Casio camera offers advanced GPS functions, sightseeing tips

Casio's Exilim EX-H20G camera goes offers a digital compass, indoor geo-tagging, and can serve up sightseeing tips

Casio's newest camera features precise geo-tagging via GPS, mapping technology that can display your current location, and can serve up sightseeing tips. If that was not enough, the new Casio EXILIM EX-H20G also has built-in motion sensors that make it easier to offer exact location information even when no GPS signals are present, according to Casio. The EX-H20G will US hit store shelves in November with a suggested retail price of $US350.

Specs

The 14.1 megapixel EX-H20G has a 24-millimeter wide-angle lens with 10x optical zoom, and another 4x digital zoom. Casio has also loaded the camera with its Single Frame SR Zoom feature that the company says gives you up to 15x zoom with no significant loss in image quality. The EX-H20G shoots 720p video (1280-by-720 pixels) at 30 frames per second. On the back, the camera features a 3-inch LCD screen with 960-by-480 pixel resolution.

Geotagging with the EX-H20G

Casio's newest addition to the EXILIM lineup includes what the company calls a Hybrid GPS that makes it possible to track your location when no GPS signal is present. Let's say you go to the Louvre in Paris, and start snapping photos. If you can't get a GPS satellite signal while in the museum, the camera uses its built-in three-way accelerometer and three-way direction sensor to track your camera's movements. The camera then checks the direction and distance you've traveled in the Louvre against its internal map and your last known GPS location to get a fix on where your photos were taken. The next time you are in range of a GPS satellite signal, the camera updates its location and uses the motion-tracking data to double check the location data for your new photos. Casio says the EX-H20G searches for a satellite signal every 10 minutes even when the camera is powered off.

Maps

The EX-H20G comes with digital maps you can display on the camera's 3-inch LCD screen. The maps include a world atlas and detailed maps of 140 cities worldwide -- Casio didn't specify which cities were included. The onboard maps also contain data for 10,000 popular sightseeing attractions around the world such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris. If you are close to one of the 10,000 tourist spots the camera will prompt you with an automatic alert so you don't miss out. In addition, the maps include a database of approximately one million place names and their locations so the camera can display the name of your photo shooting location on the LCD screen. You can also use the onboard maps to display your current location via GPS, and the camera comes with a digital compass to help you get your bearings.

The EXILIM EX-H20G sounds like a great camera, and it will be interesting to see how well its GPS services perform under real world conditions. Casio says this is just the first camera from its EXILIM lineup that will come packed with new and interesting features.

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Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
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