No, literalists, we won't be providing impressions of Casio's latest high-speed shooter, the EX-FH20
, in the English-language equivalent of bullet time -- though feel free to sound out each word veerrryy slooowwwly if you'd like -- but we did get to see how the camera performed shooting 1000 fps video and high-speed bursts of stills under very ideal circumstances, and came away quite impressed. Casio had members of the press lined up across the ice from some hockey players engaged in hockey activities
, with lights the power of many suns at our backs to make the slow-motion video come out as more than a grainy mess. And it did. We found the interface very intuitive -- more so than Casio's first stab at slow-mo, the EX-F1
-- and were shooting 1000 fps videos of the action within seconds. That top speed crops the top and the bottom of the shot, which turned out fine for the linear progression of a hockey shot, but 1000 fps is really overkill for anything more glacial than a flash of lightning, and we found 210 fps (which also provides more resolution and a better aspect ratio) to be a real sweet spot for sports action. The immediate effect of slow motion is the dimming of the scene, but it's easy to adjust the f-stop and film speed to brighten things up a bit. Bursts of stills -- up to 40, at 30 fps -- are similarly easy to execute, and you can even set the camera to capture snaps for about a second before you fully click the shutter, in case you're a little slow on the response time. Overall we're very impressed with the build quality, size, image quality, manual controls and ease of use of this camera, especially in light of its $600 pricepoint, when big brother EX-F1 is retailing for a grand with very few differentiating perks.
Casio EX-FH20 hands-on