Review: Casio Exilim EX-100

Review: Casio Exilim EX-100
Casio Exilim EX-100 camera.

It has been less than six months since Casio launched its flagship compact camera Exilim EX-10. Digital Life reviewed it in February.

But already Casio has updated its flagship model.

No matter which way you look at it, the EX-100 is a dead ringer for the EX-10. Even the placement of buttons is the same.

The Mode dial, lens zoom lever and shutter release button are on top, easily accessible with your right index finger. Other than the usual Aperture-Priority and Program modes, the Mode dial also has Art Shot, Intelligent Bracketing and Time-Lapse modes for quick switching of modes.

Like the EX-10, the EX-100 has an aperture ring in front and a wheel dial at the back. So, in Manual mode, you can quickly adjust the aperture with the ring, and the shutter speed with the wheel dial.

Overall handling is superb. The two cameras share the same 12.1-megapixel 1/1.7-inch image sensor, Exilim HS3 image processor and 3.5-inch tiltable display. They even have the same sturdy die-cast magnesium body.

But where the EX-10 had little more than a small line of plastic to help you hold it, the EX-100 has a textured grip that provides more comfort for your fingers.

The EX-100 is 5g heavier and, when the lens is extended, about 2mm thicker than the EX-10. But this is a tiny and worthwhile trade-off given that EX-100 has a 28-300mm lens, compared with the EX-10's 28-112mm.

More amazingly, this lens has a constant big aperture of f/2.8 throughout its entire focal range.

Usually, a camera with such a big zoom lens would have a maximum aperture of only f/5.6 or f/6.3 at its maximum focal length. Such cameras also tend to be much bigger, such as the DSLR-like Fujifilm FinePix S1 reviewed last week. But the EX-100 is only 50.5mm thick with lens extended.

Another highlight is its dual bracketing or Intelligent Bracketing function. This mode lets you shoot nine frames using two different parameters, such as white balance and saturation, in just one second.

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