There’s a reason my husband calls me the mamarazzi. I love to take photos of my kids. Like tons and tons of pictures of my kids. And for good reason, they’re cute and sharing photos and videos online is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends. I have a large DSLR camera, but, let’s be honest, it is not practical to lug that thing around to soccer practice, playgrounds, the beach and every other mini-adventure life brings. A small, pocket sized point and shoot that takes quality pictures (and videos!) is a must have for mamas. Enter the Casio Exilim. With different features and functions, there’s an Exilim for every lifestyle. I received the Exilim EX-FC100 for review.
Quick note: All the photos (other than those of the camera) and video in the review were taken with the Exilim EX-FC100 High Speed Digital Camera. I didn’t edit any of them other than to label them to highlight specific features, so these are straight off the memory card pictures. (Of course, it doesn’t hurt that many of them are of beautiful scenery from our cruise!)
Casio Exilim EX-FC100
At only 0.9″ thin and offering a 5X zoom lens, the 9.1 Megapixels the EX-FC100 is among Casio’s premier High-Speed cameras. It can take an amazing high-speed 30 frames per-second burst rate and record slow motion videos at 1000 frames per second. You will never miss a shot again by setting a lag correction or turning on the pre-recording feature, where images are captured before the shutter is depressed fully.
Casio Exilim High-Speed Digital Camera Features
There are countless features and technical specifications. I could write a whole post about the details, but I don’t really understand them. (There, I said it!) What I do understand are the functions and features I use as a mom day-to-day, and since you’re reading this blog, I’m thinking you’re looking for a review from that standpoint. So, I’m going to highlight the features I have found most valuable.
High Speed Burst: The continuous shooting feature allows you to take an amazing 30 frames per-second. The camera saves the pictures as a single file that allows you to review the pictures one by one and determine which are keepers and which deserve the trash can. Any mom can understand why this feature is great as kids are, literally, moving targets for the camera. The only problem I had with this was that some photos taken in this mode were not in focus.
HD Movie: You can shoot 1280 x 720 pixel HD movies at 20 frames per second. I love having a camera that also takes videos. While a picture may be worth a thousand words, there are some times when the actual words and movement of a child are priceless. The ability to take high quality movies on a small pocket sized camera is perfect. I did find that the image shakes when you zoom and record an object far away.
Here’s a short sample of some videos taken with the EX-FC100. Please remember my daughter is 17 months when you hear her version of the “ABCs” and at the end you’ll see how the image shakes when you zoom too much.
Slow Motion View: The “Slow” button allows you to literally view your subject in slow-mo. While watching the recording in the LCD screen, you can watch and see which image you want to keep. For example, if your kid is playing soccer, you can press the “Slow” button and record her kicking the ball. Watch the play back and pick which frame is the best picture.
Lag Correction: Another must have for moms, the lag correction makes up for the movement between when you press the button to take a picture and the camera actually records. I have my camera set to record 0.2 seconds prior to when the camera records. I know that sounds crazy, and I don’t really know how it works, but it does. You get the picture you want and not the picture of the kids stepping away from the cute post you arranged.
5X Optical Zoom: Even though it’s best to get as close as possible to images when taking pictures, that’s not always possible. So, zoom is a must. As you can see from the pictures taken in San Juan, the zoom works VERY well and doesn’t look blurry at all.
Best Shot Feature
To really learn and understand all the ins and outs of photography and aperture and lighting and ISO and white balance would be lovely, but I just don’t have the time to learn all of that. The Exilim takes the guess work out of manual adjustments with the Best Shot Feature. With choices like Portrait, Scenery, Flower, Pet and Sports there are 21 different pre-defined adjustments to help you take a better picture.
I just love how easy the Best Shot feature is to use, when in Record mode, click the “BS” button (that’s for Best Shot, folks) and a screen comes up with all the options. You can get a brief description of each mode so you know what is the right option for your subject. For example, the Best Shot: Children mode provides “Enhanced flesh tones and a fast shutter speed.” Below is an example of two pictures side by side so you can see the difference in the Best Shot: Children mode.
Here are a couple more examples of Best Shot photos.
Exilim EX-FC100 Specifications
In case you do understand them, here are some camera specs:
- Resolution: Approx. 9.1 megapixels (/million)
- Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)
- File Format: Still images – JPEG (Exif Version 2.2, DCF 1.0 standard, DPOF compliant); Movies -AVI format, Motion JPEG, IMA-ADPCM (monaural)
- Recording Media: Built-in flash memory, SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card compatible
- Image Sensor: 1/2.3-inch high-speed CMOS
- Zoom Ratio: 5 x optical zoom, 4X (20X in combination with optical zoom); HD Zoom Maximum 27x @VGA, both with optical and digital zoom)
- Monitor: 2.7-inch TFT color LCD (Super Clear LCD)
- 30 shot-per-second high-speed burst shooting (6 MP images)
- HD Movie function
- Dimensions: 3.9″(W) x 2.3″(H) x .9″(D)
Photos Taken with the Exilim EX-FC100
To Buy or Not to Buy
To Buy… The Exilim EX-FC100 is a great little point and shoot with lots of bells and whistles to help you get the perfect shot. Between the Best Shot feature, Slow Motion View, Lag Correction, and the High Speed Burst, the camera is doing all the hard work and you just have to get your subject in the viewfinder. Though I didn’t mention them in the review, the camera also has all the features you expect like a timer, rechargeable battery, cord to connect to TV and computer and more. This camera seems best suited for taking true action, high speed shots, and I love having a small lightweight camera to keep in my diaper bag.
Or Not to Buy… The images can be a little unstable and shaky even with Image Stabilization. (A good example at the end of the video.) And I found some of my High Speed Burst photos to be out of focus and blurry.
How to Enter: Visit the Casio Exilim website, and take the super quick “What is Your Style? What is Your Life?” quiz. (It’s fun, you select 3 pictures you like and it will recommend a camera). Leave a comment telling me which Exilim Casio suggests for you.
**Update April 28 – if that link is not working do this entry instead: Check out the features of the EX-FC100 and tell me what interests you most.**
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