Casio Exilim EX-FH25 review

Full review: Ultra-fast DSLR style camera with 20x optical zoom

Image 1 of 2 Casio EXILIM EX FH25 front
Casio EXILIM EX-FH25 front
Image 2 of 2 Casio EXILIM EX FH25 back
Casio EXILIM EX-FH25 back

Good choice for sports photographers, but picture quality disappoints

If you want a camera for shooting landscapes and extreme closes-ups, but don’t want to invest in a digital SLR system with interchangeable lenses, then a big-zooming camera like the Casio EX-FH25 is worth considering.

With bulging plastic construction, the pumped up 10.1 effective megapixel FH25 resembles a cross between a compact that’s been to the gym and a fully-fledged DSLR. With features to match, including some ultra-fast modes for fast action modes.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
More on Casio:

Fujifilm F80EXR Vs Casio EX-FH100 review

Casio EXILIM cameras released

Improve your golf swing with the Casio EX-FH20 camera

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Choose to compose and review your shots via the 230k-dot screen or the viewfinder above. There’s a ridged rubber surround to the lens barrel that looks like it should be for manual adjustment, but merely exists to aid grip when shooting handheld.

Instead the 20x optical zoom, equivalent to 26-520mm in 35mm film terms, is operated via a lever encircling the main shutter release button. The comparative bulk is also down to the four AA batteries inserted into the base of the handgrip. We’d hoped for rechargeables, so that’s something would-be owners will want to remedy.

Casio Exilim EX-FH25: Fast action shooting and movies

Fortunately the Casio isn’t just about powerful optics. Alongside a wide range of shooting modes for all abilities, including: Aperture, Shutter and Manual and 26 scene modes, there are impressive shooting speeds on offer. Motion JPEG movies can be captured and replayed in ultra slow motion thanks to the ability to record at up to 1,000 frames per second (albeit at lowly 224x64 pixels). Or shoot regular 1280x720 pixels HD clips at 30fps instead. Standalone settings for 210fps and 420fps are further included.

Fortunately the optical zoom can be used when shooting movies, or switched off and the digital variety deployed instead. Since video is given such prominence on this model, we’d expected to see a dedicated record button, but instead filming starts and stops via a twist of the top plate mode dial and a press of the shutter release button.

Casio Exilim EX-FH25: Picture quality

A readiness for action shooting isn’t just limited to movie clips. 10MP stills can also be shot at up to 30fps with a single button press, while for optimum quality the camera offers Raw files are alongside JPEG.

Even with its more modest zoom range, shots taken at maximum telephoto display a noticeable softness, though at the wider end of the zoom good edge to edge sharpness is maintained. It’s one of the worst offenders we've seen in the current big-zoom crop (such as the Pentax X90 and Nikon P100) for visible pixel fringing between areas of high contrast however, and in duller conditions it’s tricky to achieve an evenly exposed result.

Given the attention to speed elsewhere, it’s surprising the camera takes a leisurely three seconds to power up. Other than that it’s responsive to the touch and there’s fun to be had replaying the faster shooting modes and watching your mates appear to be wading through treacle walking in slow-mo.

Casio Exilim EX-FH25: Conclusion

We can see the appeal of the Casio to families with hyperactive children or sports enthusiasts wanting fuzzy keepsakes of key moments. And at £300 online the EX-FH25 it’s certainly affordable, but better overall options are to be had like the Fujifilm HS10 and Nikon P100.

The Casio Exilim EX-FH25 is out now, find out more from Casio

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SPECIFICATIONS
Sensor: 10MP effective megapixels
Lens: 26-520mm (20x optical)
Screen (size and res): 3-inch LCD, 230,400 dots
Max ISO: 3200
Flash: Pop up integral flash
Viewfinder: Electronic viewfinder (EVF) 201,000
Stabilisation (type): Sensor shift
Video: 1280x720 pixels 30fps
Storage (card and internal): SD/SDHC card, 86MB internal
Connections: USB/AV port, AC adapter connection
Battery life: 340 shots using alkaline AAs, 500 with rechargeables
Dimensions/weight: 123x81x85mm, 483g without battery/card

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------