Casio EX-TR100 Review

October 7, 2011 | Gavin Stoker | Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Casio EX-TR100 (also known as the Casio Tryx) is a unique digital compact camera with a distinctive, variable frame design. Users can hold the Tryx horizontally, in a traditional point-and-shoot style to capture still images, or flip out the rotating 3-inch touch-screen LCD and swivel the body to countless other positions. The Casio EX-TR100 also offers a 12.1 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, 21mm ultra-wide-angle lens, slide panorama mode, full 1080i HD movies, slow-motion video recording, and Casio's HDR-ART technology. Available in black or white, the Casio EX-TR100 retails at £249.95 in the UK and $249.99 in the USA.

Ease of Use

The Casio Exilim EX-TR100 - also known as the 'Tryx' for short - embodies what is certainly a different approach to camera design. Though its flip out chassis and tilt-able 3-inch screen is not perhaps not as revolutionary as either we, or its makers, might expect. It owes some of its heritage to early Nikon Coolpix models like the 950 from a decade ago, which featured a lens that could be tilted and swiveled independently to the body to achieve shots from a greater variety of interesting angles. Except in the case of the Casio this sits within (and pivots about) a surrounding metal frame that can be used as a handgrip.

While Nikon has followed a more conventional route in the intervening years, Casio has almost always been concerned with delivering the slimmest camera possible. And, on that point at least, in the Tryx it might just have succeeded. If they looked at the 3-inch widescreen aspect ratio display side alone, many observers would mistake the EX-TR100 for a smartphone. Dimensions are a wafer thin 14.9mmx122.8x59mm and weight is 157g with memory card - here the usual optional SD, SDHC or SDXC - or 155g without.

As well as being skinnier than the skinniest of conventional compacts, the Casio camera also finds room for a touch screen with tough shutter control, bringing the whole concept bang up to date. And here, rather than lens merely being separately adjustable to the body, as mentioned the whole thing pivots about a surrounding metal frame that can be flipped out through 180° and actually used as a steadying grip, held in the left hand while your right hand holds the main camera body. Retail price is a suggested £249, though a street price of £199 was available at the time of writing; a sub £200 price tag subconsciously meaning that the curious are more likely to give this one a punt.

For that the key headline feature is 12.1 effective megapixels from a 1/2.3-inch back illuminated CMOS sensor, the same core specification as the more conventional EX-ZR100 travel zoom we were looking at alongside this model; the back illuminated quality suggesting that this could be a stronger contender in low light conditions, even though there's not actually much of this camera to get a good steady hold on - at first glance at least. Light sensitivity runs from ISO100 up to ISO3200; again the same spec as the regular ZR100.

The EX-TR100 manages to be one of those cameras that is so minimalist and slimline in its design that you wonder where the (SD) memory card fits. The answer is under a well-hidden flap on what would normally be any other camera's top plate. Other flaps cover ports for HDMI and USB 2.0 connectivity, all obscured by the frame that surrounds the camera when it is snapped shut in the position the camera is when you get it out of the box, and stored flat. The rechargeable battery is non removable so this is charged in camera, for which a USB lead and mains adapter is provided. Casio was vague on battery life in its accompanying blurb, and we managed fewer than 200 shots before it needed recharging.

Casio EX-TR100 Casio EX-TR100
Front Rear

Of course a camera styled to please the eye has its compromises. For example, the diminutive dimensions here have been achieved partly because the Tryx doesn't feature a proper optical zoom - just one of the digital variety controlled via a swipe of the finger up or down an on-screen slider. With a basic 1.5x range, 2x or 4x options are further provided up to a maximum 15.9x digital equivalent which does unsurprisingly produce a distinctly blocky appearance.

