New York - Casio America gave its unique twistable Tryx digital camera a formal send-off hip-hop style here Thursday night by combining a launch party with a concert by Nicki Minaj and the Roots at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square.
The location for the Tryx Out: NYC 2011 event was no accident, as the big-box retailer will have a national exclusive on a white version of the camera and was the first to start taking pre-orders for the camera this week.
The retail chain's Future Shop operation also has a Canadian exclusive on all iterations of the camera.
gave away tickets to the Minaj and the Roots concert through recent sweepstakes on social-network sites and through a special contest on the Casio Imaging Square HDR-ART services website that awarded five all-expense-paid trips for two the show.
The Tryx camera, which incorporates an HDR-ART function as part of its feature set, will hit retail shelves within the next few weeks at a $250 suggested retail.
Casio is targeting Tryx at "connected young adults" between the ages of 18 and 34 years of age. Its combination of compact size, multiple shooting angles, easy uploading of images to social-networking sites and integrated HD-ART (high dynamic range) photo treatments was designed to engage young trendsetters with a wide range of effects for both stills and video, the company said.
"With HD-ART at their fingertips, consumers of all skill levels, whether they are advanced or beginners, can now achieve the kind of effects that used to require costly and intimidating software," said Toshiharu Okimuro, Casio America chairman. "It is this kind of photo enhancement which will encourage consumers to explore their own video creativity, and embrace all that digital imaging has to offer."
Tryx was said to have been designed on three levels -- design, creativity and sharing. A key feature of the camera is its 180-degree pivoting 3-inch LCD screen inset in a surrounding frame. The screen can adapt to fit the user's preferred shooting style and to capture images from virtually any angle or lighting environment.
A second hinge point connecting the screen and lens elements enables the frame to twist away from the screen to act as a hoop that can be positioned as a camera support stand for tabletop placement. Alternatively the frame can serve as a hook so the camera can be hung from a wall or a doorknob for hands-free shooting.
The frame can also be adjusted so that the body can act as a stand, allowing the Tryx to stand on its own, or it can be rotated 180 degrees so that users can take self portraits and see themselves in the frame.
The Tryx features a 12-megapixel backside illuminated high-speed CMOS sensor with strong low-light shooting capability, a 3-inch 460,000-dot touchscreen display, 720p HD video capture and an ultra-wide-angle lens.
Casio designed the Tryx camera, in part, using suggestions from retail launch partner Best Buy.
Zachary Teske, Best Buy digital imaging senior merchant, said the chain will be cross-promoting the Tryx with the SD-card-based Eye-Fi wireless imaging transfer system to quickly and easily upload images to online sites for sharing and storage.
"In the true spirit of collaboration, Casio took our insights and tweaked the camera's design and features in an effort to create something that is truly different and truly meets the needs of the customer today," Teske said. "Casio has given Best Buy something new to add to our digital imaging assortment this year and gives our army of 180,000 blue shirts out in the field another reason to engage our customers and offer them a new digital imaging product unlike anything that's been on the market before."
Toshi Iguchi, Casio America digital imaging products general manager, said the Times Square Tryx Out event marked the launch of a major national advertising campaign to support the camera's launch.
Casio is selecting consumer media including print, online and out-of-home vehicles that address the camera's target audience to carry the Tryx ad message.
The effort will include a large billboard in Times Square featuring an image of Nicki Minaj.
The spots will also serve to deliver Casio's message about HD-ART functionality in new cameras and its online photo service.
service offers HDR-ART treatments for digital image files as a one-stop shop for Digital Photo Art and is compatible with images taken from any brand of digital camera or device. Finished "digital photo art" can be saved on the website, shared with others or sent as a greeting cards.
Initial services include: Digital Craft, which converts photos into compelling artwork; HDRArt craft and virtual painter; My Atelier, to store photos and projects; and Gallery, for publishing and sharing photos. Casio said the services will be continually expanded over time.
Iguchi said Casio is also partnering with both device case manufacturer Zagg and wireless imaging file transfer system maker Eye-Fi on Tryx-related accessories in support of the launch.
Teske told TWICE that Best Buy will be looking at bundling opportunities with Eye-Fi's other accessories down the road, and the chain's marketing group will be working hand-in-hand with Casio on advertising tie-ins involving inserts and online spots.
"This is just the first event," Teske said. "We have a lot of things planned as to how we are going to leverage paid search and all the other mediums out there."
Sam Vanderveer, Future Shop portable electronic solutions director, said the chain will become a Tryx "playground" as the exclusive retailer for the camera in Canada.
"I let my 10-year-old daughter try out the camera, and she naturally started to swivel the display and started to interact with the camera in the way it was built," Vanderveer told TWICE. "I've never seen her so instantly interact with a product in exactly the way it was intended to be used ... I think Casio got it right on this one"
Vanderveer said that unlike Best Buy, Future Shop uses commissioned sales floors, which he said would benefit greatly from the addition of an exclusive like the Tryx.
The chain will promote the camera in print circulars, online, and in its Tech Spotlight section that allows the customer to navigate the product online.