By Ben Long PC World Australia | on April 28, 2009
Slow-motion video is a lot of fun, and Casio has wisely put a dedicated external control on the camera for switching between normal and high-speed video. The fact that you can so easily get to all of the camera's high-speed features makes you much more likely to take advantage of them, and I was pleased to see that these features didn't require a trip to the menus.
Unfortunately, two serious issues marred the EX-FC100's video features in our tests. First, when zoomed in all the way with the optical zoom, the camera was incapable of focusing accurately. Second, when shooting HD zoomed in all the way, the camera yielded a very weird, shaky, wobbly image. It was difficult to tell whether that was the result of the camera's stabilization or digital zoom; deactivating both had no impact. Of course, you can simply not zoom in all the way, as the camera worked fine for us when not zoomed fully. Note, too, that when shooting HD, you'll have only mono audio.
Plainly, Casio has not scrimped on the lens, as the FC100 delivers sharp images. In PC World Test Center jury evaluations, the EX-FC100 earned an overall image quality rating of Good, with its strong suits being low levels of distortion and accurate colors. Its flash uniformity rating, however, was near the middle of the pack compared with other point-and-shoots we tested alongside it; prints looked darker toward their edges and corners.
Its high-ISO performance was very good, but as you might expect from a point-and-shoot camera, once you get over ISO 400, the images become noticeably noisy. However, even at ISO 1600, the images were still quite usable, especially for small prints.
Except for the shaking problem mentioned earlier, video quality is very good; when shooting video at higher ISOs, however, the camera has a tendency to underexpose the footage dramatically.
The Exilim EX-FC100 is a very capable point-and-shoot still camera, offering all of the features you'd expect in a compact, pocketable model -- but it's the high-speed shooting features that really set this camera apart. Whether the camera is right for you really depends on the type of shooting you do. For photographing sports and other fast-moving activities, the EX-FC100's features will definitely allow you to capture very specific moments, assuming that you can get close enough to frame a good shot. (Bear in mind that the camera does not have a superlong zoom lens.)
The slow-motion video is fun, and a great way to jazz up your movie projects, especially when you're shooting action--be warned, though, that the camera does have some troublesome issues when shooting regular-speed video. For users who regularly shoot fast action, the EX-FC100 presents a great solution to difficult issues.