Casio wants you to turn Tryx

An unusual design and interesting shooting features make this ultracompact camera worth checking out.

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LAS VEGAS--There's only so much you can do with the design of a point-and-shoot camera, so Casio deserves credit for literally breaking out of the box with the Tryx.

At first glance, it looks like an ultracompact camera/minicamcorder with a bit of flair. Then you flip out the high-resolution 3-inch touch-screen LCD and, well, it's no longer your typical pocket camera. The display can pivot through its frame a full 360 degrees while the screen itself can rotate 270 degrees. And with its built-in orientation sensor you can hold the Tryx in your left or right hand and the picture will right itself.

The lens is fairly unusual, too. Since the camera is only 0.6-inch thick there's really no room for an optical zoom. It's a fixed focal length lens similar to those on Flip-style minicamcorders, in this case it's an f2.8 ultrawide-angle 21mm-equivalent lens. That means the zoom is digital only, but Casio says its High-Speed SR Zoom technology isn't your average digital zoom and that it will maintain image quality up to 2x.

Running the show is a newly developed dual-core imaging processor and a 12-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS sensor. The combo allows for high-speed shooting as well as improved low-light photos. But what Casio is really hyping is its HDR-ART technology, which combines continuous shots with differing exposures and performs "highly-precise image analysis to locally change the contrast and level of color saturation." The effect can be tweaked by the user, so you can simply improve dynamic range or create a more artistic result.

The Tryx can of course capture movies, too, in full HD (.MOV) as well as high-speed clips at up to 240 frames per second (432x320-pixel resolution).

The Casio Tryx will be available April 2011 for $249.99.

Editors' take: Casio tends to be out in front with a lot digital imaging technology, so it's not a surprise to see something like the Tryx show up at CES. The design is a cool idea, but I'm on the fence about how comfortable it'll be to shoot with over time. The lack of an optical zoom seems like a misstep, however the intended user will likely be in the thick of whatever they're shooting, so maybe not. The HDR feature sounds cool, too, as do all of its other imaging capabilities. It's a camera definitely worth keeping an eye on this year.

Casio

 

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