When it comes to booting up the TRYX isn’t the speediest camera we’ve encountered. In fact, we consistently timed the camera’s start-up speed (ie the time it takes to go from ‘off’ to ‘ready to shoot’) at approximately two and a half seconds. If you want something capable of spur-of-the moment candid photography, you’ll need to keep the TRYX switched on at all times.
Used on the regular Auto or Premium Auto shooting modes the camera takes a couple of seconds writing image data before being ready to take the next shot. When the camera is set to shooting modes where multiple exposures are taken and blended together (for example, Auto HDR mode) processing times between shots are significantly longer, running to severe.
Autofocus proves to be fairly quick, even in poor light – no doubt thanks in part to its combination of a top sensitivity setting of ISO 3200 and its maximum aperture of f/2.8. In Auto shooting mode focus is restricted to the central box of the screen, although thankfully the physical shutter button is sensitive enough to recognise a half-press meaning it’s possible to use the focus-recompose technique for more creative focus.
Image quality is a truly mixed bag. Used at its standard 21mm without any digital zoom, we were actually quite impressed with overall image quality. Pictures taken in good light exhibit pleasing levels of colour saturation without appearing unnatural.
Sharpness and detail are both good when images are viewed at smaller sizes or on a computer monitor. Blowing them up to 100% reveals some fairly severe JPEG compression artefacts in evidence, leading to a loss of detail. However, it should be stressed that this is fairly standard for compacts fitted with small sensors and only viewable when images are blown right up. For the vast majority of end uses – 4x6in prints, web-use, 15in laptop screens and suchlike – image quality at 21mm remains perfectly adequate.
Unfortunately, things go markedly downhill the minute you start using the TRYX’s digital zoom. Even at lower sizes images can be seen to lack detail and sharpness, with a notable fall-off in saturation too. Take a look on the General Image Samples page to see some real-world examples of just how adversely the digital zoom affects image quality and judge for your self.
Switching over to the High-Speed SR Zoom feature that takes multiple images and blend them together to reduce the effects of camera shake didn’t bring us much joy either, with images not really showing any major improvement over standard images shot using the zoom at full telephoto.
Noise remains fairly well controlled at the lower sensitivity settings of ISO 100 and 200, but does begin to show from ISO 400 onwards with the higher sensitivity settings getting progressively worse. ISO 1600 and 3200 should only be used in emergencies when the LED flash can’t be deployed. So, not bad for low light situations, but certainly not great, especially as the flas isn't all that powerful.
White balance fares much better though. It’s increasingly uncommon for digital cameras to get automatic white balance consistently wrong and the TRYX follows suit in this respect with no problems to report at all.
Finally, it's worth nothing that battery life isn't great.
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.