The Moments Between Seconds with EX-ZR100

“Everyone told me to pass on Speed because it was a ‘bus movie'” — Sandra Bullock

Thankfully, she didn’t miss starring in that movie and it seemed, the bus took her career places. A successful photograph shares much similarity with Miss Bullock’s success as a filmstar. It has to do with Speed.

Apart from controlling light, speed is the second most important factor that affects the outcome of a photo. When it comes to cameras and lenses, size doesn’t matter. Speed does. And faster is always better. Faster DSLR lenses generally cost more than slower ones while in the compact camera arena, the handy shooters are increasingly breaking the speed barrier with faster processors.

However, at this point in time, none of the camera makers has yet caught up with Casio Exilim ZR100’s impressive 0.37 second processing duration in-between shots. Lightning speed is the soul of this camera. 

In fact, High Speed is such a lauded feature of EX-ZR100 that the function comes with a special button on the camera’s body to activate this mode of shooting. 

Getting motion sickness looking at this photo? Blur is common when taking moving subjects onboard another moving vehicle. This shot of the undersea tunnel across Hong Kong's harbour was shot with EX-ZR100 Normal mode.

When taking photos with a compact camera, I subconsciously avoid action shots because it’s so hard to get sharp photos. Shots with movements, especially taken under indoor conditions, usually end up like the photo above. So I decided to give EX-ZR100 High Speed mode a try. And the result turned out as follows…

Yes, I got the Mercedes' car plate number in focus. Time to buy 4D! The High Speed mode captures a burst of shots and I can choose the best one of an action sequence. I call this a double motion-whammy shot because the cars were speeding and I was at the back of a moving bus when taking this. I felt rather Sandra Bullock.

What happens when I turn on the camera’s High Speed function is this… it activates the unique dual-core processors to record a rapid series of shots with just one press of the shutter button. It can take as many as 40 frames per second! What I ended up with was a series of shots with every split-second movement captured. I caught all the moments in-between the seconds and simply choose the best ones to keep later.

With the High Speed mode, no action escapes the camera. Such as this daredevil snake handler who kissed a majorly pissed venomous King Cobra at Mae Sa Snake Farm during my trip to Chiang Mai…

King Cobra : "I don't mind that you kiss me, but that breath!!"

To create this ‘moving portrait’, all I had to do was select 4 shots from 30 shots that the High Speed mode took in a second. With such a dangerous snake, the handler had to be very deft with his display of affection. The cobra wasn’t defanged or depoisoned because after the show, he milked the snake of its poison in front of my face! 

My favourite photo from the series of shots taken in High Speed mode. The snake's aggressiveness was soften by the handler's adoration and awe of it.

I would like to show more photos taken with the High Speed mode but I don’t find myself in environments with hyper activities. The rush of a busy mind disregarded.

So here are photos of the 2 beings that let my heart feel a lot of high-speed movements other than the people I love…

Rainbow doing her daily yoga stretch. It's always a challenge to get a still shot of this hyper rascal. She just claws my affection every time she does this cute pose.

Get an eye work-out with Joy! Each time she blinks, you blink too. One of the fun things to create is an animated GIF like this from the photos taken in High Speed mode. Joy is blinking at 5 seconds interval. That's 12 times a minute. It keeps the eyes lubricated and dry eyes out. On average, a human adult blinks at an interval of 2 - 6 seconds (30 - 10 times per minute). When reading or using the computer, blinking is reduced to 4 times a minute which results in dry eyes. Over or under blinking could signify stroke, nervous system disorders or Parkinson

I had quite a fun experience with the Casio Exilim ZR100 High Speed mode and I can foresee many more situations to use it other than to capture action and pets that can hardly stay still.

High Speed mode works with many other modes on the camera (eg. Auto, Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority, Manual mode) while it doesn’t function with the Premium Auto and Best Shot modes. That’s because these modes already come with automatic presets to activate (or not of) the camera’s High Speed image capture ability.

My only grouse is that it captures many shots with just one press of a button and I had to later go through the tens of shots to choose one that I like. Then again, that’s the wonderful thing about this mode. It captures all the action so that the best parts are not missed.

Just like Sandra Bullock who didn’t miss the bus.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Scot
    Dec 22, 2011 @ 02:11:20

    Awesome, as usual — Your dogs are so fun! The snake kiss I could do without, watching it made me uncomfortable, which I guess shows the versatility of the camera.


    • Darren Ng
      Dec 22, 2011 @ 13:13:42

      thanks scot… you are very generous with your opinions as usual 🙂 my 2 furballs are definitely funballs with their cute antics and boundless energy. the snake show was quite unnerving with the cobra coming real close but i love the whole flirting with danger appeal of it. heh heh…


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