Getting adventurous with the Casio Exilim FR100 in Bali

My first trip of 2016 saw me heading to Bali thanks to the good folk of Casio Singapore who wanted me to check out their Casio Exilim FR100 camera. I’d previously tried out the ZR3500 selfie camera last year when I was in Bali as well, so was quite curious to see how this one would measure up.

Bali Casio Exilim FR100 attached
The camera when the two parts are attached together – there is a quick release button on the side to separate the two pieces easily. You can flip the lens around to the other side, and it’s pretty stiffly held so the lens position stays quite firmly even if you are brandishing the camera quite hard

I’m someone whose primary mode of taking photos is with my phone because I’m usually too lazy to carry around an additional device. But I scuba dive semi-frequently and I’m always game for some physical adventure, which makes the phone as a camera less practical – I am all sorts of paranoid about dropping my iphone down a ravine or dunking it in water – so having a tougher action camera on hand makes capturing the adventurous memories much easier.

Portugal - Lagos Street Art Aryz
That’s me always on my phone, hard at work. (Actually I was using an Oppo selfie phone here)

The Casio folk brought a bunch of bloggers to Bali for some adventure so we could test out the camera for ourselves – as with all things, the FR100 has its pros and cons, but I was impressed at some of its capabilities. I’ll let you judge for yourself how well it could work for you. I left all the pix in this post taken by the FR100 unedited (except for resizing to fit the blog) so you can see the photo quality for yourself.

Bali Casio Snorkeling Underwater Selfie
Bloop bloop ready to go!

Here’s what we did:

  • Quad Biking with Bali Quad – we did a two-in-one adventure where we went quad biking in the morning, had lunch back at the base, and then went canyon tubing in the afternoon. The journey out from Kuta to Payangan (close to Ubud) took about an hour – it’s surprisingly cooler in Payangan as we were up in the hills. You’ll need river shoes Bring a change of clothes
  • Snorkelling – for the life of me, I can’t recall the company we went snorkelling with, except that we left from the Tanjung Benoa / Sanur Beach jetty where they are based. We took about half an hour’s boat ride out to Nusa Lembongan, where we snorkelled in 2 spots – Crystal Bay off Nusa Penida (way choppy in the afternoon) and another spot further away with great coral


The most obviously unusual thing about the FR100 camera is the fact that the lens and viewfinder can be split into 2 separate pieces that connect to each other via bluetooth. This makes for some interesting shot opportunities that might be harder to manage with say, a GoPro which you have to shoot blind with.

Bali Casio Exilim FR100 Close up
Checking out the camera en route to Bali – I’m holding the round lens unit which has a metal mount that you slot into the rectangular viewfinder unit on my lap. Having the viewfinder let me line up this interesting looking shot

But because the camera is technically two units, that means when it comes to charging the battery, you will need to charge both the lens and viewfinder unit separately, which can be a pain if you only have one outlet, so it helps to have a power supply along with extra wires. Also, most of the work is being done by the Lens unit as it contains the Micro SD card, so the lens unit is more liable to run out of juice faster than the viewfinder unit.

Bali Casio Quad Bike Top Down Selfie
I’m holding the lens unit up above my head – I used the viewfinder to frame my shot first before looking up and then tapping the screen to take the shot. There is a shutter button and a video record button as well on both the lens and viewfinder units depending on what’s most convenient for you.

Casio also provided us various accessories (sold separately from the camera) to play around with on the trip – One easy thing to do is to mount the lens on the selfie stick. But also useful are the various straps and clips of different sizes, so get creative.

Bali Casio Snorkeling Floor Selfie
Taking a selfie from the ground up with Daniel – I was trying to catch the fishing rods on the top of the boat
Bali Casio Snorkeling Fast Boat
Team Fast Boat aka Team No Puking along with some of our boat crew! The selfie stick and wide angle makes group wefies easier
Bali Casio Blogger Briefing
See, press trips aren’t just about beautiful destinations – they involve us being holed up in a ‘haunted’ hotel room (long story) getting a very patient tutorial from TJ on how to use the camera effectively before all the fun starts. That’s me nonchalantly holding the camera up in the corner – notice the wide angle?
Bali Casio Quad Bike with Lydia
You can mount the viewfinder on the handle end of the selfie stick like Lydia is doing here (see the silver bracket) as we are quad biking so you can frame your shots one-handed
Bali Casio Quad Bike Selfie
This shot came from the lens unit mounted on the handlebar of the quad bike. We didn’t do a good job of tightening the strap, so I have a lot of weird torso/crotch shots when the strap slipped downwards >_<
Bali Casio Quad Bike DJ Backshot
This one we got by facing the camera front from the handlebar mount. Considering how bumpy and shaky quad biking is, I’m quite impressed by the anti-shake capability of the camera


I probably used the burst mode most on this trip – that’s 30 fps (frames per second) which lets you capture the best in-action moments. Naturally, that resulted in me doing a ton of jumpshots, because when you leave bloggers to entertain themselves, that’s kinda what happens. So much sea water in my sinuses from jumping into the water on our snorkeling day, but hey quite a lot of great photos came out of that!

