Do you always find it a hassle to carry more than one camera for your trips like me due to the different capabilities and needs from each camera you own? For my case, i always have at least 3 different cameras with me:
- a DSLR wide angle for scenic shots
- a waterproof camera for going underwater, or during rainy days
- a pocket cam for night shots
So this trip, I was invited by Casio to test out the functions of their new Exilim EX-FR100 camera, which was rumored to have the capability to fulfill most travelers or adventurers’ needs in places like Bali, Indonesia. Like an all-in-one adventure camera. Unlike the usual solo press or media trips, this was actually my first time traveling with other renowned bloggers across different genres (travel, lifestyle and tech guru) who were also invited on a trip to Bali, opps, I mean to to test the EX-FR100 in Bali! Exciting as it sounds, it also equate to a lot of hard work too.
Disclaimer: I am NOT hard selling you this camera, because I am NOT a salesman! haha And neither Casio gave me this camera nor pay me to do this. haha Bloggers were invited to test out the camera in Bali. Ultimately, you make your own judgement call whether this camera fits into your own traveling style and criteria. Remember folks, nothing is perfect in this world! 🙂
UNLESS specified, ALL photos & videos in this article were taken using the Casio EXILIM EX-FR100 without any editing, except downsizing to fit my blog.
The romantic sunset at Kuta Beach, Bali, Indonesia
People say you haven’t been to Bali till you have walked along Kuta Beach, one of the most beautiful beach destination on the western part of the island. With clear blue skies and white sandy beach, Kuta Beach is a slice of paradise on this sunny island! Think I’m pulling your leg?! Check out my photos below for yourself. Haha 🙂
Hungry go where?
A vacation would not be complete without the trying out the local delicacies. Bali cuisine is often colourful and spicy, which is very suitable for fire (spicy) eaters like me, YUM! While the menus in most restaurants are largely meat-orientated, with pork considered a mainstay of many meals, for vegetarians out there, there’s still lots to choose from. I was treated with the mouthwatering Mee Goreng (Indo-Mee) mixed with good spices and vegetable, delicious Indonesian fried rice that shouted “eat me!” and the divine, celestial and heavenly prepared spicy curry potatoes, makes me salivate as I am writing about it. Anyway, there are also plenty of Western options available but why would you?
Of course, we cannot afford to miss out a nice foodie shot to share on our instagram, especially for the lifestyle bloggers. haha Due to the camera’s free style mode (detachable between lens and screen), it makes the food shot even more artistic and creative. See below. 🙂
The Revitalizing Spirit of Bali
Even though we didn’t really do much on the first day, it was still kinda tiring, our legs were sore from the long distance walking during food hunting and camera testing at Kuta beach. So, we decided to end the night with a good Balinese massage to pamper ourselves at the famous SOMA Balinese massage and spa. Those foot and body aches were tenderly massaged away and we left feeling refreshed and relaxed.
After the massage, it was just a pure feeling of refreshed, re-energized, relaxed and enjoyment from the luxurious treatment. Just before we returned back to the hotel, as a blogger, wanting to let people know about this great massage place in Bali, I decided to take a night shot, and I was kinda impressed with the low noise and good quality from the selfie pic at night.
The Ultimate Indiana Jones + G.I. Joe Quad Biking Experience
When in Bali, do what the tourists do – play adventure sports! There’s so much to do in Bali, we hope to try them all! haha
The next morning, it’s games on for all bloggers to test the Casio camera in adventure mode conditions. We were all excited about the adventures planned out for the day. Before we can get more excited with the programme, it was a kill joy by the early morning long drive to the exotic and rural area of Payangan. Argh! Early morning X 2 + long drive = not so fun! haha
One thing I have to give the camera credit for is its versatility. The camera allows to capture images using 3 different styles:
- in the usual camera style as you would with a standard compact camera or,
- with the camera fixed to the main body in selfie style or,
- with the camera detached in wearable free style.
Below is an illustration I do up for you to have an idea about the different styles/mode you can use the camera.
