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Christmas Gift Guide

ISO comparison

Macro (ISO 100)

ISO 400

A, S, M modes

Zoom range

Lens distortion

Fringing

Color

High Speed Lighting mode

Photo quality is very good, at times excellent, from the FH100. However, a lot depends on the size at which you're viewing them. At 100 percent, subjects look painterly, even at ISO 100. When viewed at smaller sizes onscreen or printed at and below 8x10 inches, subjects appear detailed and sharp. That's not unusual, but Casio seems to have done a better job than most manufacturers. Unfortunately this doesn't make the photos anymore usable for larger prints or for aggressive cropping. And going above ISO 200 only increases the effect. Detail remains strong up to ISO 800, though, and even shots taken at its highest ISOs are usable. In the end, if you're after poster-size prints, you may not be happy with this Casio's output. But if most of your shots are viewed on a computer screen or TV or you commonly make 4x6-inch prints, the FH100's photos are fine quality.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
While many of the currently available compact megazooms can focus on subjects an inch or less away, the Casio needs 2.8 inches. The results are very good, though at larger sizes subjects will look painterly, especially as the ISOs go higher.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Here at ISO 400, you can see the bird looks more like a watercolor than a photo. (The top picture is a crop of the bottom one at 100 percent.) Again, if you're looking to make large prints, the FH100 likely won't meet your needs, but for Web sharing, viewing on a TV, or small prints, the photos are fine.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
The FH100 has semimanual- and manual-shooting modes. Apertures are limited to two stops at any given focal length. Shutter speeds are selectable from 30 seconds to 1/2,000 of a second. Plus, you can select both aperture and shutter speed for stills and movies.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
The lens on the FH100 goes from a 24mm-equivalent ultrawide-angle to 240mm. It gives you a nice range to work with, which can be handy when you want to travel with just one camera. And since its squeezed inside a compact body, there's less chance you won't take it with you everywhere.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Casio does a very good job of controlling lens distortion. At the widest position there is just a hint of barrel distortion (top). Pincushion distortion when the lens is fully extended is nearly nonexistent as well (bottom).
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Fringing in high-contrast areas is below average for its class, too. It's only really visible when photos are viewed at 100 percent. This is the worst I saw in my test shots. Sharpness is very good, though there is some softening at the very edges and in the corners.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Color is very good--fairly accurate, bright, and vivid. They remain consistent at higher ISOs, too. Exposure and white balance are very good, as well. BSI CMOS sensors seemingly struggle with overly bright scenes resulting in clipped highlights.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
If you buy this camera, you'll want to take advantage of the High Speed Lighting BS mode for balancing out exposures. The top photo was taken in Auto, the bottom in the HSL mode, which fires off a few shots at different exposures and then combines them into one photo.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
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