Bali Casio Kuta Beach Jumpshot
I like how this jumpshot at sunset taken by Daniel turned out, although Lydia calls this my ‘Whisper Logo / feminine hygiene product Ad’ shot. >_<
Bali Casio Snorkeling Boat Waves
Catching the splash of waves – having 30 shots means you can pick your best frame, but also means you have a ton of photos to comb through if you forget to change modes like I did~
Bali Casio Snorkling Jumpshot J Red
I love the colours in this shot – the camera does very well in bright sunlight. Also, Justin’s face -O-
Bali Casio Snorkeling Jumpshot
Me trying for something more ballet-like
Bali Casio Snorkeling Jumpshot Duo Front
I really like how in sync we are in this jumpshot, but for some reason the camera fogged up >_< which is a bit sad because as you can see from the earlier shots, this camera does very well under good afternoon lighting. Some of my photos are affected by the fog, but it seemed to go away after a bit.
Bali Casio Snorkeling Jumpshot Duo Back
Just for fun – here’s a look at that same jumpshot from behind!
Bali Casio Snorkling Jumpshot K
A behind the scenes look at what it takes to capture jumpshots – a great jump by Keith with a hardworking photographer and camera. Love how clear the water is!
Bali Casio Canyon Tubing Tube
Coasting down the river – things got pretty swirly and bumpy, and the tube fills up with cold river water which you are then soaked in, but the camera survived all that quite well!
Bali Casio Canyon Tubing Canopy
I took this from my wrist strap by angling the camera up to the canopy


The FR100 is an action camera built to be tough – so it should be able to handle a bit of bumping around. Officially it can handle drops of 1.3m (all the nitty gritty here). I mostly carried it around on a carabiner strapped onto my bag, or clipped to the belt loop of my shorts or lifejacket.

It also works underwater – official capability is up to 2m without the underwater casing, and up to 20m with the casing. The lens and viewfinder units need to be connected together if you want to use the viewfinder as the bluetooth connection doesn’t work underwater. Obviously the touchscreen doesn’t work underwater either, and I found that it’s also not very reactive when you are on the surface and when the screen / your fingers are damp, so trying to change modes quickly while bobbing in the water was a trying experience. Ideal situation would be to use the video recording, or pick one mode and stick to it while you are in the water.

Bali Casio Exilim FR100 sandy
Getting sandy at Kuta Beach – i still get nervous putting electronics in water…
Bali Casio Kuta Beach Product Shot
Vivian taking a fancy product shot and patiently waiting for the waves to hit. The only concern then was making sure the camera didn’t drift away!
Bali Casio Snorkeling Underwater Freedive
Daniel had his lens unit mounted on the selfie stick and did a little free diving video capture
Bali Casio Snorkling Underwater Fish
Underwater shots close to the surface – I would like to see how the camera does when scuba diving and you take more macro shots because there’s no way to focus right now – you kinda have to hope the camera captures the right thing for you. Either that or use it for capturing large pelagics like whales or fish shoals
Bali Casio Canyon Tubing Selfie
Tubing on the river – I had the viewfinder clipped to my shorts and the lens unit on a wrist strap, which probably wasn’t the best idea because I ended up with a lot of weird shots because you don’t quite realize your hands are always pointing in weird directions. Perhaps a helmet mount might have worked better
Bali Casio Canyon Tubing Waterfall
Love the colours happening here!

Here’s a clip of what canyon tubing looks like if you are curious:


One function that I thought people would find quite helpful is the Highlight Video  – what you can do is put together your video/photo clips for the day or from certain shots into a short video, complete with a selection of music. I tend to take a lot of footage but get too lazy to edit at the end of the trip, so having this function makes it easy to do a daily round up of your day’s shots. See the clip from the day we went snorkeling below:

Instead of compiling videos by day, you can also select to do this by interval – that means you set the camera to take a photo at a set timing (every 15 seconds, or every minute), and then you can compile all these pix together into shorter instagram-ready videos of your jumpshots, or timelapse videos of longer journeys quite easily without any additional software, which is always a plus for me!

The system itself is also pretty smart – you can ‘train’ the camera to pick up your favourite clips by using the star system to upvote or downvote particular pictures and videos. If not, the camera does automatically ‘sieve’ out photos and videos which are blurry on its own, but as with automation, the final product can be quite a hit or miss affair. I have a video from the day we went quad biking which mostly shows torsos and crotches because of some rather unfortunate angling and because I didn’t down vote those videos/photos.

Also useful – the EXILIM mobile app that lets you easily transfer photos from the camera direct to your phone for social media uploading. Setting up the app is a bit of a pain as you figure out toggling between bluetooth and wifi, but once you have it set up, transferring photos is a breeze! You can even set up an auto transfer mode where any photos you take on the camera get automatically sent to your phone, but that really eat your p hone and camera’s battery life.

Casio EXILIM EX FR-100 Camera is currently retailing at S$699 in Singapore – check out the page on Casio’s website and the detailed tech specs here.

