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.
Casio 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.
Modular 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.)
- 51,200 ISO
- CMOS backlit sensor
- 1/2.8" sensor size
- 1.8-megapixel stills