By virtue of its 10x optical zoom, the 14.1 megapixel Casio Exilim EX-H20G, falls within Casio's 'hi zoom' product category. Updating the EX-H10, it also packs in sensor-shift image stabilisation to help prevent blur from hand wobble at longer focal lengths. However, with most competing camera manufacturers also squeezing in larger than you'd expect zooms into slim bodies, this latest Casio is arguably more noteworthy for incorporating a GPS antenna above its lens, hence the model's 'G' suffix.
Presently only a small handful of rivals, including Samsung's WB650, bigger brother to our recently reviewed WB600, offer GPS facilities. So this is one way in which the EX-H20G can navigate itself clear of the crowd.
Casio's on-board GPS isn't just any old steerage system, but rather what it terms 'hybrid GPS'. This translates as the camera including a motion sensor alongside integral compass. This is so, says Casio, the EX-H20G can continue to plot your position even if the GPS signal is lost. Should you disappear down an open man hole cover for example, the camera will 'count' the number of steps since your last known position. Or, if you'd rather, the GPS facilities can be deactivated via the camera's Set Up menu folder.
Such cleverness inevitably commands a premium, though a manufacturer's suggested asking price around the £330 mark feels rather steep. Particularly when its non-GPS sibling in the otherwise largely identical EX-H15 (14.1MP and 10x zoom) retails for a cool £100 less. With current online prices falling somewhere in the middle, is this a premium worth paying? And is the EX-H20G the potentially all-encompassing 'travel zoom' companion that it appears to be on paper?
The angular compact camera certainly ticks those proverbial boxes with its attendant headline specification. The 2.7in screen packs in an impressive 460,800 pixels, which places it on a par with enthusiast models for clarity of vision. Added to the mix is the expected ability to shoot 720p HD video clips at a smooth 30 frames per second. Unlike the EX-H15, the EX-H20G further adds mini HDMI output, for hooking the camera up to your flat panel TV. Battery life is noteworthy via the fact that around 600 shots are provided by a full charge. Many competing models barely manage a third of that.