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About seventeen months ago we found ourselves in Gibralta,we had been cruising the Med and were on our way home, it is only a small place and we had done the sights before so went shopping....
Look what I bought for nearly three hundred pounds! And just to make sure you understand, I don't regret it a bit.
A chunky, becautiful camera, with 4megapixels and slr capabilities. It has a zoom, it has so many settings that it took me almost a year to work some of them out.
We went back to the ship, put the batteries on charge and while hubby dozed on his bunk I opened the box.....
Oh, what a lovely chunky camera, what a lot of buttons, what a little instruction booklet, and what a lot of languages it is written in.
First a welcome, then a quick start guide, then the settings in more depth.
Eventually there was charge in the batteries, I always use rechargables nowadays because even the camera special power ones which cost a fortune only take a few photos before they give up and go to sleep.
I raced round the ship and snapped as I went, thought I would worry about all the settings later, just wanted to see what the pics were like.
Lets look at the camera itself.
It has an Olympus Lens, AF zoom 6.5 - 19.5mm 1:2:8. I only know that this means the lens zooms out x 3 times if I turn the right button.
This is a little button on the top at the front, it turns to zoom in and out and you press it to take a photo.
It has an inbuilt flash which you can set to manual, automatic or turn off.
There is red eye reduction too which is brilliant to use for indoor photos.
On the top behind the zoom/take knob, is the Power/mode dial
This has five settings. Turn it left once and you can view on the back screen the photos that are in the camera. These can be viewed one at a time, zoomed in and out to look more closely or you can look at all of them together on the one screen although this makes them so small you can hardly see what you have taken.
The next setting is off, and if you forget to turn it off eventually it turns itself off for you although it takes a while and uses up battery power while doing so.
The next setting is P. this is an automatic setting and you can set it anyway you like while taking photos, but it does re set on turning off/on again. This setting lets the camera choose what to use for the light conditions. It automatically focuses on something in the centre of the picture although can be set for multiple focus as well.
Next we have A/S/M/(my). This is the setting to play with for different effects, different sized (by pixel) photos, different colour/black & white/sepia modes. This is a good place to experiment and play, you can even set it to take self photos, point the camera at yourself and click. But I don't recommend this unless you are really happy with what you look like close up, I got some truely awful photos of myself with double chin and every blemish showing.
You can choose four different settings here and store them in (my) favourites, eliminating the need to keep re setting the camera according to weather conditions.
At the top. Last but not least s-prg and a little picture of a camcorder. Here the camera will shoot short films without sound. I don't use this myself as I have a perfectly good digital camcorder, but my daughter uses it on her camera and frequently sends me short films of my granddaughter.
The back of the camera looks somewhat complicated, but once you know what these buttons mean it is quite easy really.
Top little button is the dustbin one to delete any photos you don't want to print.
Below that is a print order button and one for changing from distance to close up.
To the right are four direction buttons. These scroll through the various menus on the screen.
Below is an ok button to press once you have set it the way you want to.
Below that the quick view button to view you photos as you take them
Below that is the lock button, a tip, don't lock your photos up unless you know how to unlock them when you want. A very good button this though if like me you have little ones who sometimes play and press all the buttons just to see what happens, it stops them deleting precious memories.
Now, the photos! What are they like?? Oh beautiful, I print A4 with no borders and with this camera I get no pixelation at all, just clear, sharp prints.
I take loads of photos, I take the work photos of staff and residents, I also have compiled a pictorial menu for work, so that is a lot I can tell you. I use my camera almost daily and as this is my third digital camera I can honestly say it was worth the money.
Now, there are five and six megapixel cameras around and I am sure their photos are even clearer and sharper, but for the moment I am totally happy with mine.
It comes with a 16mb card to store the pics on. I usually set it to take about 20 at a time because this gives those big clear photos, but it can be set from one to about a hundred, depending what you want to do with them.
It has a nice LCD screen on the back, you can either use this to see what you are taking or look through the viewfinder just like any camera.
It comes with a carrying strap, but not it's own case. This is a shame because they are expensive and to keep it in pristine condition it is best to buy one. I bought one that has space to store spare batteries and card, but don't always use it.
I have left out a lot of the technical details here because I don't really understand them. I just know that this is a great camera that I enjoy using and is fairly simple to use once you know a bit about the settings.
I have looked on the net and all the obvious shops don't seem to stock this camera, I did find it at Kellco though at £282 + £7.99 p&p. so have included the link below.
I almost forgot the software package that came with it. Well, I have Camedia 4.5 I think but never use it, I used it with my last camera which was an older model camedia and it was totally crap. It does all the usual things like crop and edit and change the colours and correct the light etc. but saves them I am not sure where and they don't open in any other software package. I am sure if I had spent time learning how to use this software properly it would have been ok but after losing a few photos I went back to the software that I have always used. Maybe I will review that one one day.
Thanks for reading this. Sue xx