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’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 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.
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.
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