Trusted Reviews may earn an affiliate commission when you purchase through links on our site. Learn More

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 Review

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £249.00

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.
Casio introduced its high-speed CMOS sensor technology with the revolutionary Exilim EX-F1, launched just over two years ago. It followed it up early in 2009 with the EX-FC100 premium ultra-compact, and the EX-FH20, a more compact super-zoom model. Having demonstrated that it works in both those formats, Casio has now applied the same technology to the lucrative and highly competitive long-zoom compact, or “travel camera” market. The result is the Exilim EX-FH100, a 10x zoom, 10 megapixel compact camera offering a huge range of features.


The FH100 will be competing against some very popular and well-established cameras, including Casio’s own EX-H series, such as the new EX-H15 (£190) that I reviewed last week. Rivals from other manufacturers include the immensely popular Panasonic TZ10 (£240) and TZ8 (£210), as well as the Samsung WB550 (£150) and WB650 (£250), the Canon SX210 IS (£210), the Olympus mju 9000 (£240), the Nikon S8000 (£190), the Sony HX5 (£264) and the newly-announced Pentax RZ10, as well as a number of others. Against this competition the FH100’s asking price of £249 may seem a little expensive, but it does offer some features that none of its rivals can match.
Casio Exilim EX-FH100 front

The design of the FH100 clearly owes a lot to the shape of the EX-H15 and its predecessor the H10, but the resemblance is mostly superficial. Like the H15 it has a strong body made mostly of aluminium with plastic on the top panel, it has the same three-inch LCD monitor (although only 230k resolution), and the lens certainly appears to be the same as the H15, a flush-folding 10x zoom f/3.2 – f/5.7 11-element construction with aspherical elements and a focal length range equivalent to 24-240mm. However there the resemblance ends, because the FH100 includes a much wider range of controls reflecting its more serious remit.

The FH100 is one of the larger long-zoom compacts, measuring 105 x 63.2 x 29.9mm, and weighing a substantial 224g including the memory card and the big 1950mAh li-ion battery. This is the same battery that powers the H15 for its class-leading 1000-shot duration, but due to the FH100’s heavier power requirements it only provides 300 shots on a full charge. This is still better performance than most of its competitors however.
Casio Exilim EX-FH100 back

The camera body incorporates a shaped handgrip on the front, with a small textured insert, while on the back the raised surround of the video shooting button provides a thumbgrip, making the camera very comfortable and secure to grip. The control layout is well designed, with the shutter button and its rotary bezel zoom control falling neatly under the forefinger.


The most obvious difference between the design of the H15 and the FH100 is the inclusion of an exposure mode dial on the right of the top panel. It is fairly straightforward, offering a choice of aperture priority, shutter speed priority, full manual or program auto exposure, as well as Casio’s usual Best Shot scene program mode. The options here are more limited than on some advanced compacts; only minimum or maximum aperture can be selected, but the full range of shutter speeds from 30 seconds to 1/2000th of a second are available. Exposure values are adjusted via the D-pad and sidebar menu.


Also on the top panel is a button that activates the FH100’s main selling point, its high-speed continuous shooting mode. The camera is equipped with an ultra-fast back-illuminated CMOS sensor and is capable of shooting bursts of up to 30 frames at speeds of up to 40 frames a second, at nine megapixel resolution, including the ability to pre-shoot up to 25 frames so that you don’t miss any of the action.
Casio Exilim EX-FH100 side

The high speed sensor is also used in the FH100’s video recording modes. It can shoot 720p HD video, with stereo sound recorded by two built-in microphones mounted on the top panel and a dedicated video recording button on the back, but it can also shoot ultra-high-speed video clips at up to 1000 frames a second, although at greatly reduced resolution. Video output is via a mini HDMI port located under a hatch on the side of the camera.


This high speed capture ability is also used to provide the FH100 with several other useful features, mostly found in the Best Shot menu. These include an extremely effective in-camera HDR capture mode, high-speed anti shake composite image capture and low-noise composite night-time photos. Low-light shooting is also helped by the sensor-shift image stabilisation system.

As you might expect, the FH100’s overall performance is very good, although it is a little slow to get going. It takes approximately seven seconds to start up and take a picture, which is very slow by current standards, however its shot-to-shot time in single-shot mode is approximate 2.5 seconds, which is fairly quick by long-zoom standards.
Casio Exilim EX-FH100 top

Casio’s autofocus systems have always been very good, and the FH100 is no exception. It has a nine-point contrast detection AF system, with the option for a moveable single-point and tracking AF as well. It is very fast and accurate, and its low-light performance is also very good. It has a good bright AF assist lamp with a ranger of about three metres.


Although the FH100 will be sold mainly on the strength of its high-speed shooting abilities, it can also compete with the best in its class in terms of image quality. Although it has what appears to be the same lens as the H15 it seems to suit the FH100 better, producing excellent edge-to-edge sharpness and minimal wide-angle distortion. There is some chromatic aberration towards the corners of the frame, but I’ve seen a lot worse. The level of recorded detail is superb, among the best in its class especially in Raw mode.


