“ Manufacturer: Easypix / Model: S512 / Digital camera / point and shoot / 5 Mpix / optical zoom: No / „
With product lines, especially at the budget, point and shoot, end of the digital camera market, disappearing and being replaced with ever better specified modles, at ever more modest prices, chances are by the time you read this the Easypix S512 will be no more. Will it be mourned, this humble camera that only warrants a serial number rather than a name? Well there are a few things that can be said it its favor. Firstly on price it is pretty competitive for less than a hundred pounds you should be able to pick one up with a 1GB SD card and reader thrown in. In fact I wouldnt bother with the card reader as the camera comes equipped with a cable and software (PC only) that will enable you to plug it straight into the USB port of your computer without complaint (for Mac users iPhoto has no difficulty recognizing it and making friends either). Although it boasts a 12megapixel resolution, thats interpolated - which means that the true resolution is 5megapixels, still pretty impressive for a camera in this class but annoying in that these days most manufacturers seem, wisely, to have stopped interpolating their claims. The camera will also record video in two resolutions (AVI) and audio (WAV) functions which, I have to admit, I have yet to explore For ease of use its hard to imagine anything much simpler, the menu system is easy to navigate, it weighs virtually nothing and is smaller than a packet of cigarettes. For those seduced by design, it has a sleek and sexy James Bond spy camera kind of look and is not overburdened with fiddly little buttons. So far so good, a veritable miracle of modern technology, packed with fantastic features at an affordable price - there is, however, a down side. Now it has to be said that the S512 is a budget digital camera which is aimed at taking snaps, a function that it performs perfectly well but try using it in anything other than bright sunlight and it sulks and turns suddenly useless. It is virtually impossible to take a decent picture with it in lower light conditions, camera shake is guaranteed and the automated exposure values and white balance are all over the place. The flash has a very modest throw (if you are not close enough to blind someone it probably wont work) but best of all is the .latency, which is enough to guarantee that whatever it was you were pointing your camera at (especially when in the dark) will have long since vanished by the time the shutter makes its digitally simulated click and the flash, eventually, fires. Overall then, despite the extraordinarily sharp quality of the images this camera can produce in strong sunlight, the limitations of the S512 make it hard to recommend unless you only intend to photograph relatively slow moving and brightly lit subjects.