Saturday, 30 August 2014

Casio's new action cam detaches from its own touchscreen viewfinder

If you haven't quite got on the action cam bandwagon, or you're looking for a viewfinder bigger than a postage stamp, perhaps Casio's EXILIM "freestyle" camera will do the job. Coming in orange, camo green and white options, it's made of two different parts -- the lens and a separate screen that can be used both attached and detached. In a sign of the times, there's also a foldable docking option that makes it ideal for selfies. If you fold the lens back onto the display, then you have something closer to a typical camera -- albeit one with a tiny screen. The camera will, naturally, arrive with a plethora of straps, clips and tripod accessories to ensure it attaches to everything adventurous in your life and both parts are water- and dust-proof (IPX6 certified, of course).

Casio's new 'split-camera' action cam (hands-on)

The camera itself has an f2.8 lens and contrast-based auto-focus, with intelligent and multifocus modes which should help ensure it captures what you want it to. The Exilim EX-FR10 will snap photos at 14-megapixels and video at 1080p resolution, and Casio says the battery should last around 75 minutes for continuous movie recording. If you're mostly shooting stills, then expect it to last much much longer - once detached, the two-inch LCD touchscreen controller will extend the camera's view up to 5 meters. It will degrade after that, but Casio tells us that you'll still be able to capture with the shutter button up to 10 meters away. Both devices can be charged through the micro-USB port, while storage is microSD card-based -- like most action cams.
Once you've captured your adventures/water-fights, the images and video can be delivered through the aforementioned USB connection, as well as Bluetooth and WiFi. We got to play with one, and the device has a nice rough finish that ensured that it was easy to grip -- you can also tell by the styling and color choices that it's cut from the same cloth as Casio's G-Shock. The hinge is also hardy -- it maintains the angle you set it at when you bend it into place. The biggest concern here (despite the presence of waterproof smartphones), is the price: in Japan it's set to land at 50,000 yen. It might well look hardier and cooler than aGoPro, and once you factor in a wireless viewer for the Hero3+, the price is close, but you're going to have to pay a little more for Casio's action cam -- it translates to roughly $480.
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