It's got 9 megapixels, a 3x zoom and they want how much for it? Casio's new 'High Speed' Exilim EX-FS10 had better have something pretty smart up its sleeve to justify its £300 asking price. And it has, including the ability to turn back time and capture the shot you just missed...
It's called a 'pre-record' function, and, no matter how many times you use it, it still has a hint of witchcraft about it. You can use it both for movies and this camera's high-speed continuous shooting mode. What happens is that you half press the shutter and the camera starts recording stills or movie clips, but only into a kind of rolling buffer. When something happens that you wish you'd caught, you press the shutter the rest of the way and the camera pulls the last few seconds out of the buffer, as well as capturing live footage from that point on. So it's not witchcraft at all -- it just feels like it.
Oh, and there's much more. The EX-FS10 features Casio's Continuous Shutter technology, which lets you capture shots at, frankly, stupid speeds. It'll shoot 30 pictures at 30 frames per second, and, although it's not at full resolution, it only drops to 6 megapixels. That's perfectly adequate for decent-quality enlargements.
And then there's the high-speed movie mode, which can run at 210fps, 420fps and 1,000fps, although at progressively lower resolutions, so that, by the time it's running at full pelt, clips measure a microscopic 224x64 pixels. That's okay for motion analysis in a physics lab, but perhaps rather on the wee side for the rest of us.
Never mind, though, because the slower frame rates offer progressively higher definition, and, if you shoot at normal speed, you get excellent-quality 1,280x720-pixel high-definition movies. You need to keep the camera as still as possible to avoid jitter, but the definition is extremely good.