card, but if I am going to video a performance of something I don't want to have to hit start and stop every 18 minutes. This isn't a deal killer like the lack of focus, but it's annoying. You cannot change the detail level to something like EP, LP, SP like with a video camera. Just 18 minutes or 54. The camera records video in MJPEG. This means huge file sizes. My macbook pro easily opens the files and visual hub quickly converts them to smaller MP4 files without loosing much quality. I wish the camera recorded in h.264, but it's okay that it doesn't for this price.
It's nice having a dedicated video button, but they put it in the wrong spot. I am constantly hitting the camera button next to the play button to start videos. I am sure I will adjust over time, but that's where the button should have been. Another thing I miss is that my Z750 allowed me to choose to have the right and left selects switch between white balance. It's still easy to change, I just miss that ability. The white balance on auto works well and the manual white balance fixes when it doesn't.
The camera mechanicals are a lot slower than my Z750. The Z750 blasts the lens out of the body in what seems like an instant and is ready to start taking shots. The FC100 takes a couple seconds longer in turning on and off.
This is not a bad camera for the price, but Casio had a chance to make an awesome camera for the price. Hopefully they will get their act together and fix the focus issue. If they do, this is a 5 star camera for me. Til then it is only 3 star.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2009
First and foremost just the fact that you can get a camera for under $300 that will take 1000FPS video is enough to buy this camera. Find me anywhere where you can get this type of performance in a camera in the $300 price range, I think you will find that it is impossible. I just don't believe that the naysayers understand the kind of incredible performance this camera is capable of. This is a one of a kind camera that is at a price that is unheard of.
Having said that, the quality of the video is OK, but again what do you expect for $300, c'mon. It is a steal at this price, and the video is useable and not meant for high quality video, it is a fun way to experiment with super slo-mo. I have found that this camera is everything I had hoped for, it take adequate still photos, and has 1000FPS capabilities, unheard of in a camera in this price range. I have read for this price we expected............, a Point & shoot camera is designed to take all the thinking out of picture taking and leave the decisions in the hands of the camera. They are not for the thinking photographer, they are for a novice who may not have a grasp on basic photography. Sorry but it is true. You want control over your photos, pony up at least $900 and get a quality consumer grade DSLR, then you can have some say in how your photos come out. No RAW ability, OK, no control, no shutter, aperture, or manual controls, no control. small CMOS sensor = NOISE, too many pixels jammed into too small of a space, sorry, you are not going to get high quality photos. You will get usuable photos up to 8 X 10, good precieved sharpness there. Pro quality, no, too much noise, snapshot quality, yes very good for that type of shooting.
Having been a photographer for 25 years I have spent over $25,000 on photo equipment, this is my first Point & Shoot, why? Because it will do 1000FPS, that is amazing, and I will use it to create some fun family videos, quality is good enough to create fun useable video for your family slide shows. I will carry this with me all the time and shoot anything that looks like it will be interesting, there are so many possibilities with this camera you should only be limited by your creative abilities. Do a search on-line and see what people are doing with this camera, you will find some seasoned photographers now have a tool that was before out of reach. You now have an ability with this camera that was reserved for professional videographers who could fork out many $$$$$. You can get it for around $300, I love it 5+ Stars, and for the price I will get a second, for some really interesting video shooting. Don't let some talk you out of a capable camera, you will not find a more affordable capable camera anywhere. Casio really hit a homerun with one, Casio is a reputable company who has been is business for many years, they wanted to come up with a camera that the consumer could have that gave them abilities that were only for the photographers who had lots of dollars to spend on equipment, you now have that ability. Sorry, but high speed video is not a gimmick, it is used everyday in film making by those who have way more abilities than most of us. Get the camera you will like it, if you don't I'll take it off your hands cheap.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2009
Ever since I bought a Canon PowerShot SD1000 7.1MP Digital Elph Camera with 3x Optical Zoom (Black) in August of 2008, I have been taking tons of pictures. Almost daily. When it finally died after about a year of use (in August of 2009), I bought this camera, mainly because it had the ability to shoot videos in High Speed (210, 420, 1000 fps). To emphasize how many pictures I take, I have taken over 6500 photos since I've gotten this camera. I'm not disappointed with my purchase, but I'm not overly thrilled either, and here's why.
Because this is such a long review, I included this Review Order:
Photo and Photo Settings
I think a main reason that people will want this camera is because it has the ability to shoot in HD video. 720p HD video, to be precise. For the people who don't know what that means, like myself, it means that it shoots in 1280x720 pixel dimensions (If you want to know how big that would show up on your computer, then just google "1280x720" and some images will come up that are that size). I don't know how many fps it shoots in, but I would assume 30. This HD video is all fine and dandy, except for a few problems. Unless you're videoing in daylight, there will be a noticeable amount of noise in your videos. Not the audible noise, but image noise, which kind of looks like static. Also, it takes up around 3.5 MB for every SECOND of video. That means that if you have a 30 second video, it will take up around 100 MB of storage space on your computer, which, to me, is a lot.
