The Casio Exilim EX-FS10 is a very compact 9.1MP point-and-shoot camera that promises high-speed video capture up to 1000fps. It can also capture up to 30fps burst of pictures at 6MP that will allow you to review and select the image(s) that look the best. It has a 2.5” LCD, a 3x optical zoom and retails for about $200 at most stores.
With all the above features, the camera sounds like a really good deal. After using the camera, it is useless as the video/photo quality in any setting other than direct sunlight is a good deal worse than the photo quality of a $30 child’s toy camera imported from China.
It does offer some interesting features:
- EyeFi Support: keeps power to the SD card to allow EyeFi WiFi uploads
- Slow-Motion mode: Buffers pictures and plays them back in ‘slow motion’ once the button is pressed so can get the right shot.
- Face Detection
- Continuous Auto Focus
- 3x optical zoom
One issue with indoor burst mode photographs is that the flash is not usable- which can be expected as I have never seen a flash on a point-and-shoot camera that could handle a 30fps strobe. That said, the 30fps burst mode is fairly unstable indoors. It is also important to note that you are limited to a maximum of 6MP resolution in burst mode.
Indoor test lighting: four (4) 60W incandescent bulbs (in my ceiling fan) supplemented by a 75W halogen desk lamp.
The Casio EX-FS10 is set by default to ‘auto 3-30fps’- with it being closer to 3fps with indoor lighting. This is a sample of photos taken on full auto high-speed settings:
I tried lowering the photo settings to 640x480 and the auto mode increased the fps- but the blurring is still very apparent.
I had to go into the menu and manually set the camera for and indoor 30fps test:
Most of the blurring is resolved at 30fps, but the image is very under-exposed.
The flash is only usable for single-shot 9MP indoor shots. The quality of which is still fairly questionable as there is still quite of bit of grain/noise in darker areas of the photos.
The EX-FS10 has six video recording modes; two normal modes (30fps) and four high-speed modes:
|High Speed Mode 1||480x360||210fps|
|High Speed Mode 2||224x168||420fps|
|High Speed Mode 3||224x64||1000fps|
|High Speed Mode 4||480x360||20-210fps|
The last mode allows toggling between 30fps and 210fps by clicking left/right on the control pad.
Audio recording is disabled in all of the high speed recording modes.
The high speed video options was one of the primary reasons I purchased the camera; and it was the most disappointing aspects as well. The lighting conditions are the same as for the photos (specified above)
The ‘HD’ video recording mode when used indoors shows much more grain and noise than I would expect:
The camera does auto-focus during video (so long as ‘Continuous Focus’ was enabled in the settings), but zoom is disabled (this is typical for most digital cameras).
I tried a video on the ‘best’ high speed setting under the same lighting conditions:
YouTube did a little ‘noise reduction’, so there was a little more video quality available on-screen:
I went into this expecting sub-standard video quality due to indoor lighting- and I was surprisingly even more disappointed at the resulting video. The video quality of the high-speed setting is so dark that the first sample video I uploaded to youtube came out a a completely black screen.
The high speed video mode is complexly useless indoors- unless you are carrying around a few 500 Watt halogen flood lights to direct at the subject you are trying to video.
All said, the EX-FS10 is fairly unusable indoors save as a standard 9.1MP single shot camera. I would assume it is very good at high speed photography/video outdoors in a scenario with direct sunlight. If the indoor conditions are any indicator, I would wager that this will be a very poor performer on overcast days or in shaded areas (or morning/evening settings).
If you are looking for a decent point-and-shoot camera for indoor photography/videos, this is not the one you are looking for. There are a plethora of other cameras in this price range that offer much better single-shot quality than this device. This camera was designed for the avid outdoors man that doesn’t go into wooded areas and doesn't go around water (the camera is definitely not waterproof).
I almost forgot to comment on the battery life: abysmal! I took about 20 9MP photos with flash, about 15 minutes with of video, and about five 30fps photo sets and the camera shut down down due to a dead battery. Not very good performance from an cameras that is already very disappointing.
This device is going back to Fry's tomorrow- and I will be raising all kinds of Hell if they try to charge me a restocking fee on this piece of crap!