The camera is at its best in unusual lighting conditions, where sensor produces excellent dynamic range in high-contrast situations, while the built-in HDR produces even better results even in strong backlighting. Colour rendition is excellent.
Casio Exilim EX-FH100 battery

Casio cameras have never been the best at high-ISO noise control, but the FH100 does well in this area too, producing good results at 400 ISO and printable images at 800, although 1600 and thye maximum 3200 ISO are less good, ass is usually the case. All in all it’s a very creditable performance, and places the Casio FH100 firmly into the top bracket of long-zoom compacts.


”’Verdict”’

The Casio EX-FH100 demonstrates that Casio should not be overlooked when it comes to advanced high-tech cameras. It offers superior build quality, excellent handling and astonishing high-speed performance, as well as a versatile range of features and above-average image quality. If you’re looking for an advanced compact it should certainly be on your shortlist.

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 specs

”Over the next few pages we show a range of test shots. On this page the full size image at the minimum and maximum ISO settings have been reduced to let you see the full image, and a series of full resolution crops have taken from original images at a range of ISO settings to show the overall image quality. These pictures were taken indoors using reflected natural light. ”


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


This is the full frame at 100 ISO.


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


Image quality at minimum ISO is outstanding, with smooth colour and sharp detail.


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


Still very good at 200 ISO.


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


There is some sign of noise reduction at 400 mISO, but the colour and detail are still good.


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


There is some loss of detsail at 800 ISO, but overall quality remains high.


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


Image quality is much reduced at 1600 ISO.


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


Most fine detail is lost at 3200 ISO.


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


This is the full frame at 3200 ISO.


—-

”A range of general test shots are shown over the next two pages. In some cases, the full size image has been reduced for bandwidth purposes, and a crop taken from the original full resolution image has been placed below it to show the overall image quality. Some other pictures may be clicked to view the original full-size image. ”


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


Here’s the usual detail test shot of the West Window of Exeter Cathedral, for you to compare with other cameras. See below for a full res crop, or click to see the whole picture.


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


The level of recorded detail is very good, equal to the best in this class.


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


The lens produces very little wide angle barrel distortion.


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


Centre sharpness is superb.


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


Corner sharpness is also very good, although there is some chromatic aberration.


—-

”Here are some general test shots to help evaluate the camera’s overall image quality, including dynamic range, colour rendition and the zoom range of the lens. Some pictures may be clicked to download the full size original image. ”


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


The wide angle end is equivalent to 24mm.


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


Taken from the same spot ass the shot above, the telephoto end is equivalent tom240mm.


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


In standard program mode the dynamic range is better than average.


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


In the Lighting mode shadow detail is greatly enhanced.


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


Using the in-camera HDR mode both shadow and highlight detail are massively improved.


—-

Casio Exilim EX-FH100 test photo


Colour rendition is bright and well saturated.


—-

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Trusted Score


Score in detail

  • Value 9
  • Design & Features 10
  • Image Quality 9
  • Build Quality 9

Features

Camera type Digital Compact, Digital SLR
Megapixels (Megapixel) 10.1 Megapixel
Optical Zoom (Times) 10x
Image Sensor 1/2.3-inch high-speed CMOS
Optical focal length 4.3 to 43mm in 35mm film terms
Shutter speed 30 secs to 1/2000 sec
Auto focus Contrast Detection Auto Focus (Spot, Multi or Tracking)
Manual focus Yes
Max output resolution 3648x2736
Other resolutions 3648x2432, 3648x 2048, 3456x2592, 3072x2304, 2304x1728, 1600x1200, 640x480
Focus range 15cm to infinity, macro 7-50cm
Exposure control Shutter priority, Aperture Priority, Manual, Best Shot
Exposure metering Multi-pattern, centre-weighted, spot
Exposure compensation +/- 2EV in 1/3 EV steps
Image Stabilisation Sensor shift
ISO settings Auto 100-3200
LCD Monitor 3-inch TFT LCD, 230k dots
Viewfinder N/A
Flash range 0.2 to 5m (wide), 0.5 to 2.8m (tele)
Flash modes Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Soft Flash, Red-eye reduction
White balance modes Auto, WB, Daylight, Overcast, Shade, Day White FL, Daylight FL, Tungsten, Manual WB
Drive modes Continuous up to 40fps for 30 shots
Image formats RAW, JPEG
Picture adjustments Saturation, sharpness, contrast, colour filters
Video (max res/format) 1280x720 30fps
Movie length Card capacity
Self timer 2/10 secs
Memory card slot SD/SDHC
Supplied memory 73.8MB
Batteries supplied 1950mAh
Charger supplied Yes
A/V output PAL/NTSC
Charging/Computer Connection USB 2.0
AV Out Yes
Manual Printed basic guide, 24-pages in English, full manual on CD

Physical Specifications

Dimensions Width (Millimeter) 105mm
Depth (Millimeter) 63.2mm
Weight (body only) (Kilogram) 224g including battery and cardkg

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.

NAV BUG FIX