When we finally arrived Payangan, immediately, we were all geared up and get ready for the actions. As I was paired up with the beautiful travel intern, Miao. We planned out a strategy to try out the camera using two different angles and methods during the quad biking adventure. The free style mode gave us heaps of creativity, some were epic, while the others were kinda disastrous. haha
Keith’s Epic Method
So Keith’s method will be the epic selfie stick method, cleverly detaching the lens and screen and mount them onto the selfie stick! haha See below for our epic shots and videos. 🙂
The adrenaline quad biking experience was fun and exhilarating. I was worried about the performance of the camera on the video. I was told that the anti-shake feature not only stabilizes the picture on a X and Y axis as per the usual standard, but this camera also takes into account of a third axis, camera roll, and will produce video with minimal blurring. So here’s my video for the Quad Bike experience in the Balinese village and jungle. (Note: youtube downsize the actual quality of the video)
Miao’s Epic Disaster
In case you guys are wondering where’s Miao’s camera? We mounted it in front of the quad bike to capture the path. Why is it disaster then? haha Because I didn’t mount it properly, so due to the intense vibration from the engine and bumpy rides, the lens was taking a roller coaster ride, tilting up or down by itself. haha So as the video was either capturing the skies (when it was pointing up) or capturing the dirt path (when the lens pointing down). haha Anyway, considering the bumpy ride, the camera still did a good job in stabilizing the video image. See the raw video below. (Note: youtube downsize the actual quality of the video)
For lovey dovey couples out there, this could spark up your romance in a co-operative mode when taking photos, as one partner can do the controlling and another partner can take the actual shot! How cool and nice isn’t it! Romantic to the max! See below! 🙂
PS: We were just modeling it as a couple, so fans of Miao, please DO NOT come after me! haha
Tubing Down The Canyon In Bali
While I was still trying to calm down from the adrenaline rush, caused by the numerous scares from Miao’s crazy driving, during the quad biking experience. We had to quickly move off to our next programme and headed down to North Payangan river, where the river was filled with crystal clear stream flows, and really COLD waters for the exciting Canyon Tubing!
I was sort of tossed into an inflatable tube, and drifted down the exciting Siap Stream in Payangan area to discover many different species of plants and animals. To be honest, most of the time, I was busy struggling to paddle off the big rocks to prevent myself from being stuck in between rocks which will cause a “Jam” for the others tubing down. Haha
This was a fantastic adventure. The scenery was beautiful as we coast into the jungle, definitely an element of 2.5 hours of thrill seeking, but we always felt safe. Lots of guides go with us and obviously they did a great job looking after us. Imagine taking care of a bunch of bloggers, who only cares about taking selfies and videos? Argh! haha Anyway, their service was really good and they were very kind to us. Appreciate their numerous help to make sure we are safe! 🙂 Kudos to the guides! 🙂
Snorkeling or Camwhoring with the Fish?
Another to do list when at a beach vacation is to go snorkeling! Well, I’m speaking the obvious again. On the 3rd day of our Bali adventure. Casio arranged a snorkeling trip for everyone and we took an hour of bumpy journey to the Nusa Lembongan Island! For motion sickness peeps out there, do prepared yourself well for this journey. It was not an easy ride for some of us.
So the first stop was Crystal Bay and 2nd stop was the Mangrove Point. While Crystal Bay is a very good dive site in Bali, in my opinion it is better suited for experienced divers as the current can be quite strong. For non-swimmers, snorkeling at Crystal Bay can be challenging depending on the current. The current was pretty strong for us. The coral is also very beautiful around 15 to 20 m and according to the guide, during certain months, you will have a good chance to spot the mola mola (ocean sunfish). Well, not for us! haha
There was supposed to be another 3rd snorkeling spot, but you know bloggers being bloggers… we spent too long at one location with jump shots, selfies and R&R. Hence, we only managed to get to 2 snorkeling spot on that day. 🙁
From a distance, I spotted the local Balinese villagers from far, and my thought was to swim to the shore and interact with the locals. So glad that I did, and the locals were sooooo friendly and beautiful. They were actually heading back to school after an afternoon prayer in the temple! LOL
Not long after, the rest of the crew joined me. Some thought lunch was served on shore. Opps, my bad! 🙁
You probably know I loved doing my classic KJS (Keith Jump Shots) around the world. In the past, there were many queries from readers, wondering whether there was any crew traveling with me to take those amazing KJS. I actually wrote about it and clarified that there wasn’t anyone. It was either with tripod, or pure fate to look for passerby or travelers with DSLR camera (because there is a higher possibility that they know how to take a jump shot). haha I was curious to find out whether EX-FR100 can fit the bill, so I tested it out at various location.
Thankfully, the EX-FR100 can do a pre-record continuous shutter, which is a high speed burst shooting of up to 30 frames, before and after pressing the shutter, so that the perfect opportunity for the best shot will never be missed. I was able to captured jump shots without much trouble! Not just one person jumping, but many people together at the same time too!
So, what do I like about the Casio Exilim EX-FR100?
To be honest, I don’t like to sell things. I love sharing my travel experiences and for this case, I am going to share my truthful opinion of the Casio EX-FR100 base on the “test drive” I did in Bali. Here are the few things I truly loved about the EX-FR100:
W A T E R P R O O F – enough said! 🙂
TJ delibrately dropped the EX-FR100 a couple of times to show us the durability. (Try at your own risk! haha) The camera didn’t seems to have any issues. It’s a durable camera made for adventures!
