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Old Apr 17, 2008, 4:00 AM   #1
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I bit the bullet and picked up a EX-F1 earlier in the week.

Some background about me: I normally shoot with a Canon 20D and Epson R-1Ds but have been looking for a travel and fun camera to take on long trips. I did fairly well in Tibet/Nepal for 5 weeks with the Epson and a Canon G9, but wanted something with a longer zoom and better image and video quality than the G9--sort of a half step between the G9 and 20D plus video. Was hoping the EX-F1 would be that magic piece of kit. The Epson is a 6MP camera and I like the look of the images so the 6MP count of the Casio doesn't turn me off.

Initial feel of the camera is that it's lightweight but ergonomics are bad. It doesn't fit my hand well and the buttons and dials feel cheap. The multifunction zoom ring is useless to me because it's unwieldy and causes too much camera shake to use effectively while shooting (video). There is no reason to use the ring to select the continuous shooting mode 'cause it's quicker to use the dial. Haven't tried using the ring for manual focusing.

The EVF is neat but I wish that it was an optical viewfinder. The image in the EVF looks far, far away and the image has a fake sense of depth.

Having a standard (62mm) filter mount is handy.

Does not come with a DC power adapter even though some web sites have indicated it was an included accessory.

I haven't shot any stills other than a couple of quickies of my desk but am really disappointed that RAW is limited to ISO 200 and below. All the nifty features like shooting 60fps, continuous shooting, pre-recording, and exposure bracketing works only in JPEG mode, which is disappointing too. I did find out that PhotoAcute can create a 16-bit TIFF from multiple JPEGs. I haven't tried that yet but there might be some hope there.

I shot some 1080i video footage and was disappointed by the compression artifacts. Skin tones looked blotchy and was really hard to watch because big, smudgy areas of skin and wall kept "popping". Really disappointed by the video quality.

The bitrate of the 1080i footage is 13.6Mbps. I don't normally shoot video but I understand that the max bitrate of AVCHD is 24Mbps.

File size is limited to 4GB, which is about 3hrs in 512x384, 1hr in 720p, and 45mins in 1080i.

Ergonomically, this is a still camera and it is not conducive to shooting steady video.

Haven't figured out if it's possible to set aperture/DOF in video mode. Again, I normally don't shoot video so I don't know if that's a typical feature.

You can't focus manually in video mode.

I'll take a few stills with the Casio in the next couple of days but am currently on the fence about whether to return the camera or not. The overall cheap feel of the controls, the poor video quality, and the RAW limitations (ISO and inability to shoot RAW in anything but single shot mode) really make me rethink the purchase. So far, it is not that magic piece of kit I was hoping for.
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Old May 1, 2008, 6:07 AM   #2
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I am considering buying this camera to replace my broken Canon S2 IS (lens error), which could take good pictures and video. Casio might not be the one and only camera you need, but atleast it is trying to be. I need good quality hybrid camera to be able to take pictures and record video. I already have Aiptek AHD200 and Canon 300V SLR, which takes excellent pictures, but Aiptek's quality is questionable. It is too bad that Casio doesn't have reversible LCD but many digital SLRs are lacking this feature also. Casio can't be so bad afterall or should I wait for something else, do you recommend this camera? What kind of optics there are in Casio is it extracting lens or is it entirelly sealed optics like in normal camcorders?
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 11:47 AM   #3
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