The body is made from aluminium, so it’s quite tough, and the black finish doesn’t mark easily. I did manage to put one small scratch on it by putting it into a pocket that also contained my car keys, but other than that the build quality is excellent and it’s built to survive most light bumps and knocks.
It has to be said that the square shape won’t appeal to everyone, and along with the skinny profile and slippery finish it does make the camera slightly awkward to hold. There’s nowhere to hold the camera that doesn’t put your thumb right on a control.
The are one or two other details that are not quite as well thought-out as they might be. For example, when you switch the camera on, the buttons on the top panel light up with a nice electric blue glow, but only one button stays lit. Logically you’d kind of expect that to be the on/off button, but instead it’s the auto/scene mode button. In the dark of a night club, I tried to turn the camera off but instead kept changing scene mode. The card slot cover is also ridiculously flimsy and fiddly to open, especially in low light conditions.
Other than that however the camera is sensibly designed and performs well. It starts up in a fraction over two seconds, which isn’t bad, and in burst mode it can fire off seven shots in a little under five seconds. In single shot mode it can shoot around once every a second until the card is full, with only occasional pauses to clear the buffer, which is ideal for a camera of this type.
The multi-zone AF system is fairly quick and operates well in most lighting conditions. In very low light it has an AF illuminator with a range of about 2-3-metres, although I found that this often required several tries to lock on.