Camera Economics | The Life and Curious Afterlife of the Casio Tryx

Started Dec 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
Flat view
Red5TX Senior Member • Posts: 1,586
Camera Economics | The Life and Curious Afterlife of the Casio Tryx

"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." -- Engadget

"If you're after significantly better photos than your mobile device for large prints, the Tryx probably isn't what you want." -- CNet

"The rotating frame has its uses, but the TRYX otherwise feels more like a stripped-down Smartphone meets Flip camcorder. We really wanted to like it, but it's far short of the mark for everyday use." -- WhatDigitalCamera

The Casio Tryx debuted in June of 2011.  It featured a highly unique design that allowed it to... well... see for yourself.

In addition to its tilt/swivel/stand design, the Tryx featured a unique fixed 21mm equivalent lens, a tiny sensor, and robust (if amateurish) in-camera HDR functionality.

Retail Price: $249.

At the time it, the Tryx was generally considered a bust.  The design was interesting but the specs were underwhelming.  The number of camera users who really liked taking ultra-wide pictures in good light and didn't demand high IQ was vanishingly small.  Prices quickly plummeted and it was reported that Casio never made a second production run.

Two-and-a-half years later, Tryx cameras sell for between $400-600 on eBay.

This goes to show that camera economics don't always work in intuitive ways.  The Canon S95 was available around the same time as the Tryx.  It cost $399 new.  Price today: around $150.  This despite the fact that any photographer on the planet would tell you the S95 is far superior to the Tryx.

What is going on here?  Why has the well-regarded (and still quite capable) S95 followed the typical depreciation trajectory for consumer economics while the Tryx -- a toy-like oddity -- sells for more than twice its original price?

I don't have an answer, but the saga interests me.  My sense is that the strange afterlife of the Tryx is mostly attributable to its uniqueness.  That ultra-wide lens.  The ability to work without a tripod.  The trippy in-camera HDR. There's been nothing quite like it since.  (There may also be a video angle here that I'm missing since I'm not a video guy.)

I also wonder why Casio hasn't produced an update.  I'm sure they were burned by problems selling the original Tryx, but it seems to have been a camera that was ahead of the market.  An updated version with a larger sensor, more-sophisticated HDR, and the same tripod functionality might do well among photographers who want something a little different.

In any event, it's an interesting story.  I am fascinated by oddities like this.  They remind us that there's a whole world of photography out there beyond the pixel peeping and DXO ratings that we tend to get wrapped up in.

Canon PowerShot S95 Casio Exilim TRYX
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Flat view
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow