High Speed Ensures the Right Shot
The video performance is certainly impressive, shooting at 300, 600 or 1200 frames per second rather than the usual 30. Casio claims this captures usually invisible motion, and the sample footage on display showed the individual movements of a bird flying and water inside a burst balloon. If you want the full 1080i resolution, you still get a respectable 60fps.
But when Casio MD Yozo Sukuki calls the EX-F1 “a next generation camera that will open the door to a whole new world of digital photography” it may not be an exaggeration. The camera uses the video features that have crept into most digital cameras recently to give you more chance of getting the still photo you want. Those 60 frames per second can be still images in burst mode, which is six times the 10 fps of the fastest existing burst modes of other cameras. That means that you can choose exactly the image you want in action shots, whether that’s sports and nature photography, or just when the lighting is perfect at sunset.
Casio also uses the video feature to pre-record a chosen amount of footage before and after you press the shutter. Between your own reaction time and shutter lag, what you see when you decide to take a shot isn’t what’s captured on the sensor in a standard digital camera; on the EX-F1 you can scrub back and forward through the action to pick the most dramatic frame. This isn’t like extracting a frame from a video file; you do it with the scene fresh in front of you and you get the full 6 MP resolution.
The pre-record option is in the new compact 10 megapixel EXILIM S10 camera too, but only for shooting video. For still images, the S10 has an ”autoshutter” mode where the camera chooses when to release the shutter itself: when a panned shot frames the image well, when neither the camera nor the subject is moving, when the person you’re photographing smiles, or when the final face joins a group shot, so you don’t have to wait for the timer to go off.