Thus 'zoomed' images have a distinctly digital look. The fixed lens does offer a usefully wide-angle 21mm to cram most of whatever surroundings you're faced with in its frame, and it's reasonably bright too with an aperture of f/2.8. Focus range is from 8cm in macro setting to infinity. There's also no proper built-in flash here however, just a camcorder-style LED light to illuminate your subject that needs to be manually turned on and off, so pretty quickly the Tryx does just give the initial impression of being the merest of step-ups from a smartphone with integral megapixel camera.

Practicality aside though, admittedly it does look rather cool and quite unlike anything else currently on the market, which is not only a boon for us reviewers but will hold appeal for the curious camera buyer and gadget lover into the bargain. We had the futuristic silvery white version in for review, holding obvious enticement for those wedding to tools with an 'i' prefix, though a sober black alternative is also available.

Start to play with the Exilim EX-TR100 and it delights and confuses in equal proportions. For the quirky Tryx is just so damn flexible that, even after a couple of weeks of use, it's still very easy to accidentally get a finger in front of the lens as you twist it this way and that, Rubik's Cube style, to find another hitherto impossible framing configuration.

Supportive frame design aside, as noted the EX-TR100 has a core feature set that borrows from its more conventionally styled companions, including the EX-ZR100, which means apart from the same resolution and sensor as that model we also get software enhanced features such as HDR (High Dynamic Range) Art mode. This can lend otherwise drab images a distinctly otherworldly look that can, at its best, provide a colourfully fresh slant on the familiar. We don't get ultra high speed shooting options with the EX-TR100 however; so overall it feels slightly pared down in terms of functionality compared with the ZR100.

The touch screen operation takes some getting used to here as the screen display can be angled to match whichever way you're holding the camera at the time; while being a neat feature on paper, in practice this can have the effect that virtual buttons are never quite where you expect to find them. So you not only have an unusual angle of view to contend with when viewing the image on the LCD, but also buttons flipped upside down, or shifted from left of screen to right. The only physical controls on the camera are the lozenge shaped power button plus, immediately above it, the shutter release control, and thankfully so, as they provide an anchoring point to tell you which way is up.

Casio EX-TR100 Casio EX-TR100
Front Front

Give the power button a press and the camera readies itself for the first shot in around two seconds. Press the shutter release to the half way point and an AF point, that looks a little like the gun sight from a 1980s video game, illuminates in blue/green. Press fully to take the shot and recording is nigh on instant, image review turned off by default (equally it can be activated via the menu button) so there's no temporary screen freeze before you're able to fire off the next shot. 

As with other recent touch screen cameras a focus point can be specified by the user tapping the screen and the shutter fired in the same manner - though thankfully the touch shutter can be turned off to avoid accidentally shooting if all you're merely doing is handling the camera. However navigating such menus is a tad tricky as we found they sometimes required several tentative strokes with the finger to respond, or to arrive at the setting we required. However, using the built-in self-timer (the regulation two or ten seconds) narcissists can use the touch panel and motion sensor facility to trigger the camera shutter automatically when they then pop into a certain portion of the frame. Handy perhaps if you want to record yourself in front of one of the wonders of the world and can't find an obliging passing stranger. Screen visibility is actually pretty good - especially as you can alter the positioning if sunlight proves a problem - and that's no doubt in no small thanks to the 460,800 dot resolution offered here.

Aside from stills the Tryx can record the customary Full HD video clips, here recorded in H.264 compression format, and with a self explanatory red record button denoted with a movie camera icon living at the bottom right of the screen display - if its viewing angle hasn't been manually altered that is. Give this a tap and recording instantly commences, the screen display instantly narrowed to display the regulation 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio crop. The fact that the frame can be flipped out at right angles or indeed the full 180° so that it is parallel to the lens and screen, ensures that a steady level can be achieved when filming, so this is another bonus of the rather unique design.

Casio suggests that you could even go so far as using the frame as a clip, to hold the camera in place for some unusual remote filming: from a top shirt pocket for example, as the photographer/videographer runs around chasing small children. Slow motion video options are also provided here, enabled upon playback via footage captured at 240fps to start with, although to necessitate this resolution is a modest 432x320, so lower than standard resolution (640x480 pixels) clips. The regular alternatives are the HD likes of 1920x1080 pixels or 1280x720 pixels, both at 30 frames per second. However, unlike the Casio ZR100, sound on the TR100 is mono, not stereo.

From the front then the EX-TR100 presents a distinctly clean, almost utilitarian look, with LED light top left of the lens and mono microphone bottom left. As we've noted it's very easy for a finger to obscure any of these when handling the camera, and twisting the camera frame through all of 360°, or the monitor screen through 180° clockwise or 90° counterclockwise. But such accidental obstruction seems unavoidable given the unit's size and design. Expect to be constantly wiping the lens and its surrounds free of fingerprints.

Casio EX-TR100 Casio EX-TR100
Standing Up! Battery Compartment

As we've noted in our intro, what would be the 'top' of any regular camera - if we're going by the positioning of the Exilim logo on the 'front' - is where we find the slot for the required SD media card. It's well hidden under a hard plastic flap with an indent, in order to get purchase with a thumbnail and flip it open. The 'side' of the main body is then where we find separate USB and HDMI output ports - with the latter cable, if you do want to hook the camera up to your TV, being a required extra purchase. The would-be 'bottom' of the camera does not feature the usual screw thread for a tripod. As Casio suggests, you could use the frame as a makeshift tripod, or steadying arm in itself. But you can't have it all it seems.

Supporting frame aside it's all about the screen here, and, as noted, it's not all that easy to navigate. When you're composing an image, the monitor presents a simple zoom slider to the right of the screen, below which is a button for recording video, which we've already touched on.

On the left hand side of the screen there's often nothing at all, apart from a small lip to the top left hand corner. Give this a tap and a vertical toolbar reveals itself. Included here are, from the top, are the main menu and then the recording modes, with a choice of six. Featured here are the default setting of auto, the picture enhancing premium auto, BestShot scene modes, of which there are a modest total of five including an HDR and composite Multi SR Zoom mode as found on the EX-ZR100, plus high speed anti shake.

Among the other record modes we also get an HDR Art function for otherworldly digital effects applied in camera, a 'slide panoramic' mode, whereby the image 'builds' as the user pans with the camera - with here a choice of starting to pan from left to right, vice versa, from bottom to top or top to bottom. Last but by no means least is the motion shutter feature, providing a hand and shutter button icon that can be dragged around the screen to the position you desire. Subsequently press the shutter release button to begin a countdown to the shot being taken. With a camera info button and separate playback button being the final two controls, the EX-TR100 really is the exercise in minimalism its exterior suggests.

Despite spending two weeks with the EX-TR100 on holiday, we never felt we fully got to grips with it; although a godsend for certain types of shots it can prove overly fussy if all you really do just want to do is point the camera at something and take a picture. So how do those said pictures fair? Is there a twist in the tail when it comes to image quality from the Casio EX-TR100, or did it just Tryx our patience?

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 3.5Mb.

Though the Tryx is capable of delivering bright and realistic colours, on occasion stills do have the look of high quality video grabs, with pixel fringing between areas of high contrast being readily visible as a pronounced purple outline. Though this can be overlooked on moving footage, it's less easy to do so when it's staring you in the face even without viewing an image at 100%. In general, blue skies in an image have a distinctly purplish hue, though we did get some quite usable results with perseverance.

The wide-angle 21mm lens inevitably leads to leaning verticals and a slight fisheye effect to any close ups, but this is something we can live with and less of a deal breaker; indeed it can be used as an advantage when you want to add drama to a scene or subject. And yet in terms of variety we probably wouldn't want the EX-TR100 as our one and only digital camera.

If you've a steady surface - or simply use the frame as a steadying 'handle' - it is possible to get usable night shots when selecting the dedicated High Speed Night Scene from among this Casio's handful of BestShot scene modes. But again these have the overly digitized appearance of video grabs.

