Design and ruggedness
Unlike some other rugged cameras, the Exilim G doesn't exactly look like a rugged camera, but it is definitely distinctive. Available in your choice of red or black, the camera's angular design is accented with some hints of metal, and a pair of rubber protectors that can optionally be attached to one side of the camera for a bit more shock protection. What's noticeably lacking, however, is any sort of lens cover, which isn't really a problem in terms of protection (the lens has a hard plastic shield), but it does mean you'll have to be careful to clear any snow or dirt away from the lens before you take your pictures -- which will likely happen quite a bit with a camera designed for use in the great outdoors.
Image and video quality
Another minor annoyance is the battery compartment, which is well protected from the elements (as is the memory card and micro USB port area), but can be a bit of a pain to open. Casio even provides a special tool for opening it (designed to be attached to the wrist strap), but you can also use anything small and pointy (even your fingers, if you're nimble enough) to open the compartment if you happen to lose the tool.
Those minor issues aside, we're actually quite taken with the look of the camera, and there's little question about its durability when you hold it in your hand. We didn't go all out in trying to destroy the camera, but it did hold up to some dunks in the snow and some cold, Canadian winter temperatures, and it should be equally adept in less wintery conditions that unfortunately weren't available to us. Of course, it's not indestructible, and there are more rugged cameras out there for especially demanding folks, but you can rest easy that you'll be able to toss the camera around with the rest of your gear and leave any pesky camera cases at home.
Again, trade-offs are to be expected with a rugged camera, but we have to confess to being a bit disappointed with the Exlim G's image quality. For a point-and-shoot, the images aren't terrible, but in one condition after the next (even a clear, sunny day) our photographs just seemed a bit dull and unimpressive, and certainly not on par with many other non-rugged $300 cameras. Video quality is much the same story, but you do get a somewhat unique 848 x 480 widescreen shooting mode, and a dedicated YouTube mode to make uploads a bit easier.
Like other Casio point-and-shoots, you'll also get a generous supply of automatic "Best Shot" modes (even including an eBay mode), although manual controls are expectedly quite a bit more limited, and some of them (like the higher ISO settings) are probably best left untouched. Check out the gallery below to get a general idea of how the camera performs.