EX-F1
Hybrids

Macworld 2008: Hands-on with Casio's EX-F1 hybrid camera prototype

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exf1front.jpgWe’ve been talking quite a bit about Casio’s new Exilim DSLR/point-n-shoot/video hybrid camera, the EX-F1. In short, it’s not quite a DSLR, though it handles like one, but it also shoots up to 1,200 frames per second for ultra slow-mo or making sure you get THE perfect shot.

At CES it was behind lock and key, visible only through a glass cell. At Macworld, though, Casio let me have my way with the camera, and I must say I was impressed by the things it can do, while at the same time wondering why there are some things it can’t.

The camera itself is lighter than a DSLR, that being simply because it lacks the DSLRs intricate mechanics. That’s welcome to we bloggers who, at the end of the day, require the work of three Swedish Bloggirls to get our tightened necks worked out so we can sleep.

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It operates much like a DSLR though, with the same sort of switches, knobs, buttons, and lens controls. The lens is static, you can’t readily swap it out as you can with most DSLRs, which is a drawback, but it’s a good lens as is, with a good wide-angle view.

SDHC is the card of choice for the camera, and the battery is said to last long enough to fill up a 4GB card easily, likely stretching all the way to an 8GB including video.

The display is big and bright, much like Yours Truly. When showing video, it refreshes nicely, with no stutter as you sometimes get with point-n-shoots.

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What’s really exciting, though, is the fast shutter speed. The camera’s not aimed at casual users, the rest of the Exilim line is fine for that. Nor is it aimed at professionals, or even prosumers; DSLRs are a must for them. The EX-F1 is aimed at niche markets, such as scientists who want to watch a chemical reaction in super-slow-motion, or sports coaches who want to be able to examine exactly where things went wrong, or power stalkers who need to know the exact moment Britney broke down last.

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For these people, the EX-F1 bridges a gap that’s left them in the gully of indecision, and it should make many people — but by no means all — very happy when it hits later this year.

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