Matters improve slightly when we come to the available ISO100-3200 light sensitivity range, with, as we found with the numerically similar EX-ZR100, usable results provided up to and including ISO1600. The picture quality only really begins to soften when we get to top whack ISO3200, and even then noise is kept well under control, so that back lit sensor at least seems capable of proving its value. A mixed bag of results then from the Casio, which is pretty much what we expected when we first set eyes on its funky design.


There are 6 ISO settings available on the Casio EX-TR100. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso200.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso800.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso3200.jpg


Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Casio EX-TR100 suffered from obvious chromatic aberrations, with purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg


The Casio EX-TR100 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 8cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg


The Casio EX-TR100's maximum shutter speed is 1/8th second, which is bad news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1/10th second at ISO 1600.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Casio EX-TR100 camera, which were all taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 28 second movie is 52.6Mb in size.

Product Images

Casio EX-TR100

Front of the Camera

Casio EX-TR100

Front of the Camera

Casio EX-TR100

Isometric View

Casio EX-TR100

Isometric View

Casio EX-TR100

Rear of the Camera

Casio EX-TR100

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

Casio EX-TR100

Front of the Camera

Casio EX-TR100

Front of the Camera

Casio EX-TR100

Front of Camera


Casio EX-TR100

Rear of Camera

Casio EX-TR100
Front of Camera
Casio EX-TR100
Rear of Camera
Casio EX-TR100
Rear of Camera
Casio EX-TR100
Front of Camera
Casio EX-TR100
Side of Camera
Casio EX-TR100
Side of Camera
Casio EX-TR100
Memory Card Slot


One can't help suspect that the Casio EX-TR100 or Tryx is a curio in search of an audience, and one that might not actually exist, at least in large numbers. It could herald a whole fleet of Tryx cameras but we doubt it; Casio hasn't exactly rushed to swell the range since this model was announced at the start of the year, and it will most likely remain a one-off attention grabber rather than a mass-market game changer. That said, Casio deserves praise for daring to be different and breaking from the herd; this 'thinking outside the box' something its background in electronics rather than photography per se has doubtless enabled.

The design thus will be either love it or hate it, and you will literally need to get to grips with this camera one-on-one to decide which camp you fit into. Still, if you're generally a fan of vari-angle LCDs on bridge cameras, Compact System Cameras and the latest raft of DSLRs you will appreciate the flexibility Casio's approach brings. Indeed one couldn't conceivably get more flexible when it comes to lens and screen working in tandem, which they still have to do.

Though there's not quite enough here to give an unequivocal recommendation - the Tryx is simply too oddball for that - this is a camera not without interest, and can be fun for while. We just wonder who, bar a simple desire to be different, will be interested in it when the Casio EX-TR100 confounds as much as it delights.

3.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 3.5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 3
Image quality 3
Value for money 3

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Casio EX-TR100 from around the web. »

Given the sheer quantity of marketing muscle that Casio put behind the Tryx, you'd think the company was gearing up to rival Nikon and Canon in the DSLR space. Instead, out popped the outre device you see above. Without qualification, this is one of the strangest, most bizarrely designed cameras we've ever seen, featuring a pop-out display and a grand total of two buttons for operation.
Read the full review » »

The creative minds of the Casio boffins have been hard at work again, delivering a camera that looks like a phone but with the flexibility of being able to rotate the 3in LCD screen through 360 degrees horizontally and 270 degrees vertically. Physically, it’s virtually the same dimensions as an iPhone 4 so it’s thin enough to slip into a pocket yet packs a 12MP CMOS sensor.
Read the full review » »

Overall, the Casio TRYX is a bold attempt to provide something a bit different. While we applaud this, we do have concerns with the price and the digital zoom. At £250 the TRYX has to compete against some fairly high-spec compacts with superior zoom lenses and better overall image quality. Perhaps if the TRYX was closer to £150 than £250 Casio might have a winner on its hands. As it stands we’re not so sure.
Read the full review » »