Big props to my fellow travel mates on this trip for making it a ball of a time – first time I’ve travelled with travel bloggers that I know prior to the trip, and pretty awesome making new friends as well! Check out their blogs or social media sites for their reviews on the camera if you are looking for more opinions. We didn’t get to keep the cameras unfortunately~

Added Apr 2016: Casio sponsored me a white Exilim FR100 for my very own! Check out my blog posts and instagram and you will see many example of pix! I’m quite fond of it now :)

Bali Casio Group Photo Changi

  • Quad biking buddy Lydia from Lydiascapes who also arranged for some swanky opps (more on that later) [REVIEW]
  • One half of the adventurous Sunrise Odyssey and ANTM wannabe Daniel [REVIEW]
  • The tech guru Justin writing for Asia361 who was always there to troubleshoot when I had tech issues [REVIEW]
  • Keith aka Jumpshot King from Travel Inspiration 360 [REVIEW]
  • The lovely artistic (sketchy? haha) Miao for The Travel Intern [REVIEW]
  • The perky couple Maybeline and James who are really friendly and always selfie ready [REVIEW]
  • Wonderful Vivian (I still don’t know why you are a potato but you are a lovely one I’m sure) for capturing our highlights
  • And of course the long-suffering TJ who took care of all of us on the trip and made sure we knew what we were doing

Bali Casio Kuta Beach Group Jumpshot

10 thoughts on “Getting adventurous with the Casio Exilim FR100 in Bali”

  1. Looking at the photos they just don’t look very clear. Sharpness is obviously missing. I wonder is it due to a lower resolution from size reduction for upload? Or is this exactly how they look on your originals as well? Prices have dipped now, but a gopro hero 5 is equivalent in price. So am in a real dilemma which i should go for, or are you restricted from giving an opposing view since casio loaned the equipment to you? Hope you are able give an honest opinion to help me, since apparently you’ve used it on an in depth level. By the way gopro do not have the screens but they have an app where you can see it live on your phone screen similar to the casio unit.

    1. Hi Chris,

      Just to be clear I give reviews based on my experience and usually about things I like or find useful, so I’m not ‘restricted in giving an honest opinion’!

      My photos are minimised to 600px for uploading on the website so I’m not sure that’s the best gauge of sharpness – typically my photos from the Casio are 3000x4000px. the only thing is you can’t choose your focus, so sometimes you do get blurry pix if the camera doesn’t quite focus on the right thing, but an outdoor camera is made for capturing the surroundings and less for super sharp focus…

      It kinda depends what you want in an outdoor camera – I think the GoPro is more versatile and better when it comes to scuba diving or really hardcore outdoor stuff for example because it has better accessories, but I’ve been pretty happy with the Casio because it’s pretty hardy even for things like canyoning and snorkelling and I just like using the touchscreen interface better, but possibly it is a little too reliant on the touchscreen so changing mode when you are in the water or have a wet screen can be a bit tougher than the GoPro.

      Yes I do know that the Gopro has an app which you can use on the phone – you can actually do it with the Casio too, but it does require using your phone’s battery and I wouldn’t want to bring my phone anywhere near the water if I can help it. The Casio is also easier to control as a remote (especially for jumpshots) because you press the button and not the touchscreen.

      Hope that helps a little! Both are awesome choices so it can be a bit hard to decide,

      1. Awesome! Thanks for the honest review Jac! To be honest what’s putting off is the fact their prices are almost the same. And since gopro is a more reknown brand for action, and also best better video quality at 4k and i think 90 fps frame rate? Felt like it’s hard to make myself go for something like Casio.

        But then again aesthetically this FR100 is such a beauty, and a bigger surface flatter lens . So after all your reviews I’ve decided to go off mainstream and get this. :) Figured I’ll be doing more of photos than videos and yeah, asians being asians the selfie thing has to play a big factor in decision making. lol. Thank you so much Jaclynn! Cheers!

        1. Awesome Chris I hope you love it! I’ll admit that right at the beginning it took some getting used to and I really loved it once I got the hang of it. Fellow travellers who see it are always quite wowed by it, especially when I’m taking jumpshots on my own haha. In the last year or so I know they launched an FR200 which is supersuper wide angle (i haven’t tested that out yet though) and a FR100L which has a ‘long legs mode’ but is mostly similar to the FR100 otherwise… happy travelling and selfieing!

          1. Hey Jac, I got it! The limited red and black colour scheme! Oh, yet to try, but just to reply to your reply. Saw the 200 but the guy said it’s mainly for video and I saw it has this weird fish bowl look. As for the 100L and the long legs shot, apparently after unboxing my FR100 it has a slip of paper asking me to upgrade my software. When at the software website it states that the new software has that mode, which means your current FR100 (and mine) can have that mode too (i guess?). Yet to download and try. Here’s the link if you’re still owning and using that camera. :)


          2. thanks! I kinda broke mine by getting water into it because I was a tad careless (need to get it repaired!) but am definitely going to keep using it! Good to know :)

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