Hello! My name is Miao and nearing the end of 2015, I had the opportunity to be involved with The Travel Intern, a community started by Pohtecktoes to inspire people like me to integrate travelling into my lifestyle. The idea is that travelling will always be enriching, and there is no limit to what the world can teach you.
It’s been awhile since I travelled, so I was glad to be on a trip to Bali with Casio to test their newest product release, the Exilim EX-FR100. This was an action–packed 4D3N of adrenaline pumped activities with a group of thrill–seeking travel bloggers— I couldn’t have asked for a better way to break the travel dry spell.
With a drastic change of scenery, and an itinerary of activities on land; in the water; and even a few seconds up in the air; Bali was a very refreshing and well thought out trip by Casio. It was great that Casio had equipped us with the EXILIM EX-FR100 to see how it’d fare in its challenges, and so without further ado, here’s a short product introduction and a few thoughts on its performance:
The EXILIM EX-FR100 is promoted as a ‘freestyle camera’ rather than an action camera, which compliments the lifestyle of the average outdoor enthusiast. It accommodates casual photographers who are looking for the most efficient and cool ways to document it.
The essential feature of this camera is its detachable design. With the flexibility of detaching the camera from the LCD touch screen monitor/controller, it means that you can easily achieve hands-free photos in ridiculous angles by attaching the camera module to practically anything, via the accessories provided by the EXILIM EX-FR100 package.
This range of accessories made for a very liberating concept to experience, as I was able to compose my photos beyond the limits of my limbs.
However, there was an issue with the camera sometimes detaching and falling out of its accessories so there are definitely some improvements to be made to its attaching mechanism, but what compensated for this is the hardiness of the camera.
Playing around with the EXILIM EX-FR100 selfie stick with the shutter button at my finger
Being a person with a long history of broken cameras, the fact that I didn’t need to tediously keep guard of a camera’s fragility on a trip like this wasn’t something I could imagine. Usually when I’m out at the beach or even riding a bike, my camera is tucked away in my backpack and sealed in a ziplock bag. But as the EXILIM EX-FR100 holds water resistant, dust resistant and shock proof attributes, there was no reason for missing out on a few good snaps while quad biking on a dirt track through the forest; while snorkeling in the clear waters of Bali; or even while being propelled through the air during the flying fox activity, but of course I was also utilising the accessories to secure it from dropping.
A snap before the roads got bumpy
Ready for canyon tubing with our cameras mounted on in all sorts of directions.
The EXILIM EX-FR100 lets you ‘go with the flow’ when you’re canyon tubing through the forest.
Regarding the water resistance feature, the camera can operate in the water at the depth of 1.5 metres for 60 minutes, and the clarity of the photos and videos were pleasing. One thing that became a bit of a nuisance though was the fact that the touch screen loses sensitivity when droplets are left on it. This became a bit of an inconvenience for those of us who were still in the water and wanted to change modes as the camera doesn’t have alternative buttons to navigate it.
Corals at Bali’s Crystal Bay dive site
Justin’s underwater selfie sneak with the EXILIM EX-FR100. No one’s judging but the fishes.
Another feature that struggled in the water was the Bluetooth. The EXILIM EX-FR100 is innovative in the way that it cleverly uses Bluetooth to communicate between 2 detachable modules, allowing users to check up on the photo’s or video’s composition wherever the camera is placed (as long as it’s within Bluetooth range). It puts a stop to bending into awkward positions and a start to hitting the shutter button and changing modes from a distance. This was very handy when the bunch of us decided to spend an afternoon beside the pool exhausting ourselves with jump shots—we had saved ourselves from the extra cardio involved in running away and back to the camera.
But as I mentioned, the issue was that once submerged in the water the Bluetooth loses ability to communicate between the modules. But this wasn’t that much of a problem as the EXILIM EX-FR100 has a shutter and an on/off button on both the monitor/controller and the camera. So it was fine to put away the monitor/controller module and use just the camera to take photos.
A jump shot taken with the EXILIM EX-FR100’s Intelligent interval feature. Photo by Keith from Travel Inspiration 360.
An equally significant feature that made taking the jump shots more enjoyable and less tiring, is the ‘Intelligent Interval feature’. What this feature does is that with one click of the shutter, it continuously shoots at high-speed (30 frames per second) for a few seconds and then automatically selects and saves the photos with minimal blur, while tucking away the ones with too much blur for users to look through at a more convenient time —We were guaranteed a clear photo after each jump, so if none turned out right, it was the fault of the ‘models’— This can be a very useful tool for capturing the moments that you simultaneously want to fully experience.
Considering that I was travelling with 9 other people and was in a place of picturesque landscapes at our photography disposal, it meant that there were many opportunities to take group photos. But with a group that large, ‘group photos’ usually become synonymous to ‘group cuddles’— since a tight squeeze followed by multiple shots is usually the case before a photo with the right ratio of people to background is achieved, and no one is cropped out. But it was easy with the EXILIM EX-FR100’s 16mm wide angle lens, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky we had to sacrifice for a good photo of us and the landscape.
Bali’s beach in perspective of the 16mm wide angle lens.
There is also a ‘Highlight Movie Function’, which allows you to instantly transfer data from the camera to another bluetooth device, and compose a montage of videos and images on the spot. So without going through the trouble of using an external software, you can easily create good material to share with your friends and family. I didn’t exactly make use of this tool, but Jaclynn from ‘The Occasional Travel Blogger’ did and the result montage is pretty awesome (see video below). With 9 other people taking photos on the trip, there was a lot of photo exchange going on, but it wasn’t a fuss at all. It was very simple to connect my phone with someone else’s camera to instantly receive the photos, and the great thing was that we didn’t even need to be around a wifi spot.
Jaclynn The Occasional Traveller‘s highlight video:
Although there are a few things about the EXILIM EX-FR100 that could be improved on, I generally feel that the experience it provided was a different one in terms of its hands-free and efficiency factors. Seeing that this is only the second generation of its line, this innovative concept by Casio has a lot of potential to better the way we experience the moments we want to capture.
A fellow traveller waddling from place to place, with a love for all things art, food, and dog related.