CES: time stands still for Casio's EX-F1

Hark! We hear the birth of a new camera category. The happy arrival is Casio's astonishingly high-speed EX-F1, on show at CES, which has jumped from t

Hark! We hear the birth of a new camera category. The happy arrival is Casio's astonishingly high-speed EX-F1, on show at CES, which has jumped from the category marked 'concept' into the box marked 'production'.

We'd say it shoots like a machine gun, but not even an M60 matches this bridge camera for burst of fire. Sixty frames per second to be precise. Yes, 60 six-megapixel images in just one second – 20 times faster than most rivals. Even the scarily expensive Canon EOS 1D Mark III manages just 10fps.

Granted, the EX-F1 can only keep that rate up for a second... although cunningly it fires away at full speed  from the get-go while only saving the last 60 frames to memory once you press the shutter, meaning you can capture the crucial moment after it's happened. Spooky.

But wait, this baby can go faster still. Switch to video mode and it tops out at not your standard 30fps, not even 300fps, but to you, sir, a staggering 1,200fps. We're talking champagne corks flying, balloons popping, fleas jumping, all captured in slow-mo.

Horribly low-res slow-mo we'll admit, but still far more detailed than you could ever hope to get by tinkering with standard video.

And, joy of joys, we won't have to wait 'til summer to get our hands on one – Casio's promising it'll be here by spring. Bring it on.

Essentials

Casio Exilim Pro EX-F1

Price: £TBA ($1,000 in US)

On sale: Spring 2008

Contact: http://www.casio.co.uk/