Booth Report: Casio Computer Co. Ltd.

Las Vegas Convention Center

Opting not to get lost in the flood of PMA announcements, Casio announced a total of five new digital camera models at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas during the first week of January 2008. All five cameras were on display at the PMA show, however, and amongst their number was one of the most interesting models launched so far this year. The Casio EXILIM Pro EX-F1 grabbed attention with the combination of a six megapixel 1/1.8" CMOS image sensor, a 12x optical zoom lens, and the ability to capture full-res images at a staggering 60 frames per second, for a full 60 frames (or one second, in other words). We had an opportunity to try this mode out on Casio's booth and the implementation was really rather nicely done, with the camera prompting the user whether to save all the images from a burst or to choose one specific frame when the shutter is released. For fans of sports, nature, or any other form of photography where split-second timing is vital, this could prove to be an incredibly exciting camera - and it's definitely far more interesting than most digital cameras in a world obsessed with megapixel ratings. About the only thing missing that we'd like to see on a future version of the camera is the addition of optical image stabilization, but even given the camera's fairly steep $1,000 pricetag we have a feeling Casio's onto a winner with the EX-F1. The company's other new cameras on display at PMA 2008 included one EXILIM Card-series model (the EX-S10) as well as three new EXILIM Zooms - the EX-Z80, EX-Z100, and EX-Z200. Casio also took the opportunity to announce its receipt of a J.D. Power customer satisfaction award as the highest-rated ultra-slim form factor digicam.

Michael R. Tomkins