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Some digicams hit the shelves and at first appear to be run-of-the-mill compacts with little to offer. How blasé can you get!
This is one of those: the zoom is a 10x lens; it has 2GB of internal memory, so you may never need a memory card; 14 megapixel capture lets you shoot a maximum size of 4288×3216 pixels and make a 36x27cm print; you can shoot MPEG4 movies at 1280×720 pixel resolution; face detection can handle up to 16 faces.
The camera is slim in shape, available in black only and has a 6.9cm LCD screen but no optical finder; surprisingly, the lens, when extended, adds only 27mm to the body thickness. Operationally, the camera is a doddle and would please absolute beginners desperate to get a long zoom camera; simple in configuration and light in weight it has nine external controls, backed up by a comprehensive finder menu.
The top surface is where you find the main shutter button (for stills) and the rear is where the movie record button is located … you don’t need to select movie mode! But no, you can’t shoot stills while recording a movie!
You get to choose the various modes by choosing them on the LCD: Program AE; iAuto, scene modes (14 in all); the Magic setting (a selection of filters to convert a picture to Pop Art, Line Art, Pinhole and Fish Eye camera effect, based on Olympus SLRs’ Art Filters feature); Panorama and Beauty (should remove facial blemishes).
I found the Panorama mode a touch tetchy: in one sub mode where the camera invites you to shoot three sections, with lineup marks, I found it difficult to avoid blurring the joins.
Barrel distortion is evident when the zoom is set to full wide; there is negligible distortion at the tele end.
Turn on the power and the camera can shoot its first picture after about two seconds; follow on shots can be captured at about two second intervals.
As I indicated earlier this is no run-of-the mill camera and would suit a beginner but, having said that, it does not have ground level pricing.
I must be critical of the small instruction leaflet: two small pages in English are not enough to explain the workings of this model.
Image Sensor: 14.0 million effective pixels.
Metering: ESP and spot.
Sensor Size: 11mm CCD.
Lens: f3.2-5.9/5-50mm (28-280mm as 35 SLR equivalent).
Shutter Speed: 4 to 1/2000 second.
Continuous Shooting: 0.7 fps at full image size.
Memory: SD, SDHC cards plus 2 GB internal memory.
Image Sizes (pixels): 4288×3216, 3264×2448, 2560×1920, 2048×1536, 1920×1080, 1600×1200, 1280×960, 640×480.
Movies: 1280×720, 640×480, 320×240 at 15/30 fps.
LCD Screen: 6.9cm LCD (230,000 pixels).
File Formats: JPEG, WAV, Motion JPEG.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 64 to 1600.
Interface: USB 2.0, HDMI, AV.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, DC input.
Dimensions: 94×57.6×31.1 WHDmm.
Weight: 171 g (inc battery and card).