casiog1_openerWHAT: Casio EXILIM EX-G1

COMPARE TO: Olympus Stylus Tough 6020

PRICE: $299

FUN FACT: The Exilim G1 is also available in red.

WHY COMPLEX IS CO-SIGNING: If there's one thing Casio knows how to do well, it's building electronics that can take a beating. Look at their G-Shock watch line. Introduced in '83 as an affordable, extreme sports timepiece, Casio's rugged sub-brand went on to become the definitive source for well priced, stylish, feature-filled, durable watches. It only makes sense that they extend that know how to the other branches of their company like they did with the Exilim EX-G1. Borrowing some of the same tech from their watches, Casio's new G line also brings you well priced, stylish, feature-filled, durable camera's. And unlike a lot of other brands whose rugged cameras look like something that would be at home next to a bunch of military gear, Casio's EX-G1 is designed to, well, look like a regular camera. On top that it's also the thinnest rugged camera on the market. Casio may not offer them in as many colors as they do G-Shock's (not yet, at least), but if you're looking for camera that won't crap out on you after you drop it on hardwood, or spill beer on it, it's worth a look.

DESIGN: In order to be as durable as Casio wanted the G1 to be, the exterior had to be able to take a couple bruises and keep on clicking. To do so, they built the shell out of a high grade stainless steel, and used polycarbonate to absorb more shocks near the shutter, lens and other buttons on the left side of the camera. Most people, when they hear that a camera can withstand some major abuse, they envision it to be extremely thick and bulky—something they wouldn't want to take to a party. Not the G1, at only .78 inches thick, it's the thinnest durable camera in its class.

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FEATURES: All that durability doesn't mean anything if there's nothing worthwhile to protect. Inside its thin, accident proof shell, the G1 comes with all the latest tech you'd expect. It sports a 12.1 megapixel sensor, a bright 2.5" LCD screen in the back that's protected by an acrylic plate to protect it from extreme water pressure and shocks. Casio really expects you to put this camera in the most extreme of conditions, hence all the durable features. To that end, they've thrown in a bunch of shooting modes to help you get your best shot if you do end up heading to the mountains or deep sea diving. There's the Interval Shooting feature that allows you to program the camera to take shots at intervals of 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, or 3 minutes. The "Best Shot" feature sets the camera up the take ideal photos in snow, underwater or beach settings. But the coolest feature is the Advanced Dynamic Photo function which allows you to edit and combine photo's right on the camera itself.

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RUGGEDNESS: We've all been to parties or just out with friends when we have accidentally sent out camera flying to the ground. With the G1, all that stainless steel and polycarbonate allow it to withstand drops of up to 7ft. It's also waterproof up to 10 ft, so any mishaps that befall it while it rolls with you during a Friday night won't mess it up. Not that you will probably ever get a chance to test this out, but the G1 can withstand temps of 14 °F. You can take it virtually anywhere.

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