Casio Tryx review
Innovative, but tricky to use and overpriced
We first saw the Casio TRYX (EX-TR100) at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year. This full 12-megapixel camera/full HD camcorder hybrid impressed us with its unique and innovative twisting design.
But is the Tryx a cutting-edge new imaging tool that can rival the pocket cam or camera? Or is it novelty gadget destined to go the way of the Flip as smartphones get better at stills and movies?
Weighing just 157g, the Tryx is lightweight and at 14.9mm deep, the perfect size for a shirt pocket. The screen twists 270-degrees around enabling you to take portrait shots and it also rotates 360 degrees, enabling you to hold the frame with your left and right hands or even hangs it from your neck.
We were worried the frame would feel fragile, but it feels pretty strong. For such as slender device Casio has done a good job of fitting SD, HDMI and USB ports into the side, there isn’t a removable battery, instead charge via USB.
Casio Tryx: Controls
At 3-inches the screen is a generous size and with a respectable resolution of 460,000 dots, its bright sharp and easy enough to see in bright sunlight.
With space at a premium, physical controls are limited to the Power button (launching the Tryx in around 1-2 seconds) and a shutter. The latter feels a little wobbly, but responds fairly quickly; alternatively you can tap the screen to take a shot.
Use the touchscreen to access all the Tryx’s features and settings; tap the arrow at the top left to access Menu, Record, Auto, Display and Playback modes. Response can be sluggish, resulting in lots of jabbing, which is particularly frustrating when you’re trying to quickly check shots. Although pinching to zoom to check the focus of shots works well.
Casio Tryx: Features
The 21mm wide-angle lens is great for landscape photography and although it’s fixed focus, High Speed SR Zoom shoots a burst of pictures to create a zoomed effect.
HDR-Art which combines images to create a single shot with a surrealist feel, with heightened contrast and bolder colors. Its fun to use, but we found its best used in genres such as landscape – without restraint some of the effects look like bad Photoshop, especially on strong setting. See an example here.
With HDR-Art (and HDR) mode can only be used with still pictures, its evident the Tryx is more camera than camcorder.
Casio Tryx: Pictures and video
In common with a point and shoot manual features are very limited. Choose from nine white balance presets, exposure compensation and ISO up to 3200. Face detection works well and Macro mode lets you focus as close 8cm, although it’s worth checking shots are sharply focused.
On the whole the Tryx produces decent photographs, although it can struggle with high-contrast situations and edges can be a little soft. It's worth trying the cameras HDR mode, which combines multiple images to bring out shadow and highlight detail, with impressive results; bringing out hidden cloud detail and handling tricky exposures, although close-up photos do seem more processed. Alongside Auto mode you get Premium Auto, the latter creating slightly sharper, more detailed shots. We should point out that HDR modes are noticabley slower at processing pictures.
The shutter doesn’t work for video, instead capture HS (420x320), 720p and 1080p footage by tapping the virtual icon in the bottom of the screen. 720p 30fps movies are a little soft, but usable and you do get the bonus of full HD capture though.
Use the HDR modes and capture lots of HD movies and you'll be lucky to get a day from the battery.
Casio Tryx: Verdict
We love the idea of the Casio Tryx, pair it with a neck strap and it’s fast and responsive making it perfect for quickly capturing stills and HD video at gigs or festivals, although a waterproof version of the Tryx would be even better. However the controls are almost too pared down and the touchscreen isn’t as responsive as we'd like consequently it takes too long to do simple things like review pictures.
Like the Flip, the Tryx will suffer against the competition. If you’re not bothered about the flexible design, there’s little to recommend this above a good smartphone.
Our other issue is the price. With HD compact cameras retailing for £100 and 1080p pocket camcorders like the Kodak Playsport ZX5 (full HD) for £130 and the Flip Ultra (720p) for £90 it’s hard to justify the price. Although for sheer
Casio Tryx launch date: Out now, link Casio
Casio Tryx price: £200-£250 online
One of the highlights of CES this year was the Casio Exilim TRYX (or EX-TR100). Sitting somewhere between one of company’s Casio’s stylish and compact EXILIM cameras and the Flip-style pocket camcorders, it’s a camera/camcorder hybrid with a few tricks up its sleeve.
At first glance it looks a bit like a compact camera, but surrounding the LCD is a frame that twists around 360 degrees, so you can hold it with one or two hands. The LCD itself then twists around too, so you can shoot both horizontally and vertically. This versatile design means you can take photos using either hand and from different angles depending on what you are shooting. You can even hang the camera from a pole or hook, should you desire.
We'll be bringing you a video of the Casio TRYX over the next couple of days, until then:
At 157g the TRYX feels light and fits comfortably in your hand. We’d suggest exercising a little caution when the frame is out; although it does help you steady the device to prevent camera shake, you certainly don't want to give this to your kids to play with.
Controls are minimal, with most features accessed by tapping the 3-inch 460,000 touchscreen, which you can also use to focus and take a picture by touching the screen. Pictures are stored on SD card, but Casio has yet to announce battery information.
Where the TRYX differs from camcorders like the Flip, is a feature set that is much closer to Casio’s EXILIM camera heritage. Casio’s equipped the TRYX with HDR technology, which takes shots at different exposures, combining them to create a final image with less washed out highlights, while retaining detail in dark areas. This is expecially useful in high-contrast situations.
One feature Casio was keen to promote is HDR Art function, which lets you use three processing levels: strong, standard and light to turn your photographs into works of art We saw a few examples and results varied from very effective, to a neon mess, and although it’s a nice feature to have, it’s not necessarily one we’d use very often.
We really like the Casio TRYX, it turns the traditional compact camera design upside down, offering composition flexibility to the photographer. We do have reservations about the durability of the flip out frame and ultimately whether the Tryx has mass-market appeal, but we’ll reserve judgement until we get a review sample. Ultimately it’s fantastic to see something new.
Available in black or white, the Casio TRYX is out end of March/early April in the US for $250. There’s no news on UK pricing yet.
Casio TRYX release date: TBC, link Casio
Casio TRYX price: TBC
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