My personal preference is to use the STD video (the smaller resolution). The dimensions on the STD version are 640x480, and it shoots in 30 fps. This only takes up a little over 1 MB for every second of video. This is the smallest resolution that you can get on video (while still including audio). It has the same problem with the HD video regarding daylight shooting. If you're shooting in anything other than natural daylight, there will be noise.
On to the High Speed video. (One main point that I'd like to make first; High Speed video on this camera ONLY works in natural light. If you try it with light bulbs or something, you will get a strobe light effect during playback) There are four different options that you can have for this. You can shoot in 210 fps, 420 fps, 1000 fps, or 30-210 fps, a cool little feature that allows you to shoot in 30 fps (normal speed) and then switch into 210 fps (making it seven times slower). Armed with this, you can come up with some pretty creative video shooting ideas, such as someone running up to a wall in regular speed, then right before they jump onto the wall, you can slow it down. You have to be pretty quick with your fingers, though. ONE DISADVANTAGE ABOUT THE HIGH SPEED VIDEOS. No audio is recorded. At all. That was a bit of a disappointment when I received this camera. I don't remember seeing it being addressed before, so I'm addressing it here. Okay, now into a more detailed view of the high speed video. The 210 fps and 30-210 fps video settings are shot in 480x360 dimensions. The 420 fps video setting is in 224x168 dimensions. The 1000 fps setting is shot in 224x64 dimensions. My personal favorite is the 420 fps setting. It's at a decent slow rate, but it's not too small to see what's going on.
The editing is pretty nice, better than the Canon had. With this camera, you can cut the beginning, end, AND middle. One downside though, when you import it onto your computer, whatever time you edited it becomes the time that it was taken. That's not a huge detail, but it bothers my partially-OCD mind.
Summary of Video:
HD video is superb in quality, as long as it is in natural light. However, the file size for it is very large (kind of a 'go figure' aspect, but I'm including it anyway).
STD video is a good setting, as long as it is in natural light. Not overly huge in file size.
High Speed video was a little bit of a letdown for me, but if you can live with only using it in natural light and having it not be in the wonderful quality that you see on Mythbusters or Time Warp, then it's pretty nice. My personal recommendation is to use the 420 fps almost all of the time.
Random comments: You can't shoot video in Macro. This was a huge blow for me, what with my first camera being a Canon and stuff. Also, THE VIDEO DOES NOT AUTO FOCUS. I don't think any point and shoot camera does that. When you start to record a video, it's fixed in the focus that it started with. You don't notice it when you start recording 10 feet from an object and then move 5 feet away from it. But if you started 1 foot away and then move closer, you'll notice.
Now on to the actual point of a camera, the photos.
PHOTO AND PHOTO SETTINGS:
First things first: It does not have a viewfinder for your eyes. All it has is the screen. Nothing else.
The quality of the pictures is very nice. Comparing photos from my Canon to this Casio, I actually think that the Casio is better in most ways. The flash isn't as severe (you can actually choose the intensity of the flash, which is awesome even though I usually don't use it). Here are some options when it comes to picture-taking:
Resolution: 3456x2592, 3456x2304, 3456x1944, 2816x2112, 2304x1728, 1600x1200, 640x480.
ISO: Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
White Balance: Auto WB, Daylight, Overcast, Shade, DayWhite Fluorescent, Daylight Fluorescent, Tungsten, Manual WB
Color Filters: None, Black and White, Sepia, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Pink, Indigo
Exposure: -2 through +2
Slow Motion View*: 1sec (30 fps), 2sec (15 fps), 3sec (10 fps)
Slow Motion View Speed**: Slow (1) through Fast (8)
Lag Correction***: 0.3 sec, 0.2 sec, 0.1 sec, Off
Flash: Auto, Flash Off, Flash On, Red Eye Reduction
*There's a button on the camera that allows for "Slow Motion view" that will display the next few seconds in slow motion, based on the option you chose. "1sec (30 fps)" would display the next one second in 30 different frames. "2sec (15 fps)" would display the next two seconds in 30 different frames, and "3sec (10 fps)" would display the next three seconds in 30 different frames. A good idea for people who are into sports.
** This controls how fast the aforementioned slow motion view plays back the frames, from Slow to Fast.
*** Just in case something happens and you're delayed in pushing the shutter button. This fixes the lag that your reflexes create.
A little detail I'd like to make about the zoom. 1x-5x Optical is very nice quality. The digital zoom following the optical zoom isn't the best, but it works as well as you can expect it too. It washes out the subject a little, but not enough to panic over. If you want to see how powerful the zoom is, look in the "customer images" section. I uploaded a picture under "SeekayFilms" that shows how much zoom 20x is.
