Casio Squeezes Ultra-High-Speed Shooting into Compact Cameras

Casio’s Exilim EX-F1 caused a huge stir when it launched last year–the prosumer camera was the first to bring ultra-high-speed photography, the kind you see used in beautiful slo-mos in nature documentaries and the like, to the public. Casio’s taken that tech and put it into two new compact-sized point-and-click cameras.

The new EX-FC100 and EX-FS10 can both shoot high-speed video at a cracking 1,000 frames-per-second pace–fast enough to see how a dropped egg explodes into fragments, or a splash of water leaps in the air. At that speed the camera has to drop the image resolution to work quickly enough, but in normal photography the full 9.1 megapixels are used.

There’s a high-speed still photography burst-mode too, that lets you make high-resolution photos at 30 frames per second.

Both cameras have dedicated software to make the most of the high-speed shooting functionality, including a “slow motion view” option that lets the user select a still image while watching the slow motion video, and retain it separately.

The main difference between the two is in terms of body, as both cameras appear to have largely the same electronics suite inside. The FC100 is a palm-sized compact camera, with a 2.7-inch TFT LCD and 5x optical zoom, and has room for a battery that’s good for up to 300 shots. The FS10 is a pocket-friendly camera, being just 0.64-inches thin and using internal moving optics to achieve a 3x zoom–there’s no lens poking out. The FS10 can shoot approximately 160 stills on one battery charge.

Both are due in Japan first by March, the FC100 for $400 and the FS10 for $350. Compared to the EX-F1’s $1,000 launch price, that’s a bargain.