The EX-G1’s body is made mostly of aluminium, with an inner shock-absorbing waterproof core of polycarbonate plastic, the same technology used in Casio’s popular ultra-tough G-Shock watches. It is waterproof to a depth of 3m (10ft) and can survive falls of 2.13m (7ft). It is also “freeze proof” to minus 10 centigrade, but as I’ve explained before most digital cameras can survive very cold weather without harm. The body hatches are well sealed, with the battery hatch actually requiring a special tool to open it, although I found that a fingernail worked just as well. There is a separate hatch covering the memory card slot and USB connector, opened by a nifty but largely cosmetic rotating catch. The EX-G1 is unusual in that it takes MicroSD cards rather than the full-sized ones, and changing the memory card is pretty fiddly. It also has to be noted that the plastic trim around the thick end of the camera is quite flimsy and flexes under even quite light pressure. The buttons are also far too small to be operated while wearing gloves, but this is true of most other adventure cameras.
Also in common with most of its contemporaries, underneath its tough-guy exterior the EX-G1 is really just a simple point-and-click compact. Its zoom range, equivalent to 38-114mm, is nothing particularly special, and its f/3.9-5.4 maximum aperture is also relatively slow. The 2.5-inch 230k monitor is fairly small by recent standards. The camera isna’t exactly overloaded with features, but it does offer the same range of useful auto settings as most of Casio’s compacts. It has 25 Best Shot mode settings, including interval shooting, underwater shooting and the unusual Dynamic Photo mode, and the menu offers extra lighting for high contrast shots, a range of colour filter effects and adjustable contrast, saturation and sharpness. Flash output is adjustable, and the EX-G1 also features a bright white LED which serves as AF assist lamp, self-timer indicator and a short-range lamp for video recording.
The video mode is a bit limited by current standards, offering 848 x 480 WVGA resolution at 30fps with mono audio. Video and audio quality are fairly good although the microphone is non-directional. The zoom lens can be operated while recording, and as usual the camera has Casio’s YouTube video mode and comes with YouTube uploading software so you can share your adventures online. Assuming the YouTube is still up and running after the collapse of civilisation, that is.
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