Casio’s new camera shoots 360-degree footage, if you have two

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The Casio EX-FR200 is a rugged, wide angle modular camera

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Casio has revealed the latest version of its quirky but rugged split-in-two camera, the EX-FR200. As with previous models like the EX-FR10, the controller screen and lens module can be separated to allow more versatile shooting. However, this time, users with two of the camera modules (which can be purchased separately) will also be able to shoot full 360 degree footage.

The EXILIM EX-FR200 looks much like its predecessors, and features the same modular design, allowing it to be deployed in a number of configurations. These include having the lens and screen positioned like a traditional camera, facing the same way for selfie shooting, or separated so the camera module can be mounted somewhere, or worn like an action camera.

However, the new model boasts a number of significant upgrades. Most notably its F2.8 lens is considerably wider and now captures a 185-degree angle. It has a 35-mm focal length equivalent of 13.4-mm, compared to the 16-mm of the EX-FR100, which enables the headline attraction of being able to use two of the camera modules together to shoot 360-degree photos and video.

Inside there's an 11.95-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS (back-illuminated) sensor, and as you'd expect there are a number of shooting and recording options. On the stills front these include a 180-degree fish-eye spherical view, a 360-degree panorama, and a super-wide image. For video there's 1440 x 1440 at 30 frames per second, a 2880 X 720 panorama mode at 30 fps, along with 4K 3840 X 2160 at 30 fps, Full HD 1080p at 60 fps, and HD 720p at 120 fps.

The EX-FR200 is waterproof to IPX8 and IPX6 standards, meaning it should be good for 60 minutes use at a depth of 1.5 m (5 ft) and can withstand direct jets of water. Other tough credentials see it shockproof to drops from 1.3 m (4.2 ft) and freeze-proof to -10° C (14° F). Wireless connectivity includes both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The control module features a 3-inch 920,000 pixel LCD touchscreen, and can now be used to control multiple camera modules, which will be available for purchase separately. This feature lets users shoot from multiple angles at the same time, or using a new accessory, mount two of the camera modules back-to-back. This enables the EX-FR200 shoot full 360-degree photos and video in the same way as the Ricoh Theta S or Samsung Gear 360.

The resulting 360-degree footage can be viewed on the Casio's companion Exilim Album app for iOS or Android. In the Exilim 360 Viewer desktop software, there's also the option to export footage to a YouTube 360 Video compatible file for sharing there.

The Casio EXILIM EX-FR200 is due to be released in mid-September, and will be available as a bundle of the camera and controller module, or just the camera module on its own. There's no word yet on price, and it currently looks like this could be a Japan-only release.

Product page: Casio EXILIM EX-FR200

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