By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
Casio has put subtantial marketing behind its TRYX hybrid camera and it is a daring and innovative design. This extremely thin and surprisingly pliable device does double duty as a 12 megapixel point and shoot camera as well as a 1080p capable HD camcorder. We put it through its paces.
The Casio TRYX is a result of a great vision. Take a camcorder with a flip out screen and put the camcorder (lens, camera, storage and battery) into the screen and ditch the body. As a result, the Casio TRYX is surprisingly thin (at 0.59 of an inch) yet feels solidly built. Casios's experience in making tough point and shoot cameras is clearly visible in the TRYX.
The TRYX only has two buttons. One for power and the other to trigger the shutter, although Casio made it possible to use the screen to take pictures which makes much more sense given the TRYX doesn't have a conventional shape for a point and shoot camera.
In fact, the TRYX ($269.99 at Future Shop) is anything but conventional. It can be flipped and twisted into a variety of shapes. It can be fashioned into a tripod, a hanging camera, a makeshift camcorder. The articulating screen can also be bent and flipped in interesting angles which extends its functionality as a point and shoot camera.
Casio has made this camera extremely easy to operate. Turn it on and it is good to go in about two seconds. If you want to take video, press the dedicated icon on the screen and it begins recording. If you'd rather take stills, then clicking on the physical button (or anywhere on the screen if you program it) does just that.
Casio has outfitted the TRYX with a lot of brains, it has a Exilim Engine HS dual core processor, contrast Detection Auto Focus, ISO range of 100-3200 and while it has no optical zoom it can capture a burst of images, and thencombine and positioning of each frame to piece together a clear, detailed, final image.
We found the photo quality of the TRYX to be above average for a point and shoot and some of the included modes (like sweeping landscape mode) are very well implemented while others (like HDR) are kitschy and fun.
It is a good point and shoot camera ideal for people who don't want to fiddle with controls and just want to take great photos under most conditions. The TRYX does have an LED light but it is more for video and can't strobe to accompany stills (something of an oversight by Casio who should fix this with a firmware update).
In terms of video, well, this is really where the TRYX shines. As seen in the video below, it does a surpsingly amazing job of capturing crisp, vivid and high quality HD video.
- Video above from Thatricannicca and YouTube
Overall, the TRYX seemed promising. It is the kind of camera we would consider carrying with us at all times confident that it could deliver both above average photos and excellent video. The $279 price tag seems reasonable for such a multi-talented camera. But it is far from perfect.
It may be the curse of the first generation of a device, but as impressive as we were by the TRYX's talents, we were deflated by its shortcomings.
The biggest one is horrible battery life. The TRYX managed to take 38 still photos (at 5 megapixels) and around 19 minutes of standard definition video before the battery died. We barely managed to transfer our files to our MacBook Air via an Eye-Fi card before the camera shut off.
We get that Casio crammed a whole camera and a battery into a tiny enclosure but the fact that the battery is sealed in makes it a big problem. You might get 30-40 minutes of video recording time and if that's good enough for you then that's fine. We expected a lot more.
Another head scratcher is the proprietary USB 2.0 port on the TRYX which just leaves us flabbergasted. We have tons of microUSB and USB cables but none of them will fit the TRYX which requires its own special cable. While we applaud Casio's drive for innovation, its clear that they forgot about making things convenient for their users.
As much as we love the TRYX and its impressive performance in stills and HD video, we can't endorse it.
We still maintain that it is a great concept and the start of a new breed of hybrid camera but the kinks need to get ironed out (no optical zoom, no tripod connector and abysmal battery life) before it becomes a good value.
Rating: 2 out of 5