#3 Free Style Mode (Detachable)
This is by far the my personal favourite feature. The lens are detachable from the screen, and this gives you many creative ways to capture special moments. Whether to mount on your head, clipped on to your backpack or shoulder strap, mount onto your bike, placed on the table, or simply screwed to your selfie stick, there are numerous way to explore your creativity.
#4 Wide Angle & Selfie Cam
With a wide angle mode you can capture more things in a single frame. For selfies lovers and ladies out there, the camera has an auto slimming function and beauty mode which will make you look maybe 10 times prettier than the actual you. Kidding! Alright, I was pulling your legs about the 10 times prettier, but the rest are true! So, this magical camera does somehow makes you look better, I guess.
#5 Burst Mode & Slow Motion for Jumping Shot
For a jump shot king (name given by Jac, The Occasional Traveler) like me, the burst mode of 30 fps allows me to get jump shot photos much more easier and independently. This camera is also capable of recording at a very high frame rate of 240fps, so high speed movies of fast actions and movements is possible, and you can even play back the moments in very slow motion.
#6 Time Lapse Movie
I think more cameras in the market is starting to have this function. I personally think EX-FR100 did the right thing to include this cool function. For time lapse craze or clouds fanatics this is now possible with this camera. Anyway, the only condition for filming people successfully in time lapse, is that you need to be as still as steel! haha Checkout this cool time lapse video by Justin.
#7 Picture Highlight & Video Highlight
According to the specifications, the EX-FR100 is able to intelligently select the best contents from the entire library of pictures or videos in the camera to create a full scale movie with superb effects and transitions, using algorithms that incorporate story composition techniques of professional movie creators. Alternatively, if you don’t like the choice from the camera, you are able to rate the individual photos and videos, and the camera will choose the highest ratings pics or vids to match up a highlight montage or collage for you. Honestly, after looking at the collage and video highlight, I prefer the latter! haha
#8 Connect to mobile via wifi
We are living in a social media world, so again bloggers being bloggers, never sleep without any update on social media! A #picoftheday #photooftheday #inspirationoftheday whatever it is, it’s never a hassle transferring photos or videos into my mobile and do live updates immediately. Just select the photos to transfer to mobile phone connecting via wifi or bluetooth between the devices and Casio EXILIM app. That’s it. Fast transferring speed, so you can show off your adventure pics on social media platform! 🙂
Any improvement for the camera?
While I like some features about the EX-FR100, remember, nothing is perfect! Of course, there are some room for improvements which would make it even better.
- First, even though you have an external screen shutter you could control with another hand, it would still be good to include a timer setting, which will be useful for taking selfie/wefie without using the screen shutter. Well, it can also be solved by switching to interval mode. A good to have feature.
- Secondly, it can be frustrating during video playback while you want to screen through your videos, they isn’t any way for you to jump straight into a specific timing. You literally have to let the video playback by itself without fast forwarding or rewind functions.
- Thirdly, this was a minor annoyance during snorkeling, as there was no connectivity between the lens and the screen underwater, it is impossible to take selfie unless you set to the interval mode. When you need to switch it off, you gotta come above the water surface, and dry the screen a bit until the touch screen sensitivity returns. I find it a bit of trouble controlling the camera underwater, especially in sea water.
- Lastly, the camera comes with smart focus, it seriously did a great job in recognizing and pleasing me by focusing on me. However, at some occasion when I was taking photos of a foreground object and background, I realised I can’t manually select the focus point. It was only automatic focusing.
After seeing my photos from Instagram and Facebook, I received numerous queries and messages from readers around the world about this camera. Unfortunately, currently the EX-FR100 is only distributed to Asia countries such as Japan, Singapore & Taiwan etc… Not sure when will it be available in other parts of the world. More information to be announced by Casio. So sadly, to my European and American readers, this is not yet available over your side of the world. However, you can check whether there’s any online dealers that you can place your order with.
The Casio new Exilim EX-FR100 is currently available now and priced at S$699. To find out more you can check out Official Casio Website! 🙂
Oh, do check out the blogs of the lovely folks as well
The femme and homme fashion & lifestyle blogger, Maybeline & James’ My Fat Pocket
The cute potato, nick given by TJ, Vivian Sim’s heyitsveevi
The occasional yet frequent traveller, Jacynn Seah’s The Occasional Traveller
The talented couple who just came back from an epic year trip in Central Asia, Daniel Bob’s Sunrise Odyssey
To escape together with the sweet Lydia Yang’s Lydiascapes
The tech guru, Justin Teo’s Asia361
The young & pretty intern, Miao Hui from Travel Interns
Last but not least, thanks TJ and Casio team to make this trip to Bali, a fun and memorable one! 🙂
“He who would travel happily must travel light.” – Antoine de St. Exupery