The Casio EXILIM TRYX EX-TR100 was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show 2011 where we first managed to get our hands on it. An innovative idea, the TRYX TR100 has a rotating outer frame that can be twisted into various fashions - it can act as a tripod or even a hook - for more unusual shooting angles. With the capacity for 270 degrees of vertical rotation and an endless 360 degree horizontal rotation it's also idea for self-portraits. But what else is there that makes the TRYX desirable? The What Digital Camera Casio EXILIM TRYX TR100 review takes a look...
Read the full review »


Number of Effective Pixels 12.1 megapixels(/million)
Image Sensor   1/2.3-inch high-speed CMOS(back-illuminated type)
Total Pixels 12.75 megapixels(/million)
File Format Still Images JPEG (Exif Ver2.3), DCF2.0
Movies MOV format, H.264/AVC, IMA-ADPCM (monaural)
Built-in Memory It has not yet been fixed
Recording Media SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card compatible
Number of Recorded Pixels Still Images 12M(4000x3000), 3:2(4000x2656), 5M(2560x1920), VGA(640x480)
Movies FHD : 1920 x1080(30fps), HD:1280x720(30fps), HS : 432x320(240fps)
Recording Capacity Still Images SD Memory Card 1GB *1 It has not yet been fixed
Movies Recording Time It has not yet been fixed
SD Memory Card 1GB *1 It has not yet been fixed
Lens Construction 5lenses in 5 groups, including aspherical lens
F-number F2.8
Focal Length   F=3.8mm
35mm-Film Equivalent Approx. 21mm
Zoom Ratio 1.5X Single Frame SR Zoom, 2.0X Multi Frame SR Zoom (10M), 4X digital zoom, 15.9X maximum digital zoom (in combination with HD Zoom, VGA size)
Focus Focus Type Contrast Detection Auto Focus
Focus Mode Auto Focus, Macro, Infinity Mode
AF Area Spot(Intelligent for Premium Auto)
AF Assist Lamp None
Focus Range (From Lens Surface) Auto Focus Approx. 8 cm ~Infinity
Macro Approx. 8 cm ~ 50 cm
Infinity Mode Infinity
Manual Focus None
Exposure Control Exposure Metering Multi pattern by CMOS
Exposure Control Program AE
Exposure Compensation -2EV to +2EV (in 1/3EV steps)
Shutter   CMOS electronic shutter
Shutter Speed*2 Auto 1/8 to 1/40000 second (not fixed)
Aperture F2.8
White Balance Auto WB, Daylight, Overcast, Shade, Day White Fluorescent, Daylight Fluorescent, Tungsten, Manual WB
ISO Sensitivity (SOS *3) Still Images Auto/100/200/400/800/1600/3200
Movies Auto
Other Functions HDR, HDR ART, BEST SHOT, Premium Auto, Motion Shutter, Slide Panorama
Self-Timer 10 seconds, 2 seconds, 2~10 seconds
Built-in Flash Flash Mode None
Flash Range None
Monitor 3.0-inch TFT color LCD ( Super Clear LCD ), 460,800 dots (960 x 480) , Touch screen
Timekeeping Function Date and Time Recorded with image data
On-image Time Stamp Function Yes
Auto Calendar To 2049
World Time 162 cities in 32 time zones, City name, date, time, summer time
External connection terminal USB port (Hi-Speed USB compatible), HDMITM *4 output(Micro/Type D) *5
Microphone Monaural
Speaker Monaural
Power Requirement Rechargeable lithium ion battery (Built-in)
Battery Life It has not yet been fixed
Dimensions W × H × D (CIPA Standards) 122.8 x 59.0 x 14.9 mm
Weight (CIPA Standards) Approx. 157 g (Including Memory Card *1) / Approx. 155 g (Excluding Memory Card)
Bundled Accessories USB-AC Adapter, AC Power Cord, USB Cable, Strap, CD-ROM

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