Casio EXILIM Pro EX-F1 | Digital Camera Review | Adjustments
The Casio EXILIM Pro EX-F1 offers great colour reproduction. The colours seem natural, and technical tests show that a consistent reproduction is achieved over almost the entire ISO sensitivity. This also goes for the white balance that achieves a consistent quality throughout the entire range. However, also for the Casio EXILIM F1 it turns out that a manual setting obtains the highest quality possible under incandescent circumstances. All in all an excellent result without notable distortions.
Signal / noise ratio of the Casio Exilim F1
Nowadays, 6 Megapixels on an image sensor is not a huge amount. Photographers that focus on image editing, large format prints and making crops will probably run into some boundaries soon. Still, this amount of pixels delivers an excellent photo realistic result. With the knowledge of 'only' 6 Megapixels on the sensor in the back of our minds, we had high expectations of the signal / noise ratio. When we analyze the 100 ISO pictures, we find a more than decent result. However, unexpectedly fast, the blue and green channel turn out to have quite a hard time with the 200 ISO setting, although still offering a reasonable signal / noise ratio. From 400 ISO to 1600 ISO, the pictures show granular results and it is a pity to have to come to the conclusion that the Casio EXILIM Pro EX-F1 is not able to rise above average.
Dynamic range & Tonal range
The dynamic range up to and including 400 ISO is extremely fine and the range for ISO 800 also proves fine. The pictures are rich in detail and the Casio EXILIM F1 therefore easily enters the top of the Megazoom class. ISO higher than 800 makes the dynamic range drop drastically and the message is thus clear; in relation to the dynamic range, high sensitivities are better left alone. When we take a look at the tonal range, DIWA Lab tests show the reach of a very excellent range up to and including ISO 400, at ISO 800 and higher the result is acceptable.
Megazoom camera for allround photography
The 12x optical zoom lens has a nice range for versatile shooting. Although the current Megazoom generation offers enlargements up to 20x, a 12x optical zoom will suffice for most objects. An optical range this large asks a lot from the quality of the lens. On the Casio EXILIM Pro EX-F1 the quality in relation to the distortion is excellent. The entire range shows hardly any distortion, an outstanding achievement. In addition, the measurements considering the vignetting turn out superbly for the Casio F1; throughout the entire zoom range the camera holds up greatly, showing excellent results with hardly any measurable vignetting.
Casio EX-F1 Chromatic aberration
Chromatic aberration, however, is a different issue. Casio unfortunately dropped some stitches here and they really shouldn't have for an expensive device like this. Wide angle pictures suffer clearly from the obviously present chromatic aberration, which can only be partly fixed by aperture f5.6 and higher. Telephoto pictures have more consistent values however; they also show a considerable amount of chromatic aberration. It's only the centre part of the zoom range, from aperture f/8.3 that doesn't suffer from it. As far as the tests of chromatic aberration are concerned, we can come to only one conclusion; Casio have to do their homework again, regrettably.
High Speed Full HD videos
What stands out most on the Casio EXILIM F1 is of course its performance when it comes to video and speed. The Casio F1 is able to capture "Full HD" (1920x1080 pixels) videos with a maximum recording time of 29 minutes in a superb quality. However, this is only true for the European version; purchase this camera outside of Europe and there are no restrictions. This is due to the extra fee on cameras with these video capacities that applies to Europe. If you want to go berserk with high speed photography and high-speed recording, you will have a surprisingly full device at your disposal. The numerous videos, shown on YouTube for example, are proof of what Casio is able to do in this field.
High quality 60 frames per second videos
The possibility of taking a scene with full resolution, resulting in 60 frames per second, is an unparalleled experience. You might not use it on a daily base perhaps, but for those on the look out for the right subject will always find use for it. In addition, even higher speeds such as 300 fps (512x284 pixels) or an astonishingly high 1200 fps (336x96 pixels) also belong to the possibilities. The following speeds record without sound: 300, 600 and 1200 frames per second. To give you an idea of the amount of data we are talking about: at Full HD the Casio F1 processes approximately 14MB/sec, at 1200 fps approximately 18MB per second. Both speed and capacity are therefore equally important for the memory card used with the Casio F1.
Casio Exilim Pro EX-F1 Hi-Speed camera
The results from the DIWA Lab test lab are crystal clear. The Casio EXILIM Pro EX-F1 is a Megazoom camera with great potential, however; it looks like the first generation Hi-speed Casio camera has to remove a few obstacles to prevent the unique features of the camera from getting diminished by a lesser image quality. Let it be clear; in perfect light circumstances the Casio EXILIM F1 is able to keep pace, but as soon as the demand gets higher, the camera fails. The high speed functions are impressive and unique and it is unparalleled that a functionality like this has come within reach of the amateur. However, this should never happen at the cost of the picture quality.