Casio GV-10 Review
By Movable Type Admin
The Casio GV-10 is a very rugged little digicam and will be perfect for the "eXtreme Sports" folks out there. To paraphrase the old Timex adverts, "It takes a licking and keeps on clicking!" Note that this isn't an underwater camera - it's rated as "water resistant" to a depth of one meter for 30 minutes. But it can take a ride down the rapids in a kayak and get drenched or fall in the slushy snow or handle the normal abuse of a personal watercraft (aka Jet Ski.) And of course it's OK to use in the pouring rain.
The GV-10 is a point-n-shoot type of camera with the exposure being automatically controlled but you can override the metering or white balance when needed. As with many of the Casio cameras it has the Best Shot Scene mode where you pick the scene that best fits your shooting conditions. And it has a sequential mode for grabbing up to seven 1280 x 960 or fifty-one 640 x 480 size images of your best friend nose-diving off his skis or jumping a big wake. It can capture up to ten seconds of motion JPEG and save it as a standard AVI file. The movies are silent due to the lack of a microphone. And lastly, PC users can hook it up via USB and use it as a webcam with software like Microsoft's NetMeeting.
The lens is a fixed focal length type that's equivalent to a 35mm wide angle lens on a 35mm camera. It is also a fixed focus type meaning that there is little shutter lag time when pressing the shutter button. The wide angle of the lens and the fixed focus keeps everything in fairly sharp focus from two feet to infinity. For shooting closeup objects there is a dedicated Macro focus mode that is enabled by a large switch on the side. There is a moderate amount of barrel distortion (edge curvature) which is normal for most all wide angle lenses. This distortion is more pronounced when shooting closeups.
The overall image quality is good but not great. The wide angle lens often "sees" to much bright sky and underexposes the foreground. This can be compensated for but only if your remember to press the "-" button on top, something which most people who are in the middle of an outdoor activity will probably forget. Luckily the underexposed image is much easier to deal with in software later, an overexposed image is toast 99% of the time. The GV-10 is a 1-megapixel camera that creates 1280x960 native size images but can also in-camera interpolate images to 1600x1200 pixels. Casio claims that these larger images will yield better prints - the jury is still out on that one, check our sample images and form your own opinion.
For those interested in a rugged camera that they don't have to "baby" and never print anything bigger than 4x6" -- the GV-10 may just be the ticket for you. There are only a few "rugged" digicams out there, others are the Kodak DC5000 or the Fuji Big Job
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