Casio announces today their first rugged camera, the Exilim EX-G1. Available in black or sporty red, the G1 is rated for underwater photography up to ten feet, shock-resistant up to a seven foot drop, and freezeproof to temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
Behind the rough exterior is a 12.1 megapixel 1/2.3 inch CCD sensor. A 3x optical zoom lens offers an equivalent focal range of 38-114mm with a maximum aperture of f/3.9. It's also equipped with a 2.5 inch LCD, and video recording with sound at 848x480 resolution. The G1 will be just slightly slimmer than other current rugged camera offerings from the competition. At 0.78 inches thick, it features a dual-layer construction with a stainless steel outer casing.
The Exilim G1 is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery CIPA rated for 300 shots. It will only accept microSD and microSDHC memory cards.
Take Your Best Shot
Interval shooting mode will record still images or video at fixed intervals, freeing up the owner of the camera to keep on snowboarding or biking while the camera keeps clicking. Casio's Best Shot scene modes like "beach" and "snow" offer another kind of hands-off shooting. They're programmed to automatically choose the best camera settings based on the demands of these particular scenarios. New to the G1 is an underwater Best Shot mode. Casio claims that this setting will produce better images underwater with less blue tint.
Casio's Dynamic Photo feature is back in the G1. This function makes it possible to cut a subject out of a captured image and paste it over a different background. Casio updates Dynamic Photo by adding the ability to place moving graphics over photographs.
We couldn't help but notice that Casio hasn't included any kind of optical or mechanical image stabilization. Though a 3x zoom range doesn't necessitate stabilization the way an ultrazoom lens does, it would still be a welcome feature for shooting in fading light conditions. Some of the G1's competitors utilize image stabilization with similar zoom ranges. But that's not to say we can judge a camera by its spec sheet. We'll be interested to see how it performs in the real world, and the G1 promises plenty of tough performance features.
Pricing and Availability
The Casio Exilim EX-G1 will be available in December starting at $299.99.