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Casio Exilim EX-G1 review

Ben Pitt
2 Apr 2010
Casio Exilim EX-G1
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
235
inc VAT

Extremely compact for a rugged, waterproof camera, but in virtually all other respects, it’s a disappointment.

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Specifications

1/2.3in 12.0-megapixel sensor, 3.0x zoom (38-114mm equivalent), 154g

If you want a camera for the beach, hiking or nights out on the tiles, a rugged, waterproof camera makes a lot of sense. In the last year this sector of the market has blossomed, with most of the big manufacturers releasing models. Casio is the latest to join the fray, and its EX-G1 takes inspiration from the company's G-Shock watches. It has a butch, almost militaristic design, but yet manages to be impressively sleek at just 20mm thick. According to Casio, it has been drop tested from seven feet, can be submerged for an hour under 10 feet of water and will cope with temperatures down to –10°C.

A wheel on the side of the camera releases the door to the microSDHC compartment – shame it’s not the more common SDHC variety. It’s unlikely that this wheel could be knocked open accidentally, but because it doesn’t look like a door catch, inquisitive friends might open it unwittingly in hazardous conditions. There’s no chance of the battery compartment being opened in error, though. We needed some deft finger work and a craft knife to get inside.

Rugged credentials aside, there’s not much to get excited about. The lens’s basic 3x zoom range starts at a frustratingly long 38mm, and its f/3.9 maximum aperture is darker than most. There’s no optical stabilisation, only basic photographic controls and VGA rather than 720p HD video capture. Autofocus speed is reliably good but we had to disable a pointless Quick Shutter function to stop the camera capturing a shot without bothering to focus at all. Successive shots were slow at 4.5 seconds between each one, but at least using the flash didn’t slow it further. Image quality was the biggest letdown. Focus was soft and colours were often a little muted. Noise was pervasive in all shooting conditions, and particularly evident in low light.

It may be well specified for rough treatment but the G1’s photographic prowess is less impressive. The Panasonic DMC-FT1 may cost a little more, but it’s a vastly superior rugged camera.

Basic Specifications

Rating**
CCD effective megapixels12.0 megapixels
CCD size1/2.3in
Viewfindernone
Viewfinder magnification, coverageN/A
LCD screen size2.5in
LCD screen resolution230,400 pixels
Articulated screenNo
Live viewYes
Optical zoom3.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent38-114mm
Image stabilisationnone
Maximum image resolution4,000x3,000
Maximum movie resolution848x480
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
File formatsJPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)

Physical

Memory slotmicroSDHC
Mermory supplied35.7MB internal
Battery typeLi-ion
Battery Life (tested)300 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV
HDMI output resolutionN/A
Body materialstainless steel, fibreglass-reinforced plastic
Lens mountN/A
Focal length multiplier5.6x
Kit lens model nameN/A
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables
Weight154g
Size64x104x20mm

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£235
Supplier
Detailswww.casio.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modesauto
Shutter speed1/2 to 1/1,250 seconds
Aperture rangef/3.9 (wide) to f/5.4 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution)64 to 3200
Exposure compensation+/-2 EV
White balanceauto, 6 presets, manual
Additional image controlscontrast, saturation, sharpness
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus10cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, centre, tracking, face detect
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer