Casio EXILIM EX-H20G digicam promises Hybrid GPS fix indoors & out

Sep 20, 2010
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Casio has unveiled its latest point-and-shoot, the EXILIM EX-H20G, and to try and help it stand out of the Photokina 2010 crowds it's fitted it with a clever Hybrid GPS system.  As well as taking 14.1-megapixel photos, recording 720p HD video and having a 10x optical zoom, the EX-H20G can apparently pinpoint its position for geotagging whether you're outdoors or inside, by extrapolating the last known GPS position.

To do that it has all manner of accelerometers and motion sensors, which work from the most recent GPS fix and estimate your current indoor position.  When you step back outside and get a new GPS fix, it's all updated again.  Nifty power management means you'll have enough battery life for more than one or two shots, the company claims, and there's a preloaded database of over 140 cities (and even 10,000 preloaded shots of sightseeing landmarks) stored on the H20G itself.

Otherwise it's pretty much as you'd expect from a modern compact: various auto modes, a 3-inch LCD preview display and a panorama mode for 360-degree shots.  The Casio EXILIM EX-H20G will drop in November, priced at $349.99.

Press Release:

CASIO RELEASES COMPACT EXILIM® CAMERA WITH HYBRID GPS

World’s First Camera Combining GPS with Motion-Sensor Driven Autonomic Positioning

DOVER, NJ, September 20, 2010 — Casio America, Inc. and its parent company, Casio Computer Co., Ltd., today unveiled the world’s first Hybrid GPS enabled digital camera, the EXILIM® EX-H20G. The latest model to join Casio’s EXILIM Hi-Zoom lineup, the EX-H20G offers an impressive feature set as well as Casio’s state-of-the-art Hybrid GPS technology, which makes the camera perfect for traveling. Thanks to Casio’s Hybrid GPS system, the EX-H20G offers ultra-precise location data for the geotagging of photos and videos and is also the first camera able to geotag indoors. Additionally, the EX-H20G can display the user’s current location - as well as geotagged photos and videos - on a map which can be viewed right on the camera itself.

“Geotagging has increased in popularity, especially with the advent of photo-sharing Web sites and as consumers look to do more with their images,” said Toshi Iguchi, Senior General Manager, Digital Imaging Division, Casio America Inc. “With the new Exilim EX-H20G, Casio is taking the geotagging experience to a new level by incorporating exciting technologies which consumers can now leverage to make the process fun, easy and completely seamless. No matter where in the world you take an image, whether it is indoors or out, the EX-H20G will know exactly where it was taken.”

The EX-H20G’s Hybrid GPS system sets a new standard for geotagging and offers exciting new ways to use a digital camera. Casio’s Hybrid GPS system combines GPS with autonomic positioning, which is made possible by an internal motion sensor. This enables the EX-H20G to track a user’s last known satellite-acquired position against map data stored in the camera’s internal memory, even while the user is indoors. In addition to these features, the camera is pre loaded with information regarding 10,000 sightseeing photo spots around the globe. When in the vicinity of one of these photo spots, the EX-H20G will automatically alert the user, identifying the locations as points-of-interest.

The industry-leading GPS and geotagging capabilities of the EX-H20G will dramatically change how people use their digital camera when traveling. The EX-H20G’s on-screen map allows users to plan their travels before departing as they can view destinations, points-of-interest and photo locations. While on-the-go, users can then confirm their present location and utilize the EX H20G’s digital compass to determine the best route to their next destination. After returning home, users can manage and share their geotagged photos and videos captured with the EX H20G using popular photo-sharing Web sites and software which offer geotagging functionality, such as Picasa, Panoramio, Google Earth, Flickr and iPhoto. These platforms will utilize the precise location data embedded into each image’s EXIF file to plot exactly where they were captured on a world map, giving the photographer, as well as their friends and family, the ability to vividly imagine their travels by making the connection with the locations visited and images. By integrating camera and map as well as location data and photos, the EX-H20G creates a whole new way to enjoy traveling.

Equipped with the new EXILIM Engine HS, the EX-H20G features all of the essential capabilities expected from a camera. When used with Casio’s Single Frame SR Zoom function, the 24mm wide-angle, 10x optical zoom lens actually offers a 15x zoom range that maintains the image quality needed for 14.1-megapixel high-resolution photography. This represents 1.5 times the range of the optical zoom, with virtually no loss in quality. Other features include 720p HD video recording (30fps), as well as a three-inch, high-resolution 460K super clear LCD that is easy to view even when outdoors. The EX-H20G also comes with Casio’s advanced, fully automatic Premium Auto function for taking beautiful shots of scenery and people with just a press of the shutter button, and various useful functions for traveling such as Panorama Photo mode, which can take 360-degree photos, as well as auto-time adjustment which will automatically synchronize the camera’s date and time with that of the user’s current location and time zone.

Starting with the EX-H20G, Casio is positioning the EXILIM brand as “Amazing Gear” — a brand that never fails to deliver new surprises and excitement. Casio intends to revolutionize photography, creating new value by developing digital cameras that go beyond the limits of cameras in the past.

EXILIM Hi-Zoom EX-H20G
A Traveler’s Camera Equipped with a Hybrid GPS System

The first digital camera with autonomic indoor positioning through Hybrid GPS
The EX-H20G is equipped with a Hybrid GPS system that combines a GPS engine with autonomic positioning made possible by a motion sensor. Even if no signals are received from GPS satellites when indoors, the system consecutively tracks the user’s location by employing an original algorithm using a three-way accelerometer and a three-way direction sensor. When the user goes back outside, the system automatically updates the positional information of the indoor location based on the exact location determined by GPS reception. Even when the camera is powered off, the GPS system continues to search for satellite signals at 10 minute intervals. This is an ideal system for a digital camera, allowing it to immediately track location data at any time and any place.

Highly accurate and speedy position tracking with low power consumption
The EX-H20G employs Casio’s advanced low-power technology, which ensures that the camera consumes only a small amount of power. Power consumption is suited for the various situations in which the EX-H20G will be used, including power on and power-off, satellite acquisition and even while the three-way accelerometer and direction sensor are working in the background while the camera is off. With the EX-H20G, users can rest assured knowing that they won’t need to sacrifice battery life to enjoy highly precise and speedy position tracking.

Complete with a wide range of functions useful for traveling
• Contains world atlas data including detailed maps of 140 world cities and 12 cities in Japan
• User’s location and photos and movies taken are displayed on a map
• Photos are saved with the location information, including longitude and latitude, shooting direction, and place names
• About 10,000 photos of popular sightseeing spots around the world are included in the internal memory
• Users can leverage the camera’s digital compass and map to determine the most appropriate route
• A location name database with approximately one million items is included , enabling the camera to display the name of the shooting location on the screen
• Location name and other data can be embedded in the photo when taken
• H.264 video format grants longer recording time for 720p HD Movies
• Travel memories can be reproduced vividly on a large-screen TV in a slideshow with a map using an HDMI terminal

Premium Auto function produces beautiful photos with just a press of the shutter button
Premium Auto enables the camera to automatically analyze the scene being photographed — including distinguishing night scenes, back lighting, a blue sky, green trees or a sunset — as well as sensing whether there is a face in the frame, the movement and position of the subject, and whether a tripod is being used. It simultaneously optimizes settings for exposure, ISO, sensitivity, focus location, photo blur correction, tonal range and color balance, and level of noise reduction. Images are analyzed pixel by pixel to apply different correction to people and backgrounds. Premium Auto delivers an advanced level of full auto photography, ensuring high quality photos with just a press of the shutter button. Landscape Makeup processing, which creates clearer landscape photographs, operates automatically.

Equipped with newly developed EXILIM Engine HS
The newly developed EXILIM Engine HS for advanced image processing boasts a multi-CPU and two parallel image processors, enabling the EX-H20G to accurately capture the genuine character of photo subjects with high-speed.

Powerful zoom that maintains high-resolution image quality through 15x
The EX-H20G is outfitted with a 24mm ultra wide-angle, 10x optical zoom lens which offers a 35mm film equivalent focal length of 24mm-240mm. To enhance the zoom range even further, Casio incorporated its Single Frame SR Zoom in the EX-H20G, which extends the camera’s 35mm film equivalent telephoto focal length to 360mm, for 1.5 times the optical zoom or a total zoom range of 15x. Furthermore, the EX-H20G features built-in CCD-shift image stabilization to help reduce photo blur from hand movement. These features allow users to photograph any kind of scene, from enormous structures in sightseeing areas to scenic views at a distance.

Dynamic Photo function for creating composite moving images
These EX-H20G also features Casio’s Dynamic Photo function, which makes it easy for users to create “moving photos” right on the camera by cutting moving subjects from the background in images taken with continuous shooting, and combining those images on a different still or moving image background. With Dynamic Photo, it is possible to make multiple characters move independently of each other against a background of moving images up to as long as 20 seconds. These capabilities encourage users to explore their creativity and make it more fun to create images. Sharing is also simplified as included software makes it easy to upload images to YouTube™ or post them to a blog.

The EX-H20G will be available November 2010 for $349.99.


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