Note about how far the lens extends: With no zoom, the lens juts out 1.25 inches (3cm). At the highest magnified zoom, the lens juts out around 1.4 inches (3.5 cm)
This camera has a lot of "BestShot" options, too. To name a few, there's Auto, Macro, Children, Sports, Sunset, Autumn Leaves, Nightscene, Fireworks, High Speed Antishake, Multi Motion Image, Move out CS, Move In CS, Prerecord, etc. I'll explain the ones that are mostly special:
Nightscene: Takes between 10 and 30 pictures, then compiles them into one for a nice, blur-free night image.
Fireworks: Leaves the shutter open for around 2 seconds. Good especially for lightning pictures (but that may only be me).
High Speed Antishake: Same concept as the nightscene setting, but this one is intended for daylight photos.
Multi Motion Image: Now this one is interesting. You'll need a tripod for it, though. Or a REALLY steady hand. I'll use an example to explain it. Suppose you were watching a snowboarder go off of a jump. If you took the picture right as he left the ramp (and didn't move the camera at all), you would have a picture that included him on the ramp, just leaving the ramp, in midair, etc.
Move Out CS: Another tripod-requiring mode. Let's say you wanted a picture of a bird flying off of a branch. You find the bird on the tree. You make sure that a box on the camera display surrounds him. You press the shutter button. Then he flies off. As soon as the camera detects that the bird is leaving the box, it snaps a succession of 30 frames that you can pick and choose from.
Move In CS: Same concept as above, but this is for if you wanted a picture of the bird flying onto the branch. As soon as the camera detects something entering the box, it snaps a succession of 30 frames that you can pick and choose from.
Prerecord: This is for videos. It prerecords 5 seconds of video. So if you start recording the video at 1:10:35 PM, you'll have all of the video from 1:10:30 PM through 1:10:35 PM.
Another thing that I like about this camera is the "30 Frames Per Second" shooting mode. You put the camera into this mode, and the next time you press the shutter button, it will take 30 frames in one second at a resolution of 2816×2112 per photo. Then you can choose "Save All" or "Save Selected". I find this to be a very fun thing to do when my dog is running around the backyard.
Summary on the photos:
I actually really like the photo settings on this camera. There are some "eh" parts, but all-in-all I think that the photos are pretty good.
One thing that annoys me, though. It has a lot of problems with focusing at night, especially if I'm zoomed in on something.
I almost forgot to add this. The battery life of this camera is pretty good. I used to find myself charging it every three days, but recently, once a week works out pretty well. There's a bar that tells you how much battery life is left, but it tends to fluctuate randomly, depending on what setting you have it on. Sometimes it goes down to empty right after I take a picture, then returns to 2/3rds full. It takes between one and two hours to charge it fully, but it's not a necessity that you keep it charging that long. Usually what I do is I stick it in there before I go out somewhere, then just take it out when I'm ready to go.
This is a surprisingly durable camera. I mainly only say that because I dropped it into snow in my backyard and couldn't find it for three days. When I did find it, it still worked. One bad thing, though. Before that happened, the lens cover had been having some problems. When I turned the camera on, it wouldn't open all the way. I began to suspect that it did this in cold weather. After leaving it in the snow for three days, it has been having this problem permanently. I contacted Casio about it, and they said it was something that would require me to send it in for a repair. I might end up having to do that sometime soon, but given how many pictures I take, it's not an idea that I smile upon.
Also, the strap that it comes with isn't that great, at least not for my hands. So I just used the one from my deceased Canon camera. You also have the ability to put it on either the right side of the camera or the left side.
This is a decent camera for $217 (the current price). When I bought it in August, it was $250. Seems pretty durable, except for the lens cover. It seems like a very daylight-oriented camera. The video has a lot of problems if you're not shooting in natural light, which is a bust if you want to video something at night. Photos turn out decently when taken at night. I've noticed that, right after a sunset, there's sometimes a noticeable amount of noise in my outdoor photographs. But only in some of them.
All in all, I wouldn't highly recommended this camera, but I definitely wouldn't label it as a horrible camera.
Sheez, I hope that's everything. I'll probably publish this, then remember something to add. Oh well, such is life.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2009
I've owned a lot of digital cameras, but bought the EX-FC100 for its slow-motion capabilities, which are truly incredible. It will shoot 210fps--7x realtime--at a respectable 480x360 pixels, and you can watch the cat react to a bouncing BB, or shoot gorgeous footage of liquids splashing. But it really gets going in 420fps mode--14x realtime--at a tolerable 244x168 pixels, where you can watch flouresent lights flicker blue and brown, watch your engine's fanbelt spin, or even (if the lighting is right) watch slow bullets like .45acp zip through the air. There is also a 1000fps mode where raindrops float down ever so gently, but it's an almost uselessly tiny 244x56 pixels in a weird flat banner-ad aspect ratio. Slow motion is awesome. However, you'll definitely be using the onboard video trimming feature, because in slow motion it takes a long time for interesting stuff to happen. I was also bummed that audio isn't recorded in slow motion mode.
