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Casio Exilim EX-F1 - Casio Exilim EX-F1

By Cliff Smith



Our Score:


Given the EX-F1's unusual capabilities, naturally its controls are somewhat different to those of a conventional camera, and are more complex than usual. The top panel carries two mode dials, one for the main shooting modes (PASM and Best Shot modes) and the other for the various high-speed shooting options. On the back, positioned for thumb activation, is an extra button for video recording, with a rotary selector for the three video modes; standard, HD or high-speed (slow-motion) video. The rest of the rear panel controls are more conventional, with record and playback mode buttons, display mode, menu and one to select between the monitor and electronic viewfinder. There are three more buttons on the left side of the lens barrel, for quick focusing, automatic backlight compensation and AE/AF lock, although it has to be said that this is not an ideal location for them. The function of the AE/AF lock button can be customised in the menu, as can the function of the rotary lens barrel. The only other unusual control is a rotary bezel around the D-pad, which is used to adjust manual exposure settings.

Although the controls are a bit complicated they are sensibly laid out and well labelled, and after a couple of days of familiarisation they are quite easy to use. The menu system is also well designed, and despite the large number of options and settings it is easy to understand and navigate.

The LCD monitor is a 2.8-inch wide-screen with a resolution of 230k dots and an extremely wide viewing angle. It is bright enough to use in daylight, but the EX-F1 also has a 0.2-inch 200k dot electronic viewfinder. I have to say I wasn't particularly impressed by the viewfinder; it seemed too dark and the small size of the screen made manual focusing difficult.

The unique features of the EX-F1 take some getting used to. Taking photos with most digital cameras isn't much different from the way that photos are taken with a film camera. You press the shutter button and snap an instant of frozen time, and just hope that you captured the instant you were intending to. Shooting with the EX-F1 is different. Instead of the click of a single frame, the camera buzzes briefly and captures up to two seconds of action in a rapid sequence of stills, including the option to pre-capture action before the shutter is pressed. You then have the option to save the whole sequence, or you can scroll through it to save just the moment you wanted. Say you're taking a photo of someone kicking a football, and you want the exact moment their foot strikes the ball. With a conventional camera you have to rely on luck and timing, and probably multiple tries to get the perfect shot. With the EX-F1 you just shoot, and then select the perfect shot afterwards. It makes action photography almost too easy.

ChrisH 1

June 23, 2008, 5:00 am

Thanks Cliff;

Good review, but in a world of limited time noone can be expected to catch everything. A few comments/updates from an owner of an EX-F1:

1. Startup time is halved to 2 secs at most by installing the latest firmware (v. 1.02).

2. You do get 60 shots in a sequence. But you are not limited to having them all in one or two seconds. You can have them at 60, 30, 20, 15, 10 or less shots/second, so for instance at 10 shots per second you have 6 seconds of shhoting time. (You can also shoot at about 2 shots per second indefinitely using AUTO-N).

3. You say "of course" you can't save a burst of RAW images. You can't, but it's not "of course". The camera buffers raw images in its 512mb internal memory, and converts them to jpeg on save. Technically, you could save the raw images ... but it would take about 5 minutes, so I suspect Casio simply disallowed it as an option.

4. You don't really mention the precapture mode. This allows one to half-press the shutter. Images are now written to the internal buffer, cyclically. So, if for example you chose 20 shots per second and a 40 shot buffer, at any point in time you have the last 2 seconds of shooting in the buffer. Pressing the shutter fully saves 2 seconds of shots from before you pressed the shutter, and 1 second after.

So, if for example you're shooting your child's soccer match, all you have to do is stand near the goal, track the action, and when the ball goes in, press the shutter. You -know- you've got all the action as you have the 2 seconds before you pressed.

5. The video isn't full 1080p. It's 1080i, 60 fields per second. Of course, that could be de-interlaced to 1080p/30. As most TVs do 1080p/24, in some ways it's a pity that isn't offered as an option. It does do 720p/60, and pretty good video too.

