Casio Shrinks Its High-Speed Cameras

Also adds models with in-camera photo editing and video effects

EX-FC100

Just a year ago, Casio introduced its first high-speed camera, the Best of What's New-winning EX-F1. The size of a small SLR, that camera captures up to 60 full-res photos per second. The rate is cut to 30 per second in Casio's two newest high-speed models, but the size is also cut as low as 0.64 inches thick for the model EX-FS10 (and just an inch for the companion EX-FC100). They also capture high-speed video at up to 1000 fps at low resolution, or up to 720p high-def at a standard 30fps.

In addition to brute force, Casio also added some clever features that take advantage of the cameras' speed. Like the EX-F1, they can continuously capture photos and store the past 25 in a buffer. So even if you don't press the shutter in time, you can go back to one of the stored photos for a shot of the moment you want. And too sort through the burst of photos, the camera can be set to automatically pick out the pictures that aren't blurry or that show a person is smiling or with eyes open.

Some key specs:

EX-FS10
0.64 inches thick; 3X optical inner (non-protruding) zoom lens; 2.5-inch LCD; 9.1-megapixel resolution (6MP in high-speed mode); $350.

EX-FC100
0.9" thick, 5X zoom lens, sensor-shift anti-shake function, 2.7-inch LCD; 9.1/6 megapixels; $400.

In-Camera Photoshop

EX-FS10

Instead of speed, the EX-Z400, EX-Z270 and EX-S12 use Casio's new Exilim 4 dual-CPU chip to edit photos in camera. For example, they can do basic compositing by letting you "cut out" the subject from one photo and paste it into another—an operating that would otherwise require a trip to Photoshop. You can also create a little stop-motion animation buy cutting out the subject from multiple photos and put them on the same background to create a video sequence. And a "makeup function" in the cameras spiffs up people's complexion in photos.
Casio has created a Web site that shows off some of the effects the new cameras can do.

Key Specs

EX-Z400

Wide-angle 28 mm lens; 4X zoom lens; CCD shift anti-shake mechanism; 12.1-megapixel resolution, 3.0-inch LCD; $300

EX-Z270

Same as the Z400, but with a 2.7-inch LCD and $230 price

EX-S12

0.6 inch thick; 3X zoom; 2.7-inch widescreen LCD; 12.1 megapixels; stainless-steel body; $250