The other unique feature the camera has is a prerecord capability: it continually records either 6 megapixel stills (at 30fps) or any video mode to an internal buffer. This allows the camera to simulate negative shutter lag, by grabbing the picture in the buffer from *before* you pressed the button; or "Prerecord" video recording mode, where it stores 5 seconds of video from before you pressed the record button. Neat stuff.
Other than that, it's an ordinary SD card camera. Stills look fine, with the usual slight graininess in high-megapixel modes. High-definition video has the weird skewed "jello effect" common to CMOS sensors, especially in low light. My one minor annoyance with the case is that it's almost too thin to hold with one hand, but that's also nice to fit the camera in a pocket.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2009
I did a lot of research and read countless reviews of this camera before I purchased. I bought it for three reasons; (1) as a pocketable, more handy companion to my large Nikon D300 DSLR, to be used when a quick snapshot or video is more important than image quality, (2) slow-motion capability - you can't get this kind of capability at this price anywhere else, and (3) high-speed continuous shooting to help capture elusive action shots.
I went into the purchase knowing it is not the best point-and-shoot out there but I wasn't simply looking for a point-and-shoot. The incredible exclusive features of the camera were more important, especially those made possible by it's high-speed capabilities.
Most of the pros and cons of the camera have already been stated in other reviews. On the plus side, I like the sturdy construction, ease of use, large bright LCD screen, simple menu structure, ability to directly control all parameters except shutter speed and aperture, high-speed continuous shooting, slow-motion video, ease of downloading images, great anti-shake that works well for photos but less well for videos, HD videos look great, and precapture functions. Battery life has not been a problem so far. I haven't used the flash at all.
On the minus side, the quality of photos could be better and less grainy at higher ISO levels, although it is certainly acceptable for most shapshot situations and most of the purposes for which I will use the camera. I wish the battery charger was the type that simply plugs into the wall socket instead of having a big bulky electrical cord.
Having done my research and knowing what to expect before buying, this camera met or exceeded my expectations.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2009
My coach has this camera and the slow motion video he has been able to capture is incredible. Even at the 400 frames per second setting motion is slowed down incredibly. Sports motions that happen so fast you can't really see them are now easily seen. Anyway, I couldn't wait to get one of my own so I purchased from ANTOnline since at this time many sellers are only pre-ordering.
ANTOnline sent me an email saying that my order was lost in transit from their regional warehouse to their shipping hub, so it hadn't been shipped to me yet. I asked why they didn't just have the regional warehouse send another one, they said it was Amazon's policy. That's just too fishy, if they haven't shipped yet Amazon could care less. It's far more likely they just don't have any in stock and don't want to say they lied about having them available. They cancelled my order which made it so I couldn't leave any negative feedback about them. Save yourself some time and steer clear from ANTOnline.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2009
Just a brief impression.
1. Very quick startup. When pressing the on-button, the lens pretty much "jumped" out.
2. So so build quality. Body is plastic. With mine, the plastic borders feel very flimsy. The battery door is not great either, sometime doesn't easily lock-in.
3. Image quality is so so. 9MP is great, allowing you to crop pictures and still get decent size. However, images suffer from extreme noise reduction. Outdoor images under bright sun-light are less detailed and less sharp than they should. Image noise vs noise reduction is an ongoing issue with compact digicams as manufactures keep cramping megapixels into those tine sensors. If you want a good compact with good image quality, look elsewhere.
4. This camera can record video in 720p. Pretty awesome feature for a compact digicam, but don't expect high quality videos. Still, they're watchable and very good for fun videos uploaded to Youtube HD.
5. High speed video recording is the main seller of this camera. This is where the fun/creativity begins. This is pretty much the main reason I bought this camera. The video resolution is greatly reduced though, and downright unusable on the advertised 1000fps mode.
In the end, it's still a fun camera. The main reason to buy this digicam is for the high speed recording and 720p. I consider the picture taking capability as a bonus. There are other cameras with better image quality for cheaper.
This camera has a cousin, the FS10. Both have most of the same features, and similarly priced. The FS10 is more compact, and the lens doesn't protrude. However, it doesn't have image stabilization, and weaker zoom.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2009
This camera is not meant for pros. They will complain about how it doesn't do this or that and how the whoozit could be better. The basic fact of the matter is though, that this camera is for the regular user who just wants to take some really cool videos of whatever they are looking at. This is like a camcorder and a camera all in one. I've taken about equal parts video and photos with this.
Caveat: Buy a big memory card.