6. For some reason, many people get upset over the fact that there is no sound with the slow motion videos. A moment's thought will prove of course that on replay at normal speed the sound would be slowed down 10 times (or more for the faster ones) and so be incomprehensible.

7. The movement-sensor feature is pretty clever. You can set the camera up pointing at an area of interest (say a flower), press the shutter, and walk away. When a bird visits the flower, the camera detects the movement, and shoots. Hey presto, 60 high speed shots of the action.

8. Conclusion: Value for money? If you don't actually want all those features, poor. Apart from impressing the neighbors, a Ferrari is an absolute waste of money if you don't want to drive fast. If you DO want the special features the camera has ... there's no alternative on the market. Some DSLRs can get good speed - the D40 will do 7 shots/second. But it's more expensive once you start buying lenses, and doesn't do video. For me, its - the Casio EX-F1: $1,200 in Australia. Catching my son in the air with his hands held high and a smile on his face as the ball goes into the net: priceless. 1/10th of a second either side of that shot, you can't see his face, or he's blocked by another player.


July 16, 2008, 1:34 pm

Wow, missed this one first time round. This looks like 80 per cent of my dream camera - super high speed shooting, HD video, and versatile lens all in one package. If only the lens was a more sensible range - 28mm (or lower) to 200mm, say. Without a wider wide angle, it is never going to replace an SLR or even conventional bridge camera. Then obviously the price is ridiculous.

pete coleshaw

October 6, 2008, 5:23 pm

some people expect a lot! - when is one fixed lens camera going to satisfy an enthusiast's every needs? seems to me that it does things no other camera does, and it doesnt cost a professional price - so why is this ridiculous? - having read the review, I'm having one!!

Ron 2

October 11, 2009, 12:44 pm

This EX-F1 has things other Superzoom cameras don't - Focus ring around barrel, external audio jack, threaded lens for filters, hot shoe.

I was looking at the Sony HX-1 and Canon SX1 IS. They are the 2 most popular cameras but they don't have most of the features above.

The list price being a whopping $999 is a big problem. It's twice the price of the Sony an d Canon BUT I'm almost willing to pay something in the range of $700-800 for it because Casio cared enough to put things on it that pro photogs use. The slow motion is just a great bonus toy for me but not my main reason for wanting to get it. Is this really from Casio? Amazing.


January 9, 2010, 3:34 pm

If you're still interested in this camera, you might want to shop around for the price. In December 2009 I purchased the camera for £435 new in the box. There is still nothing like it around in terms of resolution and frames per second, especially if you're interested in high-speed photography/videography.

We made a budget music video with the camera and with a little creative help from 3rd-party applications, you can upscale the resolution (300fps produces acceptable results). Have a look at our test preview here: http://www.vimeo.com/8550023

Love this camera, waiting for Casio's next version!

Paul 34

June 12, 2010, 12:43 am

Just got mine. The high-speed modes are cool.

I'm looking for a feature to allow HD video shutter control.

The "Best Shot" mode is indicated when I review a video. But the supposed "fast shutter" modes do not seem to effect HD video recording. There's almost no documentation on how "Best Shot" modes effect video.

Tech support also owns a copy of the manual... that's about the nicest thing to be said about that.


April 28, 2011, 10:37 pm

I absolutely love this camera and I have only the most basic of photography experience. I wish there was some tutorials to explain many of the features in plain English.

The slow motion is incredible. I have a video of water balloons being broken in slow motion here -

I am wondering -

Does this camera have GPS capabilities?

If so, can you please explain in basic terms how I would use it?


ikan hias

June 5, 2016, 7:54 am

This looks like 80 per cent of my dream camera - super high speed shooting, HD video, and versatile lens all in one package. If only the lens was a more sensible range - 28mm (or lower) to 200mm, say. Without a wider wide angle, it is never going to replace an SLR or even conventional bridge camera. Then obviously the price is ridiculous...!!

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