Casio TRYX Overview
The standout feature of the Casio TRYX digital camera is undoubtedly its body design, which includes a feature last seen in a name-brand digicam almost a decade ago -- an internal swivel mechanism. Nikon was the first digicam manufacturer to experiment with the design way back in 2002, with the Coolpix 2500 and 3500 cameras. Where those models placed the lens and flash on the swivel mechanism, with the LCD on the static portion of the camera body, the Casio TRYX takes the opposite approach, with the swivel occupied solely by the LCD display. It also adds a pivot or tilt mechanism at one end of the swivel, allowing the camera an interesting range of transformation, as the screen can be twisted away from the frame that it's ordinarily surrounded by. The design allows the TRYX to serve as its own tripod for portrait-orientation photos, as well as to hang from a suitably sized hook or door knob without the need for an easily tangled strap. The design and aggressive styling also lend the Casio TRYX an attention-grabbing look that's bound to provoke conversation. Unfortunately, it doesn't leave room for a flash strobe, and so the TRYX is limited solely to available light shooting.
The Casio TRYX is based around a 1/2.3-inch, 12.1 effective megapixel, backside illuminated CMOS image sensor coupled to a dual-core EXILIM Engine HS image processor. The sensor sits behind an EXILIM branded, 3.8mm fixed focal length lens equivalent to a 21mm lens on a 35mm camera -- an unusually wide angle for a camera without any form of optical zoom. The lens has a fixed F2.8 aperture, and automatic focusing is possible to a minimum of three inches in all modes. No manual focus mode is available, and not surprisingly given the wide angle lens and minimal body size, there's no form of image stabilization on offer, either.
Images are framed and reviewed on a 3.0" Super Clear TFT LCD display with 460,800 dots of resolution, equating to 320 x 480 pixels, with separate red, green and blue dots at each pixel location. As you'd expect given the body design, the Casio TRYX doesn't include any form of true optical viewfinder. It also lacks an electronic viewfinder, leaving the LCD as the only option on which to frame and review images or movies. The LCD display also doubles as an input device, thanks to a touch panel overlay, allowing the remainder of the TRYX's body to remain clean and uncluttered, with only a couple of physical buttons included in the design.
The Casio TRYX uses contrast detection autofocusing, and uses multi-pattern metering. Shutter speeds range from 1/8 to to 1/40,000 second, and both shutter and aperture are always controlled automatically. The Casio TRYX's ISO sensitivity ranges from a minimum of ISO 100 equivalent, through to a maximum of ISO 3,200 equivalent. As well as still images, the Casio TRYX can capture high definition videos at up to 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution, with a rate of 30 frames per second, as well as standard-def 432 x 320 pixel videos at a whopping 240 frames per second. Movies are recorded with monaural audio, stored in a MOV container, and use the modern, space-efficient H.264/AVC compression format. Data is stored on Secure Digital cards, including the newer SDHC and SDXC types. Power comes from a built-in lithium ion rechargeable battery. Unusually, the battery can be recharged in-camera via the USB port, either from an attached computer or a supplied AC adapter. Information on internal memory, and on battery life, was not available at press time.
A couple of more unusual features on the Casio TRYX are its Slide Panorama and HDR-ART modes, which capture multiple source images, combine them in camera, and then output a single image. The HDR-ART mode varies exposure between shots, then tweaks local contrast and saturation to produce a final image with increased dynamic range, and a bold, high-contrast look. Slide Panorama mode automatically creates a panorama from multiple images, and is intelligent enough to avoid using human faces and moving subjects when determining how images should be stitched together. Perhaps even more unusual is the High Speed SR Zoom mode, a 2x digital zoom which relies on multiple source images to provide improved image quality over a traditional digital zoom. Since this relies on capture of multiple shots, it's only appropriate for use with relatively static subjects.
US pricing for the Casio TRYX is set at around $250, with availability expected from April 2011.