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Casio Introduces Pro EX-F1 with Fastest Available Burst Shooting

The highlight of several Casio camera announcements today is the 6-megapixel Exilim Pro EX-F1, a compact with a 12x optical zoom lens that has the fastest burst shooting available. It is capable of shooting 6-megapixel still images at 60 frames per second

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Jan. 7, 2008 - The highlight of several Casio camera announcements today is the 6-megapixel Exilim Pro EX-F1, a compact with a 12x optical

zoom lens that has the fastest burst shooting available. It is capable of shooting 6-megapixel still images at 60 frames per second (fps) and 336 x 96 movies at 1200fps, speeds that are not comparable to any digital camera currently on the market. It will retail for $999 when it hits the shelves this spring.

Casio attributes the high speed to a new CMOS sensor and LSI processor. Prior to the F1’s announcement, point-and-shoots and compacts that shot 3fps were considered fast. Canon’s EOS-1D Mark III sets the burst shooting benchmark for digital SLRs with 10fps.

"[The F1] is one of the few cameras that can change the world of photography," said Bill Heuer, senior vice president of sales for Casio’s Digital Imaging Division in a press conference.

Casio is targeting the F1 to professional and serious amateurs, though they point out it incorporates features that make it easy enough to use for parents shooting their kids’ sports events, for instance. The high speed continuous shooting will also likely appeal to sports and nature photographers.

In still shooting, the frame rate can be set between 1 and 60. The F1 can capture either 60 images consecutively; either 60 images in one second or 5fps for up to 12 seconds. With the flash enabled, the F1 can shoot 7fps for up to 20 shots.

There are three Movie modes available: standard, high definition (HD), and hi-speed. The hi-speed Movie modes are available at three resolutions: 512 x 384 at 300fps, 432x192 at 600fps and 336x96 at 1200fps. HD resolutions available are 1920 x 1080 at 60fps and 1280 x 720 at 30fps. A separate HDMI cable is required to view the movies on an HDTV. The standard mode captures 640 x 480 files at 30fps.

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The F1 has two features that further assist users in capturing a key moment: prerecord and slow motion. The camera can prerecord and save up to 60 images to the buffer memory before the shutter button is pushed, a function aimed to help prevent the user from missing a moment. The Slow Motion View feature allows the user to slow down the action, enabling them to watch for and press the shutter at a precise moment. Additional modes include Casio’s signature Best Shot Modes and YouTube Capture Mode.

The Exilim Pro EX-F1 is fitted with a 12x optical zoom lens (35mm equivalent of 36 to 432mm). It has Casio’s new Super Clear LCD that measures 2.8-inches with 230,160 pixel resolution, as well as an electronic viewfinder. There is a hot shoe for attaching an external flash and an external microphone jack.

Like many high-end compacts, the F1 captures both JPEG and RAW files. It measures 5.03 x 3.13 x 5.12 inches and weighs 23.67 ounces. It accepts SDHC, SD, MMC, and MMCplus memory cards and runs on a rechargeable lithium ion battery.

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