Rating: 5 / 5
The Casio EX-V8 has proved to be the perfect blend of light weight, video quality, sound quality, photo quality, + features that I need for trail & climbing use, as well as everyday moments w/ kids, etc.:
I purchased it after doing extensive research and I have used it constantly over the past 8 months. It is a slighltly older model (less $$!) but has VERY unique features that set it apart and make it VERY versatile:
- 7x optical zoom (38-266mm) that is all INTERNAL (the lens does not zoom out of the case and is always protected).
- Compact, despite it's features: 3.76” (W) x 2.35” (H) x 1.0” (D)
- 8.1 megapixel (the amazing zoom range for the weight and compact size
- Has separate LED light for video mode - shoots great low light video.
- Complete optical zoom range operates during video shooting without sound.
- Records high-quality stero sound for video
- 5.26 oz. + about an ounce for the battery (My wife is out using it on a trip, and I forget the exact total...email me in a week or so if you want me to measure it.)
- Widescreen video mode w/ many options, including Youtube. "848 x 480 (roughly 16:9 with square pixels) and 640 x 480 at 30 FPS in a very efficient (small file size)"
- A note on the file size...You can record an incredible amount of video and it is of incredible quality...I think about 18.5 minutes per Gb at full wide-screen resolution and stereo sound. I never run out of space with an 8gb or even a 4gb card.
- Very quick start up and capture.
- Long battery life, even using video and light, + cheap to replace Li-ion battery (~ $20):
- Works well at altitude and colder temps w/ blowing snow! (I've had it to 17,000 feet using it often in strong wind and sub-20 degree temps...not storing it in my jacket but in a neoprene pouch on the outside)
- Highly weather resistant, by the nature of it's design, although it is not gasketed and is not claimed to be thus. I've used it in many conditions w/o care.
- Lacks a traditional viewfinder (my only gripe), although screen works well in direct sun, which is rare!
- Ergonomics are tops and it is easy to deploy and operate w/ one hand, even while wearing mittens.
I know of no other camera that combines these features and yet it still produces great, high quality photos. The video is the best I've seen in a camera and it is so good I never really use my camcorder any more. I also have a Canon EOS Rebel XLi, which of course has nicer color and better overall quality to the pics...but guess which one ends up being used all of the time and has plenty fine enough quality for 95% of what I do.
This review convinced me almost a year ago and I haven't looked back:
It looks like Amazon still has a few and they are not audaciously expensive: