Minicamera by Eksitdata
I think that everybody has been in situation where it would have been nice to get a photo of. Now there are really small digital cameras, which fit in every pocket. Would these be good in general use or does the low price mean low quality? Let's find out.
|Dimensions (w x h x d):||59 x 41 x 18 mm|
|Weight (without battery):||26 g|
|Memory devices:||4 * 16 MB (SDRAM)|
|Photo resolution:||640 x 480 (VGA), 320 x 240 (QVGA)|
|Memory capasity:||26 (VGA), 104 (QVGA)|
|Shutter speed:||1/6 - 1/15000|
|Working voltage:||AAA 1,5 V, USB 5 V|
|Working temperature:||0-40 ºC|
|Energy saving:||Automatically enters in 30 s|
The package looks nice. On the back side there is information about the functions and system requirements. There is also told that the camera is suitable for children over 8 years. Though, my 3-year-old already is interested in the camera and manages to take photos with it. :)
The package includes the camera, the carrying bag, USB cable, battery, CD-ROM and a small user's guide. The software works only in Windows. Other requirements are 125 MB free hard disk space and 32 MB memory. Naturally CD-ROM-drive is also needed for installing the program and a free USB-port to transfer the photos from the camera to the hard disk. Connected to the USB the camera works as webcam too.
The first impression of the camera is toyish, as it is so small. It has though whole bunch of similar features as bigger ones. Let's take a closer look at them next.
|2.||Shutter for taking photos and confirming selections|
|4.||LCD display tells the status and the free memory|
|8.||Battery is in the bottom of the camera under the cover|
|9.||Key chain attachment|
USB connector is on the same side with the key chain attachment and it is needed to transfer the photos to the hard drive. At this time, no battery is needed, because the camera gets the power from the USB. The battery should be removed soon after removing the photos, as it lasts about two days, whether you use the camera or not. If you remove the battery or its voltage drops too much, you will loose all photos from the camera.
The viewfinder is placed about 20 cm from your eyes. In this way you will get a small but sharp view to the target. At first this distance felt odd and I tried to place the camera just in front of my eye as taking photos with larger cameras. But when you have get used to this new way of using the viewfinder, the distance is found automatically.
In the top image the camera is seen from behind. Usually digital cameras have LCD-displays in the backside, but in this model it is in the front side. The display tries to be informative, but unfortunately it is really difficult to sort out if the digit is for e.g. seven (7) or one (1). In the dislpay there is a two-digit code showing the camera status. When the battery voltage drops below 1.25 V, the display starts to flash.
These are the states of the camera:
|26||Estimated amount of photos going on the memory in VGA state|
|99||Estimated amount of photos going on the memory in QVGA state|
|dB||Continuous shooting (10 fps AVI-video)|
|SE||Auto-shoot mode with 10 s delay|
|CA||Delete all photos|
The carrying bag is also small, but very necessary to protect the lense from dust and dirt. Despite of the small size the bag has a handy belt clip. The lid of the carrying bag is poorly designed because when you close it, you will press the function button at the same time and the camera will power up. Luckily it will shut down in 30 s.
Canon Powershot A 40 and Eksitdata's minicamera
On the palm
In the upper image there are Canon Powershot A 40 and Eksitdata's minicamera. A 40 is a medium-sized camera and when compared to it, this minicamera is really mini-size. In the key chain the camera still looks cool; this will go with you in the pocket or in the bag. The small size also has its disadvantages: it is difficult to get a perfect aim to the target.
Installing the software is pretty easy, though the instructions are limited. You will still manage with common sense. Using the software is straight forward. You can see the photos in the preview mode and the function is selected from the buttons below, for e.g. transfering the photos to the hard disk.
The photo for testing the optics is taken with the help of a printed grid. In the center of the image there is a blurred area and on the edges you can see a strong barrel distortion. The sharpest area is in between the midpoint and the far edges..
You can view the original photos by clicking the thumbnails. The originals are not modified and they are transfered straight from the camera. As you can see from the images, the camera is at it's best when taking photos outside in a bright daylight. When the photo is taken against the light, it will not succeed.
+ price (about 35 euro)
+ small and light weight
+ easy to use
+ battery included
+ USB connection
- battery lifetime
- barrel distortion in photos
- no flash
Handy sized camera, which gives photos suitable for web. You just have to remember to transfer the photos to the hard drive as soon as possible after taking them, so that the dying battery wont clear the memory. Bundled software is quite easy to use and the transfer doesn't take so long.
The price is low, but the camera isn't worth purchasing if you are planning to photograph in parties, because the images aren't so great in low light conditions. On a beautiful summerday when the sun is shining, photos succeed well.
The camera is suitable for a webcam and for occasional digi-photographing, but if the main function would be digi- photographing in varying circumstances, you should consider some other model.