Upon the arrival of a Casio EXILIM EX-FH20 test sample, it is tested in our DIWA Lab. The technical data from the rigorous tests are processed and translated into understandable data. Inside the lab, testing takes place in standardized circumstances. An environment in which cameras, both compact and system concepts, can be compared without a problem. Besides that, the Casio FH20 compact camera is extensively used in practice and evaluated as for operation and shooting in practice. This combination of lab tests and the testing in practice, results in a final conclusion that is carefully reviewed.
Casio Exilim EX-FH20 colour reproduction
On paper, the Casio EXILIM EX-FH20 may show interesting specifications, but this will have to show in practice. That is why the camera is extensively tested in practice, including technical tests in the DIWA Lab. The color reproduction is one of the items which are tested. The Lab results will be compared with the calibrated colors of the Gretag Macbeth Color Checker. The results turned out to differ just a tad more than we find in general. As for color saturation, the Casio FH20 performs well; however, red and blue seem to be emphasized. This could cause some picture to become somewhat too intense. It also means that skin tones will become kind of rosy. It stands out more due to slight color shifting.
White balance measurements
The white balance test produced good results; it is remarkable that the Casio EXILIM FH20 is not at all consistent in its measurements. Over the entire ISO range, there is a peak at ISO 400 and at 800, there is a peak in the opposite direction. However, both offer fine to excellent results. Measurements are carried out with the white balance set to manual. The auto and preset white balance settings encounter some problems in practice when filtering color cast effectively in excessive incandescent / fluorescent light. The manual white balance provides the best results.
Casio EX-FH20 ISO range
According to the specifications, the Casio EXILIM EX-FH20 Megazoom camera has an ISO range of 100-1600. If we check the image sensor for its actual sensitivity, we find an average deviation of almost 22%. Although we often find deviations between 20-25%, the Casio EXILIM shows this deviation consistently over the entire ISO range. This means that the actual ISO is significantly higher. When we take a look at the signal/noise ratio, it is quite normal to see noise fairly soon. Low ISO of 100-200 already shows some noise yet still acceptable. And even at this low ISO, there is a loss of details in the pictures due to the noise reduction function. At ISO 400, noise is clearly visible and the details do not get any better unfortunately. Using the high ISO values is basically not done; the results simply do not make the grade.
Loss of dynamic range
Although the 9 Megapixels of resolution keep within the margins, Casio is not able to protect the small image sensor from loss of dynamic range. Up to and including ISO 200, the Casio FH20 is still able to render the dark and light areas in the picture reasonably well. However; at ISO 400 this clearly diminishes. The risk of white-washed areas and blotted dark areas in pictures significantly increases. By using the so-called Dynamic range enhancement (a function on the camera) while shooting, there is some left, but not that much.
Casio FH20 lens measurements
The Casio EXILIM FH20 features a 20x optical zoom lens which justifies the name of Megazoom camera. Still, it's not even that impressive, since the competitors introduced 24x and 26x zoom cameras at the beginning of this year. This kind of large range is purely there for its ease, not for its quality. One of the most important features on a lens is the sharpness. The measurements carried out in the DIWA Lab show that the Casio EX-FH20's lens performs reasonable to average. Although wide angle and the center focal length show a decent sharpness in the center, blur in the edges clearly increases and becomes extreme in telephoto mode.
Megazoom lens - Chromatic aberration
The expected distortion in wide angle is also found on the Casio EXILIM EX-FH20. The amount is still acceptable, and this also goes for telephoto which shows less distortion. The remaining focal lengths stay neatly within the quality standard. Another area where a Megazoom often stumbles is its chromatic aberration and unfortunately the Casio EXILIM FH20 is no exception. It comes down to the fact that there is a fair to high risk of chromatic aberration over the entire focal range, whereby wide angle and the center focal point suffer the most. These focal points suffer from so much visible chromatic aberration that it is simply unacceptable.