Action cameras like the GoPro are part of the overall camera package on pretty much every shoot these days. However, they're notorious for their poor-quality night footage. The small size of the sensor combined with the design of the lens render action cams more suited to well-lit situations.

To address this problem, Casio has come out with the Exilim FR110H, an action camera specifically targeted at low-light shoots with a maximum ISO of 51,200.

Using a back-illuminated, 1/2.8-inch CMOS sensor, Casio has sacrificed still photo resolution in order to have larger photo sites for better low-light sensitivity. This makes the camera a single-purpose tool: it won't give you amazing performance in the daytime and it won't output high-quality stills, but it will capture action low-light video footage that no other camera can.

Img02_copy_1Casio Night Action ComparisonCredit: Casio

Of course, combining a great low-light camera like the Sony A7S II with a wide-aperture lens can produce great results in similar low-light levels, but you probably wouldn't want to strap that camera to the handlebars of a motorcycle. For filmmakers, the Exilim FR110H is really meant to be the C-camera on your low-light shoot, capturing shots where you wouldn't want to risk more expensive equipment but still want coverage. Alternatively, the camera could be particularly useful for documentary filmmakers working in low-light environments who want to be able to capture a lot of angles on a night scene with a small budget.

While the test footage does show a lot of noise, there is some real info in there. Combined with some precise noise correction in post, you could have a very useful tool.

Ex_fr110h_3_1Modular DesignCredit: Casio

Like earlier Casio designs, the camera is also wirelessly modular, with a lens/sensor unit that you can disconnect from the recorder/monitor.

The Exilim FR110H is currently only available for the Asian market, but if you have a low-light job coming up, you should be able to find them online from eBay or other auction sites. (Just be prepared to wait for longer shipping from across the Pacific.)

Tech Specs:

  • 51,200 ISO
  • CMOS backlit sensor
  • 1/2.8" sensor size
  • 1.8-megapixel stills