During the launch of Casio Exilim FR100 last week at Pullman Hotel, we had the opportunity to talk to Mr Takeshi Niida, Manager of Global Strategic Marketing Division, Casio Computer Co., Ltd, who shared with us the idea and concept behind the development of the FR Series and the upgraded FR100.
BB: Thank you so much for giving time to talk to us. The FR-100 is a unique concept and is a fresh take to the market of action cameras. What is the inspiration and idea behind this action camera that could handle both the outdoor lifestyle and selfies?
First of all, this is not an action camera and it is not lined up to be one of the extreme action cameras, targeting to capture risky and adventurous shots or clips at the nick of time. The FR100 is for people like us who love taking scenery shots and of ourselves enjoying the scenery. What sets us apart from the mainstream action cameras is the ability to edit your videos and photos right away, for social media sharing.
When we developed this series of camera, we launched it based on the concept of developing a tool that could capture precious moments, outdoors. The whole idea came out when we were trying to capture a shot outdoors, more often than not we had to take out the camera all over again and ready the shot. By the time the camera is up and ready to shoot, the moment has passed.
So, instead of having to need to bring out the camera again and again, we thought it will make sense to have a more compact-sized camera. This way, we can attach it to any part of the body for ready shooting. Also, since it is a camera, why not have a screen? You can also check your photo(s) after the shot right away.
That was the initial concept and this camera was not planned for selfies!
BB: Interesting! You mean it wasn’t meant to be a selfie camera?
TN: After the launch of Casio Exilim FR10, we found out that most of the photos taken with the FR10 (predecessor of FR100) are of selfies, outdoors mostly. And with this in mind, we identified the need to build in a wider angle to capture more faces in one shot; and also upgraded the Make-Up mode for the many faces.
Now, we have the new and improved FR100 for both outdoors and selfies.
BB: We have personally tested both FR10 and FR100 cameras. The FR-100 is a massive upgrade from its predecessor FR10. It is only around a year apart between both launch dates, and many features have been fine tuned and upgraded. For the FR Series, can we expect a wider range or upgrades anytime soon? What is the plan for the FR series in the near future, say two years from now?
TN: In terms of the future, we are looking forward to receiving feedback on the product. This is a brand new camera category, so there are still new territories we have not understood. We welcome feedback and ideas, so that we can continue to improve. Maybe I should ask you since you are a user of both cameras – What do you think about it? What other functions would you like to have in the camera?
BB: Wow, quick turn hehe. The FR100 is no doubt a massive upgrade and I have been enjoying my shots a lot more than the predecessor. Coupled with more stabilized wireless strength and connection speed, photos are taken a lot faster. I go cycling and camping a lot so it would be great if I don’t have to worry about getting it wet…
TN: See, it is great to hear from you. We want to get to know the users better, and one way is to understand the photos they take. With the “detach-ability”and remote controlling functions, there is so much more we can do. Based on our users’ needs and feedback, we can always look into building in more relevant technologies such as multi-connection between devices, diving depth or enhanced beauty mode.
The new FR100 is not just splash proof but you can immerse under water up to 1.5m. So, don’t worry about it! Our drop test has also cleared the new camera at a height of 1.3m (1.7m just the lens).
BB: Cool! Will Casio be expanding into the adventure gear market in its other divisions too? For example, cyclocomputers (cycling computers), Smart Outdoor Watch (linked to camera), etc.
TN: I am not sure if I could answer this question for you as I am from the camera division of Casio. We of course have watch and computer divisions in the company. However, according to the R&D perspective, the company is definitely planning to build a lot more existing technologies into the camera. One common Casio technology would be sensors, ie. pressure sensor, light sensor, etc. In your case, linking the camera to a Casio watch, it is very possible but we are not letting out any further information at this juncture. Moving forward, we would like to get more ideas from the public and we will answer the needs accordingly.
BB: Thank you very much for your time and we hope you enjoy your stay in Malaysia!
TN: You are welcome.
Available in yellow, white and black, the new EXILIM FR100 is priced at MYR 2,149.00. Purchase only the original set from authorized Casio Exilim authorized dealers to receive 18-month warranty*.
*18 months warranty upon e-warranty registration with the Official Distributor, Marco Heritage (M) Sdn Bhd.
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